By: Jennifer Echols
Published by: MTV Books (Simon & Schuster)
Released on: July 10th, 2012
3.5 Stars: It's A Good Read
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.
When I was fourteen, I made a decision. If I was doomed to live in a trailer park next to an airport, I could complain about the smell of the jet fuel like my mom, I could drink myself to death over the noise like everybody else, or I could learn to fly.
Heaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.
But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.
By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re determined to keep the banner planes flying.
Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.
What happens when you take a hot, crazy summer, combined with flying, two brothers, a best friend, and some hot character chemistry? You get Such A Rush. A story that focus on seventeen, soon to be eighteen year old Leah. A girl who's had to grow up quickly, and even though she doesn't come from a loving, supportive family, nor does she have all the finest things in life, this girl has incredible ambition, and when she sets her sites on becoming a pilot, her ticket to a better way of life, nothing will stop her from achieving her dream.
One of the things I liked about Leah, is how realistic she felt. It was hard not to have respect and admiration for this girl and all she goes through to achieve her dream, and get out of her situation, when it would have been so easy to just fall victim to her circumstance. Leah is a strong character who takes the crappy hand she's been dwelt with in life and makes the most of it. Her entire life has been spent living in trailer parks, mostly near airports. I should say run down trailer parks, since her dead beat Mom doesn't do much to assist with their way of living.
I liked the role flying played in this story. I don't recall reading a YA book where being a pilot was a part of the story, and I was totally fascinated with this one. It's dangerous, intriguing, and for Leah, it's a total Rush! That Rush isn't just with flying. Leah's life has been all about finding that Rush. The rush from flying, the rush that comes from getting some control of her life, and of course the Rush that comes in the form of one of Mr Hall's sons, Grayson. Leah lives for the Rush.
Let's talk about the guys! Wow. Jennifer Echols not only knows how to write characters who feel real, she knows how to create tension, as well as some hot and feisty character chemistry. Leah and Grayson have this undeniable attraction, but holy smokes, these two have a lot of tension between them as well. I couldn't believe two things Grayson does to Leah, and that Leah, while she fights it a bit, she doesn't just walk away from him, and all of it. Having said that, Leah is a stubborn girl, and she wasn't going to let Grayson take anything from her. The reader side of me enjoyed reading about what transpires between these two characters, but the mom side was a bit bothered by it.
What bothered me is the way Leah allows Grayson to treat her at first. Yes, I get that these two have liked each other for a few years, but neither of them acts on it, but I still don't like a character who doesn't demand to be treated with respect. At the same time, giving Leah's circumstances I got why she went with certain things. Another thing I like about Jennifer Echol's writing is how well she writes, develops and plays into stereotypes with her storyline. She did an amazing job with this one. This was a good read, and I did enjoy reading about what transpires between Leah and Grayson. There is some language, some sensual scenes and a tastefully written sex scene in this book.