Source: bought paperback
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: June 6th, 2013
Age Genre: Due to sexual situations and themes, I would rate this NA
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 have to admit, Echols has the best and most interesting settings. Like in Dirty Little Secret, which was all about fiddle playing, Such a Rush brings to the plate the unique setting of piloting planes. I've never read such a book and I enjoyed the ride--or, well, the flight--even though I'm one of the people who go "hmm, plane" rather than watching it fly.
I'm beginning to understand Echols writes really humane characters. And that means, you're going to hate them sometimes. You're going to want to shake them, or slap them, or tell them to 'snap out of it!'.
Take Leah, for example. For the most part, she's a really great character. She cares greatly, and she's doing everything in her powers to get away from the bad place she was born in and live a good and happy life doing something she truly and honestly loves. But then there will be all the parts with Mark, when you'd be like 'how can you do that?' especially since she usually has more respect toward herself.
Then there's Grayson. He was the reason I was not sure about this book at first, because at page 86 it seems like he was becoming Sam, the male protagonist of Dirty Little Secret whom I completely hated. But he wasn't. I could relate and understand Grayson. I could even swoon for him, even though the majority of the time I wanted to throttle him and tell him to stop what he's doing.
The only two things I really didn't like were A. the time span of this book. It seems like a lot of time passes in this book, but it doesn't. It was kind of a complete shock to realize it's been a week. One effing week, and all this stuff happened, and they fall in love (p.s - don't let the summary fool you. There is no "love triangle"), and it somehow helps them heal, even a little bit. While I didn't feel it was so short while reading (kudos for that, Echols!), it did bother me when I realized that.
B. Would they really be allowed to take over the business? They are not even out of high-school. It seemed kind of bizarre to me, but maybe that's because I've never had a family business and I don't know how they really work.
All in all, I really liked this one. I can certainly see myself picking up more of her books after reading it.