Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Going Too Far

Rate this book

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and over....

245 pages, Paperback

First published March 17, 2009

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Jennifer Echols

31 books4,907 followers
Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
13,958 (36%)
4 stars
11,989 (31%)
3 stars
8,852 (23%)
2 stars
2,573 (6%)
1 star
999 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,696 reviews
Profile Image for Nichole.
76 reviews41 followers
January 7, 2013
Oh, ho, ho. Brace yourselves, I'm about to write the meanest, most drawn out negative review I've written to date. Be warned though, this review will have cursing. Lots of it, I suspect.

When I read the blurb for Going Too Far I knew I had to read it. Young girl keeps getting in trouble and the cop who's determined to show her the consequences of her actions ends up falling for her? Hell yeah, that sounds hot. And I'm not even the type of person who likes to read books that sound hot. But fuck it because that sounds hot. And I didn't care if their age gap was big enough for statutory rape. (Which it wasn't, lame)

I read this book in two very excruciating hours. I skimmed through so much. Oh god, so much skimming. Because the writing is so bad. Not typo ridden bad but written-for-idiots-bad. But if there's one thing that annoyed me to no end in this book, was how many times the author felt the need to tell us that John has dark eyes. Did you guys get that? No? He has dark eyes. In case you didn't get it from the last twenty thousand fucking times she mentioned it. She said it so many times, that I took this e-book and I did a search for the word "dark" and "eyes" to count how many times it happened. I don't care enough to do the math. But the number for dark was 80 the number for eyes was 100. It didn't help that the first time she introduced the fucking eyes she felt the need to describe it as "They were a strangely dark brown in his light face." WHAT THE FUCK IS SO STRANGE ABOUT BROWN EYES IN WHITE PEOPLE? Jesus.

Okay so, let's not keep talking about the eyes like Echols did. Because, my god, does she like eyes. Let's talk about the actual story. Let's talk a little about the writing. Let's talk about how my IQ dropped. And about how this book is written for people with an IQ lower than 50, or for kids. And I mean real kids. Not seventeen year olds, but nine year olds who should not be reading about sex. Let's talk about the descriptions. Here's a fantastic one:

"The cold March wind kissed my cleavage as he kissed me"

Isn't that bloody fantastic? The wind kissed her boobs. That's truly amazing. Let's take a look at another one.

"I couldn't see him blushing. But I could hear him blushing as his breaths came more quickly"

This chick is amazing, really.

Let's talk about this chick. Uh, what's her name. Whorelike. The whore. She's a whore. That's what the author chose to do with her. Let's make a whore main character, she said. Yay slut shaming! Because liking sex is bad! YAY! So, this girl likes sex. And she likes smoking pot and sleeping around. And this makes her a slut. Because girls aren't supposed to like sex. Girls are supposed to want relationships. So she's a slut. Oh and she has blue hair. The word blue was mentioned 71 times in this book. Apparently the author thought I would forget that very peculiar trait.

Let's talk about the love interest. This guy. He's uh...

Let's not talk about him. (And let's not talk about the scene where he tells the main character that smoking pot is way more harmful than cigarettes. Actually lets. "He laughed shortly. “Pot’s a lot more carcinogenic than cigarettes.” HA. Fucktard.)

While we're at it, let's talk about how the stupid MC gets angry at him for smoking because she once had cancer, even though it was leukemia (completely unrelated to lung cancer) and she smokes pot, constantly. The fuck, man.

This novel has 14,369 ratings and 1,127 reviews and only 1% of them are 1 star reviews and 72% of them are 4-5 star reviews which give this novel an average rating of 4.03 stars.

I am convinced this entire world is stupid.
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,188 reviews2,892 followers
June 9, 2010
This was my first time reading Jennifer Echols, I’d seen her book around, but for some reason I never had the initiative to pick on up. Then I saw the cover and synopsis for Going Too Far and I just had to have it. I think originally I’d saw the title as Boy In Blue or something along those lines, but after reading the novel I think that the title, Going Too Far, fits it perfectly.

I was expecting to like this novel, I figured it would be good, what I hadn’t expected was how much I was going to like it! I sat down to read it and I didn’t get up from the couch until I was finished! It was so so... it just sucked me in and would not let go! Meg and John’s relationship was so layered and complex, just wow!

I loved Meg’s character, even though she is insane, I got it, I absolutely empathized with her. And John, he may seem one way, but his character is so complex and you don’t really discover that until later in the novel, but I think that is why it works out so well. It’s was addicting.

Such a great novel and Echols does a fabulous job in telling it. I’ll definitely be buying a copy to add to my personal library!
Profile Image for Ana.
82 reviews50 followers
March 7, 2009
This book is clearly a romance. The whole story is about these two different people with their own individual baggage who come together and fall in love. As their relationship develops, you feel like you are on rollercoaster ride -- crazy highs and lows. Their relationship is very charged and, at times, explosive. The sexual tension between them is there from the very beginning and practically on every page there after. These are two people who are very physically attracted to each other but on such different life trajectories that leaves them both confused about what was happening between them. They were asking of themselves whether it was worth pursuing, did it make it any sense, was there any substance beyond the flirting and attraction, could they let themselves be exposed and vulnerable to the other person...

While on the surface they seem to be so different, but as we get to know them, they appear to have a lot in common. For example, they are both very determined, strong, impulsive, defiant, and passionate. I see them in their future relationship as fighting often but having lots of make-up sex.

I had different reactions toward finding out the history underling their individual issues. I found Meg's reason for behaving the way she does compelling. She was at a very critical age, developmentally, when faced with her crisis. She had difficulty processing the meaning of it all and her parents weren't all that helpful. I can see why she started having panic attacks and had difficulty coming to terms with what was ahead for her life. I had more difficulty understanding John's backstory. It was harder for me to connect his bridge obsession with the events of 8 years ago when he was so young. It sort of makes sense but I just didn't feel it was enough to justify his current behavior, especially when what he did to Meg when she pushed him to edge...

There was no false advertising in the descriptions of this book. They really do push each other to the edge. Amazingly, this is what they each needed in order to move on from the chains of their past. It could have totally backfired but somehow they pulled through and were so much better for it.
Profile Image for Kelly.
224 reviews19 followers
December 23, 2012
Okay so, I've made a vow to myself to write reviews for every book I finish (since making this vow), and the short warning to stay away from this book that served as my review before kept coming back to haunt me, screaming CHEAT!!!

I've cooled off since then, so I can probably give a review without dissolving into a puddle of gooey rage and expletives.

