High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.
But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are 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 Jones’s life has always been far from perfect. She has jumped from trailer park to trailer park ever since she was a little girl, dragged around by her dead beat mother. Her new trailer consists of a total of three pictures of herself, an empty fridge, a soggy bathroom floor that is about to cave in, and a pitbull who would eat her alive if only he could get off of his chain. Yeah, Leah Jones’s life is not even in the same hemisphere as perfect.
One day Leah stumbles upon a job opportunity at the airport. Little did she know that she had a deep love for airplanes. Everything about being in the air was pure perfection. The thrill. The glory. The rush. Before she knew it, Leah was on her way to become a full fledged pilot. That all came crashing down once Mr. Hall, her flight instructor, died of a heart attack.
Desperate to continue flying, and to keep a family secret hidden, Leah takes up Grayson, Mr. Hall’s son, on an offer (or rather she submits to his blackmail threat). Now Leah must date Grayson’s twin brother, Alec, for reasons unknown to her. Join Leah, Grayson, and Alec throughout this book of love, threats, mystery and tears. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
When I first started this book it was out of pure desperation. I needed something to read, and I needed it to amazing. I had heard great things about Such a Rush, by Jennifer Echols, and I just happened to have a copy of it laying around. I was nervous, though, because I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary books. So, I went into the book thinking that I would give it about three stars. Boy was I wrong.
I loved Leah so much. Not only did I think she was a brilliant, realistic character, but I also related to her on many levels. I know what it feels like to have people hate your guts, and I just wanted to throw myself into the book and jump to Leah’s defense. Leah was so strong and brave. Honestly, I don’t know how she accomplished half as many things as she did in her eighteen years of life.
This book was so realistic to me because I’ve witnessed a lot of the images and confrontations that are displayed throughout the story. I’ve been to the types of trailer parks described in Such a Rush. I’ve witnessed the neglected animals, the drugs, the angry fighting, the beat up trailers that receive no maintenance. I’ve seen everything that Jennifer Echols mentioned about these trailer parks. It’s horrifying to witness, but it’s ultimately real.
Grayson. Grayyyson, Grayson, Grayson. What can I say about him? Other than that I’m completely in love with him, of course? Grayson broke my heart on so many levels. He had just lost two important and beloved people in his life, and he was not coping well. He was obviously devastated and trying to act like nothing bothered him at all. He wanted people to believe that he was fine so much that it went against him and showed people how truly broken he was inside. It was hard for me because I knew how wrong it was for him to blackmail Leah, but it was hard to stay mad at him because of the reasons. He was just….so loveable.
I wasn’t a big fan of Alec or Leah’s best friend, Molly. They got on my nerves a little bit. I wouldn’t say that this took away from the story, but they didn’t have the appeal that Leah and Grayson had. At the same time, though, Alec and Molly added to the realistic feel of the story. Everyone was so real that it was almost scary at times. All of the characters acted exactly how they would or should have in real life.
If only I could express how much I wanted to jump into the story and beat Leah’s mother to a bloody pulp. She was despicable! What kind of mother abandons their child and relies on them to fend for themself and pay all the bills? Who does that?! To say I was appalled is an understatement. I know that this kind of stuff happens, but it really disgusted me. I was not raised in an environment like Leah. I have always been able to depend on my mom. She’s my mom…that’s her job. That’s how it’s always worked in my family. Sometimes Leah was home alone for ten plus days at a time, and I got the feeling that this started while Leah was still in elementary school. I was really horrified at the whole situation.
Overall, I loved this book. I really just want to go out and buy every single book that Jennifer Echols has ever written. Yes, I loved it that much. I think that everyone needs to have the chance to read this book. It’s real. It’s inspiring. It’s just a beautiful story all around. So what are you guys waiting for? Go get this book now!
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: MTV Books
Rating: [rating: 5]
Teaser Quote: “I gripped the controls. The trees came fast and I was about to slam into them. In my mind I was taking off again, in control of my airplane, sailing over the trees and over the ocean into the clouds.
I let one sob escape. I heard it in my headphones.
…That’s when I screamed.”