Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
Published: July 10, 2012 by MTV Books
Received: ARC for review
A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.
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. [goodreads]
It's no secret I am a huge Jennifer Echols fan. I will pretty much read anything this woman writes, even if it's her grocery list! When I first heard about Such a Rush back in 2011, my heart skipped a beat. My favorite YA contemporary author is writing a new slightly more adult romantic drama?! Oh man. Sign me up! Not only did I read this book early for review, but I read it twice. Yes. It's that good, people. Jennifer Echols' books have that effect on me. I can pick them up for a second, maybe even third time, and read them as though it's my first experience with that particular story. The characters she presents to us and the world they live in is something I can always come back to, time and time again.
This story is about a girl who has had it rough. She's grown up on the poor side of town with a very absent mother who doesn't understand the first thing about mothering. Leah has learned to fend for herself and do whatever needs to be done in order to survive. She's been blessed with a beautiful face and she knows it, but sometimes she doesn't understand the consequences of how that beauty can land her in the middle of a nightmare.
She stumbles upon a local airport one day, that's just across the field from her trailer park. Needing a job, she goes to work for Mr. Hall as the airport secretary. What she ends up taking away from this job is a lot more than just a pay check. When her life feels as though it's finally headed in the right direction; she has goals for the first time to become a licensed pilot, everything gets pulled out from underneath her. Leah's world shatters when Mr. Hall, the man who promised her a bright future, has suddenly died. Now Leah is left with the prospect of being unemployed and the nightmare of living in the trailer park, following her mother's foot steps, for the rest of her life.
In walks the Hall boys. Oh yes, there is a brother duo in this Echols story. Alec is the "good" one. He's the rational, calm, sweet brother. Grayson leans more towards the "bad" one. His reckless decisions have always labeled him as dangerous and care-free, attributes that have grabbed Leah's attention since the first day she met him. Grayson presents Leah with a job proposal, but it's not a no strings attached kind. He's the one in control, or at least he thinks he is, calling the shots and doing whatever needs to be done to keep his father's airplane business soaring above.
It was Leah's character I first fell in love with. She has this glow that surrounds her. One minute she's vibrant, sarcastic, full of energy and life - but then she can be vulnerable, edgy, and so completely lost. I admired her will to want to appear strong and put together. She avoided the social criticisms as best she could, but deep down you knew they carved out a tiny piece of her heart each time she encountered a low blow. Grayson's character is the beautifully broken boy that I wanted to fix since the story began. Since the death of his father, you knew he had so much grief weighing him down. But you also saw the potential of what this boy could do once he took over his father's business.
The relationship between Leah and Grayson is definitely what made me come back for a second reading. It's so intense; the type of love story that suddenly turns up the heat and leaves you fanning yourself, attempting to catch a breath. Jennifer Echols is the master at writing this type of passion. It comes across the page so real, so infused with tension that you almost can't go on - but you know you want to! I have yet to encounter another author who writes this way. It's probably why I come back to Jennifer Echols' books time after time. I just can't get enough!
Such a Rush will give you just that... the rush of what it feels like to digest the best of the best in YA contemporary. I adore this novel and will recommend it to anyone who is in need of a well-written contemporary piece full of drama, tension, and earth shattering passion. Take a chance with this book and you'll be happy you did.