…On Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Posted June 15, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 30 Comments

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Published by MTV Books
Publish Date: March 17, 2009
245 Pages
Source:  Library


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…. –(summary from Goodreads)

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

My Thoughts: I visited another blog a few days ago and saw the name Jennifer Echols and realized that I hadn’t picked out an Echols book for this Contemporary Month. Now, being new to the contemps, it shouldn’t surprise most of you that I’ve never read an Echols before. BUT…I know that lots of people love her books like crazy and are always fangirling over them. So I did what any respectable person in my situation would do…I tweeted Ginger because of her authority on the subject of YA romance contemps. Long story short, I ended up going to the library almost immediately, grabbing this book, and shifting all of my other books around so I could immediately read this one.

Um, can anyone say best decision I’ve made in a long time? THANK YOU. 

The first thing you need to know is this:
This is my first Jennifer Echols book.
This will NOT be my last Jennifer Echols book.
WHY ON EARTH HAVE I NOT READ THIS BEFORE NOW? Oh yeah, I wasn’t reading these types of books yet. I remember! But now that I am, I’m forever thankful to Ginger (@GReadsBooks) for hooking me up with this title. After a quick Twitter discussion & determining my library availability (limited funds, yo), Going Too Far was my choice for which Echols book would make the Contemporary Month cut.
I approve of my own choice! 

I like the way Jennifer Echols writes. Her style is easy and fun and witty. I laughed a few times but there were series times and swoony times too. Yes, yes there were. Slow-burn, I–love-you-Officer-After swoony times. Echols created great characters and a believable story that did not have me hating on this book. It DID have me turning the pages fast. This gal has a talent for YA romance.

The second thing you need to know is this:
I thought a few details about the book were slightly cheesy.
Because there’s Johnafter, you guys.

See, first there was Meg with the big chip on her shoulder, but I was quickly able to look past that because I realized that it was part of her character and her past, and it made for a great opposite to Johnafter. But blue hair? I laughed at the way they kept referring to her like a Manga character…but HEY if the shoe fits, right?

Also, the name JOHNAFTER. *stops, looks around for a minute, continues* I live in Eastern North Carolina, people. I would not be surprised if someone around here had this very same name. I think I not only rolled my eyes, but I actually did this weird head-roll thing when I saw this name. But the more I read about him, the more I started saying the name out loud and it became lovely.

Y’all can laugh if you want to – but if you’ve read the book, you’ve done it too. Right? 

Honestly, I think there are at least a few cheesy details in most YA contemporary books. I think it must be standard for there to be something a little dorky in all of these books because they’re kind of like real life, and real life has these dorky things in it. So I’m willing to look past it if you guys are. (This includes the cover, which I’m not even going to write about. Just, no.)

The third thing you need to know is this:
If you are like me and haven’t immersed yourself
in the world of Jennifer Echols yet, you need to just do it.

Apparently all of Echols’ books are great, according to what I’m hearing around through the grapevine. And I’m just getting started here. If they’re all this good, I want to eat them.

This book was exactly what I needed at exactly the perfect time. It was like this perfect spontaneous thing – unplanned and awesome. I finished the story and closed the book and was JUST SO HAPPY.


The ease with which these characters came to life was astounding to me. Meg, with her Manga-blue hair and her feisty attitude, was hanging out with the wrong people and headed down a bad path. Enter Officer After – the good-looking, level-headed, straight-arrow gentleman that catches Meg breaking a few laws. Stuck together for a week while Meg does the time for her crimes, these two ooze tension and it’s awesome. Meg is written so well, with these great one-liners and her hard-headed independence. She’s the type of person that I’d probably not care for too much in real life because of her attitude, but it completely worked in this book. Plus, I identified strongly with Meg’s feeling of needing to get out of her small town and start her adult life somewhere else.

Officer After (aka Johnafter) was the perfect complement to Meg’s character because he was so much the opposite of her. He was not rash in his thinking or actions, he was even-tempered and rarely sounded harsh or snarky, and he was content to stay right where he lived, regardless of how small the town. It was so much fun to read how their relationship developed, and how hard it was for Johnafter to keep his feelings for Meg separate from his job. I loved his character because he was swoony, yes, but also because of all of the things that made him, and I JUST THOUGHT HE WAS GREAT, OKAY?

