Published: July 10, 2012
Publisher: MTV Books
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.
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.
My Review: Flying is something that's always been something close to my heart. There's really nothing like flying a plane and being able to look at the ground below you.
It was very easy for me to connect with Leah but it might be more difficult for people that don't share a love for flying and have strict views on how relationships should work but it's still very possible because Leah is such a strong and brave character. She came from a background that immediately put her at a disadvantage due to her money issues and the fact that people constantly judged her. I don't think most people would have the will and the courage to change their future if they started out like Leah. I'm sure many of them want to but there's a difference between wanting and doing.
I was pleastnly surprised by how accurate the descriptions of how small airports work and how small airplanes work. The author definitely did her research because I don't think she missed anything. That being said, I'm not an expert on planes, I've just flown in the same little Piper Cherokee for as long as I can remember.
One of my problems with this book was Grayson. That guy was an asshole. He basically blackmails Leah into dating his brother and insults her every chance he gets. His brother and his father recently died but I don't think that's an excuse to treat someone like that. He even manipulates his brother. I honestly don't understand why Leah had a crush on him after he kept insulting her and basically calling her a whore. He does get nicer by the end but I'm still not a fan.
Honestly the only likeable characters in this book were Leah and Mr. Hall. I just wanted to punch all the other characters in the face. Especially Molly and the rich kids. The rich kids were just so awful to Leah because they thought that she was a slut and that she was trash because of the way she acted and she lived in a trailer. And Alec (Grayson's twin brother that Leah was blackmailed into dating) was so plain and boring. There was no excitement about him and I barely felt bad that Grayson was manipulating him because I barely felt anything for him.
Since I wasn't a huge fan of Grayson I didn't like the romance part of the book as much as I normally would have. I went into this book knowing that there was sex and that Leah first had sex when she was fourteen so it didn't come as a surprise and it didn't really bother me because expecting every single teenager to wait until they are older or even married to have sex is just so unrealistic to me. I'm still in high school and I know for a fact that some people in my grade are no longer virgins. If someone believes that people should wait until after they are married then this book is definitely not for them. I also wouldn't recommend this book to anyone under 13.
Even though I didn't like some parts of the book I still really enjoyed it. It took awhile to get into but once the story really started I could barely put the book down.