Sunday, January 3, 2010

Going Too Far: Jennifer Echols

SUMMARY (From Jennifer's Website) :

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...


I picked this one up at the store last night and didn't start reading it until but once I began, I couldn't stop. This book without a doubt earns 5 stars- from the characters to the story to the humor and sarcasm, there were few things that didn't mesh with me. This book starts off strong and at least for me, it never diminished in pace and intrigue.

Through her powerful writing, Echols has taken someone deemed an outcast and delinquent and painted her into something entirely different. In numerous ways, I found myself sympathizing and identifying with Meg despite how different our situations actually are. What seems innocent and just a quirk that belongs solely to Meg has a purpose and a reason and Echols unveiled each component at just the rights moments without ever interrupting the flow of the overall plot. Meg's character is rapt with sarcastic and flippant thoughts and come backs, helping to build the rough exterior that she prides herself on but there are the much needed moments where that cracks in an instant, giving the reader a glimpse within her before the curtains are pulled tight once more. I would be hard pressed to find a person who didn't see character growth in Meg throughout this story and I firmly believe Echols did an astounding job with it. Of all the characters, the changes seen within Meg were the most clear and followed at a steady, believable pace. Granted, the story is from her perspective but the events themselves helped to mold her.

John was another multifaceted character, harboring his own reasons for his thoughts, beliefs and actions. Of course there was a point where I had my suspicions about his rationale, it wasn't until the end of the story that it was confirmed or denied for me. His interactions with Meg were humorous and intriguing, particularly with the barrier of overly devoted, determined cop blocking much of it. As with the moments where Meg peeked around her own blockade, the flashes of the same thing with John were memorable and tugging. I found myself falling for him much as Meg had, learning to appreciate the endearing even if quirky things about him.

Sex of course did come up in this story quite often but I didn't find it to be unnecessary or brash. Her views on sex and the mental dependency on it was a part of Meg's character and though we try to ignore it, everyone knows there are teens out there who share those same views. I don't at all think Echols was painting a bad picture with the sex, the language or even the drug and not only because the teens were arrested and had to face the consequences of the acts. Instead, Echols used even sex and drugs to help build her characters and develop them beyond such those base attributes.

Despite the emotional roller coaster this story provided, it was ultimately a feel good kind of book by the end of it. The ending provided full closure and left me smiling, erasing any of the more raw emotions it had induced prior to that. The very last line was perfect for the story- something that at first, I wouldn't have imagined but completely appreciated it when it happened.

The only real problem I had with this story was how little explanation was really given for the seemingly instant pull between John and Meg. In just a short time span, both characters fell hard for each other without much reason given as to why. Both are young teenagers and of course there is always the argument that they cannot really feel anything so strong but given their backgrounds and histories, I would be more willing to believe it- except there wasn't too much reason besides they just did. At least, to me there were little solid reasons provided although I was up late reading and could have missed it.

Overall, I give this one 5 stars because I read it one sitting, ignoring even sleep just to finish it because there simply wasn't a good stopping place that wouldn't leave me lying there wanting to keep going anyhow. The characters were strong and witty, well developed and unique. The story as a whole took place in an interesting setting- while Meg is a high school senior, there was no school interaction and that was by no means the focus. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes romance, strong and sarcastic characters and even people who like things dealing with some of the tougher issues.

Other Reviews:
Pure Imagination
The Story Siren
Books By Their Cover


  1. Awesome review - I loved this one too, and I like you read it in one sitting! :)

  2. I absolutly loved this book, too. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Amazing review! I love how detailed you are...and you read it all in one sitting? I definitely need to find a copy of this then, especially if it's five-star worthy. ;)

  4. Ooh, tis a long review, but very well-explained. Because of it I think it moved higher on my wishlist. Definitely have to read this one! :) Thanks!

  5. Great review! I agree with everything you said. I loved this book too. :)

  6. Wow, thanks for such a detailed review! I've heard great things about this one so I just have to add it to my wishlist!

  7. I can't wait to read this one. My library didn't have it but I found it through interlibrary loan. Thanks for the awesome review!

  8. I've heard so many good things about this but I haven't read it yet, I guess I am slacking... :)Thanks for the great review!