First off, let me address the rating; 4.02 average, as of the time I'm writing this review. I'll be honest, it's what reeled me in. And caught me like a fish on a hook, in for the same amount of torture. Now I'll admit to being on the outside of a lot of book hype; I was one of the like seven people in the entire world who didn't like Divergent. But I would read a dozen Divergents, two City Of Bones, and top it off with an entire reread of the Twilight saga over subjecting myself to Going Too Far again.

Sound harsh? Well, it is. But this is a novel that prompted me to make a whole new shelf to showcase it's absolute crappiness.

Now, for the examples; From page one, it becomes evident that the writing is sub-par. Sure, there are a few paragraphs, maybe even an entire page here and there, that don't make your eyes bleed. But for the most part, the writing is overly obvious, the attitudes forced, the descriptions repetitive, and some of them just flat out don't make sense. I couldn't see his face, but I could tell from the way he walked that he was a teenager." "I knew it was too good to be true when it got even better." There is even an instance when Meg can hear John blush. Not hear his blush in his words. Hear John blush. Now I'll forgive a lot, but that is physically impossible.

But Meg's sudden bursts of super-human senses weren't even my biggest pet peeves. No, that goes to the most retardedly used, beat-the-reader-over-the-head-with-it metaphor I have ever read.

Meg has blue hair. She dyed it awhile ago to stand out or announce her rebelliousness or whatever. And don't worry about forgetting Meg has blue hair or mistaking it for purple or green down the line, because we are reminded of Meg's blue hair. A lot. A whole freaking lot. Even more than we're told about John's dark eyes, we're reminded about Meg's blue hair.

And the thing is, she acts like it's a freaking stamp on her forehead proclaiming her a lecher or something. I don't know about you, but I actually think a chick with blue hair is kinda hot. Especially when they're not, you know, thirty. Meg constantly tells herself John can't like her because she has blue hair. When his friends point out the proprietary way he watches her, Meg's internal reaction is this; But my hair is blue!

Who. The. Eff. Cares?

Now, I wouldn't call just why this a metaphor a spoiler, but I'm going to tag it as one anyway just in case. Though this one actually is a spoiler, and should only be read if you've already read this book, or are smart enough to heed my warning and don't plan on reading it.

I do not get how this book got so many 4 and 5 star ratings. I really don't. It is one of only two books I've ever rated one star, which should prove that I don't give this rating out lightly.

Huh. Looks like I couldn't write this review without dissolving into a puddle of gooey rage. At least I kept the expletives out.
Profile Image for Alea.
281 reviews260 followers
March 15, 2009
This book was HOT! The chemistry and banter between Meg and John (Officer After) could keep me reading for probably a 1,000 pages. It was an absolute pleasure to read I couldn't get enough of it.

Echols writing style is just perfect to me, it's humorous and detailed and random, everything I love. She created a very likable character in Meg, someone who intentionally creates a somewhat shocking appearance (blue hair) and attitude to protect herself but little by little we learn more about Meg and the reason she is the way she is and you can't help being on her side and wanting to be her friend. And John, man, I loved reading about this boy. I don't even know what to say.

I loved reading about John and Meg on night patrol and watching Meg realize she's falling in love with him. It's pretty cute to see this punk haired bad-a%* girl get kind of self conscious around John. There is a great push and pull between them that keeps you on edge, needing to know where this is going to go.

I'm at a loss for words of how to express how much I loved this book! It has so very many things going for it, GREAT characters (main and secondary) a great premise, humor, pain.... just please, do yourself a favor and read this book! I'll definitely be reading the rest of the author's books!

And seriously, when can I see the movie version? :P
Profile Image for Greta is Erikasbuddy.
851 reviews28 followers
August 31, 2010
Does anyone remember when my avi looked like this


That is called The Storyteller. It is a fountain that is in the heart of Five Points South in Birmingham.

This story tried to KILL IT!! Ugz!! ok... so, it wasn't the main focus but they talk about the fountain alot at the end of the book and keep referring to it as the DEVIL FOUNTAIN. Dear BOB! I wanted to scream. Only ignorants call it the Devil Fountain. Bahs. It's a statue of a ram man reading stories to his friends of nature. Not reading stories of EVIL. Bahs... and yes yes yes... it does sit in front of a big methodist church but as far as I know... there aren't any protests are anything going on around the statue. No witchcraft either. I just can't stand how this book depicted it like it was a source of evil.

Ok... rant over. On with my review. (WITH PICTURES!!)

I had such high hopes for this book. For one it is a MTV book. I've read 2 MTV books: "I wanna be your Joey Ramone" and "Ballads of Suburbia".

In my opinion they are both better than this book. This book was too fluffy and trying to hard to be bad-ass... and kept upping Birmingham like it was L.A.

We're not L.A. not even close.

So, this book is about our BAD-Ass (meg) who gets in trouble and has to run around with a cop her whole spring vacation. 2 of her buds get in trouble too with her but they story doesn't go into great detail about them. The story centers around Meg and her blue hair in a small unnamed town 20 minutes from Birmingham.

Wait... 20 minutes from Birmingham? Ok... so, I can figure this out right? Well, the story says her and copper (John - who is 19 and a young cop and her woo woo wanna be love interest) have to move cows across the street.

Cattle? Where on earth can that be? Well, it's in Shelby County.... So, I asked my hubz and we came up with Columbiana.


I don't know if that's the right town but it's the only place we could think of real close to Birmingham in the right county that might have farm animals.

The story also talks a heap load about Birmingham Junction. This is the place where all the WRECKS take place. Well, folks... that would be Malfunction Junction... and yup... there are a ton of wrecks there.


Apparently the author thinks that everyone high schooler in Jefferson/Shelby Country dream about going to UAB. (University of Alabama Birmingham) Well, we have a ton of those trade school deals and I guess UAB is the closest UNIVERSITY (but we have like 5 Jeff State branches)... but I'm not sure if EVERYBODY wants to go there. It's not THAT snazzy. I guess it's snazzy to ALabama lolz. But it's mainly a medical school (just so ya know -- there's other things but that's why the hospital is named after it)

UAB campus


UAB Hospital


With all this talk about UAB... the author not once talks about the evil statue the have for the mascot? Yeah.... It's a bit SATANIC!! (muahhahahs!)

Blaze - mascot for the UAB Blazors (it's a dragon)


I just had the hardest time getting into this book. It was a fun read, I guess but if you know the town the CRYPTIC Code for the sites was nervewracking. OH! And the talk about Condaleza Rice at a college party? Cuz she grew up in Birmingham. My dear pets... this book was published in 2009 during the Obama Administration... not the Bush. Why are we talking about Condy? So, that frustated me. OH! And then she wants to talk about the governor going to prison. While jeesh.... does she not want to talk about the Birmingham Mayor going to prison too? Or what about HealthSouth? Or what about Natalie Holloway? Condey? Uhh.... that's old!! LOLZ... and college students talking about her? Now, that's just not right.

