Recent Posts

Friday, December 23, 2016

Review - Pushing the Boundaries (Off Limits, #1) by Stacey Trombley

Title: Pushing the Boundaries
(Off Limits #1)
Author: Stacey Trombley
Publication date: January 16th, 2016
Category/Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Myra goes to Haiti with one goal: take the photograph that will win a scholarship and prove to her uber-traditional family that she has what it takes to be a photographer instead of a doctor. Her camera has always been her shield against getting too close to anyone, but she didn’t expect the hot teen translator who has an ability to see past her walls.

Elias needs his job as a translator to provide for his siblings. He can’t afford to break the rule forbidding him from socializing with a client. Except this girl Myra insists on going outside the city to capture the perfect picture, and he steps in as her guide in order to keep her safe.

The deeper they travel into the country, the harder they fall for each other. Now they’re both taking risks that could cost each other their dreams.

If they get too close—it could ruin both their lives.

Buy LinksAmazon 

3 “Haiti & First Love” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, Entangled Crush!

Pushing the Boundaries had an intriguing premise: first-world girl passionate about photography travels to third-world country in search of its beauty, then falls in love with local boy.

There was a lot of room for this to develop into a beautiful story about how first love can (or at least can try to) overcome cultural shock and people’s differences, but the message got lost in execution.

The writing was good—it could’ve used a little more description, especially in the beginning, but it was strong enough to not take me away from the story. The setting was unique, which made me want to read the book in the first place. But what really dragged this story down for me was the main character, Myra.  I wanted to like her. I really did. She had enough things going for her initially, but those things ended up not being enough to make me like her. Look, Myra wasn’t all bad. First, she wasn’t the usual priviledge white American girl, who thought the world belonged to her and looked down at others. Aside from a few misteps in the beginning of the story, it sounded like she was really just ignorant of the circunstances surrounding Haiti and its people. Once she had a better understanding (as much as one can gather in a few days), she seemed to have her head and heart in the right place. Myra was also passionate enough about something to risk disappointing her mother to achieve her dreams, which means she wasn’t just a girl worried about material things or daydreaming 24/7 about the next boy.

With all that, though, Myra still managed to be unlikable to me.

My biggest problem with Myra was how selfish she could be when it came to Elias, the much more likable love interest. Maybe, in retrospect, the fact that Elias had a lot more going for him might’ve hurt her case.

Elias was a hard-working young man worried about others more than himself. He put up with his boss’ boderline abusive attitude to guarantee his family had food in the end of the day, and that his little brother could get the education he needed. He was always thinking about his family and the people who needed him. In the one time Elias acted thinking solely about his wants/needs, he paid for that greatly.

So it was extremely easy to like Elias, which means Myra had to work extra hard to get the same reaction from readers.

Judging from how she acted in the second half of the story, I don’t think she was too worried about her likability at all. That can work if you can sustain your premise and keep your readers hooked despite the fact that they can’t really connect with the main character...which wasn’t the case here, as far as I was concerned.

I needed more of Haiti’s culture, more action, more tension in order to stay engaged. Sure, the little we got to see about that country and its people was the thing that kept me reading, but it still wasn’t enough to make me rate this book anything above 3 stars. Plus, since this is an Entangled Crush book and they always deliver the cutest romances, I was expecting something along those lines. Unfortunately, the insta love didn’t work well here, and the happy ending felt a bit surreal and rushed.

*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

No comments: