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Mandafofanda Reads Lots

The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no?

And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?

- Yann Martel, Life of Pi

The Distance Between Us - Kasie West I haven't met a protagonist that I've liked this much in a while. The girl is the queen of deadpan sarcasm. And I loved it.

I could wax poetic about the awesomeness of the girl, the sweetness of the boy, the aww-inducingness of the romance, the entertainment factor of the banter. But this book contained another aspect that made it appeal to me.

During the course of the book, both Caymen and Xander are conflicted with the difficulty of determining their futures after graduation while weighing the complications of familial obligations. She has a mother who owns a doll shop going under and highly depends on her to keep things running. He is feeling the pressures of a father grooming him to take over the family empire. She has more or less accepted the fact that she will defer future plans for a few years to help her mother out. He feels boxed in with a future that was decided for him without getting the chance to find his own great passion and skill. Together they decide to plan out "Career Days" for each other to give the other an opportunity to explore different interests. While this served as a cute gimmick to demonstrate how well each were able to observe traits in the other, I liked how in the end Caymen learned to feel comfortable in forging her own path separate from her mother, and Xander found acceptance in being a jack-of-all-trades who would make a great leader for the company.