Review: Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
From the author of Parallel comes a high-stakes romantic puzzler set in a near-future where everyone's life is seamlessly orchestrated by personal electronic devices. Imaginative and thrilling, this fast-paced story with two starred reviews is not to be missed.

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes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 to follow 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.

After reading and loving Lauren Miller's upcoming All Things New, I immediately added her other two novels to the top of my TBR pile. Free to Fall was the first one up, and I had an inkling I would enjoy it based on the boarding school setting and the futuristic plot (an app that makes all your decisions for you? Now that sounds interesting!). Luckily, Free to Fall blew me away. Combining an intricate, well developed plot, likable characters, and a swoon-worthy romance, Free to Fall had me sacrificing sleep to read more.

One of my favorite aspects of Free to Fall were the characters. Rory was incredibly likable and relatable. Rory starts the book off being slightly unsure of herself. She's just accepted into Theden Academy, an exclusive, highly sought out boarding school, and she's not sure if she's going to thrive there. As the book progressed, however, not only does Rory find her place in life but she also becomes this strong, kick a$$ character. I loved seeing this transition occur, and I respected the fact that no matter how many bad events were thrown her way, she still managed to overcome them, making the best out of the worst situations. Most people would have had a nervous breakdown in Rory's position but not Rory. In addition to Rory, Free to Fall introduces North, Rory's partner-in-crime and love interest. North was the perfect addition to Free to Fall - I was obsessed the moment he first appeared in chapter 3. The chemistry behind North and Rory was incredibly strong, and some of their interactions had me laughing out loud. North was the perfect pairing to Rory's character, and without their bond, I don't think Free to Fall would have been nearly as strong of a book. In addition to Rory and North, there's a bunch of other characters who have big to little roles throughout. Hershey, Rory's roommate, also became a favorite of mine over the course of the book, even though it took me a while to decide if she was a good guy or bad guy. And the evil guys in this? So incredibly bad! From the moment they walked into the story, I hated them, but I still loved the amount of twists and turns they brought with them.

The plot of this described in two words? Brilliantly smart. Free to Fall is YA at its peak. It contains this crazy plot, and in the start, I was little worried about how Lauren would pull it off. As it turns out, I shouldn't have had any worries, because by the end it was so incredibly obvious how much time and research Lauren put into making this book perfect. I don't want to say too much about the plot, as I don't want to give anything away; however, I will say that I throughly enjoyed the details about the app. It was incredibly interesting to see the neuroscience approach of it, and the little details really managed to make this book stand out to me. It also made me really question the dependency the world has on technology today. Letting an app make all your decisions seems like something that could totally happen in the future, so it was interesting to see the pros and cons to it. I also loved the addition of the Secret Society that Rory took part in. In the beginning, I didn't really understand what the whole point of it would be, but by the end, I was thrown back by how much it had to do with the overall picture. The twists and turns in this one just kept me flying through this, because once I started it, I couldn't put it down!

Lauren Miller's writing was great. She did a fantastic job of developing the setting. It had me wishing I had gone to a boarding school based on the overall coolness of Theden Academy. The amount of technology that school had was beyond awesome! As hinted to above, she did a great job of fleshing the characters and the plot out; I enjoyed every minute of this, and even though, it had a satisfying ending, I was still left wishing for more...more Hershey, more Rory, and definitely more North.

In all, Free to Fall is yet another great novel by Lauren Miller. I thought she made a fan for life out of me with All Things New, but this one really sealed the deal. I can't urge you all enough to try this book out!

Grade: A+ 

Free to Fall (Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble) is now out in hardcover, paperback, and eBook formats!

Source: Finished copy provided by Goldberg McDuffie Communications - thanks Megan!

1 comment:

  1. This one sounds really interesting! I love the combination of futuristic and a boarding school setting. :)


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