Title:  Going Too Far
Author:  Jennifer Echols
Release date:  March 16, 2009
Publisher:  MTV
Pages:  256
Genre:  Young Adult fiction
Source:  Library

Although Meg has always been somewhat of a troublemaker, she also has big dreams of leaving her small town life forever as soon as high school is over.  Now, just a week before her senior year spring break, she and a few friends are arrested for walking on this railroad bridge that several kids died on years back.  As punishment, Meg must spend eight hours every day for a week riding along with the police officer who arrested her, John.  Turns out John is just a year older than Meg, and although he stayed in their Alabama town after graduation, he has plenty of demons of his own to deal with.  As the two get to know each other, they realize they have much more in common than they would have expected… and it takes very little time for them to start bringing out both the best and worst in one another…

I really, really liked this novel.  The romance between Meg and John was just so genuine and believable, it was absolutely my favorite thing about the book.  I just loved how it evolved from them disliking each other, to getting along but not understanding each other, to having crushes on each other, to an almost relationship.  The progression of things really reminded me of a Sarah Dessen novel (and you all know how much I LOVE Sarah Dessen).

I really felt for Meg throughout the book.  She was so hardworking, caring, and smart, but because she looks a certain way, and lives in a small town where rumors are abundant, everybody assumes so much about her.  Sure, she had broken a couple of rules in her day, but truly she was just a great student who helped out her parents’ restaurant in her spare time, counting the days until college.  I totally understood her frustration with her small-town life and needing to get out of there.  I didn’t live in a small town in high school, but by senior year I was more than ready to get out and get to college, so I definitely understood Meg’s desire to leave.

Overall, Going Too Far is a sweet young adult novel with complex characters and a realistic romantic connection.  Jennifer Echols is definitely an author I’ll be watching out for.