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Book Review

Mini Reviews: Summer Lovin’

The Distance Between Us
By Kasie West

Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed The Distance Between Us. First of all, this has ‘fanfic’ written all over it. As a massive Gilmore Girls fangirl myself, this actually made me happier rather than upset, so it was a complete guilty pleasure!

Also, I just figured out gifs so here’s a ton to gush over.
*Sheepishly grins from ear to ear*


Caymen (Rory) – is extremely close with her mom, but things have been stressful financially lately (always). She attends the local public school and has been taught that the rich are a certain breed you don’t want to get messed up with. She’s studious and into STEM, particularly on the path for crime scene investigation, but she plans to defer to help out her mom.


Xander (Logan) – is the filthy rich love interest that Caymen begins to hang out with behind her disapproving mom’s back. He’s being groomed to take over his father’s hotel dynasty in after college, which of course he’s trying to rebel against. He attends the exclusively rich private school named after his Grandmother.


Skye (Lane Kim) – is the amazing best friend who is dating a band guy and attends all of his gigs. I absolutely love her!!!


Susan (Lorelai) – had Caymen out of wedlock in her teens and the baby daddy left her to fend for herself. Her parents disowned her, but her baby daddy’s parents gave her guilt money to start up a business. She now lives a stressed life of trying to make ends meet in her porcelain doll shop that she lives above in a tiny apartment with her daughter.


Vivian (Emily) and Sean (Richard) – are not in the picture until later on as they disowned their pregnant teenage daughter. They haven’t seen their granddaughter for her entire life, but step up in a well intentioned way before it’s too late.


All the other amazing characters as well as copious amount of coffee are missing… but then again it was 300+ pages, not 7 seasons 😀

Audiobook Performance: ★★★★

Openly Straight
By Bill Koningsberg

Openly Straight was an enjoyable summer weekend read. It has massive Dead Poets Society vibes and I loved it for that. Also, I wanted to hug and protect Benny Bear so badly!!


Unfortunately, I didn’t like the mc, Rafe, AT ALL. This is why I liked the book, but couldn’t fall in love with it. The story went from Rafe not wanting to have a label anymore to outright lying with a snowball effect. I understand that he didn’t want to carry the burden of being the poster child for gay when he changed schools from Boulder, CO to New England. He wanted to figure out who he was beyond his sexuality. In actuality though, he just wanted to be able to fit in with who he perceived as the “in-crowd jocks” and ended up acting like a prick. Rafe was super judgy of his roommate and his roommate’s best friend, who were only ever kind to him from the start.

The all-boys boarding school out East had an established LGBT+ support system in place, but Rafe wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. He was also scared as shit to stand up for the out LGBT+ boys because he didn’t want to be outed himself. This, coming from someone who has been out for years in Colorado and doing inspirational speeches for LGBT+ youth was just ridiculous. When he kept silent, he endorsed the homophobia.

While these are completely human flaws and growing pains for Rafe to have, I was still wishy-washy over my feelings for him. I was glad to see that he did show development, but it was too little too late. If you’re looking for a happy ending you will have to read the sequel… and let me know if it’s there.

Audiobook Performance: ★★★★

When Dimple Met Rishi
When Dimple Met Rishi, Book 1

By Sandhya Menon

Well, since I’m wading out here in the unpopular opinion pool, I’ll keep it to a concise list 🙂

The Good:
➸ The Indian rep was a gift
➸ Rishi’s brother
➸ The premise for the entire storyline

The Bad:
➸ For the summer before college, the characterizations across the board sounded more like early high school
➸ Where was the STEM fun I was promised?!
➸ Rishi… he’s a bit too clingy for my taste (I guess I don’t like cinnamon buns haha)

The Ugly:
➸ Dimple… her girl hate was palpable
➸ Actually, the sheer amount of general hate that dripped from the pages
➸ D+R’s relationship… Nope.Nope.Nope. Rishi deserves a kinder partner.

Audiobook Performance: ★★½ ➙ I don’t think I get on well with “his and her voices” audiobooks at this point. I always end up preferring one over the other.

When Dimple Met Rishi:
Book 2: There’s Something About Sweetie (2019)


  • Kee the Reader

    I absolutely adored The Distance Between Us! It was such a quick and swoon-worthy read. I also enjoyed Openly Straight and thought the premise was interesting, the sequel is pretty good too. There is an happy ending in Honestly, Ben, it was heartwarming with Ben trying to find himself with the help of this female character. Really sweet.

    Well I never finished When Dimple Met Rishi, I just couldn’t get into it and I thought Dimple was super mean to Rishi. He’s such a kind boy and didn’t deserve the way she treated him. It’s kind of good to see that not everybody liked this book.

    • Ashley

      I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another Kacey West book now!! Her writing is really fun and light.

      Ohh good to know Ben is happy at the end of the sequel!! I adored his character!

      I’ve seen it’s really hit or miss with Dimple, so I’m planning to read Sweetie this year since it focuses on Rishi’s brother. Dimple had a lot of potential and I’m hoping some of that is redeemed in the sequel!

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