Monday, January 23, 2017

ARC Review: Pushing the Boundaries (Off Limits #1) by Stacey Trombley

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: January 16, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
185 Pages

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.

Disclaimer: Caution! Reading this book will open your heart and inspire you to take risks. Only those searching for true love should proceed. 


I really wanted to enjoy this one more but something about it left me, I don't know, just feeling off.

Myra travels to Haiti with her mother as part of a Doctors without Borders type of deal. Her mother is a doctor who does work at a clinic set up in Haiti and Myra, along with other teens, join the doctors as interns. Myra's mother hopes this will set her on the path to becoming a doctor. Problem is, Myra doesn't want to be a doctor, she wants to be a photographer. And she's in Haiti hoping to capture that one picture to win a scholarship to an art school.  When she gets off the plane she immediately meets Elias. Elias has been hired to be a chauffeur/translator to the Americans while in the country. This is a huge opportunity for Elias. With this job he can afford to send his siblings to school and help feed his family. The job just comes with one warning - stay away from the Americans. I'm pretty sure you can all figure out what comes next.

I'm just going to say it, I did not like Myra. At all. I get that she feels trapped by her parents, by her religion, etc., but that doesn't excuse the fact that she ruins other people's lives with the attitude of 'oh it can't be that bad'. I get that she's young but being young and being naive are two different things.

Oh the other side, I did like Elias for the most part. I like what he represented and how the author chose to showcase his struggles with poverty and lack of jobs to grow. He wants to learn. He wants to be successful for his family. It definitely puts things in perspective when you watch how he just wants to feed his family.

I also appreciated the culture and description of Haiti. I read in the authors notes that Trombley has spent time in Haiti in her youth and I think that helped here. Writing another country is hard when you're just going off Google. Having been there and experienced the culture first hand added to the story.

But ultimately, I struggled with this book. The instalove was kind of ridiculous. I mean, you just met this person and you're only in Haiti, what, a week I think it was? It would have worked better if it was crush status more then love. I mean, they didn't really spend that much time together to make it believable. Another thing was the ending. Everything from when Elias receives the package to the end was a little sugary sweet and too perfect. It wasn't believable and took away from  what could have been a bittersweet growing experience.

I do think this book will relate with young adults. Maybe I was just a little too old for the story and writing, that it just didn't work for me.  

I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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