High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she's in the air, it's easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. So when her flight instructor, Mr Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. Then Mr Hall dies suddenly leaving his teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, in charge of running the business. The two brothers have always made their hostility towards her clear so she's sure that her dreams of being a pilot are over…
Then it Grayson makes it clear that he wants her to stay working for him, and Leah doesn't understand why. She's crushed on him for years, but always known he's out of her league… isn't he? As the summer rolls on and they spend more time together the spark between them grows, but with Alec's feelings starting to change too, suddenly things become a whole lot more complicated. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers - and the consequences could be deadly…
Can you believe I have never read anything by Jennifer Echols before? You probably can believe it, because I’m always way, way behind everyone else. I haven’t even read any Sarah Dessen yet! Anyway, this one is a great choice if you haven’t read any Echols before. At least, I think so, but since I haven’t read any of her other books yet I cannot compare them. There’s a lot of drama, an awesome main character, and some steamy scenes. Oh, and it’s got some scary stuff in there too. If you’re scared of heights like I am.
The flying stuff was scary and exhilarating at the same time. I hate heights so I was internally screaming, but also loving it when Leah flew over the beach or went to pick up or drop a banner.
I really connected with Leah, the main character. Like most people I know, feeling a connection to a main character is important if I’m going to enjoy a book. I just can’t get into things with crappy protagonists. Leah really touched my heart. She lives in a trailer, and basically had to raise herself because her mother is hardly ever around, always going off with her boyfriends and forgetting about Leah and the rent. As someone who has never been very well off in the money department (though I definitely haven’t had it as bad as Leah), I really felt for her. I loved that she wanted to work hard to get out of the trailer park, and to accomplish her dream of becoming an airline pilot. She just needed someone to give her a chance.
I didn’t really like any of the other characters aside from Leah. And perhaps Mr Hall. There was a lot of blackmailing, bitchiness, judgement… The characters were awful. I hated them all, and I kind of wanted the Hall brothers to crash their planes and hand the airport over to Leah. I hated the fact that Leah was so nice towards them when all they commented on was how she was sleeping around, she dressed “inappropriately”, etc etc.
Grayson, the actual love interest, is a complete prat. Sure, he’s good looking, and I have to admit I did enjoy his shirtless scenes, but blackmail is not cool. He, along with several other characters as mentioned above, are complete arseholes towards Leah and I hated them for it. Leah deserves so much better.
Something I really loved about this story is how Mr Hall is so prominent. The guy dies very early on in the novel, and yet you could feel his presence the whole way through since he influenced the characters so much. Leah loved him like a father (despite Grayson suggesting they were sleeping together, ugh), and even though he was dead, she wanted to honour his memory and do him proud. Their relationship was the best.
I really did like this book, despite my issues with all the characters apart from Leah and Mr Hall. I wish I could have liked them, but I couldn’t get past their spoiled rich kid attitudes and beliefs, and I didn’t like that they didn’t even improve that much by the end. Leah should have left them.