Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

4 stars. (Young Adult)

Going Too Far was a really engaging read. I really wasn’t so sure what I would think of it having finished Jennifer Echols’s other novel Forget You a few days before and really not enjoying it.
I decided to give the author another shot and I’m glad I did. This book was so much more interesting with believable and sympathetic characters who each had issue they needed to work out between themselves. They seems real and very heartfelt. Meg especially was such a great narrator. She was strong, fierce, honest, a go-getter, take no shit off of others type of girl. She was also very sweet and caring, generous and overall very kind hearted. You wouldn’t immediately assume that someone who gets arrested in the first chapter drunk and high while allowing a scumbag to feel her up would be all that kind or sweet. I think most often you’d assume a blue-haired girl with Meg’s background would be a trouble maker. Some people around her think she is, and John After, the cop who arrests her and 3 of her friends sure thinks she needs to shape up but Meg proves to be a very wise and for the most part put together young woman. She knows who she is and what she wants from life and she just isn’t willing to hold herself back in any way. An experience she had as a child really taught her to take advantage of every crazy, stupid, impetuous or dangerous moment in life, just in case it’s her last.
Well when John After enters with his slight surliness, doo gooder mentality and he and Meg proceed to turn one another inside out and challenge everything the other thought they understood about themselves. I really liked John. He was frustrating at times, but ultimately as really sweet and decent guy who was doing his best to make his town safe and keep the kids his age from making tragic mistakes. These two main characters were made for one another. They share certain qualities and make up for the ones each lacks. Where John is stained and steady, Meg is wild and impetuous. Where John is afraid of change and worries a bit too much, Meg is ready to grab new experiences by the horn and run for adventure. They complement one another so well and both give each other the much needed love and affection they deserve. Meg and John have both been greatly affected by experiences in their pasts and I really liked how Echols’s didn’t try to tie everything up all neat and pretty in the end. Don’t get me wrong it was satisfying and fit the story perfectly and Meg and John do get their happily ever after – pun intended, it’s just that as a reader you can tell that they are both ready to take the necessary steps for one another and for themselves as separate individuals ready to make peace with the tragedy they’ve had to face.
The chemistry was hot, the dialogue was snappy and real and the characters were all really enjoyable. It was very much focused on Meg and John which I appreciated. No unnecessary dialogue between secondary characters, no filler.
All around a very enjoyable and worthwhile read.

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