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Book Reviews
April 14, 2009 posted by Nikki

Going Too Far – Jennifer Echols

One night, while drunk and high and making out with the town loser down by the train bridge Meg and her friends manage to get themselves arrested. As punishment, they’re sentenced to spend a week with the police, ambulance and fire services observing crime and safety and come up with some kind of proposal that the town officials can not only use, but also shows that they’ve learned their lesson. Meg gets stuck riding in Officer After’s police car and Meg couldn’t think of anything worse. Officer After is a staunch, stuck up, law-abiding citizen and as far as Meg is concerned, the exact opposite of her.

But Meg isn’t the only tortured soul in town and little does she know that Officer After is harbouring some of his own dark secrets, too. Having Meg in his car seems to break down Officer After’s hard exterior, little by little.

There’s something about After that gets under Meg’s skin. Maybe it’s his blindingly good looks. Maybe it’s just because she doesn’t understand him. But her lack of understanding makes her want to understand. More than anything.

In a move so out of character that it takes her completely by surprise, Meg finds herself falling for Officer After and that can only lead to bad, bad things. Meg is in her final year of high school. She has big plans for herself. Plans that involve leaving the dead end town where she lives. How can she leave if she’s got something like a boyfriend holding her back? But Meg isn’t the relationship type, so what does she even care?

See her predicament?

When I first started reading this novel, I was worried that it was just going to be another story about a good, wholesome boy taming a wild, out-of-control girl. Boy-oh-boy, was I wrong. Both After and Meg are deeply rich characters with many layers that need to be peeled back before the reader is exposed to the real Meg, the real John After. While I do think that Meg is somewhat “tamed” by the end of the novel, I would argue that After is more the trigger than the reason. Meg doesn’t want to be so empty, so void, and John just shows her that she feels this way.

Going Too Far is unapologetic and refuses to pass judgment, instead transferring that responsibility onto the reader. And there are lots of opportunities to judge but I found myself completely unwilling to do so. Echols doesn’t sugar coat her prose or her dialogue and captures the do or die essence of adolescence perfectly. My only criticism is that we didn’t get enough of After and Meg together. Why do writers do this to us? They always leave the union – the bit we’re all waiting for – right till the last couple of pages. Here’s hoping she’s planning a sequel!

Rating: : ★★★★☆

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  • this does looks good. thanks for the review!

  • Nice review.
    Yeah I was expecting a good boy and crazy teenager girl relationship but after reading your review I see I was wrong.
    I think I’ll be a nice read so I’m waiting to have it in my hands.

  • good review nik, seems really good!! i want it, need to stop reading your reviews or i am never going to read my book for class, okay totally no where near your falt.

    looks good, good review, and i really like the cover

  • Ah, yes! I read this book not too long ago. One of my top favorite books. I loved Meg and John’s relationship. Also, I too, hope that there is a sequel.
    But I talked to her and she said she didn’t have a sequel in mind when she wrote it. Hopefully she changes her mind! I really want to see what happens to them.

  • Me too. I think it would be interesting to see what happens, whether they make it and whether or not they both really and truly get over their demons.

  • Grreat review!
    I loved this book. I only wish the author had more books out.

  • is the officer older than her…like an adult?

  • Love this book! i really like it!

    Love the web page! can find a lot of interesting books

    Kisses from Argentina!

  • i read this book in on day, scratch that i read this book in FOUR hours. it was THAT good, i love love love it.

    i woke up and i had to read a book i did NOT want to read to write a paper on & i was surfing my kindle library looking for a book that will motivate me to read the book i have to write a paper on so i can do it quick and read that one instead. So i picked ‘going too far’ bcus i had my eyes on it for a long long long while so i clicked on it read the first sentence of the first chapter, then it became the second sentence then third and 4:30 in the after came and i was finishing the last sentence. I even filled up my bath, got in & got my kindle and started reading in the bathroom, i was that into it!! it was that good of the book.

    It had LOL moments, cute moments, deep moments it had everything. The characters are complex, they are unique and you cant help but get attached to them. Meg’s voice was great, she didn’t once bother me through out the book or any of that and john was to die for. Im contemplating getting arrested to find me a johnafter but all cops here were most definitely linebackers in high school and quite scary so no….

    anyways the plot was terrific, the book was terrific from start to finish. i loved how their relationship progressed as i read rather then just HAPPEN out of no where. you cant just write up love and expect the reader to get the vibe but Echols definitely knows how to get the vibe across!

    *SPOILER* i just died when she kissed him when they were waiting for back up to catch the guys in the aztec holding rifles in the store. my hearts totally skipped a beat!

    Your totally right on this “Why do writers do this to us? They always leave the union – the bit we’re all waiting for – right till the last couple of pages”
    it killed me when i finished the book i was in quite a shock anyways i know im a fast reader but four hours was a new record. i WANT more meg & john, they are just the perfect pair, definitely a new favorite couple for me, though i cant see a sequel, it would take value of the book. John & meg’s story has been told & to further continue it in another book will definitely not work. it would seem too much of a follow up. very desperate…

    Where i think you’re wrong is this book is a million stars out of five, if you haven’t read it yet go buy it! its necessary to own a cope of this great piece;D

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