Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

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.

I really loved this book.  The heroine, Leah, was such an interesting character.  Her issues, and there were many, were understandable and real.  She’s the trailer trash girl that everyone at school assumes is a slut, but she really isn’t.  She has to put up this facade in order to survive as a very attractive poor girl in a school full of rich, snobby bitches.  Her mother, who had Leah when she was 16, is more a figurehead than an actual parent.  Leah has to feed herself, clothe herself, take care of herself.  She even has to PAY RENT while her mother goes without a job, spends what she has at the casino, and depends on boyfriend after boyfriend.

The only power Leah has comes from her job working at a small-town airport as a receptionist.  She starts to save money in order to get flying lessons.  She’s not going to be her mother.  Her goal is to become an airline pilot, eventually, after she graduates and gets the hell out of Heaven’s Beach.  Generally, when someone is brought up in the environment that she has been, with an absentee parent and/or a mother who is dependent on men, they will either fall into the same pattern or claw their way out.  Leah is a claw her way out kinda girl.  And that’s just one of the things I loved about her.

She’s not without her faults.  Leah uses her beauty to get things for herself, but the things she gets aren’t anything to take to the bank, and I believe that it’s generally pretty innocuous.  A lot of the time, I wanted to hug her and tell her everything was going to be alright.  Even though she narrated the story, I felt like she was still holding a lot back.  We didn’t really know her.  Maybe because she didn’t want to acknowledge certain things she’s had to endure or certain things about herself that she is ashamed of.  This was especially true of her relationship with her best friend, Molly, who is a popular rich girl. 

Molly & Leah’s relationship is strained and strange.  There are a lot of unwritten rules between the two.  Leah feels like Molly’s charity case and she feels like she has to behave a certain way to keep being friends with her.   There are all these limits and walls around their friendship, put in place by both of them.  They have a genuine affection for each other and they need each other, but their positions in society have a way of creating barriers that neither can really ignore.

The other characters in the book, Alec and Grayson, the sons of Leah’s mentor and boss, are a mystery to Leah, at least initially.  When their older brother and their father die within a month of each other, Grayson blackmails Leah into not only flying for his company but also dating Alec, which seems strange, but his reasoning, which we learn much later, really makes you feel for Grayson and made me fall in love with him a little bit more.

Leah’s attraction to Grayson, who seems to her to have everything, including money, good looks, and a mysteriousness that draws her in, has been on simmer since she met them when she was 14.  All these years she’s been in love with him, but she never thought she would ever have a chance with him.  And now he wants her to date his brother for some mysterious reason?  Is it because she’s a supposed “slut”?  So Leah dresses the part and let me tell you, it’s satisfying to see the reaction she gets not only from Alec but also from Grayson.  And then Alec’s not exactly interested in her, but seems to be playing the part. 

At the end of the day, I really liked Leah and Grayson.  It was interesting to see behind the facades that both of them put on for the world.  I liked that Leah was ambitious and stood up for herself, even when she felt vulnerable.  She was strong and despite the fact that she wanted Grayson, she didn’t throw herself at him.  I respected her and I feel like I understood her, even if I didn’t exactly KNOW her.  We had a lot in common in some ways.  I also really liked Grayson because he did what he thought he needed to do to keep his family together. 

Pecans:  4.25/5

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10 thoughts on “Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

  1. Candice September 6, 2012 at 11:13 am Reply

    This book was fabulous! I really REALLY loved it and have been absorbing Echols’ other books like a sponge this week! Great review!!

    • Gone Pecan September 6, 2012 at 11:59 am Reply

      yes, i love all her books, every one that i’ve read. there are a few more i need to read & i’m looking forward to it. i love that most of them take place in the south. 🙂

  2. Brittany September 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm Reply

    I really enjoyed this one too!! 🙂 I liked how Leah was NOT like her reputation. I feel like too many times we see characters that are stereotyped and it was nice to see that she didn’t let herself get sucked into that stereotype and act like it just because that’s how the people grew up around her.
    I loooved the flying aspect of it! I feel like it was pretty original for YA geared towards females so that was really refreshing to read and interesting.
    I need to read more Echols books…

    • Gone Pecan September 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm Reply

      that’s my new motto: read more Echols books. I too loved how Leah was different than what everyone expected of her and what her other actually was. she was a great character.

  3. Crystal Grant (@CrystalBookSnob) September 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm Reply

    Awesome review! I love Jennifer Echols so much! I haven’t read this one yet but I can’t wait 🙂 When you said that the main character is considered trailer trash it kind of reminds me of one of Echols other books Going Too Far which is one of my favorite books ever! I’m so glad you liked Such a Rush 🙂

    • Gone Pecan September 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm Reply

      I have been wanting to read going too far, but my library doesn’t have it. I might have to break down and buy it.

  4. Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook September 7, 2012 at 8:57 am Reply

    I’m really unsure about whether or not I will like this book. I’ve read Major Crush by Echols, and absolutely loved it, but I hated Love Story. And Such a Rush seems more like Love Story than Major Crush. But I’ve been hearing such wonderful things about it, so I borrowed it from the library. Not sure if I will read it, though.

  5. Gone Pecan September 7, 2012 at 9:44 am Reply

    give it a couple chapters. i say more than one because at first, Leah seems a bit harsh, but it’s more a prologue cause she starts out as 14 and the real story is when she’s 18. i think the difference between Major Crush & Love Story is that Major Crush is geared toward a younger audience whereas Love Story & Such a Rush was for a more mature teen (and, ahem, adult) audience. I liked Love Story, but I think this heroine is much different and less annoying, but we all have our issues, right? also, i read somewhere that Jennifer Echols is coming out with an adult book next year, so maybe that’s the direction she’s going in…

  6. bookgoonie September 12, 2012 at 6:30 am Reply

    WOW! I guess your review must be the first on this one Ive read. I’m going to have to pick this one up &/or order it for the school library. Sounds like her story has some lessons worth reading for.

    • Dixie September 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm Reply

      It was very entertaining and I think you’ll like it. 🙂

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