I think that every single reviewer that I tend to agree with has read and liked Going Too Far. I’ve been dying to read it but since my resolution is to keep the TBR down I’ve been holding off on buying books this year. Well I finally caved (and the TBR.. it isn’t shrinking).
The Premise: Meg is a teenage rebel who is bored with her town and looks forward to leaving for college after high school. Just before spring break she gets a little drunk and along with another couple, she and her sort-of boyfriend decide to hang out on the railroad bridge. Years ago a teen couple was killed there, so when Officer John After catches Meg and her friends, they’re in trouble. As part of their community service, the teens are made to ride with the fire truck, ambulance and police all through their spring break. Meg is not thrilled to find out that she got the shift with the cops, and has to ride around with Officer After. But first impressions aren’t always the right ones, and turns out that Officer After is almost as young (and screwed up) as Meg is and together they push each other to think about what their choosing in their lives.
My Thoughts: You know that feeling you get when you hear that a book is good and then you read reviews and it sounds *perfect* for your tastes? And then you read it and it IS just as good as you thought it would be? Well this book gave me that particular high. I stayed up till 2 am reading this book. I woke up the next day thinking about this book. I think I dreamed about this book. It was just happy-sigh-making and I’m so glad I bought it because if I had borrowed it, I would have had to go out and buy it.
OK, so WHY was this so good? Well. If you read this blog you may sometimes see me say I couldn’t fully get into a romance because there wasn’t enough of an emotional connection. This book has emotional connection. I raise this book above my head and say PLEASE LOOK AT THIS AS AN EXAMPLE OF DOING EMOTIONAL CONNECTION RIGHT! In fact, this book also has the physical connection – and because the emotional connection is there? It is awesome. This is how you do a sex scene people.
But I digress. Emotional connection. This is told from the first person viewpoint of Meg, and as the book starts, you see the first layer that Meg wants the world to see. A blue-haired girl. A rebel. She says what she thinks and does what she wants. She doesn’t make commitments and she doesn’t like her town. And Officer After – he’s a stodgy cop who is obsessed with keeping people off the bridge and following the rules. Meg at first thinks he’s a forty year old and imagines he has a wife and kids. This alone makes the two of them interesting, but what makes the story better is that slowly, Meg and John peel off the layers from each other. John finds out why Meg has blue hair, and is a rebel. Why she doesn’t make commitments. Meg finds out why John wanted to be a cop. And add to that that in the process of the two discovering the layers of the other person, they have to look at themselves. They both push each other to change. And that’s probably why this book is titled Going Too Far. They both cross lines. Things get messy, but it goes somewhere good.
I loved that there were all these clues in discovering Meg and John’s pasts that were kind of out in the open, but only if you understood what they meant do they become significant. And I loved that while John After was responsible and driven about his job, he was also a nineteen year old guy. At times he acted very mature, but then his youth would bleed out. Meg too – she acts her age, but she’s definitely different because she doesn’t really have friends. I enjoyed seeing that as she started to let John in, she learned how to let other people in.
There are so many quotable bits to this book. I have several passages I could bookmark and reread them happily forever. For example:
“Are you scared?” I whispered.
“I’m well trained.”
Yes, he was well trained to enter a robbery in progress with three guns pointed at him. Or well trained to hide that he was scared.
His death-hold on the steering wheel gave him away.
“Do you want me to kiss you for luck?” I asked
His eyes cut to me for a split second, then returned to the store. He waited so long that I thought he wasn’t going to answer. He would ignore my inappropriate question.
Then he said, “Yes.”
Overall: A fantastic, perfectly written love story. I loved it – easily in my top five favorite books this year if not the favorite. The emotional connection in this one was one of the best I’ve read. Ever.
I’m so glad I don’t have to wait long for her next book, Forget You (it comes out in July)
I think if you like Sarah Dessen (exception: Angie), or Megan McCafferty, you will also like this author.
The Book Smugglers – 9 (Damn near perfection)
Angieville – positive review
Lurv a la Mode – 5 Insanely Huge and Indulgent scoops
Book Crazy – 5 out of 5 stars
Giraffedays – 4 out of 5 stars
My Favourite Reads – Excellent
The Hiding Spot (and extra here) -20 out of 10 stars
Pop Culture Junkie – 5 stars
See Michelle Read – positive review
Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm – 5 stars
Katiebabs – B+