Monday, March 16, 2009

Jennifer Echols' Going Too Far

Jennifer Echols' newest book was an education for me. I rarely stray from the world of middle grade fiction, and while an excellent book, this does not fall within that category. Published by MTV books, this is a compelling novel about the choices teens make, the consequences, and uncontrollable things that happen to people.

Meg made the decision to smoke pot, get drunk and get romantic on a dangerous train trestle with a drug dealing wastrel. Getting caught was what made her have to spend her time riding along with a local policeman during her spring break while her restaurant owning parents are out of town. They figure that between the ride along, working, and sleeping, Meg won't have time to get in trouble. They are partly right, but the trouble turns out to be a romantic interest in the John, the policeman, who turns out to be 19 instead of 40, as Meg originally thinks (she's drunk at the time). Why is Meg so desperate to escape her small town roots, and why is she failing so miserably because of her bad choices? That's what made this such a good read. There were all sorts of twists that I didn't see coming.

Must say that the cover creeped me out. The stubble on the man's chin and the set of his jaw made me worry, but John is an okay guy. I'm still trying to figure out the audience to this one-- clearly older girls who are buying books instead of checking them out of school libraries. (Does Reviewer X want to opine on this one?)

Many thanks to Ms. Echols for sending this one to me. I thought the writing was crisp and intriguing, but problem novels are not my thing, and after this I had to read several Beany Malone novels! There were a few other books that I looked at this weekend, but I didn't get far enough into them to comment.


  1. Yeah, the cover looks a bit skeevey. But I'm glad the guy portrayed there actually turns out to be a decent dude.

  2. Anonymous11:06 PM EDT

    I don't like girl books, but this review makes me want to read this one.

  3. Anonymous10:44 AM EDT

    You can NEVER go wrong with a Beany Malone. NEVER.