Let me start by saying this book is probably my favourite of the three In the Kitchen novels. Don’t get me wrong, I loved both In the Raw and In the Fire but Tyler and Trevor’s story touched me on a deeper level than Jamie and Ethan’s did, even if I couldn’t begin to explain why that might be. And just for the record; while I would strongly advise anyone to read the two earlier titles before reading In the Distance – if only because they’re great books – it isn’t necessary. This book stands on its own as well as it does as part of a trilogy.
From the moment I was introduced to Tyler he captured a spot in my heart. He’s such a loving, kind and generous soul despite being rejected by his family and having survived on the streets before Ethan found him. He has every reason to be angry with the world and act out, but does the exact opposite. In the hands of lesser authors Tyler might have ended up as a boring, saintly, caricature; in In the Distance, he is fully rounded, totally recognisable and an utter sweetheart all at the same time.
Trevor, at first glance at least, is much harder to like. And, if you’ve read the previous two books, you know there are good reasons why Ethan doesn’t trust Trevor and warns him away from Tyler. But it didn’t take Trevor long to change my views about him. It was impossible to stay upset with him when he’s all too aware of his shortcomings and the first to beat himself up over them. And the care he took with Tyler took my breath away. Trevor had me convinced he wasn’t all bad long before he was willing to believe that of himself. And, honestly, few things are as mesmerizing to read about as a formerly flawed character redeeming himself. And Trevor redeems himself in the best possible way in this book.
I love how these two authors always manage to pull me into their stories. They introduce me to their characters and a few pages later those characters have risen from the page and become real personalities I enjoy having in my life. The conversation between the characters in their books sparkles and sounds real and convincing. What’s more, the story flows with an ease and hooks the reader from the very first moment. With a just about perfect balance between angst and smiles and a total absence of boring moments, In The Distance, will keep you reading until you reach the happy ending.