Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: July 10, 2012
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "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."
Leah isn't your average girl next door. She lives in a trailer park adjacent a small airport and her mom is never around. Even when her mom is around, she isn't reliable, but Leah is determined to not end up like her. Leah gets a job at the nearby airport working for Mr. Hall, who is the owner of a banner advertising business. He takes Leah under his wings and teaches her everything she needs to know about being a pilot. As the years go by, Mr. Hall offers Leah a legitimate job as a pilot working for him and things start to come together for Leah. However, Mr. Hall unexpectedly dies and the company falls into the hands of his two teenage sons, Grayson and Alec. This becomes an awkward situation because Leah has had a crush on Grayson for years. Things start to become very complicated. Jennifer Echol's Such a Rush is the perfect summertime read. It's edgy, it's sexy, it's romantic and undeniably real.
Jennifer Echols is one of my favorite contemporary authors. Her novels are always my go-to summertime reads that always maintain a good blend of everything that readers love about contemporary fiction. This is also the case in Such a Rush. Fans of Echols won't be disappointed!
Echols created such a unique character in Leah. She is fiercely independent, determined, and the classic underdog. She really grew on me and I felt such sympathy for her as she situation is not easy for a high school student. Echols also created a dreamy love interest in Grayson. He's definitely one of my favorite characters that Echols has created to date and I loved to hate him! The chemistry between Leah and Grayson is undeniable and I thoroughly enjoyed the romance between the two. It definitely sizzled!
Another thing that I loved about this book was all the details about being a pilot. I've never read a book about planes and I found it to be so interesting, mostly because who doesn't love the planes that fly by at the beach with fun advertisements flapping in the wind behind them? The sound of the planes at the beach are so comforting and definitely part of my childhood, so I was able to relate to that aspect of Such a Rush. Plus, being a pilot is downright sexy (Top Gun, anyone?) and Echols really makes this aspect of the novel red-hot.
Lastly, there's a lot of drama in Such a Rush, which I loved. Leah is bullied by many mean girls at her school quite since she lives on the "wrong side of the tracks." I loathed these mean girls and I loved how Leah would give it right back to them. Thankfully, she has one good friend that makes for a total opposites attract relationship; however, their friendship includes some girl drama as well. Echols does drama better than most contemporary authors; it's brilliant and perfect mind candy.
If you are a fan of Echols, you'll love her latest novel, Such a Rush, and if you have never read Echols before, you must pick up Such a Rush this summer. I highly recommend it!