There are more things in this book besides the developing romance and tension between Meg and Johnafter, but this is totally a YA romance. Meg’s other friends, Johnafter’s other friends, some plot twists, everything – all of these things tie into the romance and make it great. This book doesn’t try to be an issue book or anything other than what it is: it’s straight-up romance, YA-style. I loved it.

Going Too Far was the perfect way for me to start out my love affair with Jennifer Echols’ books. I’m eager to dive into more of her stuff. I could’ve written something about characterization and plot and setting and all of that, but so many people have written reviews that you can find all of that anywhere. What you need to gather from my ridiculous gushing is this:

1. I read this book.
2. I loved this book. Like, a whole whole lot.
3. I already want to read it again.
4. I recommend it to all of you.

That’s basically all I have to say. I’m thrilled that I threw my contemporary schedule into chaos for a few hours because Going Too Far was totally worth it.

Going Too Far will appeal to fans of:

YA Contemporary
Men In Uniform

Going Too Far
by Jennifer Echols
is currently available for purchase.


Have you ever read any books
 by Jennifer Echols?
Which ones?

Which YA Romance books are your favorites?
I want swoony recommendations, friends!


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


30 responses to “…On Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

  1. Yay, your first Jennifer Echol's book! I haven't yet read all her books yet but this one is probably my favorite so far out. So glad you went straight to Ginger, when it come's to contemporary she know's what she's talking about, especially Echols! I love this book and it's nice to hear that you did too 🙂 Welcome to the Jennifer Echols fan club! Que fangirling.

    • Haha Rebecca! I love your comments so much.

      Yes, Ginger is a contemporary resource extraordinaire. She also helped to introduce me to Jessica Darling, along with another blogger.

      I loved this book. I read it pretty fast. I definitely want to read more of them. I will admit, though, if everyone wouldn't have told me how great this book was, I probably would've overlooked it. This cover is just odd to me. I am such a cover-judger. It can be bad! I'd have missed this one.

  2. I haven't read a single Jennifer Echols book yet! Though I'm reaaaaaally looking forward to Such a Rush! This sounds like a sweet read, though. 🙂 I would have to say for YA romance… Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park & The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

    • You know, I've heard good things about Flat-Out Love and I love the cover re-do where it looks kind of like patchwork on the letters. Maybe I should give that one a shot. And I'm pretty excited about Such A Rush too, especially since I loved Going Too Far so much.

      This one, I figured I'd like is since so many other people that I trust did, but I didn't realize I'd like it as much as I liked it. I'm glad this was the first Echols I read. And I don't feel so alone!

      I've read TFiOS. Oh my, I think I used an entire box of kleenex and looked froggy in the eye-area for days.

  3. I LOVED this book too! And Johnafter! Blond hair and dark eyes? Sign me up! And your review is great. And made me laugh – just like the book made me laugh! Meg was pretty funny. I discovered Going TO Far last year, and I loved it so much that I read it twice in a row. But it's the only Echols book I've read, and I think it's because I'm afraid that they can't quite possibly be as good as this one. I agree that this IS a romance, but I liked that both characters had things that they were dealing with, and helped each other face throughout the course of the novel. I love that at first Meg just seems like a rebellious teen, but then you start to get why she is the way she is.

    And it's completely ridiculous, but hilarious that Meg thought John was 40 when she first met him. Then he compared her to a manga character. I love that early conversation in the car.

    Your review also reminded me that I need to OWN this book, so I will be looking for it as well as TMI.

    • I loved that Meg thought he was 40! When I actually found out his real age, I laughed out loud at myself for being fooled too. I really didn't want that story to end – I wish it would've gone on for a little while longer. 🙂

      You told me that Slammed is the book with The Avett Brothers in it, right? And The Vincent Boys sounded familiar so I checked my Kindle and I already have it on there, I just haven't read it. Tara @Hobbitsies sent me a box of contemps to read, her recommendations to me, and Perfect Chemistry is in there. I really want to get to that one because I've heard good things about that series.

      And another Shadowhunter series? (going back to the other blog conversation) – SIGN ME UP. I love those books.

  4. So cool to see another Echols fan; I know this is most people's favorite but I love The Boys Next Door which is more of a romantic comedy. Although honestly I find that most of Echols' books have some good swoonworthy moments even when I have problems with some of the plots.

    • Yeah, what I'm getting is that most of the people I'm talking to like this one the most. They're also mentioning Forget You. I'll definitely want to read more, I just don't know how they'll live up to this one.

    • Thanks Alexa! This was SO GOOD. I'm so glad Ginger helped me out with throwing Echols in my contemporary month. This book was perfect – exactly what I needed to read at exactly the right time. I love it when that happens.

