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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review, Young Adult8 Comments

Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer EcholsGoing Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Published by Pocket Books on 17 March 2009
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, New Adult, Young Adult
Pages: 245
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Also by this author: Forget You, Biggest Flirts

Place(s) Traveled to: Shelby County, Alabama

First Line: “That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard,” I told Eric.

Last night I stayed up late in order to finish Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols but I didn’t stay up because this book was OMG good. No, instead I stayed up to finish it because I wanted it done.Last year, I read and really enjoyed Echols’s Forget You and so many reviewers/friends that I trust kept saying that Going Too Far was even better. The characters more raw, the story so moving and love interest more swoony. Sadly, for me, that wasn’t the case at all. I did not like Meg (the main character). I thought she was a bit off-putting- she’d always hide behind this wall of sarcasm and barbs meant to push people away and her internal monologue was very self-depreciating.

Meg is a girl who is a bit of a wild child she likes to break the rules and test the limits of those around her. Part of this rule breaking comes in dying her hair blue. But instead of wearing such a bold choice proudly she’d always talk down about it and how others must think of her. Like she couldn’t possibly snare a guy as hot as John After because she had blue hair. Blue haired girls where all freaks and losers and not worthy of anything. Blah blah blah. Really?? If she hated it so very much then why do it at all? And was it really Meg’s thoughts or was Echols’s putting in her own beliefs there. So her hair was blue…big deal. Look at Stephanie Perkins:

From the official site of Stephanie Perkins

She has blue hair and she is doing quite well for herself, book deals, lots of on-line stalkers fans, etc. But to hear Echols’s talk through the voice of Meg you would think that having such a bold color for hair is THE worst choice that a person could ever possibly make. Well, I am sure that Stephanie Perkins and many other friends of mine (who’ve rocked the locks in shades of green, pink, purple, etc) would disagree.

Hair color aside though…for all her tough talk Meg would put herself down. A lot. It became a serious annoyance. Here is this girl who has survived a horrible disease against the odds and all she seems to want to do is end her life as soon as possible with all her risky behavior. Talk about being a bit of a hypocrite. I know many who have died of cancer….good people who would never NEVER take their second chance for granted like Meg was doing. She kept talking about breaking free of the town and how she’d most likely be dead by 30 from things that she was doing….I was just like…wow….really? You are given this second chance and you are just gonna toss it without a care? I just couldn’t wrap my head around that. Such a waste!

Then there was John After, the supposedly swoon worthy male lead that everyone wishes were real. Yeah, not this girl. What a pompous ASS. His holy than though attitude….his over the top cop speak and mannerisms….his obsession with a bridge. He is someone I’d much rather slap than kiss and then I’d get arrested because I touched him in uniform. *rolls eyes* This character is 18 but he acts like he’s 40….in fact Meg initially thinks that he is 40….despite the fact that they were in the same Spanish class last year in school. Um yeah…while I may not remember all the people I went to high school with in the 15 years since I’ve graduated….I would recognize the faces of all my classmates if I was still in school and shared a class with them. Because like Meg, I grew up in a small town…small towns have small class sizes…and when you go to school with the same kids for a good 12 years or so. You learn who they are.

With the characters bugging me so much I haven’t talked a whole lot about plot…but there really wasn’t one. Meg gets caught trespassing on a train bridge with friends and they are all sentenced to ride a long for a week with the 3 departments that were called out when they were noticed. This was all to teach them some valuable life lessons and scare them straight. So Meg spends a week riding along in John After’s car and in 5 short days she falls madly in love with him and decides to turn her entire life around. Seriously. There was much eye rolling and disbelief when reading the last chapter of the book. It was just so unrealistic! I also never felt any real chemistry between John and Meg. So all in all this whole book fell flat for me and I think I might go re-read Forget You so I can wipe the bitter aftertaste that Going Too Far has left in my mouth.



8 Responses to “Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols”

  1. Chelsea

    I like the idea for this one, so I’ll probably be reading it. I think characterization is HUGE, though, so I’m interested in seeing if I can make it through.

    Great review.

  2. Music4Betty

    Uh oh! I hate it when I “hate” the characters. Nothing brings down the vibe of the story more.

    I still like the idea of this book, but maybe I’ll take my time with buying a copy.

  3. Aylee

    “What a pompous ASS”
    LOL! I’m reading a book right now where I could say the same thing about the male lead…

  4. Michelle

    I’m bummed you didn’t like this one as well. I’ve enjoyed all of the Echols books I’ve read thus far. I do think that Forget You was better (I’m a fan of a dose of angst in a story) but both were good reads for me.

  5. Anonymous

    Totally disagree. you weren’t reading into the story well enough. it doesn’t even sound like a critique more like you just couldn’t appreciate what the characters were going through just because you simply wouldn’t act that way but think about books aren’t about how we want a a character to act but how the author makes them act and it was all for a good reason. go back and read the book because really you’re missing the little picture which really is the big one.

  6. Irish

    Dear Anon –

    You are so brave in not leaving your name with your lovely comment. First off I must say, I am not a critique blog. I tend to take a more feeling based approach when I write up my thoughts. And they are just that *my* thoughts. I am sorry you don’t like that I don’t think like you. But that is one of the beautiful things about reading books. Everyone seems something different in there. There are many books that I LOVED and others didn’t. I don’t let it get to me. Nor do I insist that they are wrong or they need to reread a book. Because that is my trying to enforce my opinion on them and that isn’t what reading is about.

    I am not going to be rereading this book. Ever. It wasn’t for me. I have too many other books to read to waste time re-reading books I didn’t enjoy the first time around. I loved Echols’s Forget You and I look forward to what she writes next. Going to Far though wasn’t for me. I know you don’t approve of that but this is my blog and my opinions and anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a very stubborn person…so I’m not changing anytime soon.