Such a Rush By Jennifer Echols
- ISBN-13: 9781451658019
- Publisher: MTV Books
- Publication date: 7/10/2012
- Pages: 336
- Source: From Publisher for Review
A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.
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, the kids may call Leah 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, 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. But then Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. 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 was drawn to Such A Rush initially because of this striking cover and my love of Jennifer Echols’ writing style and depth. I really had no idea what the story was about and was immediately sucked in and could not put it down, it turned into a one afternoon read for me. It was high flying fun!
Leah Jones is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Life has not come easily to her; she has been the person ensuring that there is a roof over her own head as her mother is missing most of the time. They have moved from trailer park to trailer park as her mother’s boyfriends say they can get her mother a job. Each of these trailer parks ended up being next to an airport. Leah has always been drawn to flying and when she arrives in the newest town she gets a job at the airport office and starts saving her pennies to be able to convince Mr. Hall, owner of Hall Aviation, to teach her how to fly. Mr. Hall’s requirement is that Leah has her mother sign a permission slip, which Leah forges. The end result is Leah learning to fly and her mother never knowing and a new father figure in her life. Despite her relationship with Mr. Hall, Leah feels like an outsider whenever his sons come to visit and they help fly the banner planes that make up the majority of Hall Aviation’s business. Mr. Hall has three sons, including one set of twins. All are attractive young men but their personalities could not be more different. Leah stays back as a silent observer, secretly crushing on Grayson, even going to the point of telling her mother that she is spending time with him (as her boyfriend) to cover her flying time. It’s a shock and a blow when Mr. Hall dies unexpectedly, just a short time after his oldest son dies in the war. Leah figures that the business will be sold and that she has lost her spring break and summer job of flying the banners and she looks for other employment, which she thinks she finds with a local crop duster’s nephew. When Grayson and Alec show up to run the business, Leah doesn’t think it’ll last for long, and Leah has no intention risking not having a job. Somehow Grayson uncovers the forged note and blackmails her to stay on to help fly the banners. Not only that, he wants Leah to persuade Alec to date her. Grayson threatens Leah’s hopes of flying so she has no choice but to cooperate with his scheme. What makes it even worse he refused to tell her why. Leah isn’t sure that she will make it through the summer but she won’t let her dreams die.
I loved all of these characters. I was immediately drawn to Leah and her drive for life. It would have been so simple for her to give into her situation and just get by, but she doesn’t she takes on the rigors of keeping a roof over her head and mothering herself while setting strong goals for herself. What I was surprised by is how Leah was so unaware of how her appearance and personality affected those around her. She is so focused on surviving that she misses who she really is. That and she is so passionate about flying, she puts the boys to shame in this arena, I think because she had to earn it and the boys just expected to learn to fly.
There were some limited interactions with Alec but I did not feel like I really got to know him as a character other than how Grayson tries to use Leah to date him and why. I feel like there is a lot more to him, and would love to get to know him and his situation more. Grayson, on the other hand, I was really frustrated with in the beginning. This bad boy seemed like all kinds of trouble and I really wanted to not like him at first, but he grew on me. Page after page, I wanted to be able to understand him and when all the pieces fell together, I found that I really liked him and understood why he was the way he was.
The only thing that I disliked about this book was how sex was portrayed. Leah had only had sex once and she was made to be this “hooker” just because she was an attractive girl who lived in the trailer park. I just had a hard time with this portion of the story.
I think that Jennifer Echols had a hit with Such A Rush; she just knows how to put the tension, live lessons, and pain of growing up all together in an amazing book.