Saturday 11 August 2012

Review: Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Such a Rush is the highly anticipated new novel by popular teen/young adult author, Jennifer Echols. Even though Echols' Forget You and Going Too Far impressed me a great deal when I first started reading her books, her more recent releases, Love Story and The One That I Want didn't really hit the mark which made me dubious and put off reading Such a Rush for some time.

Unlike many people who love this book and compare it to Echols' earlier treasures, I can't say that it ticks all the boxes.

The novel starts with a flashback of Leah Jones (our main character) at 14 years old making the life changing decision to not be like her mom and all the other people living in her trailer park next to the airport by learning how to fly. I thought this was quite inspiring actually, the way that Leah at only 14 took her life into her own hands when she knew that nobody else would help her by asking for a job at the airport and making the money she needed to try and make her dream come true.

After the reader sees how Leah starts her flying lessons with aerial banner-advertising business owner, Mr Hall and how she meets Mr Halls' twin sons Grayson and Alec Hall the book then cuts to 3 years later, where Mr Hall has died and Leah, Grayson and Alec are now 18 years old. Reading the blurb, I thought that after the death of Mr Hall, Grayson and Alec would run the business together and both fall for Leah which is what I thought the book would be about: Leah unsure about which brother to choose. That wasn't the case. Basically, Grayson blackmails Leah into working for him and fake-dating Alec but Leah doesn't have feelings for Alec, she only has feelings for the boy forcing her to date his brother... I guess you don't choose the people you like?

Grayson irritated me non-stop throughout the book. I really didn't understand his appeal as a love interest, all he seemed to do was push Leah away emotionally and push her towards Alec. Yes, he does things to keep people he loves safe but the way he goes about it just hurts everybody around him. Grayson doesn't really have any redeeming qualities, apart from his good looks but I couldn't conjure up an image of an attractive Grayson in my head when all I could think about was his egotistical characteristics. Alec wasn't really much better, both Alec and Grayson neglected everybody else's feelings when they made choices about themselves.

I liked Leah better as a character, her determination and loyalty was inspiring. However, I felt like Leah judged and stereotyped the people she didn't understand and the people she didn't actually know which I thought was quite ironic because she complained how people judged her and labelled her as a 'slut' because of her background but she continued to do the same to the people around her. None of the characters in Such a Rush, I feel, are very memorable.

I do think that the premise of Such a Rush is an original one. The story line was hard to predict at the beginning of the novel and although it became more predictable towards the end, the fact that I couldn't really guess what was going to happen at first made me enjoy the book more. On the subject of the plot, a big part of the novel was the reasoning behind Grayson's need to blackmail Leah into dating Alec. There was a lot of build up to the final revelation but I felt like when we did find out, it was very anticlimactic. The reasoning made sense but after so much angst and questions, I was expecting more.

There was a lot of hype for this book despite the disappointment of Love Story and it is safe to say that Such a Rush is much better that than Echols' last book, Love Story. The premise of Such a Rush held such promise and it is an intriguing one but I think the characters let the plot down a bit.

Music choice: (No, I didn't pick Airplanes by B.O.B but yes, there were many in Such a Rush.)
I have decided on Weightless by All Time Low - the lyrics perfectly portray Leah's choice to get up and do something different with her life and also, weightless... flying? Get it? :)

Listen now!

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