Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
Rating: 3.5~4 stars
Contemporary novels really aren't my thing. I don't mind reading a few once in a while, but the whole everyday drama kind of bores me. High School drama especially. But I wanted to have a go at reading Such a Rush as there had been some high praises about it and also the author seemed to have written nice books before. It was actually a pretty good contemporary YA novel. I didn't completely enjoy it, but I still liked it enough. It's probably not something I will re-read, but I finished it and felt like it was a book worth reading.
This book talked about a girl (Leah) who lived in trailer parks next to airports all her life, moving around with her "white trash mother" (quote from book). She had to fend for herself and when she was fourteen, she decided that if she was going to have something she wanted in live for once she was going to learn to fly. She became a talented pilot. However, when she was eighteen and could take flying as a pilot as a proper job, her teacher and employer died suddenly, leaving his buiness for his twin sons. The girl then got blackmailed to work for one of the sons and there developed a story between her and the two brothers.
I learnt a lot about flying and planes through reading this. I had never really shown much of an interest in aeroplanes before, and never thought about what someone would need to do to become a pilot. Maybe once upon a time when I was younger, I wanted to learn to fly, but I would never be able to become a pilot anyway as I don't have perfect 20/20 vision. It was interesting reading about the pilot trainings (I finding out the trainings are actually very expensive) and about how to actually fly a plane. When the main characters, especially Leah, the central character, got a rush as they fly their plane, I felt the rush too. When they saw the amazing view from the top of the sky and enjoy their freedom in the air, I felt that too. And that was what I loved most about this book. I seemed to experience those particular experience (flying experiences) with the characters. The author even included some episodes about crash-landing planes! Not awesome to experience, but pretty cool to read about.
Perhaps it's because the huge difference between the main character Leah and me, I never really felt close to her as a character. I also don't quite feel comfortable with some of the events and experiences of the characters (especially Leah) in this book. Like the book had put it, "we live in different worlds". Her life story is so different from mine, and maybe I would have understood her better if I knew someone in real life who was like her. But I don't. So it was hard for me to picture and understand Leah's life, always moving, living in trailer parks without a real home, having to care for herself and even paying rent and food because no one cares for her. It would have been a hard life. I'm not going to try to say I understand her life now, because I don't. I do know that even though she had a hard life, she hated sympathy and be the charity case. She had a back bone and she took control of her own life, making it the best she could. I admire that. I also admire the fact that even though her unemployed single mother (her mother had her when she was fifteen) was a very bad influence on her, she vowed not to be like her mother and have a good life herself. She never scooped low like other girls living in trailer parks. Because how poor she was, she always got bullied, but she also stood up for herself and had control over situations. She was tough. I respected that. Leah was an independent and likable character, but I truly can't compare myself with her and some of her actions/interactions.
Grayson and Alec, who were the twin brothers, were both puzzling characters. I really didn't get Grayson and Leah's relationship. And I can't say more because it would ruin parts of the book for those who want to read it. Let's just say it's rather bizzare for my mind, but maybe not for some. Alec and Grayson were so different, yet sometimes they think about the same things and act the same. I'm not sorry when I say that neither of them are who I would like to have as my boyfriend. Maybe Leah liked them, or one of them, but again, they are not really people I'm used to.
At the start of the book, the writing of the book seemed to drag on a bit. It's not so much the plot that dragged, the plot actually moved at a good pace, but at the beginning the author described somethings too long. She also wrote a bit too much about Leah's reactions towards things or her thoughts (it's written in first-person). The way she wrote, particularly at the start, seemed to distance the actual events took place from the readers. At first, it felt like I'm looking at all of what's happening from far away. This changed as we read on. The reader became more involved in the story and the dragging disappeared. I was actually very happy with the ending. For once, yay! I liked the way the book ended, and I liked how the characters matured and changed over the course of the book.
Not just factual things, this book also taught me and showed a lot about lost and forgiveness, as well as moving on with life. Some of the topics in there were quite heavy, but there was always some light relief, the rush and high of flying, as well as genuine love. The author described those themes very well and it was a pleasure to read and learn about these things. The ways the characters dealt with their grief and problems were also things that I could learn from, and for some of them, warnings to the reader. I liked how that out of all the pressure and trouble, true love can still be found, that love can and will last through the hardest of all things.
All in all, this is a book worth reading. It's a good stand-alone book and I haven't read one of those in ages. It's rather emotional and can be heavy at times. But through reading it, you can perhaps learn something new and have a better understanding of some people's lives. The writing was a good quality. I may not have connected very much with the characters in this book due to different dispositions, but it was an enjoyable, different and unique read. If you like contemporary, you should definitely give it a go, if not it's still worth putting on your TBR list and have a read when you have time.
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.