The whole big SHA-BAM about the book was the magic of Five Points. Five Points is our little artsy district. And by Artsy I mean that's where you get a tattoo at, and Work Play is down there (concerts), and some snazzy restraunts, but it's not LA!! I don't get what this author was trying to tell you guys. So, I shall show you ;)

Five Points


OH! There was a roadtrip out of Birmingham!! And what landmark did we see? Why the famous Peach Watertower of Clanton..... but they say it looks like a RUMP. Do you see a Rump? (Sings Peaches song by Presidents of the United States)


A flashback sends us to Dreamland. (hahas! that's funny) Dreamland is a BBQ that was founded in the back woods of Tuscaloosa. This is the one in Birmingham


I really wanted to really really like this book but the story line was just too floofy for me. I'm proud that it was written by an ALabama Author and was set in (or around) Birmingham. But it still irks me that Jennifer Echols kept referring to the Storyteller Fountain as evil. It's a beautiful piece of art. It bugs me to death that people can't see the magic in it. We are known as the Magic City, afterall. Lighten up and enjoy the mystery!



I know I would have liked this story better if it was just for that one little thing.

For more information about the Storyteller Fountain go here: http://www.bhamonline.com/Storyteller...

Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,063 reviews479 followers
March 12, 2021
I loved wild blue-haired Meg - so sarcastic and witty. Nineteen year old rookie cop, John After, had a thing for wild and reckless Meg, who seemed to be living each day as if it might be her last...

But when John catches her with her druggie boyfriend, Eric, on a dangerous bridge, he arrests her and her friends, then forces her to do community service with him. She and her friends have to spend a week riding with one of the emergency services that had responded to their potential near fatal crossing of the bridge. (Several teens had been killed a few years back doing the same thing.)

Both Meg and John have issues to deal with regarding life and death - and love. This New Adult story was very well written and had a few mysterious elements. A great read and I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Jude.
199 reviews637 followers
May 22, 2015

First time reading it: April 29, 2011

I’m going to say a few things before I start my review:

A long while a go I stopped reading. Not completely but, I was reading a book a week instead of a book a day, there were also books that were taking me three weeks to read!. I was blaming it all on school and thought that my blog and club where the ones consuming my time. I just realized that I was just missing the right book. I started the firsts chapters of this book and then I went to do other stuff and I simply couldn’t keep my mind off from the story, it was all I could think of; but I really was busy that day so I had to leave it at that. Yesterday I went back to the book and yesterday I finished it. It had been so long since I felt that hunger for a book. So long since I had connected so deeply with a character even though we shared nothing in common ^^. So a Big Thank to everyone who insisted that I needed to read Going Too Far and for marking it as their favorites, If it weren’t for all those high ratings and reviews I would have never discovered Going Too Far, and would have never re-discovered my huge Love for Reading. Thank You :)

Now I’ll start my review:

Going Too Far is a story that circles around the relationship between Meg and John. John is a cop that follows the law strictly and never goes out of line, he takes care of everything and watched closely a haunted bridge, a bridge that holds all of his inner demons, to a point where he becomes one himself. And Meg, whom is determined to cross all the lines and break every boundary, if only to prove that she’s living and that she has lived; and also someone who runs and runs. She just wants to get away from everything.

At the beginning of the book Meg breaks some big rules and so Officer John takes control of the situation, punishing Meg by taking away her spring break and forcing her to spend it with him while he’s on duty. Naturally, she hates him. But through the course of her punishment Meg and John start to develop something. Something maybe close to Friendship? Or is it something more…?

And so with this thing going on, they start to push each other, further, further. John wanting Meg inside the lines and Meg wanting to push John outside them. Who wins…?

Going Too Far is one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. What I most Love about it is that it’s not just the girl that has issues. That the guys isn’t 100% fine and it’s going to help her with everything. No, they both help each other out and I just think this is a wonderful book and a must read.

DON’T borrow it! BUY IT! Just BUY IT! I’m already re-reading it :)

Profile Image for Tink Magoo is bad at reviews.
1,244 reviews185 followers
July 22, 2020
I tried reading this one last year and couldn't get into it. The heroine was annoying and immature but I'm so glad I tried it again because I loved it.

Yes, it may be slightly cliched and predictable, BUT it was so easy to read and the character growth was written really well, so much so that I ended up loving the heroine. A small part of me does wish that their sex was written into the story, but that's just cause I'm a dirty perv who wants to read about all John's muscles flexing. In reality, I think it fit the story as a whole better that it wasn't.
Profile Image for Eunice.
255 reviews529 followers
February 20, 2012
4.5 stars

Would you believe me if I say I'd put off this book for quite a long time because I thought that a cop guy as the hero in a book is not cool? Well, now that I've read it I realized I was Totally. Freaking. Wrong! Because the whole time, I was swooning and crushing and gushing over John After. He absolutely took a place on my top book boyfriends! And yeah, so much for putting this off because, seriously, from all the books I've read of Jennifer Echols this is the one I so enjoyed the most!

It was my first time to encounter a really rebellious heroine and at first I didn't think I would be able to love her but again, I was wrong because I really did love Meg! Meg was a funny, smart, and witty character. I loved her sense of humor, her rebelliousness and being dangerous made her more an interesting character. Her story that caused her to have that kind of attitude was very compelling. It was a bit heart wrenching and through that I was able to understand her completely. John After on the other hand was her opposite. He was this one hot cop who was so disciplined and pretty strict in following rules. He had this weird obsession about the 'bridge' and staying in town. Turns out he had a really bad memory about it and thought that by doing what he's doing it will changed what had happened from the past.

I enjoyed those dialogue between the two of them which was really funny, cute and steamy! And whenever John blushes at something he said about Meg, awww, it was just like the cutest thing ever! Haha! But what I loved the most was how this two people met and was able to cure and change each other. It was great to see Meg and John growing and learning, caring and loving each other and eventually letting go of their past. The ending was very heart warming. It was touching and emotional and those few words Meg said was just so beautiful.

I would definitely recommend this. This is a touching, wonderful and fun read. Not overly emotional but will still tug strings from your heart. A very good realistic read. :))

This review is also posted at Book Overdose
Profile Image for Cory.
Author 1 book397 followers
January 23, 2011
For the record, I lived in Birmingham,Alabama for three years. Therefor, my opinion of this book might be somewhat biased because I am familiar with the area. Like Looking for Alaska, Going Too Far takes place in a small town on the outskirts of Birmingham.

However, unlike John Green, Jennifer Echols doesn't succeed in capturing the feel of a small southern town. This problem was also evident in Beautiful Creatures, a slow paced book with an effeminate male narrator. If setting is a large part of your story, as it is here, I think it would be best to make the story feel true to its setting.

