Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Publisher: MTV (March 17, 2009)
Paperback: 245 pages
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...


My Thoughts: Meg thought she was living the life - on edge, always ready for partying and danger. Invincible. But one night, she gets stoned and trespasses on railroad tracks, only to be caught by policeman Officer After. Instead of sending her to juvy, Officer After decides to dish out punishment his way - one week of Meg riding with him on his nighttime patrol. But what originally started out as punishment quickly turns into something personal...

Going Too Far was an extremely enjoyable read that always popped out a weird twist everytime I least expected it. I went in looking for some solid characters, but I managed to relate and sympathize with Meg much more than I thought I would. Yes, she has blue hair, blue eyes, and a radar for trouble, but she's also insecure, smart, and trying to deal with her problems. Meg has a great, dry humor, and I loved seeing how she developed after meeting Officer After. The development was so thorough and the action so packed that I still can't believe the whole book occured within two weeks! Meg's not perfect though, and she has some interesting habits that I thought were a bit weird at first, but Jennifer Echols explained those actions in the middle with something that made me go "woahhh." Definitely did not see it coming, but it was still crazy awesome and made sense. And that actually applies to a lot of the plot twists in this book - a little strange and a perfect fit - or just the book in general.

As for Officer After, he was totally dreamy, hot, and protective. As Meg would say, he proves that "chivalry isn't dead." It was sweet how much they changed because of each other, and each for the better. I was rooting for After and Meg the whole time, through all their non-commitment issues and fears, and I cheered (internally) whenever they made some progress. Maybe an unconventional couple, but they are perfect for each other. Tne ending made me so happy, which goes to show how much I loved After and Meg. They're both extremely unique and different, but believable and relatable at the same time.

The only complaint I have is that rarely something would happen so fast or so suddenly that I'd be left in the dust wondering what exactly just happened. It didn't happen often, but I still had to go back and reread a couple times just to make sure I heard someone right and didn't skip a paragraph or something. And, believe me, I did not want to skip even one paragraph. The writing was definitely concise and teen-dated, and I loved the banter between all of the characters. It made me feel like I was arguing with one of my good friends. :)

Romance: Sweet and tentative. Meg starts off thinking she'll be alone forever and views sex as merely a physical thing, but she begins to see what love is after she meets Officer After. I already talked about their relationship earlier, so I'm going to leave it at that: sweet and tentative.
Cover: 3.5 - Looks pretty cool, but why the stubble? Bye-bye boyish innocence.
Writing: 4.0
Characters: 4.5
Plot: 4.0

Bottom Line: Going Too Far was a fairly quick but riveting read about self-discovery and branching out to others. The plot and writing were both good, but what really made this book stand out to be were the relatable and unique characters. There was just enough depth to make this more than simply a fast read, though not enough to make Going Too Far a tear-jerker. But then again, that's not what I was looking for, so this book was perfect. It still dealt with complex feelings and issues, and I hope that Jennifer Echols decides to write more deep books in the future because I'll definitely be there reading them!