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Title: A Little Too Far
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Release Date: September 17, 2013
THOUGHTS:Have you ever gone just a little too far?
Lexie Banks has.
Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for the better part of the last few years … and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome.
But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt … and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional and right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy-on-the-eyes deacon … only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.
After reading the blurb for the first time, the first thought that came into mind was something about how the female MC probably crossed paths with dozens of black cats during her lifetime. Realizing you have feelings for your stepbrother is bad enough, but come on, having another realization that you just MIGHT love a priest (after you make a decision that you would fight said feelings you have for your stepbrother) is... um... well, I don't really have words for how darn unlucky our poor Lexie is. Talk about the universe dangling two things over your head that you know you shouldn't want (but still want anyway)!
One of the main reasons why I wanted to give this book a shot is because of the plot itself. It's pretty obvious that Desrochers wanted to push the envelope and try something new, and I wanted to see how the story will pan out. No matter which way you look at it, there is just no easy way of tackling this story, and I was interested in how Desrochers will tell it. I'm not going to lie though - I couldn't help but be a little cynical - I was afraid that this book would only be about the shock value (given that two male interests pretty much spell taboo) and I really wanted to see for myself that the fuss (because I've been hearing about this book for a long time now) wasn't just about the forbidden themes, but maybe something else.
This was a pretty easy read - other than the setting (which I'll talk about later), I liked that it was apparent from the get go that there would be no mind-boggling twists (because let's face it - most of these are forced beyond relief). The story is straightforward - Lexie finds herself torn between two guys, both of whom are unattainable. That's it. No crazy parents or siblings, no mysterious past, no whackjob of an ex all set to ruin everything... and I honestly found this aspect to be really refreshing. Hey, you might say, the female MC is engaging in taboo relationships - that's as crazy as you can get! Honestly, I prefer to think of Lexie as a victim of circumstances, simply put. She didn't exactly choose to form close relationships with said guys - they just happened. Like any other couples out there, Lexie didn't get to choose who she fell in love with it. So yes, while A Little Too Far revolved around the forbidden relationships, the story touched on so much more than the taboo topics, and that made for a great read
I wasn't exactly able to connect with our female MC, Lexie, but that didn't distract me from the entire reading experience. While not exactly relateable, her voice is loud, strong, and you can't help but be enraptured with her story. Another thing I like about this story is that it wasn't just about the romance - Lexie also wanted to learn more about herself, and that she did. She was able to discern a path for herself that she wanted to take after college, and I love how Desrochers explored that. Also, I have mentioned earlier, Desrochers did such an amazing job writing about Rome. Only a few chapters occur in the US - most of the book is set in Rome, since Lexie spends a year studying there, and wow, I truly felt like I was there in Rome soaking in the culture with her!
I do have a gripe with this novel though - I felt that Desrochers didn't spend enough time showing exactly how Lexie and Trent, her stepbrother, realized that there was something more to the relationship. Throughout the novel, it was always 'tell' rather than 'show', and I didn't exactly enjoy that. Given that Lexie was in Rome almost all throughout the novel and Trent was in the US, we didn't get that many scenes of them together. What we got were minute flashbacks, text message exchanges... and yeah, that's pretty much it. Suffice to say I never felt like I got to know Trent, and all that I can do is believe Lexie when she talks about how great of a guy he is and how he is the person he trusts most in this world.
I loved how Desrochers explored Lexie and Alessandro's budding relationship. To those gasping in outrage (he's a priest!), I vaguely remember from my years of studying about Catholicism that deacons spend a few months living regular lives - this is essentially the time they can change their mind about their incoming ordination - and we meet Alessandro at this point in his life. We had a lot of scenes with Lexie and Alessandro just getting to know and trust each other. Nothing was rushed, it wasn't lust at first sight oir anything like that. I can say with no qualms whatsoever that the two are friends (and I can't really say the same for Trent and Lexie, even though Lexie tried to tell me so many times.) Also, I just adored that it was through each other's help that Lexie and Alessandro managed to learn more about themselves and about their future. Simply put, I loved Alessandro - LOVED him. There was a bit of religion in this book, given that Alessandro was only a few months away from priesthood, but I never felt like it was getting shoved down my throat, so that's definitely a plus.
Another qualm is the ending - now this was rushed. Everything was wrapped up too quickly, and I was kind of disappointed. A few more chapters would have been great, though a part of me can understand why Desrochers chose to end the story at this point (since Lexie did end up realizing who she really loved). I'd love to talk more about Lexie's choice, but I'm afraid I can't do so because I will end up inevitably posting spoilers. Believe me, I've tried (And the most frustrating thing about this is I WANT TO TALK ABOUT LEXIE'S CHOICE OKAY. Whoops, sorry for the capslock!)
All in all, A Little Too Far surprised me. I was half expecting a read revolving too much about the taboo aspect of the novel, but that wasn't what I got. Instead, what I got was an engrossing read about a young woman struggling - just like any of us, I might add - with what the universe threw her way, and in the process, she finds out who she really is. After all the talk about this 'out of the box concepts' that her book has, I'm happy to note that this isn't a book which only aims to shock readers. Desrochers has truly impressed me with how she told Lexie's story, and I can't wait to read the next book in this story. (Oh, and PS, no cliffhanger!)
Rating: 4 Stars
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