Some books just have a great cover, don't you think? I know, you can't tell a book by it's cover, but a cover can draw a reader in and make her want to bring that book home. This cover was like that for me. I read about Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols on several book blogs that I follow. One blog post in particular made this book sound irresistible. As I was reading, I will admit that I was reluctant to put it down and found no difficulty getting through it quickly. Sadly, this book was missing something for me.
This is a Young Adult novel and while I have read several pieces of YA fiction that I have truly enjoyed, this one had the same disappointing feel that I have found in much of the YA genre that I have read. I wish I knew how to describe that feeling. Perhaps it is the lack of depth or of character development. Leah is a 14-year-old girl who has had a tough life. She gets a job at the small airport in town and soon becomes obsessed with learning to fly. Three years later she has made that dream a reality, but something threatens to take it away.
I will grant you that Leah is brave and driven, but I can't say I loved her character. It makes me crazy to read about a character, especially a female character, that I just want to shake. Leah is an underprivileged young girl who lives in a trailer park with her often absent mother. She is treated like trailer trash by most of the people she knows. In most cases, this makes her want to do better, to be more, however she often lets other people's opinions of her get to her. When she becomes frustrated, she often says something like "Oh, you think I'm a whore? Well, then, I'll just dress and act like a whore." Of course the reader can easily see the error of her judgement, but Leah can't and that started to annoy me by the end of the book.
Also, Leah and her best friend Molly do a lot of that thing that some girls do that really irritates me: referring to one another in a derogatory manner. "Hey, Bitch!" is a common greeting. Why? I don't understand using such ugly terms with a friend. Then again, they two girls don't always act like friends.
And my final complaint is that this isn't a book I would want my teenage daughter to read. I have read many debates on book blogs about whether or not sex should be a part of stories about teenagers. Many people will say, "They are doing it so you might as well face it." Others will say, "Just because some teens are doing it doesn't mean we should glorify it in fiction." I say, if a writer feels it is important to the story (and sometimes it actually is), then she should feel free to include it. That being said, I also feel that might disqualify it as a book I can freely recommend. Unfortunately, when teenagers have sex, they aren't always making smart decisions. Personally, I don't think a teenager understands enough about the world to make those decisions and I fear they often result in regret, but like I said, that is my personal belief.
This book was entertaining and a quick read. It contained some interesting themes and I loved that Leah was able to see that her mother's life was not a path she wanted to follow. I just wish there had been something more to it.