The Distance Between Us



Poor girl falls for rich guy in romance that's about trust.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The Distance Between Us will provoke readers to think about class and how it impacts relationships. For some ideas about how to bring up these topics with your teens, check out our discussion questions.

Positive messages

It's good to let your guard down and trust. It's also good to talk about your problems rather than hold everythign in. 

Positive role models

Caymen learns to stop using her sarcasm as a way to avoid talking about her feelings, and to let down her guard and trust Xander with her heart. He's a good friend to her throughout -- and helps her learn to talk about her problems.


When Caymen fights with a boy, another boy asks if he should beat him up, but nothing happens.


Caymen and Xander share some steamy kisses. Caymen's mom had her as a teenager and raised her as a single mom (also Caymen suspects her mother is pregnant again).


A few uses of "crap."


Gucci, and other references to cars and clothes (though no specific labels mentioned).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A 19-year-old boy boys a beer for Caymen, but she doesn't drink it.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Distance Between Us is about a poor girl who falls in love with a rich guy. The novel will provoke readers to think about class and how it impacts relationships. There isn't too much to worry about besides a few steamy kisses between Caymen and Xander (also Caymen's mom had her when she was a teenager). Eventually, Caymen learns to let down her guard and trust Xander with her heart. He's a good friend to her throughout -- and helps her learn to talk about her problems.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Sarcastic Caymen Meyers lives in a cramped apartment above the failing doll store her mother has owned and operated since accidentally getting pregnant as a teenager. When handsome high-end hotel chain heir Xander Spence comes into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, the two share some witty banter -- and soon find common ground when they both express their lack of interest in their family business. Caymen can't ignore feeling attracted to Xander, but her mom has long expressed distrust of rich people (Caymen's father was a rich man but fled long before she was born). The guarded teen wonders if she's just a distraction for Xander -- or could she find love with someone so different from herself?

Is it any good?


This has the elements of a gripping story -- even the creepy doll store makes for a compelling backdrop -- but it suffers from excessive story lines and characters. This makes it hard for readers to really focus on the book's central tension: a poor girl worried she's being used by the rich boy she's falling for. Between the failing store, her mother's recent secretive behavior, the lead singer of a local band, who also has his eye on Caymen, Xander's snotty rich friend -- and a last-minute twist about her mother's background that really throws everything up in the air, the plot seems both crowded and contrived. Even so, there are some cute scenes between Caymen and Xander -- and some sweet smooches -- so romantic readers may still find enough here to keep them interested.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about romantic stories that feature characters from two different economic classes. Can you think of other movies, songs or TV shows that deal with this theme?

  • Do you think it's hard to be in a relationship with someone -- either a friend or a boy/girl friend -- who has more or less money than you do?

  • What do you think will happen to Caymen and Xander next?

Book details

Author:Kasie West
Genre:Coming of Age
Topics:High school
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:July 2, 2013
Number of pages:320
Publisher's recommended age(s):13 - 17
Available on:Paperback, Nook, iBooks, Kindle

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old July 28, 2013


What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byLindley_47 February 3, 2014


The Distance Between Us is a great book but is very predictable. It is a cute romance novel that is great to read on a weekend.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Kid, 11 years old July 29, 2015

Good Book for Romace Lovers ONLY!!!

I really enjoyed this book. It talked a lot about how Caymen was tight on money and how Xander had a lot. There are two make-out sessions that they have but nothing too intense for a mature 11 year-old. I read this book a while ago but I don't remember and cussing other that fairly mild things, s--t, damn, etc. The book has great messages about not letting how much money you have separate people, friend ship, and trust.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism


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