Mini Review: Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

Free to Fall
Lauren Miller

HarperTeen
I received an ARC through the Around the World ARC tour.
Releases May 13, 2014
469 pages
YA / SciFi / Thriller

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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Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision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 wish I kept notes while reading books. That way, when some huge life event pulls me away from writing reviews and completely overtakes my day-to-day existence for a chunk of time, I don’t come back to my queue of review books and have nothing much to say about a book I read a month ago. The problem is that I don’t have specifics for Free to Fall, mostly I just remember the way it made me feel.

I remember being leery of the cover, which makes it looked like a non-descript fluffy contemporary romance. I remember being stupid giddy multiple times as pieces fell into place in just the perfect way. I remember heaving a huge sign of complete satisfaction when I came to the end and a sudden overwhelming desire to read Miller’s other book Parallel, which has been sitting on my bookshelf with its similar fluffy contemporary romance cover since before it came out last year. I remember thinking it was amazing that, after a dull 2013 reading, I’d managed to read enough amazing books, including Free to Fall, to possibly make up my top 10 for 2014 in the first two months of the year.

What I do remember about Free to Fall is the science fiction world of the future that was only just out of reach of current technology. Everyone uses Lux to make their decisions for them, which makes life easier and society is just a bunch of sheep following the decisions of some tech geek masterminds who programed Lux in the first place. When Rory goes off to an elite boarding school, she meets a slacker townie, who refuses to follow everyone else and avoids Lux. Together they fall down a rabbit hole of conspiracies and everything gets progressively more sci-fi thriller and exciting. There are secret societies, creepy faculty members and mysterious disappearances.

I loved this book and had I written this review a month ago, it would be all sorts of babbling about how brilliant it is. Rory is smart and intuitive, forced to discover difficult truths and essentially shatter her life to find truth. North is the adorable rebel punk with a Mohawk and an attitude towards authority figures, but is really just a super softy. Free to Fall had everything I could want in a book hidden beneath a generic and unappealing-to-me cover. It’s a standalone that is so completely satisfying from beginning to end that I immediately wanted to go back and read it again. Highly recommend.

 

I received an ARC through the Around the World ARC tour in return for an honest review. The book has long since left my possession.