Pushing the Boundaries by Stacey Trombley

Pushing the Boundaries by Stacey TrombleyPushing the Boundaries by Stacey Trombley
Series: , #1
Published by Entangled: Crush, Entangled: Teen on January 16th 2016
Pages: 169
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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.

A trip to Haiti is just what Myra needs to prove her worth in something else other than being a doctor, but what she doesn’t count on is the Haitian translator who pushes her beyond what she is comfortable with.

Much of the story reads like a positive reinforcement of—or an argument for—cross-cultural exchange and cross-ethnic pairings, as the differences between Elias and Myra are emphasised and celebrated. But there’s also the acknowledgement that with it comes familial disapproval and the ramifications of starting a relationship that can’t possibly have a happy end. Combined with the teenage angst and the rebellion that comes with parent-teenager conflicts, I found myself ready to give up when Myra’s reticence in letting people in crossed the line into ignorance, selfishness and stupidity as the story wore on.

Unfortunately, it’s simply not a story that resonates with me at all despite Stacey Trombley’s very positive attempt at portraying the difficulties in a relationship that defies stereotypes and gender expectations. While I did like the heart-wrenching descriptions of Elias’s family situation and the conditions that the Haitian people face, the happy-for-now ending seemed somewhat implausible, even as it cutely marked the start of something hopeful.