Monday, December 7, 2009

Dreadful Pasts Reveals Devastating Truths

Going too far by Jennifer Echols is a wonderful read. The initial start was a lot rawer than what I would expect, but it defiantly captured my attention! Immediately as a reader you are placed in the scenario where Meg, her boy toy Eric, and some friends head out to an isolated railroad bridge. As a reader, you are given hints that this decision is not the best as Meg and her friends hint on the couple who supposedly got killed by a train the prior year. Nonetheless, they go anyway. The graphic details begin right away. I was astonished to read the entire scene of Meg and her boy toy Eric making out. Meg vividly explains how Eric grabs her hair and bites her neck creating passion marks. Moreover, unlike traditional novels, Meg is totally in control. She is lured and turned on with the rush of making out in public. She is over sexualized as she brags on herself for being a sexual expert.

However, the fun soon ends as the cops show up to ruin the erotic party. The rebellious teens are soon arrested. Instantly, Meg friends, Tiffany and Brian crumble becoming overwhelmed with fear. In the mean time, Meg once again reestablishes herself as the brave heart in control, displaying no fear of authorities. However, Meg’s tough girl behavior comes to an end when she is along in the police station. This along time allows Meg to be sensitive and reveal her true nature of worry and regret. In arriving to the police station everyone parents come to pick up their children except for Meg’s parents. Consequently, Meg is forced to spend the night in the police station. During this stay, Meg does nothing more than express her desire to escape her small town. She longs to go away for college. Additionally, she expresses her excitement for going to Miami for spring break just to get away. Unfortunately, this dream is shredded as she learns that she must sacrifice her spring break get away of “drinking and flashing tits” (37) to accompany John After, the cop who arrested her, on his job for a week as punishment for getting arrested

When their lives intertwine for a week both Meg and John After are forced to face dreadful pasts and devastating truths. Was it an accident that John After just happened to be patrolling the railroad or is he invested some kind of way? Most importantly, what is the driving force that causes Meg to be this rebellious, overly sexual averted teen who wants to escape her hometown?

This is a great book, but the characters are very complicated. They slowly unfold and display inner truths. However, I know that young adult readers will appreciate the rawness of the characters, precisely Meg. Meg demonstrates the fear of love and relationships, and most importantly letting your guards down. John After reveals how the past can take over your life and torment you if you cannot let it go. Therefore, youthful readers can be entertained and learn vital reasons at the same time. Nonetheless, I would recommend this book to older mature teens. The sexual content and language is strong throughout the book so I would suggest for the reader to be 17 years of age.
Exclusive interview with Jennifer Echol on Going too far:


Paige said...

seem like a good book. I think that older more mature teens would be who this book is targeted for also. I think that it could teach them that their rebellious behavior can lead to serious trouble. I also think that the descriptive love scenes may be a bit much for anyone younger then probably 15 or 16. overall it sounds like a good read!

Lisa Burnham said...

My students are not ready to read anything like this yet. They are still in the giggly stage when it comes to descriptions of physical contact. In this book, there seems to be a lot of it.