Subtle, evocative and putting me in a haze of fulfillment
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: Simon and Schuster, UK
My ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
Released: 17th March , 2009
Before I start singing accolades for Going Too Far, let me start by apologising that I've never read anything by Jennifer Echols before. I certainly has seen her books floating around but I never really managed to pick it up. Recovering from a reading slump I decided to ask my followers which book would be the ideal book to introduce me to her and the unanimous answer was Going too Far.While the blurb did not excite me I thought it so many people can't be wrong.
Lo and behold 24 hours later, I'm sitting and looking around me blurry eyed as to what happened to my day? I spent the whole day immersed in John and Meg's story. It was beautiful, evocative ad deeply satisfying. So the story goes like this. Meg is somewhat of a troubled child. With her dyed blue hair and a penchant to mix with the wrong kind of people, she keeps looking for trouble. Then one day with a bunch of drunk friends she decided to go drinking on the bridge over the railway lines which had been rumoured to have killed two people before. However they get caught by the police and before she realises what is happening she and her friends have to spend a week with one of the emergency departments to reflect on their mistake. Worst of all Meg is assigned to spend the graveyard shift with the officer who caught her in the first place.
At first I did not like Meg. I disliked that she started trouble on purpose and was not nice to the people around her. But slowly as the story progressed I realised that I really warmed up to her. She genuinely cared about the people around her and what I loved about her was her stark honesty. She had a crush on John soon after her 'punishment' began and she was okay to admit it. I could really see how the events of that week made her realise the consequence of her actions. She was naughty and I loved how she would rile John just to get a little reaction from him. She had a painful past which never left her mind making her all that more vulnerable inside the tough exterior she portrayed.
John After on the other hand was utterly swoon worthy. I have to give to Jennifer how she managed to transform him (in Meg's mind) from a grumpy old cop to a 19 year old hunky teenager who was just as troubled as her. The interactions between John and Meg were subtly done and I could feel how they slowly found each other attractive and how their relationship evolved. The sexual tension between them was palpable and every time John blushed, I giggled.
After reading a few books by Jennifer Echols ( at the point of writing this review) I have to say I commend her on writing real teens who are not afraid to speak about sex and have sex as a matter. I think sometimes authors don't want to go their as it seems we all want to protect our kinds but let's be honest here. We were all 17 once and not everyone was innocent and doe eyed. While the theme was serious I never felt that it was too heavy and bore down the story line. This book is aimed at a slightly older YA audience and deals with some series issues like drugs, lose and emotional scars.
In the end, Going Too Far was an excellent read. It was subtle, evocative, sweet and wonderful. I sat down and devoured this book. John and Meg were adorable together and I wished there were more pages to this book. My foray into contemporary YA was a success and if all books are like Going Too Far, I never want to come out of this haze of fulfillment Going Too Far cast on me.