Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Title: Such a Rush
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books
Length: 336 pages, Hardcover
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

"'Heeeeeeey!' I called in a parody of some girl who was not being blackmailed and was naturally sweet and gave a shit about other people."

I just adored Leah. She didn't kid herself over her shitty upbringing, less than ideal circumstances, and difficult future. I mean, she lived in a trailer park, the popular girls at school tormented her, and she barely got a proper meal let alone a car, tv etc. She learned to take care of herself a long time ago and got what she could out of life. She was confident, sassy, smart, and capable. She is not your damsel in distress, why is my life so hard, pity-me type. She's tough and just awesome. And for the sake of this novel, she had to be because this book is really about how she handles what life throws at her, including Grayson Hall.

I had to admit, I liked Grayson, even when he was a dick to Leah. To me, he was very human and I could understand why he acted the way he did. I am not saying it was right or ok - it was very, very, wrong - but that I understood it. We have all formed a wrong impression of someone at some point and have probably acted less than friendly as a result. Grayson made a very wrong initial judgement of Leah. He saw a confident, good looking girl, who showed off her assets and could turn up the charm to get what she wanted. When his "stingy"divorced father was giving out free flying lessons he assumed the worst. He was an angry boy and acted and thought blindly. Granted, Grayson didn't give Leah much of a chance to change his opinion and he blackmailed her to do what he wanted but he was giving Leah a job she actually wanted and well asking her to pretend show interest in his (extremely good looking) brother could be worse. It's obvious Jennifer Echols didn't want Grayson to be a monster. Just misguided and desperate.

"Now that I couldn't see Grayson, I could sense so much more in his tone. Loss of one brother. Love for the other. Desperation to hold together what was left of his family. Failure."

As for the other characters, they were really just fillers. I wanted to bitch slap Molly for the way she acted. She wasn't a good friend and did treat Leah like a charity case - it drove me bananas. Not to mention, she was the type to blame Leah for all her problems, you know the whole "why do you get everything I want, can't I have anything" type. As for Alec, he was kinda boring.

I would have liked to see more of the chemistry and romance between Grayson and Leah. It happened way too late in the story (is this a spoiler or is this obvious?). And Grayson ended up being so cute.

"'I hope we stay together for a long, long time. I'll never get used to looking at you."

I just sighed and let out a big "Awwwww!".
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