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....
Meg has blue hair wears shirts that show her clevage and say "Peer Pressure" and hangs out with the college drop out who sells pot and drinks as an underage teen. She's also engaging in teenage sex, but she's not in love.
Officer After arrests her and her friends one night as they trespass on a railroad bridge despite the warnings that they are trespassing and the story that they don't know if it's true or not, of two kids being killed on the bridge when the girl's shoe got caught in the bridge tie and the boy stayed with her rather than leave her. They'd joked about it, but while they are sitting in the police cars, the train rumbles by and they sober up thinking about it. The other couple with Meg and her partner in crime, Eric, are the valedictorian and salutitorian of their high school. The valedictorian has never had a drink in her life and doesn't take being arrested very well.
Meg ends up being paired up with Officer After for five days during her Spring Break as punishment for her little stunt. Her friends have to pull similar duties with the firemen and ambulance. The only one that gets off is Eric, the college dropout with a powerful lawyer father. In those five days, Meg and Officer After, and John After, the man behind the uniform get to know each other and learn things about themselves and each other that truly surprise each other and themselves.
I know it's only five days, but both characters show enormous character growth especially emotionally. They needed to, believe me. They were both stuck in the past. Meg lived life dangerously because of something that had happended in her past and After lived life cautiously because of something in his past. It takes the help of the other to recognize this. Whether they move on or not, well you need to read it.
This was a fast simple read and very enjoyable. I was tired and needed something to put me to sleep. It didn't. I hadn't slept in 36 hours but finished all but the last 30 pages before my meds kicked in and though I wanted to, I couldn't keep my eyes open to finish. It was the first thing I did after I took the kids to school.
I recommend this to anyone that enjoys coming of age stories. Echols creates believable characters and dialogue. We got to see into Meg's mind and heart, but she kept her biggest secret hidden until she revealed it to Officer After. The story was told from her POV. There is teenage drinking, sex and talking about sex. And drug use, pot. So keep it in mind when your teen reads it. There isn't a lot of any of it except the suggestive talking and references to sex.
Heather in Sandwich