Such a Rush – Jennifer Echols

12989112Synopsis

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.

Review

I’ve been on such a Jennifer Echols kick recently, and I was so excited to read a good love triangle tale. Well, neither the “good” nor the “love triangle” (to be quite frank) came to fruition here.

Lately, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Jennifer Echols books. I kept wondering what happened when I first read one of her books, Love Story, and why I never picked up another one afterwards. But Such a Rush gave me that reminder that I (really hoped not to have) needed. Such a Rush was mediocre at best.

I think the main problem with this book was that I found it incredibly difficult to relate to it. As a result, I did not get emotionally invested in this book at all. It was hard for me to keep reading. Leah spent half the time detailing her tough life and the other half agonizing over Grayson’s affections. I understand that many people live in poverty, and I know she tried to make the most of her situation. But I felt like she spent most of her time whining and complaining in a pitiful state.

Yes, Leah’s home life was abysmal. Her mother is probably one of the worst I’ve read about. But I don’t know why Leah didn’t grasp her own life sooner. Once her mother gave her the “okay,” she realized she should move out of the trailer park and find an apartment and a roommate. Why didn’t she do that earlier, considering her mother was hardly present anyway? Instead of getting evicted, why didn’t she ask to sleep on the cot in the hangar cellar (as a last resort)? Why didn’t she ever stand up for herself as the sole breadwinner in her family when she could barely (legally) work? For such a supposed “fighter,” I couldn’t believe that she forked money over to her mother to pay the rent. Considering the number of responsibilities she had over her head, I would have thought that she took care of those transactions herself. There was no reason for her not to. Why did she let Grayson push her around, when really, he didn’t have that much over her? Why was she so vehemently against flying for the Hall twins when flying was her whole dream anyway? Why couldn’t she express her true feelings to her friends? Why did she keep going back to Mark? I feel like a lot of her suffering was self-inflicted.

I couldn’t connect to many of the characters because their actions were nonsensical (like Alec and Molly… I found their motives for certain things quite far-fetched). The only likable character in the whole book was Mr Hall. He had his faults and made mistakes, but he resonated with me. I liked the aviation aspects of the story, but that’s pretty much it.

I could not empathize with any of the main characters, and I sure had no sympathy for them either.

Related Reading

  • Lock and Key – Sarah Dessen (a “troubled-daughter” tale done right)
  • Love Story – Jennifer Echols (another mediocre angsty tale with unrealistic characters)
  • Pieces of Us – Margie Gelbwasser (probably the definition of despicable, angst-ridden troubled teens)

Rating: 2.5/5

 

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