Review: Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

1 January, 2013 Reviews 12 comments

Review: Such a Rush by Jennifer EcholsSuch a Rush by Jennifer Echols
Series: Standalone
Published by Simon & Schuster AUS on 10th July 2012
Pages: 336
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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three-half-stars

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.

Regardless of whatever else I say in this review – Such a Rush is a good book.  Well-written, funny, smart, heart-touching.  I devoured this novel in a matter of hours.  I ignored family on Christmas day to read it – which is okay, because they’re used to that.

But this doesn’t mean it was a perfect read.  Leah was brilliant but, other than Mr Hall’s brief appearance, she was the singularly likable character in this book. Smart, focused, complex, interesting – everything you want out of a main character except not a single other character in this book deserved to bask in her presence let alone be her friend or date her.

Ready to meet the grand poobah of douchebag love interests?  You thought Daemon from Obsidian was bad?  You thought Daniel Grigori or any other of those dudes was bad?  In my opinion Grayson Hall would probably mop the floor with them.  Daemon might have been rude, Daniel Grigori might have been a prick, but at least none of them assumed the main protagonist was a whore and blackmailed her into dating some other guy!

Grayson treats Leah despicably.  Utterly, utterly despicably and her mercy for him and continued attraction to him was inexplicable to me.  His concern with how much of a whore Leah was, was exceedingly frustrating.  “I’m really attracted to you.  It’s a shame I need to whore you out to my brother and that I’ve convinced myself you’re a filthy creature who has sex with anyone to get her way.  Damn shame.”  Don’t even get me started on her best friend, who I think I might have cheerfully taken out the back and slapped silly.

There is an annoyingly heavy focus on female purity, with the underlying text supporting the importance of not just the abstinence of sex – but the appearance of it too.  This was misleading for me because the beginning of the novel didn’t seem like it would head this way.  It was refreshingly free of the guilt-burden in relation to how young Leah lost her virginity.  Some of the sexual elements were necessary to show the basic facets of Leah’s life.  The rest of it was annoying in its persistence in punishing Leah for having a sex drive.

This novel, whilst I loved it, infuriated me.  I was left yelling at the book – yelling at all the “rich kids” and their stupid faces and how they treated Leah again and again.  How she always just let them off.  The ending was also a little hodge podge and rushed.

Ultimately, though, it was a marvelously thrilling, lovable story.  Prepare to want to hug and hold Leah, to bare your teeth at the world and want to try and make things right for her.

SPOILERS:

Yes, he was grief stricken over the loss of his father blah, de blah, blah, but he felt that way before his father died and he didn’t get really comfortable around Leah until she divulged her entire sexual history to him – which wasn’t much.  That was exceedingly annoying – especially since, when they are sexy-timings, she can tell he’s experienced.  Yet his sexual history is never questioned.  This is so wrong.  So annoying.  If she had to prove she’s not a whore, why doesn’t he?  Gah!  I just want to punch him in the face!

 

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy
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12 Responses to “Review: Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols”

  1. Lilysbookblog

    I agree with the whole Grayson being an ass thing I wasn’t comfortable with him calling Leah a whore, I enjoyed reading this book I really did but I felt the whole time Grayson blackmailing Leah to go out with Alec for (the reason) was stupid! I was expecting something much bigger than that and while I could see how it affected Grayson there were a million other ways he could o handled the situation without blacking mailing a girl to date his brother!
    Great review 🙂

  2. KD

    I’m sick of books like this, ie: Girls who have sex = girls who must suffer. And if they haven’t their only purpose is as a prize for the child-man. It’s a pass for me.

  3. jarndt08

    Hmmmm I don’t like that the MC of this one sounds kind of like a door mat. It sounds like people treat her like utter shite and she just sits back and takes it.  I also don’t like how Grayson sounds.  But what’s weird is that these things makes me really want to read it. I like when I get so mad that I feel emotionally invested. I’ve had this one on my TBR for a while and still can’t wait to get to it. Great review, Kat! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wendy Darling
    Twitter:

    I hear such good things about this book! I didn’t have a good experience with the one previous Echols book I read, though, but knowing you enjoyed it definitely makes me more interested.
    P.S. The cover is totally confusing, but appealing at the same time. o.O

  5. Deb E

    I gotta say this review has had an ununsual effect on me… I’m very tempted to read, just to find out what kind of response I will have to the characters…  I think part of this comes down to you saying it is, in fact, well-written that tempts me. So often, crappily-written characters seem to come with other less than stellar aspects to the writing. There are sooo many fans out there who just love these characters. I suspect I will respond as you have, but I really am tempted to find out for myself…

  6. Adrienne Fray

    Reading the synopsis of this book and your praise for it, it sounded really interesting, but I probably won’t read it because I just can’t stand YA (or any book for that matter) where a character that the protagonist cares about constantly berates her for the choices she makes sexually. It sounds like something that would mar the reading experience of the entire book.
    Great review!

  7. Princess__Ash

    This is why I wait for YOU to review the books I’m not sure I want to read, Kat. You basically told me that the message was shit, as were the other characters. The main character is awesome, yes, but do I want to spend my day reading about persistent slut-shaming? NOPE. Uh, you rock (more than usual) for jumping in front of my Amazon cart like a giant traffic cone with this one.

  8. brokeandbookish

    I’ve only read one Jennifer Echols novel but I’ve been dying to read more from her and have seen this on a TON of best of 2012 lists!  I’m definitely going to read this one but I’m appreciating knowing that there may be some infuriating things ahead for m e!

  9. Karen

    I really liked this book as well but not for the romance. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why Grayson loved Leah when he thought so little of her. 
    I just ranted on Twitter the other day about this. I read yet another book where the guy was a man whore but the girl had to be pure. I’m SO sick of that.

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