That being said, this is a MTV book. Having previewed I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone and Ballads of Suburbia, I've realized that MTV doesn't publish quality books. But I liked The Perks of Being a Wallflower, so I was willing to set aside my predetermined notions about MTV books in general.

I'm somewhat familiar with Jennifer Echol's books, having read Forget You. I wasn't too impressed, but I was willing to give Echols another try. I probably won't be reading another one of her books anytime in the future.

Echols relies two annoying tropes. The first is the tragic past. Authors give characters tragic pasts in order to excuse them from their flaws. I once fell prey to this trap, not realizing that a character can be complex without having to loose a sibling/parent, having survived cancer, having lived in poverty, or having attempted suicide.

This trope irritates me to no end because it's like the author tries to makes you feel bad for not sympathizing with his or her characters. I often felt this way when I was reading Speak. Just because I don't feel any sympathy for your character doesn't mean that I advocate rape, murder, or suicide. Quite the contrary. It means that I wish you hadn't used these as cheap plot devices to develop your characters.

Or, as is the case in Push, if you think the book is bad, you're insensitive to rape victims. Or, because you haven't been raped, you wouldn't understand, making your opinion irrelevant even if the book is bad.

If you're familiar with Contemporary YA, then you know of John Green, Sarah Dessen, Elizabeth Scott, and Barry Lyga. The exceptions being, An Abundance of Katherines, and Bloom, these authors manage to write realistic teens without using too many pop-culture references, dropping the f-bomb on every other page, or making use gratuitous sex scenes. Well, in the case of John Green, your mileage may vary.

Around 4/5ths of this novel, I was waiting for it to end. There was nothing that made me want to finish. After the secret was revealed, there was nothing to keep reading for. That's often the problem with having your plot hinge on cheap tropes and devices. Often after the will they, won't they drama dies down and your book jumps the shark, what's left?

Like Sarah Dessen, I don't think Jennifer Echols knows much about drugs. I find it somewhat funny, anytime an author has their characters smoke pot to prove that they're hardcore. While actions speak louder than words, in literature this isn't the case. Instead of coming off as badass, Meg comes off as kind of stupid. And once again we are told that characters are intelligent, rather than being shown. Meg and John are supposed to be somewhat intelligent, yet their big aspiration is to go to UAB. My dad graduated from UAB. From what he's told me, there aren't that many spectacularly intelligent people graduating from there. How hard is to remember, show don't tell.

Romance plays a big part in this book. However, by the time Meg and John acted on whatever meager chemistry they had, I wasn't interested. I didn't have a problem with Meg. Sure, she was annoying at times, and her past was contrived as a means to excusing her from her flaws, but she was funny. I actually found her amusing. John, on the other hand, was kind of possessive and overbearing at times. He wasn't very amusing, and for the first fifty pages I didn't like him very much. Authors these days don't seem to understand what it takes to make a character likable. Rather than reveal why John acts the way he does during the first few pages, Echols waits to reveal the information. By this time, I don't care. This isn't suspenseful, it's annoying.

I was also troubled by a few major logic fails. Can John really be an patrol officer that carries a loaded gun at such a young age? I don't think so. He might look forty, but he's still nineteen. Can the town pot head really get away with so much? Can minors be arrested so easily without being read their right?

Are all southerners backwards, illiterate, trailer trash morons? No. I have a few relatives that live in Edgewater, Alabma. I can tell you that southerners aren't that dumb. Meg and John aren't the only intelligent people that have graced the southern states.

Another issue that I have with all modern YA books set in the south. Alabama is 26.3% black. 12.9% of all black people in the USA live in Alabama. Yet in every single one of these books, there are no black characters. I might believe that this is possible in Connecticut or Delaware, but not in the south. Occasionally, we might give an Asian or two, but this is just ridiculous.

Also, the character development in this book is somewhat unbelievable. John and Meg completely transform in twenty pages. Apparently all Meg needs is a strong man in her life to completely change her ways. I don't even know why John liked Meg, outside of her sex appeal.

My last complaints are as follows. Apparently Meg sleeps around with the local pot head and John won't sleep with her unless she's completely naked -- he says this is because he wants her trust. Yeah right. And Meg is claustrophobic so this somehow equates with her not wanting to be seen naked, but she'll sleep with anything male that moves. Because this is Echols, I'd say the content in this book is 14+. However, this isn't as graphic as Forget You.

I wouldn't recommend this book, but I wouldn't say that you shouldn't read it. Just don't read it passively. Be aware of what you're reading and don't accept it as good literature. Fans of Contemporary YA deserve better.

Profile Image for Lissa.
Author 14 books173 followers
May 17, 2012
Also appears on Lissa Writes

I can't for the life of me come up with any good reason for why this book is 4 stars and not 5 stars. Normally five stars for me are rated for books that have a huge emotional impact or connection, or challenge me (or are just plain and simply awesome, or I read in my childhood and I'm totally nostalgic for). I didn't really have an emotional connection but this book did have an emotional impact on me, because I cried in one particular part near the climax. Still, if you ask me what you could change about this book to make it 5 stars, I wouldn't be able to tell you. I really liked it, to me it just wasn't amazing. However, I would recommend it to romance readers and people who love contemporary YA.

And I think it's a really beautiful novel about two damaged people learning to love and overcome their fears. The romance developed nicely and despite Meg's age (17) it was totally believable.

And I totally love Meg's attitude. She's not a bitch, just a rebel with no cause and no fear. John was a giant sweetheart and a total hottie (I don't often find literary characters hot but Echols' descriptions were really great, and I got sucked in to Meg's head to see the attraction) but there was something about him that made me feel that he was a tiny bit manipulative. Maybe it was his protectiveness and his need to CONTROL ALL THE SITUATIONS but he seemed to manipulate Meg a bit, especially physically which is so NOT okay especially as he's this huge cop and she's this tiny teenager.

Well sure, the entire plot revolves around John's decision to make Meg ride along with him. And I secretly have a thing for Gothic novels, which abhors the feminist side of me, because the I'd hate to be in the same position myself but there's a reason Belle from Beauty and the Beast was my favourite Disney princess for many years. I like reading about strong girls trapped in an environment with an older dude who has a position of power over her. Don't do that to me in real life, but I kind of like it in my entertainment. It's my guilty pleasure. That's why I liked The Castle of Otranto, Northanger Abbey, and Jane Eyre.

Going Too Far isn't a Gothic novel, but it does have the basics of one. Meg often wonders if she's suffering from Stockholm Syndrome because she's being forced to spend time with Officer Hottie.

