Book Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Going Too Far is a YA romance novel by Jennifer Echols. It was published by pocket books/ MTV books in 2009 and it is 245 pages long.
Meg hates the town she lives in. Every single thing about it and she can’t wait to get out of there. It isn’t long until she graduated high school and can finally move away to college. On the way though, Meg and some friends have a wild night on a train track and end up getting arrested, which results is spending the whole of Spring Break with the arresting police officer.
John is the complete opposite of Meg. He knows he is destined to stay in his home town forever and he knows he has a job to do. He is the arresting police officer. Although Meg doesn’t quite realise how wrong what she did was, John is determined to teach her a lesson she will never forget. The two collide from the very beginning and sparks are flying all over the place…just not the kind they both expected!
What I thought
So many book bloggers have said such amazing things about Jennifer Echols’ books and this one had been sitting on my TBR pile for quite some time. Not knowing what to read one night, this one seemed to call out to me and I am damn glad it did!
Although there are so many amazing things about this book, the main thing that stood out for me was the characterisation. Not only were the main characters, Meg and John extremely vivid but the minor characters like Tiffany and Will were also very well written. I felt as if I knew each character in this book, no matter how small their part was. Echols gives each character a very distinct voice which brings them into their own and not to be confused with anyone else.
Meg has a voice that I will not forget any time soon. From the moment she stepped onto the page, I loved her! I always get annoyed for teenagers being written in an unrealistic way in YA novels but that is not the case in Going Too Far. Meg was every bit the real teenager in my eyes, mainly because she acted quite like I did when I was around her age. I was impulsive, didn’t care what anyone else thought of me and generally did things to shock people. Even though she is brash, Meg is never annoying at any point. Some people may find her the kind of character you would want to slap some sense into but I just couldn’t feel like this, with certain aspects of her too much like myself. Meg does make some silly decisions in life but in her head, they are justified due to her strong will and determination and these were two of the things I loved the most about her.
John is the complete opposite to Meg but still as lovable. His personality is just as strong but in a different way. John thinks he knows exactly who he is and what he wants out of life, to protect and serve the town he grew up in. He has extremely strong morals and ideas about how life should be and how people should act in certain situations, which is where he is unlike Meg. John doesn’t really have a spontaneous bone in his body and because of this, he and Meg clash many times. Their relationship is far from easy and is not exactly a typical YA relationship. The tension slowly builds between Meg and John, resulting in amazing chemistry and passion.
There is much more to both of the main characters than meets the eye though and more than I have explained above. Both characters have their fair share of problems but they aren’t explored too much until further on in the book. The story is extremely well paced and the plot interesting and tense throughout. The pacing makes it possible to understand what both Meg and John are going through on many different levels, due to the shocks that are added in and the twists and turns that I would never have seen coming. While the story is exciting and unpredictable, it is also full of love and sadness. Echols’ writing is sharp and direct but extremely beautiful at the same time. She gives the story such depth and intensity and I wasn’t expecting that at all. I don’t know why but I was kind of expecting a nice romance but not much else, even though so many good things had been said about this book.
Even though this is the only book by Echols I have read so far, I immediately went and ordered another of her books after this one because I loved it that much. I think I have found an author who will quickly become one of my all time favourites.