*Note: I posted this review on a previous blog of mine, however I loved the book so much that I had to share it on this blog as well.
I am so, so sorry I posted absolutely nothing next week. I got really sick with the flu, so just making it through schoolwork for the week was an uphill climb. I’m back on my feet now (thanks to quite a bit of medication), and in the middle of a really interesting book I was approved for on NetGalley, so hopefully there will be at least 2 blog posts this week. For now though, here’s an oldie from a previous blog, but I loved the book so much I had to share it here.
I received Free to Fall buy Lauren Miller as an ARC in the mail a few days ago, and was immediately enticed by the synopsis I read on the inside flap. Here is the overview, copied from the inside of the book:
Rory Vaughn: a brainy, introverted sixteen-year-old who has always felt like an outsider, although she can’t put her finger on a reason why. When she is accepted into her dream school, Theden, she is shocked to find out that her mother, who died when she was born, also went there and dropped out just before graduation. This is a secret her father has kept for sixteen years.
Theden Academy: the only high school of its kind, Theden is an intense two-year liberal arts program for the strong willed and highly gifted. Students are designated by seven Greek numerical prefixes (the Hepta being the best). Rory is a Hepta.
North Pascal: a handsome, tattooed, coffee barista townie who can quote Milton and knows as much about philosophy as Rory’s classmates. He was banned from Theden’s campus for breaking and entering. This isn’t North’s only secret.Lux: the decision-making app that everyone uses. No longer caught up in the details of their everyday lives—all those endless decisions!—people are free to just enjoy themselves.
Akratic Personality Disorder (APD): a mental illness whose name comes from the Greek word akrasia, the term Plato used for those who act against their better judgment. See also the Doubt.
The Doubt: the colloquial name for the “whisper within” that children hear but adults are taught to ignore.
We live in world that is increasingly dependent on technology, and Miller takes it a step further, by creating an app in her story that is like an advanced Siri. Lux makes decisions for you, such as what to eat, what to wear, where to go, etc. It’s almost scary how reliant the society in this story is on this app, an technology as a whole. However it’s not completely unrealistic, that’s what makes this book so impactful.
I personally really enjoyed Rory as a character. She is heavily reliant on this app, and just like any other member of society at the beginning of the book, which made me hesitant at first. But of course, she changes and develops over the course of the book. She is much like me, not wanting to always go with what society tells her to do, but at the same time too afraid to lose the secure life she has. Seeing her finally do a 180 and wake up fully to the reality of how technology was impacting the world, and not fully for the better, was refreshing.
I also really enjoyed North. His physical appearance was that of a “bad boy”, with tattoos and a mohawk, but once I got to know him as a character, I fell in love with him. Geeky, yet tough, he defied all typical stock characters when it comes to love interests. He was a little bit of everything. Geek, bad boy/rebel, charmer, philosophical nerd, hipster, all around good guy; North was a little bit of everything, and I loved him for that, and I loved Lauren Miller for writing him that way. There was no love triangle, which was a huge relief, and the romance wasn’t the main aspect of the book, which was actually nice since the plot line has never really been done before. It is an original idea, and thankfully was not put in the backseat while the romantic aspect took the front seat.
This book was a little slow to begin with, but once it got started there was no slowing down. Lauren Miller threw in curveballs and plot twists beginning about a third of the way through the book, not only at the end like most authors, which is what made this book so captivating. The possibility of the events in this book eventually becoming reality are also not too far fetched, which is what makes the message of this book really hit home. I’ve studied a lot of the science in this book recently in one of my classes this year, and the realistic side of it is a tad scary. I’m all of a sudden hyper aware of just how often I reach for my phone, and how many of my friends and peers are so often buried in the screens of their various technological devices.
I highly recommend this book for pretty much anyone. It is extremely relevant to today’s society, has a likable heroine, a nice romantic twist to it, and is entirely captivating. I loved Free to Fall so much in fact that as soon as I finished it I headed to the bookstore in search of Lauren Miller’s debut novel, Parellel, which I am extremely excited to read!
Until next time,