The novel was written okay. I had some issues with the text, mostly because I think they might have been speaking in slang sometimes and I'm not from America, and sometimes the dialogue was ambiguous and vague so it took me a few pages to realise what they were talking about . But I'm clever enough to work it out in the end, and maybe that's what matters.

Pretty much the only problem I had with the book was at the end

If you like contemporary YA romances you'll probably love this.
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,221 reviews2,133 followers
March 25, 2009
Meg's a wild, rebellious girl who has panic attacks at being confined by as much as a seat belt. Her mother still cries over her and her father has washed his hands of her and her (currently) blue hair. She has just a few months left of high school to go and then she can escape the small town and move to the city to go to uni. And the one thing she's looking forward to before that can happen is the March Break trip to Mexico.

Which is ruined by one night's stupid decision. Along with her pot-addled "boyfriend" Eric and two friends from school, Tiffany and Brian, Meg is arrested for trespassing on a train bridge - which killed two kids several years ago. While Eric's hot-shot lawyer father gets him off, the other three are made to spend the March Break week with the ambulance, fire brigade and police - and guess which one Meg gets.

Not only does she have to spend five nights on the graveyard shift riding around in a cop car, but she has to spend them with the very same cop who arrested them: John After. John with the "Matt Damon" body, who turns out to be nowhere near as old as Meg had assumed. He chose to stay in the town, to serve and protect and save teenagers from stupid choices, but Meg pushes him to question the things he abides by - and he pushes back. As they both confront each other the chemistry coalesces and thickens, and something new is forged.

"Chemistry" is the Big Word for this novel. It has shovel-fuls of it. Meg is a spunky, smart, inherently vulnerable girl with a sharp, hard exterior. John is more complicated than he seems, and the character development is beautifully explored as layers are revealed and they both become very real in your mind.

The plot is a simple premise to get these two together, and it has that small-town ring of truth to it; it's the people who are complicated. Narrated by Meg, her voice has that same hard, spiky exterior behind which she hides her compassion and interest in others - you get to know her and yet she keeps you at a distance at the same time. It's John who breaks through that exterior, and him we follow as Meg learns to accept herself. Nothing's easy, of course, and the revelation (one of two; the last one) at the end - while hinted at, or something you could guess - had a similar impact on me as it did on Meg.

I have to draw your attention back to the romance and chemistry again. If you, like me, loved Twilight and similar books for the chemistry between the two main characters, and you'd like more of that intense thrill, then you absolutely have to read this. It's not the same, but it has that same quality that breathes off the page. Somewhere out there, John and Meg are living their lives. Sweet and charming, heart-warming and sexy, Going Too Far is a book to read in one sitting: not just because it's a fast read, but because you won't want to put it down.
Profile Image for Arlene.
1,155 reviews642 followers
January 9, 2010
I intended to just get started on Going too Far and enjoy the book during the weekend. Plans changed... I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in one sitting. What a great book! It’s earned the coveted spot on my bookshelf reserved for re-reads.

I loved the point of view of the book, which was from Meg’s perspective. She’s snarky, dangerous, smart, and endearingly flawed. Her mental dialog is witty and kept me engaged throughout the entire book. In addition, the dialog between Meg and John (Officer After) was actually pretty steamy at times and fun to read throughout.

About the story... Meg and three of her friends get caught one night breaking the law right before spring break. Arrested for public intoxication and trespassing in a restricted zone (a situation that could have resulted in their certain death) all but one of them are put on probation and each are required to ride the night shift for one week with a patrol officer, emergency medical technician and fire fighters to witness firsthand the dangers of poor and/or dangerous situations.

When Meg is assigned to Office After, the policeman that arrested them, she’s determined to unnerve him and make him pay for ruining her senior spring break plans. As the week progresses, she learns he’s not that much older than her and they both begin to develop an attraction. She finds herself worrying about him as he faces dangerous situations during his shift. Soon enough, events of their past reveal themselves and they both find each other in a situation they didn’t anticipate.

Great book, that’s edgy, fun, steamy and emotional!
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,427 reviews8,340 followers
April 6, 2012
Going Too Far delineates the story of Meg and Officer John After. Meg, a high school senior, cannot wait to go to college and escape her backwater town as well as her domineering parents. John decided to stay in the city and fight crime - so when he catches Meg on a dangerous bridge drinking alcohol and doing drugs, the two collide in a way that creates romantic chemistry and sexual tension.

Going Too Far was my first MTV book, so I wasn't sure what to expect besides some scandalous stuff going on. And I hit the nail on the head with that hypothesis - this book is one huge bad girl vs. sexy cop romance story. There was an inundation of descriptions such as "I saw him staring at my chest" or "his huge, sexy muscles". While physical characterization is okay, I would have preferred something deeper than just how attractive the two protagonists were to each other.

The rest of the book was lukewarm for me. The writing was average, the characters were average, and there wasn't anything necessarily bad about the book but nothing that made me love it either. It felt like a typical romance novel with a couple of interesting plot twists thrown in.

If you're looking for a young-adult love story that doesn't require much thought, Going Too Far may be the book for you. If you're searching for a more in-depth romance novel, I recommend Gone With the Wind, Forbidden, or Shiver.

*review cross-posted on my blog, the quiet voice.
Profile Image for Reynje.
272 reviews964 followers
September 8, 2011
3.5 stars

I wondered what it would be like to see the dark blue sky above us not as heavy drapes of cloth, the top of a circus tent, but as an infinite expanse. As everybody else saw it.
In Going Too Far, Jennifer Echols has crafted a compelling story about the connection between two characters who are, in some ways, the very antithesis of each other.

Meg won’t be tied down, literally. Resistant to plans, authority, confined spaces – she combats restrictions and small-town claustrophobia with plans to go away to college and avoidance of emotional entanglements.

John After lives within his carefully constructed defences, refusing to be left exposed and vulnerable. A law-enforcer, a rule-abider, Officer After is guarded and cautious. He is the practiced restraint to Meg’s reckless abandon.

Going Too Far is an incredibly engaging read. The chemistry between Meg and John is intense and volatile, the story becoming increasingly charged with each page. The interactions between the characters spark with the friction of conflict and attraction. Add to this the enforced distance of the situation that throws them together, and the plot is heavy with anticipation.

Sexual tension aside, it is also an honestly expressed portrayal of what it is to let go, to trust, to be hurt and to hurt someone else. In this respect, Echols has created realistic characters, with flaws and strengths, each contending with their own internal issues. Importantly, whether their actions are sympathetic or not, they act like teenagers: perhaps not always defensible, but mostly understandable.

This was my first Echols novel, and I was impressed with the fluid writing and her deft hand with dialogue, particularly with Meg’s snarky, self-deprecating humour. While a major selling point is clearly the romance aspect, there was also greater substance here than I was expecting, in the exploration of Meg and John as nuanced individuals.

