Book Review

Book Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: July 2nd, 2013
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

SHORT AND SWEET.

I’ve been sitting on this review because I don’t know that I have much to say? Not in a bad way or anything, this was just a very quick, predictable read. Which is sometimes exactly what you’re looking for, and in this case I was!

I love the audio books for Kasie West novels because they fly by so fast. I finished this in a day. I thought the romance was pretty cute. It was an opposites attract/coming from different worlds vibe that I was definitely feeling.

This was another warm and fuzzy West book. I would rank this on the higher side of books by her that I enjoyed. It’s cute and fluffy with no big surprises. I love that this was heavily romance focused, but allowed for growth and development for the characters. I always love seeing great movement from them because it really helps bring the story home.

Still continuing my quest to read all of Wests’ books. I think I have only a few left!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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Book Review

Book Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

Rating: ☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Young adult contemporary romance
Length: 346 pages
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

An irresistible story from Kasie West that explores the timeless question: What do you do when you fall for the person you least expect?

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her.

Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye.

As he and Autumn at first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

HARD TIME CONNECTING.

Didn’t see the day coming where I would not be into a Kasie West book. Hopefully this is a one-book case scenario.

I didn’t connect with this story or the characters. The time spent at the library was such a long chunk of the book that it caused the beginning of the story to drag. Then add on an accident I didn’t see coming that threw Autumn into a mess she didn’t plan for was complicated and hard to watch.

The relationship between Autumn and Dax was fine. I did like the way they worked together. Maybe could have had some more positive interactions. It felt like this book was trying to be more heavy in context, but struggled to really hit that note.

The expression of anxiety was a nice change of pace though. That’s not as often depicted in young adult books and as someone with anxiety, I can definitely see Autumn’s struggles. I appreciate how her friends responded, but do wish things were more out in the open in general between them.

Everything mashed in odd ways for this one and while this was a miss, I still plan of reading all of West’s books!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: car wreck (to a side character) resulting in a coma

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Book Review

Book Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult contemporary romance
Length: 353 pages
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 5th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

LOVED THIS STORY.

Oh man. This book made me nervous. I wasn’t sure if I could handle Gia. Some characters can really turn you off of a book and make them harder to read. This definitely started out that way. I am so glad I kept going because her character progression was on point.

Her friends made me roll my eyes and get angry more than once. I really couldn’t stand the way any of them were treating each other. I know this can definitely be realistic in high school and I appreciate that we got to see Gia move on from that kind of unnecessary drama.

Totally, absolutely smitten with the romance. The fake-relationship trope is a favorite of mine and this was written beautifully. I like how they found ways back to each other, while helping them work through their own life issues. Gia really won me over with how she learned to have friendships with others she normally wouldn’t. Once again, just happy to see her grow as a person over the book. Bradley and Gia made me melt. I thought Bradley was adorable and he constantly made me smile.

This is a favorite for Kasie West books.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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Book Review

Book Review: Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult contemporary romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Point
Release Date: May 29th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Kasie West’s adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere.

CUTE AS EXPECTED.

Found myself another charming Kasie West read. Definitely would put it up higher on my list of my favorites of hers.

I thought the romance was super cute. It did take some time for me to get on board with the relationship because I saw it going in a totally different direction (and that was just me choosing the wrong guy haha). But, once I saw how well they worked together they were utterly adorable. I like how the feelings developed and interactions. It was everything I’m looking for when I read a rom-com by West.

The podcast story line was fun. I’ve read one other book that has a radio theme and found that to be such a bust. This worked out well and allowed for growth in the main character, Kate. I thought her changes over the book were positive and I was really able to see that she was growing up. I love seeing these story lines in high school books. There’s so much to work through during those years!

The family and friend dynamic brought another good level for this book. I love when there’s an interesting family (this one all living on the same property). Added plenty of high-jinks and giving more layers to the characters.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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