Friday, March 1, 2013

Going Too Far - Jennifer Echols

Going Too Far book cover
Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Publisher: Pocket Books/MTV Books
Publication Date: March 17, 2009
Source/Format: Won || Paperback

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.... (from Goodreads)

Going Too Far is my second foray into the works of Jennifer Echols, and now I'm absolutely certain I need to catch up on reading the rest of her work. I love how she brought her complex characters to life on the page once again, and wove them into a story that was intense, heartbreaking and highly emotional. 

Meg and John are two characters that I can definitely root for, and that made all the difference when reading this novel. If I hadn't cared about either of them, I wouldn't have been as invested in the outcome of their story. Echols has the capability of convincing me that her characters are worth caring about, and I admire the fact that she was, yet again, able to do so with this book.

Meg is, for all intents and purposes, your basic troubled teen, who gets into a sticky situation early in the story. Eventually, it's easy to notice that she's intelligent, sassy, a good girl at heart... and that she's trying to hide something. Once her secret is revealed, it is easy to hope that she gets the happy ending she so deserves.

John After (and what a name!) is pretty darn amazing for a male in a contemporary YA. I didn't mind him keeping me company on my long plane ride over to the Philippines, because his scenes were just plain awesome. His experiences as a cop (that Meg was privy to, of course) were pretty cool. I loved how he also appeared to be headstrong, intelligent, kind and just plain determined to do the right thing. It was very easy for me to like him, and I just... well, I simply enjoyed him.

Obviously, there's romance in this book - and sparks definitely fly between these two. Initially, it appears like the attraction is purely on a physical basis (which would have already been pretty hot on its own), but I like that before anything physical actually happens, these two get to know each other.  They form a friendship, which starts out tentative, but ends up flourishing as they learn more about each other. Even though it appeared that they were very different from each other at the start, they discovered there was something in common for them to bond about, and that's where it all began. I liked how they had obstacles to deal with in their relationship, and I do like how they worked things out between them as the book progressed.

I thoroughly enjoyed Going Too Far, particularly because it gave me the opportunity to meet John After. It's a fairly quick contemporary read, with a couple of steamy scenes to make things even more awesome, and a sprinkling of a good amount of personal issues for each of the characters to deal with. Echols certainly has a knack for writing these realistic tales, and I am definitely encouraged to read more of her work.

36 comments:

  1. I hadn't heard of this one before, but will totally have to put it on my to-read shelf now!

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    1. It's one of Echols' earlier books, and I didn't realize how many people really liked it. I'm so glad I was finally able to read it!

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  2. JOHN AFTER!! One of the best male characters in the YA world in my opinion. I'm so excited you are experiencing Jennifer Echols' work--she's amazing :)

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    1. He's a very... swoon-inducing YA character ;)

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  3. Yay! You read it :) so glad you enjoyed this one, Alexa. Oh that JEchols is one talented writer. Now you must experience her adult novel, Star Crossed. So good!

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    1. I totally brought it with me on the plane, based on your recommendation. And it was SO GOOD! I'm so excited to read more of her stuff.

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  4. I still haven't read ANY Jennifer Echols and I know I must rectify that soon! This book sounds really good (as do all of her others!). Great review, Alexa!

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    1. You really should! So far I've enjoyed the two books from her that I've read :)

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  5. I've been wanting to read this book badly for so, so long now! It's probably going to be my first Jennifer Echols book. I'm heard so many fantastic things about her novels!

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    1. Yes, please do! It's actually her first novel, I believe, so there's no better starting point!

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  6. Yes!!!! This book is my favorite Echols by far, mostly because of Meg and John Freaking After. I'm so glad you liked this one!! Have you read Such A Rush yet? That's a really good one, too. Jennifer Echols is one of my always-buys, and it totally started with this book.

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    1. I LOVED SUCH A RUSH! That was the first Echols book I read, and I fell in love with it. I'm super glad I ended up liking this one too!

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  7. i've seen this book around a lot but haven't picked it up! i do remember thinking his name was interesting in reading reviews though. i'm glad you liked this so much.

