I don’t know about you guys, but I’m afraid of a lot of things. The list includes cults, serial killers, shortening, people in masks, infestations (any kind, I don’t discriminate), small spaces, any and all horror films, public speaking, full-body mascot costumes, roundabouts, ordering things I don’t know how to pronounce at restaurants, strange men, strange women, the soundtrack to Twin Peaks and icebreaker games. That’s just a partial list, but you get the point. I’m a fearful person, okay? That’s probably why I love reading books about girls who are totally fearless, like Leah, the teenage pilot in Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols.
Leah seems destined to fly. She grew up in trailer parks, and not the crazy, campy, John Waters type of trailer parks. Leah lives in the kind of trailer parks where people go when they give up, the kind of trailer parks that always end up being next to airports because the people who live there won’t complain. It’s in the latest trailer park, living with her mostly absent mother, that Leah finally gets the courage to take a flight class. Mr. Hall, who owns Hall Aviation, takes her under his wing (pun intended; sorry guys) and Leah eventually learns to fly. Soon she has a job flying a banner plane, hauling advertisements targeted at beachgoers. But when Mr. Hall suddenly dies, his two sons, Alec and Grayson, return to take over the family business. Leah’s afraid her great job and her dream of flying may be over for good.
Fortunately, Grayson wants her to work for him. Unfortunately he also blackmails her into dating his brother for reasons Leah doesn’t yet understand. Soon, she’s forced to balance her rocky home life, her job, her attempts to seduce Alec and her rapidly developing feelings for Grayson. Oh, and she’s also flying a plane. No bigs.
All of the scenes involving flying were tense and definitely captured my attention (I’m afraid of everything, remember?), but my favorite part of the book was the romance. I’ve mentioned my love of a good romance before, and Such a Rush delivers. This was another book that had me flipping through the pages to figure out how these two crazy kids could make it work.
-Brother love triangles are one of my favorite things in books (like Jenny Han’s Summer series) or movies (like While You Were Sleeping). Has this ever happened in real life? Please, let me know if this is something you’ve ever had experience with. Inquiring romance-loving minds want to know.
-Leah is a unique YA protagonist. While I love the typical shy, bookish girls who largely populate YA, it’s refreshing to read about a character who wears skimpy clothes and is known for being beautiful and kind of reckless. Plus, she’s dealing with some real family problems, and everything’s not necessarily tied up perfectly in the end.
-Jennifer Echols has also written a ton of other YA romances, like The One That I Want, Love Story and Forget You.
Big thanks to Small Girls PR for clueing me in to this awesome book and for hooking us up with a giveaway! Such a Rush comes out on July 10th, but you can win a copy right now. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post saying what you’re doing to get Such a Rush this summer….are you taking an exciting vacation? Going skydiving? Just living vicariously through fictional characters by reading a book about teenage pilots (that one is my pick, in case you couldn’t tell)? One lucky commenter will win a copy of Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols! The contest ends at midnight on Tuesday, July 3rd, and I’ll announce the winner in next week’s column on Saturday, July 7th. Please remember to check the column next week to see if you’re the winner. For serious, you guys, you can’t win if I can’t contact you!
As always, I love to hear what books you’d like to see next in Young Adult Education! E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, find me on Twitter @KerryAnn or leave a comment!
Image via Goodreads