When I saw Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols at this secondhand bookstore over at Portobello Market at London, I knew that I was destined to buy it. There it was in the middle of several Dan Brown and James Patterson books, buried by the crime and mystery novels. I read Forget You by Jennifer Echols a couple of years ago and I knew that I was in for a treat with Going Too Far.
We are introduced to Meg, a girl with blue hair and rebellious spirit. She drinks, occasionally smokes pot and engages in casual sex. She's running away from past problems, and the only way she feels like she can do it is to defy the rules and her own limits. Then one night she and a group of her friends are captured from a railroad bridge, drunk and high. She is taken to the police station and soon she finds herself driving around with a young police office, John After, trying to learn about her mistakes. The more time she spends in the force, and especially with John, the more she starts to learn about herself and the consequences of her actions. She also starts to realize that John might not be quite what she expected him to be.
I really liked Meg's narrative voice. She is funny and sarcastic, but also extremely unsure of herself. She has gone through a lot and it almost feels like she thinks that she does not deserve good things. John has also a past that haunts him as well as a future that has been planned ahead. But when he starts to spend time with Meg, he starts to realize that some of his plans might be changing. The chemistry and connection between these two characters is well established and occasionally SUPER hot. And oh my, John is so dreamy.
In a familiar YA contemporary fashion, Going Too Far addresses issues from familiar relationships and friendships to romantic entanglements. Echols does good job establishing the characters and creating the story. Going Too Far is fast-paced, romantic, funny and meaningful. The writing is beautiful and Meg's voice's original. I usually am a fan of nerdy, awkward female protagonists, but it was refreshing to read about a protagonist who seems very confident, even if that was partly only pretend.
I warmly recommend Going Too Far to all fans of YA literature, especially those who like contemporary that is not only cute and fluffy, but also deals with real issues and problems.