Going Too Far ended up being not quite what I had expected, in a good way.

Somewhat surprising, definitely engaging, and highly enjoyed.
Profile Image for Nomes.
384 reviews377 followers
November 26, 2010
Snark, sexual tension, brilliant dialogue...
Cop John After and the blue-haired-girl-felon.
Definitely a guilty pleasure :)

Profile Image for Adele.
268 reviews148 followers
March 9, 2009
I was overjoyed to get this in the mail yesterday, OVAH-JOYED. Thank you so much to Jenn for organising it's journey across the ocean to this uber-grateful Aussie. Now Jenn's act of kindness has nothing to do with the review I am about to give because as I stated in my review of The Boys Next Door, I consider Jenn to be the drug of choice in YA-verse. I was already biased.

And she didn't disappoint. I wasn't sure upon reading the first chapter, I was wary of Meg. I wasn't sure that I could relate or see the world through her eyes but I was oh so very wrong. Meg is a complex, strong, contradictory protagonist with boatloads of humour, snark and moxie. She's tortured, yet exuberant. All her characteristics, her dialogue, her motivations and her decisions are all clear to understand and as such you are just plain sucked into her interplay with John After.

Why do I love Jenn Echols' narrative?

"My knee radiated heat. As I watched him pull himself from the car and walk casually across the brightly lit parking lot, I thought dumb things: I will never wash my knee again. I will never wash those jeans again. I will cut the knees out of those jeans and sew a pillow to sleep on every night, just to have a molecule of him in bed with me."
Echols writes a delightful mix of randomness, absurdity and truth. She doesn't sugarcoat teen world but instead adds the right amount of sweet and sour. Meg and John are in a constant battle for the upper hand and their discussions ranged from barbed, snarky, humorous to doe- eyed. Their relationship is a like a mood swing, you never know when things are going to change up and how it might affect you. I loved the package though. John's seeming calm is at direct contrast to the fire that is Meg. What we soon realise is John's burning up too, for a multitude of reasons. I did at times want to know more about John but the quick pace swept away any reservations I may have possessed.

Echols has attempted a different kind of narrative with this novel. The world is more fully realised and the characters are greatly detailed. I devoured each page with a fervour I wasn't sure I possessed and was fully immersed in each event of Meg and John's lives. I am more hungry than ever to get my hands on future Jenn Echols works and want to congratulate her on a truly wonderful read that made me travel a gamut of emotions and invest in her tremendously real characters.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,543 reviews33.9k followers
September 29, 2012
This was such a weird book to me. It didn't feel like a YA book except that the main character was so immature, selfish, and self-centered, and nothing gets explored in very much depth. I just didn't get this book, right from the very beginning. You know Meg is supposedly reactionary for a reason, but that reason seemed forced. I didn't like Meg at all and I thought most of the scenarios were far-fetched and unconvincing.

It also weirded me out our view of John kept switching from a very adult, responsible cop to a 19-year-old boy. The characters I liked best were the secondary ones, so overall this one was just not a success for me.
Profile Image for Jessica.
719 reviews610 followers
September 29, 2010
So far, I’ve read 4 books by Jennifer Echols and somehow I always find myself frowning constantly while reading. I just don’t get the characters in her books. In my opinion they’re not behaving and thinking like normal people.
I couldn’t identify with Meg at all and found her rather annoying. Both Meg and John were not authentic to me.
The book wasn’t all bad, at times it was even enjoyable. I was looking for something light to kill some time and this purpose was served. I guess I just need to accept that I don’t like Echols' writing style.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,761 reviews32k followers
July 26, 2012
When I first started this, I thought a blue haired girl with issues and an hot cop as the hero... ehhh- but by the middle of the book you are so rooting for the both of them. Loved Officer After (John) and Meg grows on you as she grows up and they so belong together! Good read.
Profile Image for ♡Meme♡Reads love♡.
422 reviews125 followers
January 26, 2011

So here is what I thought of this book.. Short and Sweet

This was a sweet romantic read. It had a mixture of romance. mystery, teen angst, and some suspense. I enjoyed all the characters. The chemistry between Meg and John was so sweet. I love the the banter between them and how he was the shy one and she the one who said and did any and everything. There was one particular part int the book I loved that was so Meg.

"I leaned forward until my boobs sat on the table like a set of oversize salt and pepper shakers. The tit table."..... I just died laughing, her dry sarcasm was witty it matched her blue and purple hair. This book was a quick fun read great for weekend reading or something to take for a long ride. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books

Profile Image for Angie.
645 reviews995 followers
August 17, 2009
I picked up Jennifer Echols' GOING TOO FAR on the recommendation of the Ana-half of The Book Smugglers. Ana is good peeps and pretty much never steers me wrong. She said she stayed up into the wee hours of the night reading this one and what do ya know? I did, too! It's just that it was my birthday eve and I was feeling like being incredibly cozy and wanted something sweet and absorbing. This book is both. I read it in one sitting and pretty much had to know what happened before I could sleep. The funny thing was my dreams had an interesting musical score behind them that night. Full of songs about love and loss. Particularly "Re: Stacks" by Bon Iver. Over and over again in my head, this one seemed to fit Meg and John so well.

Stuck in Nowhere, Alabama, Meg MacPherson is counting down the hours until she can move away to college. And it doesn't even matter that she's only going just a few miles down the road to Birmingham. She'll still be away from her hometown, away from her parents, and away from her thankless (and payless) job at their 24-hour breakfast greasy spoon--Eggstra! Eggstra! *snort* For the last few years Meg has comfortably occupied the position of town Bad Girl, complete with rapidly changing hair color (currently blue) and revolving door of lousy boyfriends (seriously, her latest makes Charlie Sheen look like a real catch). One night up on the railroad bridge, Meg and three compatriots have the misfortune to be caught, drunk and disorderly, by the local cops. For their punishment, they each have to spend a week riding with one of the emergency personnel that had to come out after them that night. Meg pulls the cop who chewed her out that night--Officer After--a 19-year-old hometown boy whose only ambition in life appears to be busting the butts of errant high schoolers and who never dreams of leaving. Over the course of the next five days, Meg and Officer After learn a few things about each other that complicate both of their long-term plans.

