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

Book Blurb

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.

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Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Myra has arrived in Haiti with her mother and the medical volunteers.  They will be running the clinic for a few days.  Myra’s mother wants her to be a doctor but Myra’s passion is photography.  She wants to go to art school.  Her mother would never understand or let her go.
Elias is the driver and interpreter hired to help the Americans.  He knows he is very lucky to have this job to support his family.  He has been warned by Mr. Rowland to keep everything professional.  He catches Myra’s eye and tells her friend in English that he is cute.  However she is embarrassed when she realizes he understood her.  Her mother is not happy either.  Myra knows she will hear about it later.
Myra is warned about the inappropriate boy and her behavior.  Her mother is keeping a close eye on her and she has to be good.  Her goal is to go out and see the real Haiti.  Elias is also warned about keeping his distance.  However he and Myra run across each other on the roof patio.  He sees the real her and she is shocked. She is also intrigued.  He offers to show her the real Haiti.  Unfortunately things don’t go as planned as Myra battles with her mother and Elias fears losing his job.
When Myra decides to do it herself, she realizes she has no clue what she has gotten herself into.  Elias comes to her rescue and the day they have is wonderful.  Then everything falls apart around them.  Myra has to decide if what she wants is worth fighting for.
The storyline of this book was fascinating.  The author brings different cultures into play that conflict.  Myra’s mother being from Pakistan has her views that Myra fights against.  She is American and hates the strict ties her mother tries to bound her with.  She wants to choose her own future.  That is a huge conflict present in the story.  It adds to Myra’s choices, drive and character.
Then add in the Haitian culture and see how poor the country truly is.  The author shows the reader exactly what is happening.  Elias supports his family with a job that is rare.  It is hard to fathom the situation his life presents.  Myra views Haiti from an American point of view which adds to the story.  She doesn’t fully understand and that is difficult for Elias.

This plot has obvious avenues the author takes the reader, but there are underlying issues that bring out more of the complexity to the story.  There are deeper issues at play.  It was a great read.  I recommend it.  I give it a 4 out of 5.

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