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    1. If I'm being honest, the name threw me off for a little bit. It's so... random haha.

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  8. Oh yay for John After! I read this book during my Contemporary Month last year. I just FLEW thru it and really *enjoyed* it, John After, the characters, the story, everything. It was my first Echols and I have Such A Rush here at the house that I need to get to reading next. Perhaps that will be on the schedule for this year. So glad you liked this one. It was just GOOD.

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    1. Isn't it such a quick read? It's my second Echols and I'm slowly learning that I love her writing. Definitely read Such a Rush - I've read that and LOVED it!

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  9. I don't know how I haven't read any Jennifer Echols - I see her name everywhere in the blogosphere and everyone seems to love her stuff! I'm excited to meet John After :D

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    1. The first time I read an Echols book was last year so you are not alone in being an Echols newbie. If you are going to start reading her books, read this one first as it's one of her earlier works!

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  10. Love Jennifer Echols- the romantic comedies and the romantic dramas too. I think I saw she has an adult romance soon to release as well.

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    1. Her adult romance, Star-Crossed, is actually already out, I think, which is exciting! I can't wait to read more of her stuff.

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  11. Omg I still haven't read anything by Jennifer Echols! I heard Such A Rush was really good and I've never heard of this one before but it's definitely my type of read! Especially lately I've been into a big contemporary kick and those with a serious character driven story like this one seems to be!

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    1. Such a Rush is BRILLIANT. I loved that one a lot, and it's why I ended up picking up this one!

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  12. I have a love hate relationship with Jennifer Echols. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Major Crush. I mean, seriously, that is my kind of book. But I really didn't like Love Story. I also read one other of her books - billed as a romantic comedy - which I thought was okay. I just can't decide of Going to Far is for me. I'm glad you enjoyed it though.

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    1. Hmm. Perhaps you'd want to read Such a Rush in lieu of Going Too Far? While I did like Going Too Far, Such a Rush is still my favorite book from her.

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  13. So glad you glad you enjoyed it, especially John After, that dude is awesome! Jennifer is one of my favourite authors and this is my favourite of her work. Not only have you got me wanting to catch up on her books but you make me want to read this all over again and I'm not a big re-reader so that should give you a fair indication on how marvellous your review is. Enjoy playing catch up with her books, I hope you enjoy discovering them!

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    1. Oh yay! I'm so glad that you enjoyed my review. I really am looking forward to reading more of her stuff ;)

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  14. Oh my gosh, YES. This was my first Jennifer Echols novel and I've been so in love with her ever since. And Going Too Far is still my favorite. I love that you read it on a plane, because I did too. Pretty awesome that you were flying to the Philippines though! I hope you love the rest of Jennifer's books =)

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    1. Yay, plane reading buddies! I can't wait to dive into more of her books until I can catch up to her current releases.

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  15. I prefer Echols' comedies (like The Boys Net Door) but this is probably my favorite of her more dramatic stories (although I've missed out on reading a few). John After has quite the following in the blogosphere!

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    1. So I've noticed! A lot of people were really excited that I was "meeting" him ;)

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  16. Oh my godddd I need to read this. I am one of those ones who likes Echols' dramas way more than her comedies - I thought The Boys Next Door was merely OKAY. And I freakin loved Forget You more than words.So really, what I am trying to say is OMG cannot wait to read those steamy scenes and find out Meg's secret.

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    1. I must read Forget You now! I really liked this one, though not as much as I loved Such a Rush (which was AWESOME!).

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  17. YESSSSS!!!! I am so incredibly happy that you loved this book. When people ask what my favorite book is by Jennifer Echols I sometimes say Forget You, I sometimes say Endless Summer, and I sometimes say Going Too Far. Basically I just love her writing to pieces. I think you said it best when you said Jennifer can convince you to care about her characters.

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    1. Haha, I love that you change your mind about which book of hers is your favorite! Did you read Such a Rush yet? That's my favorite from her right now.

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  18. I'm not going to lie..I'm pretty sure I've read this book approx. 8 times. HAHAHAHAHA.

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    1. That is seriously so AWESOME. You must have a thing for John After, huh? ;)

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