At first these two seem like fairly straightforward stereotypes. Bad Girl meets Straight Shooter. Sparring and romance ensue. In that order. But then, just as you're prepared to get bored, things get interesting. Meg shows herself to be quite a bit more layered than initially expected. She's clearly got several hideous incidents in her past which make it, among other things, difficult to be in confined spaces. Handcuffs or prison bars, for example, assume nightmarish proportions for Meg. And she has a charming habit of voicing her thoughts and emotions. Every time she blurted out, "I am full of fear," I laughed and loved her more. Except when she really was. And had good reason to be. Then I was full of fear for her and I couldn't stop turning the pages. John is as layered as Meg, only it comes out more slowly as Meg herself discovers it. And it doesn't all come out in the right order, which is frustrating for all concerned. But they're both so likable, you'll go along for the ride. My favorite bit about this story is that in the end, when the inevitable unforgivable act occurs, Meg squares her shoulders and fixes things. She doesn't dissolve in her despair but rather has a good cry and then goes about making reparation and salvaging what she can. I always liked her, but that's when I admired her. Recommended for fans of Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry, Laura Wiess' Such a Pretty Girl, and for when you're looking for a light, swallow-in-a-single-gulp read.
Profile Image for John Egbert.
189 reviews164 followers
May 25, 2012
If you don't want to be spoiled, run for your life now.

I have to admit to rolling my eyes at least a total of seventeen times while reading this.

To say the least I wasn't impressed.

Five things,

- I love tragic pasts. Cherish them, even. Yes, I know it's a trope. I know it's a cliche often poorly used to make readers sympathize with assholish characters. But if you do a tragic past right, I'll be the first person to swoon. This book just didn't do it right. I felt nothing when Meg gave the big reveal. The book has gotten boring and it continued to BE boring. Which brings me to...

- It was too long. I was waiting for everything to wrap up around halfway through. And the sad part is that the book isn't even THAT long. There just wasn't enough plot, wasn't enough character development.

- Meg is kind of a moron. I mean, yeah, she was kind of funny at times. But overall she was just annoying. Her thing about smoking pot and having sex with the village idiot for the lulz (Eric or something? Brian? I forget) made me want to pick her up by her torso and toss her out a window. The worst part was that she actually seemed a little smart, like she could be if she wanted. But no, she wasn't going to act on that spark of intellect at all. Not even a little bit. And maybe that was the point, but it made me infuriated.

- JOHN. Ugh, I'm sorry. At first he was kind of fun, but when I realized that he was actually going to be a love interest instead of a father figure it pretty much ruined him for me. Then he started acting like a jerk. Truth be told I wish Meg had just gone off to college and ended up single in the end. I'm even ashamed to call him John, because that's MY name. He can be Bill. Not that there's anything wrong with being a Bill. Er. Anyway, the point is that I didn't like him. He was really overbearing, and the last part where he handcuffed Meg and made her go into a panic attack was not cool. I'm sorry, but when you do something knowing it's going to hurt your partner then that's just it, buddy. Meg had no idea going out onto that bridge would hurt John. John knew perfectly well that his actions would hurt Meg. That's not acceptable.

- There wasn't really a character in this book that I cared about. Maybe Meg's friend (Elizabeth? I think?). But really, she wasn't all that great either. I couldn't have cared less if Superman dropped down from the sky and incinerated everyone in their little town (yes, even the children) with his laser vision on the very last page. Well, okay, maybe I'd care a little then, but you get my point.

It wasn't terrible by any means, but it's not something I'd recommend or read again. And I don't think I'll be running to pick up any more of Echols novels either.

(Note: What I was really disappointed with, though, is the misleading title. Meg never goes "too far". That's the reason why I picked up the book! Well, c'est la vie I suppose...)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Peep (Pop! Pop!).
418 reviews48 followers
June 30, 2010
The title is misleading and so is the blurb!

I didn't like Meg for the most part. At first, I kind of Liked her. I looked past her Annoying Behavior and laughed. out. loud. once or twice during the book. But halfway through I just could not take it anymore. She was just way too self centered and annoying for me. And seriously, I did not like her allegedly Emotional Scene. It wasn't believable to me (the actual thing, not her reaction (well that was believable but that annoyed me, too)). I did think John's reaction to it was pretty funny. I did laugh. out. loud. at that one.

I thought the ending was kind of rushed. I'm not sure how it came to be Rushed and Drowned out at the same time, but it did. I didn't believe Megs changes were genuine. I also didn't believe John's behavior, it didn't seem to flow with how they were throughout the rest of the book. Now that I think about it, I didn't really find their relationship believable. If they stay or end up together (no spoilers, I promise) I don't see it lasting long enough for a sequel.

Does anyone know how one "sighs through his nose"? Wouldn't it be breathed through his nose? That phrasing reminded me too much of "tightened eyes".

Ugh, ok just one Last Complaint and an Observation, I promise! Johnafter doesn't flow and I did not get the whole yearbook/Johnafter thing. Was it supposed to be funny? A lot of times during the book Meg and John would laugh, laugh, laugh at a joke and I was stuck thinking "I guess I had to be there" or "must be an inside joke" because it was not funny to me.

And if that town was as small as they said it was I don't. Know. How so many things could have been kept secret. Ok, I'm done with the not so subtle bashing, I promise. Once again, everyone else loved this book except for me. I did give it Two Stars because I wanted to see what happened, I could see why others might love this story, and not once while reading it did I consider Not Finishing it.
Profile Image for Mary.
108 reviews
January 8, 2012
Meg has dyed-blue hair and a penchant for bad behavior. That's how she ends up drunk on a railroad bridge with the town rich-boy drug dealer in the middle of the night. And she's even gotten a pair of goody-two-shoes classmates to join in the fun. Luckily, the train misses them; unluckily, they're all arrested--by a driven young cop who constantly patrols the bridge to keep teens from getting killed. The rich boy's lawyer dad gets him out of trouble, but Meg and the others have to do community service over spring break, and Meg is royally peeved about that because she had planned to go the beach for the very first time! Instead, she has to spend her vacation on night shift with the very cop who arrested her plus work her usual day shift (for free, as usual, too) at her parents' greasy spoon diner.

Echols is clearly trying for an edgier, more realistic novel than her usual fluffy romances here, but for me it falls flat. First off, Meg's character relies on physical totems, like dyed hair (but not the brow piercing displayed on the cover), to signal interior traits. But we're also supposed to ignore that and believe that Meg is a good girl who has suffered mightily. In the end, this maybe turns out to be true, but it's not revealed to the very end, which makes for an uneasy reading ride. She's nasty to her parents and it seems that the only reason for that is because they're poor and she has to work for free. Instead, she ends up sounding spoiled and whiny. The second stumbling block, for me, was the character of John, the cop. We're supposed to believe that a nineteen-year-old boy who just graduated from high school is a hard-nosed cop. Even more unbelievably, Meg had had a class with him the previous year and didn't recognize him at all because apparently he grew a bunch of muscles and cut his hair. Like Meg, John has a hidden agenda for his actions, but it's not revealed until the very end.

