The Distance Between Us

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
The Distance Between Us Book Poster Image
Poor girl falls for rich guy in romance that's about trust.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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 & Representations

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.

Violence

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

Sex

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).

Language

A few uses of "crap."

Consumerism

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

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Kid, 11 years old July 28, 2013
Teen, 13 years old Written byLindley_47 February 3, 2014

GREAT

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'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.

Talk to your kids 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?

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