GOING TOO FAR by Jennifer Echols
Published March 17th, 2009 by MTV Books
I was not prepared for how much I enjoyed this book. It was recommended to me by That Cover Girl, and I devoured it in a day. Started it on my morning commute, and couldn’t go to bed until I’d turned the last page. I’m pretty sure that’s a sign you guys should all go pick up a copy.
Having never been to backwater Alabama, I always pictured it as being very similar to backwater Wisconsin. I think Jennifer Echols has a solid grasp on her setting, and really immerses you in it, including a few “y’alls” every now and again. Every time I come back from Virginia, I find myself slipping a few of those in myself, so I thought it was a nice touch. Unlike other books, it wasn’t overdone or cliche, which I appreciated.
It was also great to see a character like Meg. She’s unlike any other girl I’ve seen in YA, with her skimpy shirts, blatant sexuality, blue hair, and backstory (which I won’t give away, for those of you planning on picking this up). She’s bitchy at some points, sarcastic at others, and surprisingly caring, even when she tries not to be. I think that’s her redeeming quality – she cares, even when she wishes she didn’t.
And Johnafter. *Fans self* Let’s talk about him for a sec, shall we? First of all, we all know my love of strange names, so Johnafter fits the bill. But he’s overall really charming. He cares too much, sometimes, and it gets him in as much trouble as Meg’s not caring. There’s a great combination of his tough cop side and the charming, boyish one, and it’ll win your heart as much as it did Meg’s. He’s damaged, and far from perfect, but it’s part of what makes him so likable.
And how about the sexual tension between Meg and John?! You could cut it with a knife, it was so thick. I think that’s where this book really shines. These two people are so different, and so set in their ways, but they force the other to change, and in the end evolve into better people. Which I think is what love is all about – making each other better. Together. Meg and John manage to be frustrating and lovable all at once, and I applaud Jennifer Echols for that. The characterization was spot on.
I dare you to take a shot on this book. I think you’ll be (very) pleasantly surprised.