  5. My goodness, I missed your long gushy reviews. Busy times, busy times.

    Ginger is the shit when it comes to contemp recs. I will forever love her for telling me to read the summer series.

    I have not read Echols yet though. I was actually told by the book cellar that this one is the best one to start with, so you picked a winner. lol. I have thought about getting a few from the libarary, but I have so many books on my shelf I feel silly. I should catch up on those first. but I think this one I'll make an acception for. My libarary is crazy out of the way though. :/

    lol at the cheese. Every contemp has some. I love cheese in moderation though.

    "I finished the story and closed the book and was JUST SO HAPPY." <—- this is exactly why I have been eating up contemps like crazy. I love how some of them make me feel in the end.

    • April. Seeing you here fills me with happy. Yes, busy times and it stinks. I haven't visited any blogs during contemporary month and for that I am a poopy blogger friend.

      As far as this Echols, it is fairly short and sweet. So if you are looking for something just plain LOVELY and swoonworthy, and fairly short, HERE YOU GO.

      I have been enjoying my big jump into contemporaries. Halfway through contemporary month and I keep shifting around my plans and moving books into this month, without actually adding days, which can be problematic. I have more books that I want to put up here during this theme month than actual days. So we'll see how all that goes.

  6. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS BOOK! This was one of the first books I read when I started getting into contemp and I've never found another quite like it. I'm so happy to see that you loved it. John After is so dreamy…sigh.

    I didn't care much for Forget You but I loved Love Story! Going Too Far is definitely my favorite by her.

    • Ah,Love Story! I had forgotten about that one. I need to read that one too.

      See now that I know Going Too Far is most everyone's favorite, I hate to go downhill…Bah! But I liked this one enough to keep going. PLUS I want to read Such A Rush as soon as I can get my paws on it.

    • Ginger is an Echols pusher. A contemporary pusher all around, which has been helpful for me during this month. Ginger is awesome, pure and simple.

      Lisa, you need to read this book. I need to read Forget You, but YOU NEED TO READ GOING TOO FAR. I threw everything down and grabbed it to read it and I'm so glad I did.

  7. Oh God, why did you wait so long?!

    Jennifer Echols is a must for YA romance lovers, Going Too Far is one of my absolute favorites not only from her but from all of the books I've read in my life.

    I agree about Jonhafter, saying it out loud makes my toes curl haha. Also, Meg's look, that's Jennifer's style, she loves the Japanese culture and she always manages to make it part of her books (I love the multiculturalism, a rare thing on YA).

    Try Such A Rush when it comes out next month, it's to die for!

    • Melannie, I DON'T KNOW. I guess because I really wasn't reading much contemporary at all before this month, so I didn't know where to turn for the good titles. That's pure honesty, right there. This one was SO GOOD.

      Toes curl, YES! You get it. I didn't realize the Japanese culture was in all of the other books. I got a good chuckle about the Manga hair. It was such a fun detail to throw in there – so unnecessary, but it made the book THAT much more fun, ya know?

      I can't wait for Such A Rush. I kind of look at my mailbox every day, just HOPING for it to vomit that book up in my hands. No such luck. Bah! I'll get to it as soon as I can, though! Especially now after loving Going Too Far so much.

  8. LOL I love your enthusiasm Asheley! I've only read 2 Jennifer Echols books — Endless Summer and Forget You. I disliked Endless Summer, but I totally LOVED Forget You so much. I think I am more a fan of her dramas than her comedies.

    Anyways, I'm so glad you loved Going Too Far, I am going to have to obtain it by hook or by crook. 🙂

    • "by hook or by crook" –> I love that. I will have to borrow that saying because it is so cute and so April.

      Okay. I DO NOT KNOW WHY I HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK BEFORE NOW. BECAUSE = JOHNAFTER. Swoon to the infinity. I realize that I'm older than Officer After, but GAH.

      And now I totally want to read Forget You and the other one, is it Love Story? I forget because it is super middle-of-the-night right now. I enjoyed the Echols so much. I'm not sure about the comedies, I won't lie. I'm digging the contemps, but I don't want to push it! Although I do like the LOOK of the bind-up covers, they are really cute and would make a nice addition to the bookshelf. I'm just not sure about the comedy aspect.

      LOVE it when you come by April. Keep doing it. I will spam the hell out of your blog once contemporary month is over. That is a promise.

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