Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Publisher: Pocket Books/MTV Books
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 245 (paperback)
Release Date: 17 March 2009
Source: Library.
Rating:4 out of 5 stars.

Blurb (from Goodreads.com)

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO?

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….

Review (full review posted on Goodreads.com)

I can’t for the life of me come up with any good reason for why this book is 4 stars and not 5 stars. Normally five stars for me are rated for books that have a huge emotional impact or connection, or challenge me (or are just plain and simply awesome, or I read in my childhood and I’m totally nostalgic for). I didn’t really have an emotional connection but this book did have an emotional impact on me, because I cried in one particular part near the climax. Still, if you ask me what you could change about this book to make it 5 stars, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I really liked it, to me it just wasn’t amazing. However, I would recommend it to romance readers and people who love contemporary YA.

And I think it’s a really beautiful novel about two damaged people learning to love and overcome their fears. The romance developed nicely and despite Meg’s age (17) it was totally believable.

And I totally love Meg’s attitude. She’s not a bitch, just a rebel with no cause and no fear. John was a giant sweetheart and a total hottie (I don’t often find literary characters hot but Echols’ descriptions were really great, and I got sucked in to Meg’s head to see the attraction) but there was something about him that made me feel that he was a tiny bit manipulative. Maybe it was his protectiveness and his need to CONTROL ALL THE SITUATIONS but he seemed to manipulate Meg a bit, especially physically which is so NOT okay especially as he’s this huge cop and she’s this tiny teenager.

Well sure, the entire plot revolves around John’s decision to make Meg ride along with him. And I secretly have a thing for Gothic novels, which abhors the feminist side of me, because the I’d hate to be in the same position myself but there’s a reason Belle from Beauty and the Beast was my favourite Disney princess for many years. I like reading about strong girls trapped in an environment with an older dude who has a position of power over her. Don’t do that to me in real life, but I kind of like it in my entertainment. It’s my guilty pleasure. That’s why I liked The Castle of OtrantoNorthanger Abbey, and Jane Eyre.

Going Too Far isn’t a Gothic novel, but it does have the basics of one. Meg often wonders if she’s suffering from Stockholm Syndrome because she’s being forced to spend time with Officer Hottie.

The novel was written okay. I had some issues with the text, mostly because I think they might have been speaking in slang sometimes and I’m not from America, and sometimes the dialogue was ambiguous and vague so it took me a few pages to realise what they were talking about. But I’m clever enough to work it out in the end, and maybe that’s what matters.

Pretty much the only problem I had with the book was at the end when Meg decided to dye her blue hair back to brunette. I understand why she did it – because the blue dye represented her fight with cancer, and accepting that it was over meant going back to a normal colour. But to me it looks like the shrew has been tamed – that the wild child has settled down. I know characters have to change over the course of novels but I would have liked it if she dyed it a colour that wasn’t her natural colour: blonde, or auburn, or even green. The dye represents a change in her attitude but the colour delivers the message to the reader.

If you like contemporary YA romances you’ll probably love this.

Posted on May 18, 2012, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. love it! Great Review!
    You on for the read-along with Poison Study in July?

    • Yes, I so am! So long as I can get a library copy in time because I’m currently banned from buying new books.

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