TITLE: Such a Rush
AUTHOR: Jennifer Echols
PUBLISHER/YEAR: MTV Books / 2012
Goodreads / Author's Website
I have so many feelings about this book. On the one hand, I kind of loved it, but on the other I just wanted to yell and scream at everybody in the book. Like, Leah is a pretty great main character, super flawed, makes a ton of bad decisions, but she's unique and pretty awesome and driven. But seriously, what is up with the slut shaming? I'm running the gamut of emotions right now.
So Leah is this super flawed girl. She's grown up in trailer parks. Her mother's pretty much abandoned her. The mother's boyfriends are abusive. She has no money. All she has in life is flying and a super touching (but way to short) pseudo-father/daughter relationship with Mr. Hall, the owner of an aviation company next door to the trailer park. I loved her drive and her need to live a fulfilling life, with more in it than what she'd grown up with. I also totally got why she was so tough and defensive all the time. She had it rough and was terrified to let people in. Yes she made mistakes. Yes she provoked people. But overall, pretty awesome character.
The thing is Leah's head over heels for Grayson Hall, one of Mr. Hall's twins. But I do not get the attraction. He basically just calls her a slut from the time they meet on. Such a jerk. At the same time, I kind of found myself falling for the bad boy attitude and then his need to prove himself as a mature business owner. It all kind of collided to make this confused, attractive character..... who was still a slut shaming jerk.
But it's really not just him. Pretty much everybody Leah knows assumes she's a whore. The fuck is up with that? She dresses kind of trashy partly to prove a point partly because of the people she's surrounded by, but she's probably one of the more responsible teenagers out there. Even her best friend assumes she's out sleeping around. It's crazy. And infuriating. It's all so tied up with the appearance of virginity, like some of the male characters have way more sexual experience, but aren't treated the way Leah is.
Here's the good though, there are some frank discussions about teenagers and sexuality. They're done in a pretty realistic and responsible way. Birth control is brought up. There are no surprise pregnancies here and Leah doesn't feel guilt over her own sex drive which I think is pretty great. I didn't get the feeling Echols herself was slut shaming Leah or trying to send a message that all teenage girls should be chaste.
The ending was also kind of predictable and a little too tidy, which was disappointing. I pretty much devoured this book and was hoping for a little more. But overall it was a great read. I loved getting into Leah's head, she really made the book for me. I read it over the course of a few transit trips and seriously did not want to put it down when I got to my stop.