Going Too Far is the first Jennifer Echols book I’ve read, and I promise it won’t be the last. I am a big fan of realistic YA characters. In real lifeGoing Too Far is the first Jennifer Echols book I’ve read, and I promise it won’t be the last. I am a big fan of realistic YA characters. In real life, teenagers are not perfect. They make mistakes, say the wrong things, act before they think. So many times in YA fiction, authors either make their teen characters unrealistically perfect, or they try to force them into being quirky to the point of ridiculousness. Echols captured a realism in her characters that felt refreshing.
Meg is a bit of a rebel. She drinks, smokes pot and is promiscuous. But it is clear from the first page that this behavior is a defense mechanism burying some serious pain. John is nineteen-going-on-forty. Despite his good grades and talent for art, John has chosen to forgo college and go directly to the police academy. Being a cop feeds his do-gooder side and his need to help others make good decisions. When John sees the destructive path Meg is going down, he works with the local DA to make Meg ride along with him in his squad car for a whole week. He wants her to see the possible consequences of her actions.
The connection between Meg and John is immediate, but their romantic feelings for each other take a little time to develop. Of course, the whole story take place over one week, so it is a fairly quick romance. Given how quickly teenage emotions change, I didn’t find the speed with which Meg and John feel for each other unrealistic, especially given they each carried emotional baggage and desperately needed someone to turn to.
There were a couple of minor issues that bothered me… Meg has blue hair. I don’t have a problem with that, but I do have a problem with it being mentioned every other page. Readers do not need to be beat over the head with these kinds of details over and over. My other issue is that I wanted John to be just a little bit older. In the beginning, Meg mistakes him for being forty-years-old due to his attitude and maturity. I guess I pictured him in his early twenties, so when he reveals he is only nineteen, I didn’t buy it. I also didn’t buy it that Meg and John were only a year apart in school, in a small town, had classes together in the past and had some social connections in common, yet she had no idea who he was. It just didn’t make any sense. Lastly, I thought Meg’s reasons for being claustrophobic were lame. It basically stems from one incident. Given the debilitating claustrophobic problems her has, I would have expected more.
Minor issues aside, I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters were great. I loved the setting. The romance was swoon-worthy. I can’t wait to check out some of Echols’ other books.
Overall, I give Going Too Far…
Plot – 4 bookmarks Character development – 4 ½ bookmarks Love story – 4 ½ bookmarks Dream cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Gia Mantegna (Meg), Liam Hemsworth (John), Allison Siko (Tiffany), Nick Roux (Eric)...more
Jesi and I decided to do something a bit different on the blog today. A joint review on Maxwell Cyn's CybrGrrl, I want to warn you before you read further their may be spoilers, but we'll do our best not to give too much away. Read on to see our thoughts on some key questions.
Created to be a sexy desktop companion program, Marie emerges into a life of her own. She leads her users, Adrian and Haley, through an erotic adventure as she processes what it is to be alive. The search leads her onto the Internet, and a virtual-world community where she can live an independent existence unfettered by the limits of her server - alive in the cloud - then back into the real world.
1. How long did it take you to read CybrGrrl?
Miranda~ It only took me a couple of hours, i picked it up one afternoon after finishing my daily writing for NaNoWriMo and finished it before the kids got home from school. I couldn't put it down.
[Jesi Lea Ryan] The book reads pretty fast. I think I finished it in an hour and a half or so. Once in a while I like a short novella length read, and CybrGrrl fit perfectly.
2. Did you feel Marie came alive or was she just a program to you through the book?
Miranda~ For me she became a real live character, it became hard to sit back and remember that she was just a program, and honestly in the end I think she was alive in her own way.
[Jesi Lea Ryan] I have to admit, I had to keep reminding myself that she was a program. Marie seemed to be developing a real personality as the story went on. I think she began to be more human to me when she began to experience sexual pleasure because she wanted to, not at the direction of humans controlling her. I’ve never walked in on my Sims pleasuring themselves.
3. Did you feel the advance AI and electronic toys were believable or a bit out there for you?
Miranda~ I think I am 50/50 on that, the AI technology is believable and I have no doubt that it will happen in the future, but the "toys" got to be a bit beyond my sexual comfort level. Though were great for the feeling of the book and the relationships that developed between Adrian, Marie, and Haley.
[Jesi Lea Ryan] Honestly, I found the AI both fascinating and frightening, because I can see how this might happen in the near future. The way Maxwell Cynn described how each advancement Marie made was done, certainly lent to the believability of the AI. We learned about the program along with the characters.
4. What was your favorite part of the book?
Miranda~ Hmm, good question, I would have to say Haley's first encounter with Marie, when they sit down for "girl talk", the intimacy they share and how it ulitimately effects Haley is a turning point for me in the book.
[Jesi Lea Ryan] I have to say, my favorite part of the book revolved around the AI. As I said, it was really cool, but also kind of scary. I can almost picture us all having CybrGrrls in the not-so-distant future. Of course, my business mind kept going back to the efficiencies that could be created for businesses and the number of real humans who could be out of work as a result.
5.Be honest, could you use your own CybrGrrl?
Miranda~ Most definitely, i so could use a virtual assistant. Though if I did have one, I would probably never leave my home. LOL
[Jesi Lea Ryan] Heck, yeah! Only mine would look like Robert Pattinson, have his British accent and sing me sleep at night. J My husband might have an issue with this though.
6. What is your overall feeling and rating of CybrGrrl?
Miranda~ this was a fantastic erotic story that was not only steamy and sensual, but had a good back story that kept you turning the page to find out what happens next. I loved the relationship and trust that is evident with Aiden and Haley. I gave this a 5 star rating, check it out , it's a great read.
[Jesi Lea Ryan] I like reading erotica, and the sex in CybrGrrl was well done. But the more interesting part of the story for me was the AI. It made the story feel fresh to me. I also liked the theme of what it means to be human. I do think the sex was essential for the story, because CybrGrrl was originally marketed as a sex toy (again, totally believable). I give CybrGrrl… Originality – 5 bookmarks Character Development – 5 bookmarks (He turned a computer program into a human!) Sex Scenes – 4 bookmarks Plot – 4 ½ bookmarks (Some scenes had a lot of talking and no action. Considering most of the story requires the main character to sit at his computer, I thought Cynn did a good job with keeping the pacing up.) Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Henry Cavill (Adrian), Emily Blunt (Haley), Holly Valance (Marie) ...more