Published by HarperTeen on May 13th 2014
Genres: Dystopian, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness? What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice?
What if you never had to fall?
Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results. Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school. Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.
~ I really enjoyed Lauren Miller’s book Parallel, so I was very excited for this one, and a bit nervous. But no worries, everything I liked about Parallel I found in Free To Fall, and now I can officially claim Miller as a must read author.
~ The future/dystopian world that Miller comes up with is one we’re practically living now. Almost everyone lives their lives dependent on their electronics. Simple choices, which seem so annoying, are suddenly made easy. The temptation is easy to give into. Do you know how much time the Hubs and I waste over discussing where to eat or what movie to see? It’s ridiculous!
~ The Doubt is pretty much our inner voice. Now it’s considered a bad thing, because it can lead to “dangerous choices”. Which is totally legit, because less than a year ago my inner voice demanded bangs, and it was a tragic choice. I’m still growing that shiz out.
~ Rory’s mom passed away in childbirth, which is always sad, but she seems to have a good dad and a decent step mom although we don’t really see too much of them.
~ Normally I takes lots and lots of notes, but I didn’t want to with this book, I just wanted to read and read.
~ Rory’s best friend is Beck, who is a guy. He isn’t secretly pining for Rory, nor is he the obligatory gay best friend. Well, he might be gay, but it was nice not to have him fit into the usual best male friend box.
~ Rory gets accepted into Theden Academy, which is a super cool school that pays for all the students needs and supplies them with all the latest tech. It’s hard to get into, so you mostly have students that are like Rory- hard working overachievers.
~ So this book has: awesome technology, private boarding school, creepy cemetery on the grounds, coffee shops, secret societies, hot baristas, and mystery up the wazoo. Sold!
~ Um, what is up with Hershey’s name? It’s never explained, although I do like the snobby roommate morphing into a maybe friend storyline.
~ North is the hot coffee shop barista, and not the offspring of Kayne and Kim. He’s also the only person to, apparently, have read the terms of agreement for the Lux. Kudos to him. Because if I read all the actual terms and agreement of all the sites/apps/electronics I use, then I’d probably still be using a typewriter and carphone. Just saying.
~ With Dr. Tarsus all I could think about was that she was either a Snape or an Umbridge. In my notes you can totally see every time I tried to guess which one she was. I was wrong several times.
~ And there’s a masquerade ball! One of the times that I wish books were all illustrated. Rory’s peacock mask sounds gorgeous.
~ While I guessed some of the mystery early on (like a certain baby daddy mystery), Miller kept blindsiding me with reveals I didn’t see coming. Which I loved.
~ I wish my inner voice was as smart and future predicting as Rory’s is!
~ Once we delve a little into North’s life, his hotness stock goes way up in my book! But I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t say anything more. *looks innocent*
~ Oh, Hershey. She’s complex.
~ A lot of Paradise Lost references.
~ Also, this book has something to offer math geeks out there. Which is cool. I personally don’t like math, but I love when a main character in a YA or Middle Grade book are good at it, since I think it’s important to make math seem like a good think instead of the evil torture it really is. 😉
~The only real drawbacks to this book was that I would have liked to see more connections for Rory. Her friendship with Beck isn’t featured as strongly as I would have liked, nor with her dad, or even some of the people at her school. We’re introduced to two girls at her lunch table, but I know next to nothing about them. I could have used more day to day story to round Rory out more.
~ Nanobots. *shiver*
~ Honestly, so much fun and twists, ya’ll should definitely read it!
Rory- our main character, smart and dedicated. She’s also kind of kick ass in her search for the truth.
North- hot barista, likes to live off the grid.
Hershey- rich, spoiled roommate of Rory’s, although they’re from the same hometown they barely knew each other before attending Theden.
Beck- Rory’s photographer best friend, like North he’s not super crazy about the Lux.
Liam- preppy nerd who’s the class president of Theden, and Rory’s admirer.
Dr. Tarsus- is she a Snape or an Umbridge? Place your bets now and then read to find out!
Griffin Payne- CEO of Gnosis.
Dean Atwater- dean of Theden school.
Honestly? There were a lot. Like when Rory goes to North’s apartment and sees a certain jacket. But the biggest duh moment was when I figured out a very sneaky but obvious thing about Theden Academy.
Stop the Clock:
I think this book should be marketed with some sea sickness pills, because the plot twists will definitely leave your head spinning- in a good way! All the things I loved about Parallel seem to be here in Free to Fall!
Free To Fall gets a Midnight Book rating of: