Free To Fall by Lauren Miller
Harper Teen, 469 pages
US Release Date: May 13, 2014
Format/Source: Print ARC via Around the World Tours - thank you!
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Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision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.
How many sunsets would it take to remind him of what was true?
I’m always astounded by Lauren Miller’s writing. I think it’s fairly obvious she’s a screenwriter, because there’s so much depth and story to her books. There’s a shocking amount of thought and intelligence woven into each plot, and I read every single one like I’m watching Inception or something.
One of the reasons I wanted to read this book is because of the premise and how it’s one of those futures that doesn’t seem too far away—it’s likely and almost probable. Ignoring the politics to make it happen, I completely see all our technology merging into one, similar to Gnosis, and having this crazy ridiculous influence in our life—like Lux. How many of us already turn to social media for ideas, opinions, help, advice? Who never looks up directions because you just plug into into your phone or GPS and it tells us the distance and time? All of this happens in Free to Fall, and I can completely seeing it happen to us in real life.
Aside from the social commentary, Free To Fall was a fantastic story, filled with some great friendships, hot boys (wooooo!), and a great mix of intrigue and drama and comedy—there’s even a secret society!! How could you say no to a book with a secret society?!
Like I mentioned, there are a lot of layers to this plot. Like…a lot. A. LOT. And sometimes I felt slightly lost or like it was a little convoluted, especially as it’s all revealed how they relate or influence the other, so definitely read carefully guys. But it’s all completely worth it, to know and learn of this compelling story.
I feel like I’m making this seem like a really serious book, and it isn’t entirely. There’s a lot of fun, too. There are some great friendships, lovely coffee shop meetings, and even a fun masked ball! No matter how much happens in this book, it’s still set in high school, and encompasses all the drama and angst of those years, too.
So, I have to talk about the boys and the ending. No spoilers, of course…but I thought both were a bit predictable and wrapped up too nicely---but I don’t really mean it in a bad way. I’m glad all turned out the way they did, that everything came to the conclusion it did, because somehow it all just fit. It was a nice commentary on life and slowing down and having the freedom of choice and failing and falling. And those are lessons I think we all need a reminder of.