I was looking forward to reading Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols after reading the synopsis. Fight over twin brothers and pilots no less? Yes, please! I’d heard good things about Echols and as the first book I’ve read of hers, I had high expectations.
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.
I’m sorry to say, but this book left a sour taste in my mouth. I really, really wanted to like it but I just didn’t. The story was interesting and at times dramatic but it didn’t work for me.
First, I hated the segmented, disjointed beginning. There wasn’t a clear beginning, middle and end to the timeline; it was strangely written and weirdly organized. Second, I HATED Leah. I tried so, so hard to feel sympathy for the pretty girl who grew up in the trailer park with no money and a bad mother. I couldn’t because she didn’t allow anyone in or allow anyone to help her. I have no sympathy for people who don’t take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. However, I did admire her drive to save all her money to take flying lessons. Also, I found it really hard to believe that she worked at the airport with the brothers for three years but didn’t know anything about them. It wasn’t realistic.
The awkward relationships Echols created between Leah and the brothers were painful to watch. Their actions had horrible motives and their interactions were just…awkward. I hated how Echols portrayed Grayson. He is SO mean to Leah, like the biggest douche that’s ever been yet he’s secretly in love with her. Usually that’s a good romantic twist, in this book, I call BS. Even when they’re together there wasn’t any chemistry or even romantic emotions. Ugh! It was so frustrating! I hated the way Leah saw herself. I’m sure Echols was trying to portray her as poor, downtrodden trailer trash but her thought process was so messed up and misled it made me sick! For example, she thinks she has to trade sex for anything she wants or if anyone gives her anything, just because people perceive her as a whore. What?? NOT OKAY!?! What’s worse is she doesn’t do anything to defend herself and just goes with it?? Young people are reading this! Echols, how dare you mess with their minds by making it seem like its okay! It’s not okay! I’m sorry; I’ll get off my soapbox.
One good thing was the way Echols puts the reader in the cockpit when Leah is flying. It was really fun to read and realistic for the most part. I’ve never flown a plane so I don’t know, but it seemed pretty real to me. The story was written to be “deep” and emotional, but the only emotion I felt was frustration. The story was interesting and ended well but the characters were so messed up that there wasn’t a happy ending for me.