REVIEW – Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

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Title: Going Too Far
Author: Jennifer Echols
Release Date: March 17, 2009

Going Too Far



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….

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Jennifer Echols has written a sweet, heartfelt story of consequences and self-discovery with Going Too Far. This novel is the epitome of the Young Adult genre, full of teenage angst, growing pains, and good old-fashioned rebellion. Although initially Meg and John could not have seemed more different, it was their unexpected similarities that I found so gripping. As their story progressed, I discovered that John and Meg shared a self-imposed prison – a product of the loss and pain they’d both endured and their desperate attempt to protect themselves from further hurt. Jennifer Echols skillfully explored this couple’s unique dynamic, drawing me in with their surprising connection, undeniable chemistry, playful banter, and unapologetic honesty and leaving me with no choice but to invest myself completely in John and Meg’s happily ever after.

“Waiter, this is not the policeman I ordered. I wanted one with a lot less sauce.”

Both Meg and John undergo significant growth over the course of Going Too Far. This story is very much centered on the development of the characters and Jennifer Echols certainly did a great job executing their subtle and yet poignant transformations. Haunted by their pasts, together John and Meg force each other to face their emotional scars, balancing one another with their vast differences while their time together reveals similarities that allows their connection to grow. John’s serious, overprotective, and by-the-book personality clashes with Meg’s fearless, wild, and oftentimes self-destructive ways, resulting in some awkward and hilarious moments along with a building tension that is utterly electric. As the motives behind their individual behavior come to light, I found myself caught up in the emotional upheaval surrounding this couple. Meg’s surprising vulnerability tugged on my heartstrings while John’s own fears definitely left their mark.

“You can’t tell a seventeen-year-old anything. They think they’re immortal. They don’t listen. Seventeen-year-olds have to see it for themselves.”

Meg and John’s world was made complete by a handful of great secondary characters that, through their relationships, helped to further develop our main characters. I easily enjoyed the various personalities that contributed to this couple’s story, appreciating the levity and heart they brought to the novel. Going Too Far is not the kind of book that passes in a whirlwind of action and suspense. Instead this journey is a slow burn, one that will make you feel but only really allow you to see how far you’ve ventured at the final page. Drawn to this couple’s unlikely chemistry, strange friendship, and unmistakable connection, Jennifer Echols has expertly crafted this storyline to highlight the heartache that colors John and Meg’s world and the mistakes that made this couple who they are. Going Too Far is beautifully written and undeniably moving, a smart, funny, and heartfelt coming of age novel that will leave you wanting more.


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