on July 10th, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
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.
I wanted to love Such a Rush so much, but I just couldn’t. It seems like Jennifer Echols books are hit or miss for me. I loved Going Too Far and really enjoyed Love Story, but I didn’t like Forget You at all. I went from being frustrated to being bored with Such a Rush.
There was some things that I really enjoyed about the book. The setting was fantastic. I think Jennifer Echols did a great job of capturing the feel and heat of South Carolina. It felt very real. I adore the whole flying aspect of the story. I mean how unique is that? Is there any other YA books out there with a teenage girl pilot? I loved all the scenes in the air and about the airplanes.
What I didn’t enjoy was Leah. She had a big chip on her shoulder and I had a hard time connecting with her because of that. She also came off as pretty inconsistent to me. She was so angry about people thinking she was a whore, but she never once stood up for herself when others made comments. I didn’t understand her feeling when it came to Mr. Hall. He obviously cared a lot about her and vice versa, but then she would have the thoughts that maybe he had ulterior motives. I read a few other reviews saying they wished Mr. Hall’s death would have impacted her more. I definitely agree with that. I felt no connect with Grayson or their romance either.
The pacing was very slow as well. Things were repeated a lot instead of moving the story along. I found myself getting distracted very easily. I can usually fly through a contemporary, not Such a Rush. It was a challenge for me that ultimately ended in disappointment for me.
I do plan to keep readings Echols’ books, but I’m not going to go into them with the same expectations now.