Published by Simon & Schuster AUS on 10th July 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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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.
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!