Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols Review

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Title: Such a Rush
Author: Jennifer Echols (Twitter)
Publisher: MTV Books
Publish Date: July 10, 2012
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 325
Source: Publicist

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.

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.
Leah doesn't have an idyllic life, and she's okay with that - so long as she can take to the skies, escape reality and find her peace every chance she gets thanks to the generosity of Mr. Hall. When he dies unexpectedly though, Leah's already tumultuous life is thrown off balance once again. Enter Alec and Grayson Hall, Mr. Hall's twin sons, who are ready to run the business together. But Leah knows something is up when Grayson starts pushing his own dubious agenda on her, coaxing her toward Alec and blackmailing her when she protests. Will she be able to escape the warring brothers, or will she just remain caught in the crossfire?

There's a subtle beauty to Such a Rush that really shone through for me, making this one of those standout contemporary novels in terms of honesty. Author Jennifer Echols has this innate ability to write flawed characters, grasping at their weaknesses and transforming them into these beings that we can relate to, we can root for and we become invested in. With immense skill, we're pulled into a story of a girl who's grown up in the school of hard knocks, and she's learned to never let anyone in. Yet, Such a Rush slowly but surely draws us into the heart of this hardened character, and we witness as she transforms from the inside out.

At first, I'll be honest, I didn't know what to think of Leah. I thought her tough-girl facade was phony and disingenuous and, though I empathized with her situation, I had a hard time actually feeling anything for her. However, as Leah's home situation is revealed throughout Such a Rush, it becomes apparent that this facade acts as her shield, protecting a very sensitive and tender person who has had to grow up far too fast simply to compensate for her absent and neglectful mother. I also hated Grayson at first. His character was so manipulative and surly, and when I saw how he used Leah for his own means with no true explanation as to why, I was immediately on my guard. Ever-so-slowly though, we watch as his anger melts away into a semblance of vulnerability, which reaches Leah on her own level, giving us something to root for. The attraction between them isn't immediately apparent, but there's definitely emotion smoldering beneath the surface. At first, it's red-hot rage, then a slow-burning anger, which eventually leads to a level upon which the two can actually relate and we can sense their overall character development, which sends the story flying from start to finish. I do think that Alec's character was a bit under-developed in terms of how Leah and Grayson's were though, and that frustrated me to no end, especially when their interactions caused a few lags in the plot.

All in all, I really enjoyed Such a Rush despite a few hiccups along the way. It's a fast-paced read that had me hooked from start to finish. I give it a 3.5 out of 5, and I definitely recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy contemporary fiction.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. I love the cover of this one. Also, I had no idea MTV published books, but then I clicked the link and saw it's an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

  2. I didn't know they published books either haha I was so confused till I found out the same info you did ;)

  3. You liked this book so much more than I did! Personally, I didn't like Leah all that much. While I could feel for her, her relationship with Grayson made me mad. What guy blackmails you into dating his brother but continues to be an ass (and basically calls you a slut?). I'm glad it worked for you though!

  4. I wasn't a huge fan of this one, for some reason, and Leah and Grayson's relationship didn't sit well with me. But, then again, most of Echols's work is a miss with me, but I'm glad you enjoyed this one for the most part. Great review! :)

  5. I keep debating about whether or not I want to read this one. Flawed characters are awesome, but I'm not too sure that I would like the characters in this book....Hmm.

    Nice honest review :)

  6. I definitely agree with much of what you said. I think I managed to overcome it in the novel...but let's be honest...that would SO not fly in real life ;)

  7. Yeah, Echols is hit or miss for me, and this was actually one of the better ones for me at a 3.5, but I totally see where you're coming from!

  8. Oh, yes, the flying was by far the best part! I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one that had trouble connecting with Leah though!

  9. It's a struggle at the start, and I'll be honest - it's not one of those where you absolutely HAVE to drop everything and read it now, but it's not a bad read by any means!

  10. I definitely enjoyed this one! Jennifer Echols books don't always work for me, but this has been my favourite of hers since Going Too Far.

  11. Lovely review, Melissa.
    I agree that Leah was definitely not easy to connect with at first, but she definitely grew on me. I agree that Grayson was completely manipulative, but by the end, I grew to really love him. My favorite aspect of this book was definitely the flying!


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