Such a Rush
When I was fourteen, I made a decision. If I was doomed to live in a trailer park next to an airport, I could complain about the smell of the jet fuel like my mom, I could drink myself to death over the noise like everybody else, or I could learn to fly.
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.
But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.
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. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.
Jennifer Echols: The Acclaimed Young Adult Author Revealed
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Reading Group Guide
Everyone needs an escape. For Leah Jones, that escape is flying. When she’s in the cockpit of a plane she can leave her troubles—her undependable mother, the fact that most of her fellow high school seniors call her trash, and the knowledge that Grayson Hall, the boy she has given her heart to, barely recognizes her existence—on the ground below. But when Mr. Hall, her flight instructor, and the only dependable adult in her life, dies unexpectedly, Leah is afraid her one escape has been ripped from her grasp forever.
When Mr. Hall’s sons—Alec and Grayson—return to the hangar to take over their father’s business, Leah’s life takes an unexpected turn. Grayson has discovered her most damning secret and uses it to blackmail her into working for him—both as a pilot and as the means to an end in a mysterious secret involving Alec. Caught between the brother she loves and the brother she is supposed to love, Leah realizes that life, like flying, is dangerous: make just one mistake and the consequences can spin out of your control.
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