Many readers will likely be able to ignore these issues, but I could not. The novel starts out fast and just continues. Meg is a curious character with some funny lines which help the story out a lot. The romance is a bit forced and obvious, but it does move the story along. It seems far-fetched (oops, a third problem!) that Meg would be allowed to ride along with such a young cop, but it creates interesting situations and opportunities for growth for this seemingly selfish girl. You'll have to be the judge of whether the revelation of the reason for her actions justifies them.

Sexual situations, intense situations, alcohol, drugs. OK for ages 14 & up.
392 reviews333 followers
May 27, 2010
Amazing! This book was sweet, sexy, witty, powerful and real. It had such a important message on how to let go and I think alot people can relate to this story in one way or another. The plot moved quickly and was never predictable and it had a great ending that left me smiling.

Meg is such an awesome character. I liked her instantly and throughout the book she grew so much as person as did John. They were both complex character and were well written. Together they had great chemistry.

I agree with other reviews that this book was much more than just a love story.

Loved it. A must read!
Profile Image for Katie(babs).
1,807 reviews541 followers
November 5, 2009
This coming of age novel really hits on a great deal of issues and after you finish reading Meg’s journey and why she acts the way she does, you will have a big smile on your face. Meg may act like a rebel, but she is still very much a little girl scared and alone, not sure where she’s going or what her plans are. She has dreams and thinks she knows what they are, but all it takes is one person to show her that sometimes a person’s future can be found right in their backyard and with those they call their friends.

We are given quite an introduction to Meg who is the only teenager in Shelby County, Alabama with blue hair. Meg hates her backwater hometown. She just can’t wait for June to arrive to she can move to Birmingham for college. Meg acts out and gets into trouble. It should come as a surprise that she was able to get into college at all because she drinks, smokes pot and hangs out with older boys in college; especially certain bad boys. Her latest bad boy, or rather booty call, Eric, takes Meg and a few friends up on a bridge where a few years ago some teens who were just as stupid were killed by a train. Meg and Eric are about to engage in a little fun on the bridge when they are caught by the cops.

The cop who catches them reminds Meg of a forty something guy probably with a wife and a few kids. Meg gives him major attitude and thinks she will get out of this with no problems and go off to Miami for Spring Break. Meg is mistaken and the punishment for her crime is that she must ride in a police car on the overnight shift during the week of her Spring Break. Meg is not too happy about this, even more so, because the cop she will be with is the one who almost arrested her, Officer John After.

The officer with the funny last name is not anywhere near forty, but nineteen, only two years older than Meg and even went to her high school and was in her Spanish class at one point. John decided not to go to college even though he could have gotten a track scholarship. Meg really doesn’t understand why John would want to be a cop in this town where nothing exciting happens.

John has a few choice opinions about Meg, just as she does about him. She thinks he is goody goody. A muscular and cute one, but all the same she thinks he is lame. John thinks Meg is on a path to destruction. For the next few days, as they ride side by side, they learn about one another and from that their opinions about each other change. Meg wouldn’t mind getting into John After’s pants, because she suddenly finds herself attracted to him and the way he treats her is unlike the other boys she hangs around with. Meg wants John to loosen up so he can confront his own issues. She wants to break down the walls he has placed around himself. John, in turn, picks away at Meg where he questions her reasoning for things. Why does she want to run away from everything she knows? What is her real reason for lashing out?

Both have deep seated issues and when John and Meg talk about what they’re hiding and what they’re afraid of, it’s explosive and will open their eyes to things they didn’t see before, where they will come to depend on one another and from that love will form between them.

Going Too Far is a great story about opposites attracting. John and Meg will have you in stitches because they are so funny and cute together. Meg has some major issues and acts out because of something horrible that has happened. When you find out what it is, you will be more understanding to her way of thinking. The reason she lives life on her own terms and acts as if each day is her last is because of a trauma she went through. At first I thought that this trauma wasn’t really needed to move the story along, but then it all made sense. John is Meg’s counterpart, the complete opposite of her in the way she thinks and looks at life. John is everything a young girl rebels against. He holds up a mirror to her, where he shows Meg in simple terms that bigger and better is not always the case.

I adored John. He is a wonderfully written young man who deals with life in a very mature way. I loved how he took Meg in hand and together they became a great unit. These two may seem so wrong for one another but Jennifer Echols' skill as a writer makes the reader believe in these two.

Going Too Far has an innocent feel but the subject matter is very much what teens must deal with from sex, drinking and even death. I really loved how John handles his attraction to Meg. He respects her and doesn’t want to rush into things. It was also a nice change for Meg to be more the aggressor in their relationship.

This was the first book I ever read by Jennifer Echols and it certainly won’t be my last, Going Too Far is a much recommended read. And if Jennifer decides to write a sequel showing us how John and Meg are doing together, I wouldn’t mind that at all.
Profile Image for Carla.
287 reviews69 followers
February 3, 2010
Seventeen year old Meg is a bit of a rebel, a blue haired teen in a small town in Alabama, a town that she needs to leave behind. Meg and a few of her friends, including waste of space sort-of boyfriend Eric, have too much to drink and head to the railway bridge in town. The bridge is off-bounds, but kids from town keep on going back there for dares; a couple is rumored to have died on the bridge in a tragic accident years ago. They get caught by Officer After, who patrols the bridge obsessively, and as punishment Meg is made to ride for a week with him in his police car. But Officer After is not the middle aged man with wife and kids at home like Meg had thought, he’s a nineteen year old boy; a boy she went to school with.

The storyline of the book is very simple, it’s the characters that make this book something extraordinary. Meg needs to leave town, where as John has decided to stay. She is the crazy girl in the small town and even though her college of choice is 20 minutes away, that 20 minutes will make all of the difference to her. Whereas John is serious, aloof and takes his job as seriously as he takes his mission to watch the bridge. The both know the path they want to follow, but will five nights together change the direction they wander?

First off, I read this book in one sitting, I literally couldn’t put it down. I surprised myself, because even though I expected the book to be good, I wasn’t prepared for how amazing this book was. The characters are extremely complex and driven, their lives were written with so much care and detail that they seemed real, and the struggles they dealt with were moving. The relationship between Meg and John was multi layered and I was fascinated with their interactions with each other and how it was both simple yet complex at the same time.

This is a book about love, loss, understanding and hope. Echols has written a powerful story that was breath-taking. It explores how the past can affect the future and how even though some ghosts wont leave you entirely, you can learn to accept them, and bear the scars. An insight into how complicated and powerful real relationships can be. I don’t want to say much more for fear of spoilers but I will say this; as far as character driven novels go, this one is my favourite. I love Meg and John, and I love this book. I’ve no doubt this story will stay with me for a long time.  Extraordinary novel.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,696 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.