Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Title:  Going Too Far
Author:  Jennifer Echols
Publisher:  MTV Books (Simon & Schuster)
Genre: YA / contemporary
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN: 1416571736
Summary from Goodreads:

  • All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far... and almost doesn't make it back. 


  • John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge - and over...


  • Overall rating: 7/10 flowers
    To buy this book: IndieBound | The Book Depository | Powell's Amazon
    Add this book to your: Goodreads Shelfari | Library Thing | Visual Bookshelf

    Jennifer Echols' Going Too Far is a romantic coming-of-age story about Meg, a blue-haired seventeen year old with a wild reputation.  When nineteen year old cop John After catches Meg engaging in illegal activities, he takes it upon himself to help steer her off the dangerous path she seems to be on by forcing her to spend her spring break riding along on his graveyard-shift patrols.  The week they spend together changes both of their lives forever.


    What I Liked:
    -     Meg is an entertaining narrator with a wry sense of humor and a compelling reason for living her life with  reckless abandon.
    -     John is a very focused 19 year old cop who is devoted to his job and obsessed with protecting teens from the dangers of a particular railroad bridge.
    -     Their chemistry is of the sexy, blush-inducing variety, and I liked that she is the bolder and more aggressive of the two.
    -     Meg is a confident character and never apologizes for who she is.  She hasn't always made the most responsible decisions, but she doesn't allow other people to make her choices for her or to define who she is.
    -     In many ways, this is a bad girl/good guy romance, but it isn't a one-sided "I'll save you from yourself" story.  Both characters have vices and challenges to overcome.
    -     Although the secondary characters are of minimal importance to the story, I found Meg and John's friends and co-workers believable and realistic.
    -     Meg has made questionable decisions when it comes to alcohol, drugs, and sex, and this book touches on those topics in way that is realistic.  Those elements are vital to understanding Meg's point of view and it never feels as though they were added to the story just for shock value or to make the story more 'edgy'.
    -     The writing style is conversational and makes for a very quick read, so this book is easy to devour in one or two sittings.


    What I Wished:
    -     I found it difficult to believe that John and Meg knew so little about one another's pasts when they had gone to school in a small town together for so many years.
    -     Most of the time I liked the casual, conversational writing style, but occasionally Meg's narration veered off on distracting tangents.  The frequent references to specific songs on the radio sometimes seemed unrelated to the narrative and a bit like awkward product placement.
    -      While I thoroughly enjoyed Meg & John's chemistry and connection, I thought the L-word moment was a little premature and out-of-character for both of them.

    Going Too Far is a contemporary romance about two teens who are haunted by their pasts.  I would recommend this book to fans of romantic dramas featuring a generous amount of humor and heart.  I would also recommend Going Too Far to reluctant readers and fans of Deb Caletti's books.  I look forward to checking out Jennifer Echols' recent YA novels, Forget You and Endless Summer.  If you would like to learn more about Going Too Far or Jennifer Echols' other books, visit her website, blog, facebook, or twitter.

    You can read the first chapter of Going Too Far here.

    7 comments:

    Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

    I totally agree with your likes and wishes. I think I enjoyed this book more now than I would have a yaer ago, given that T is now studyin some of that police information so I felt like I was more connected to the story from the beginning. However there were a few things I thought were a little quirky. Overall I liked it.
    Violet I ADORE your book reviews!

    Chachic said...

    I loved this one when I read it earlier this year and it's a lot better than Forget You, in my opinion. Oh it's great that you recommend this for fans of Deb Caletti. I've never read any of her books but I have two in my TBR and I look forward to reading them.

    Sabrina @ about happy books said...

    Great review.
    I also enjoyed this book a lot.

    Erica said...

    I absolutely adored this book! I love all of Jennifer Echols' books.

    Kelli (I'd So Rather Be Reading) said...

    Thank you for the honest, insightful review! I have been wondering if I should buy this one, but I don't really like conversational writing styles so I may wait for it to come to my library. :)

    Candace said...

    I've really been wanting to read this, or anything by her actually. Great review! Makes me want to read it more!

    Adeeva Afsheen said...


    Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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