Author: Lauren Miller
Published: May 13th 2014 (Harper Teen)
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Romance
Rating: Five Stars
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Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision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.
Purchase: Barnes and Noble / Amazon / The Book Depository
Cover Thoughts: I like the digital translucency there is on the cover. I’m generally not a huge fan of people’s faces on covers, but I really like this.
First Line: It came in a plain white envelope, which made both more and less of its significance.
This sounds so interesting! Secret society? Check. Fancy academy? Check. Utopian-esque? Check.
Oh, look, Rory Gilmore’s in a book!
Free To Fall completely captured me. In this world, Apple has finally been beaten, books are obsolete, external hard drives are rare and Lux runs everyone lives. 20 years into the future, a new handheld device has taken over, the Gemini and on the Gemini is an app known as Lux created by Gnosis.
Lux is the futuristic Siri, except with way more capabilities. Lux is a decision making app, making it so people no longer have to choose. They can ask the app anything, “Should I eat so and so?”, “Should I go to school there?”, it even leads people away from their “threats” and tells them when they shouldn’t go somewhere. Lux takes on the voice of the user almost sounding exactly like them.
I fell in love with Free To Fall for various reasons. The first is because of Lux. The thought that humans wouldn’t have to think anymore is appalling, but not so insane that I couldn’t really see it happening. I loved the realism that Free To Fall contained, unlike a lot some dystopians, it isn’t that far away from happening. I loved how the dystopia was radical but nowhere near as radical that it didn’t seem at all plausible in only a mere twenty years. With how fast technology is advancing, is it really that ludicrous to believe in such an app and even more unbelievable that people would willingly choose it?
If you don’t go along with Lux, then you’re a free-thinker who listen’s to “the doubt” and suffers from APD, Akratic Personality Disorder. It was really interesting to me how there’s an actual disorder for people that listen to “the doubt”. APD was definitely in interesting component in Free To Fall. People who have APD generally take prescriptions.
The main character of Free To Fall is sixteen year old Rory Vaughn whose mother’s passed away at Rory’s birth.
To be honest, when I first began reading, my immediate thought was “Oh, look, Rory Gilmore’s in a book”. I thought the two characters were very similar even without the same names. Rory, like Rory Gilmore, follows the rules, is quiet and go on to attend a special academy. I loved how real Rory seemed to me. I like how in the beginning she was extremely depend on the Lux app, I thought it was realistic and I liked how she came to her own conclusions about the app. Rory is one of my favorite characters in Young Adults period. I loved her intelligence, her quick thinking and I felt sympathetic towards her problems.
Rory’s best friend is Beck who we meet in the beginning of Free To Fall. I thought Beck was a really great addition because he had “the doubt”, but didn’t take any prescriptions for it. I loved that he was into photography and thought for himself. I would have liked for him to have been in Free To Fall a lot more than he was, but what I saw of him, I really enjoyed. I wish Rory had interacted more with him after she went to Theden academy. I like how Rory already has roots in Theden as her mother also went there when she was alive.
One of the most interesting aspects of Theden to me were the interactive pods. In one of Rory’s classes, there are stimulation examples that the students take part in. These stimulation examples were really interesting because of how jarring they could be. I liked seeing how Rory thought during them.
When Rory attends Theden, she finds out about the secret society that her mother was also in. When she’s invited to join it herself, she does everything she can to get in. I was wondering so much throughout Free To Fall about this society, what it was about, who ran it, and who else was in it. What more I was wondering if it could be trusted or not. What Rory finds at Theden Academy is more than she could have imagined as she discovers secrets about her parents and the academy itself.
The great thing about Free To Fall is while it doesn’t have a super fast paced plot, the plot does move at a faster pace. I found myself unable to put Free To Fall down. I was immediately interested in it. Mostly because of Lux and the secret society Rory finds out about. I needed to know everything that was going on at her school, with Beck, and I wanted to find out more about the inventors of Lux. I found all of that out and more. I loved that there was a mystery surrounding Rory’s academy and thought it added a lot. Thanks to Free To Fall, secret societies are now one of my favorite aspects of books.
Let me just say, Rory and North are one of my favorite romance couples ever. I loved how easy their relationship came out. The lack of drama between the two was so refreshing. While they got together maybe a smudge sooner than I would have liked, they were also one of the most natural couples I’ve read about. There’s definitely no instant love here, which I loved. While some readers may not like the romance between Rory and North, whether it’s too boring for them, whether they can’t believe it or whether they don’t really care about the romance, I loved it. Their relationship seemed so completely natural to me that I bought it.
As you may imagine, someone named North is definitely a unique one. He works in a coffee shop, is in a band, doesn’t have the Lux app, has a mohawk and is definitely a free-thinker. One could describe him as a “hipster”, but I have to say I really loved his character overall and I don’t just say that because he works in a coffee shop, is in a band and reads. I loved how he challenged Rory with her dependence on the app and her struggling with “the doubt”. I like how he contributed to the story.
Yes, Hershey. That is Rory’s roommate’s name. I loved Hershey, she definitely reminded me of Brooke Davis from One Tree Hill in one scene and I just loved it. I like how she was sort of Rory’s opposite in regards to school and guys. I definitely felt a similarity between the two and Peyton and Brooke from One Tree Hill which is not a bad thing at all. I have to say, I wish Hershey was in it a bit more than she was. I loved seeing Rory and Hershey’s friendship grow, it was definitely one of my favorite parts.
There were so many twists, I found myself saying “Oh my gosh!” and needing to take two minute breaks when this happened. It happened several times. Every time I thought I knew what would happen, something else would happen and I would just be stunned. I didn’t know who was good, who was bad, or what was going on. I loved that Free To Fall kept me on my toes the entire way through. I was shocked several times at events that happened.
The only flaw I felt was in Free To Fall was the ending. There’s one small aspect that I really felt was a bit too unbelievable for me to be really satisfied with the ending, though still a great ending.
Above all, my favorite aspect of Free To Fall is the part that Paradise Lost plays in it. I always love to read about literature within literature and thought Miller did a fantastic job at picking such a classic poem. It made Free To Fall much more thought provoking and fascinating to read for me. It was great to see Rory and North piece together everything in Free To Fall. There’s also one thing Rory says at the end that really upset me and put a little bit of a damper on her character for me.
I love Free To Fall so much.
Free To Fall was a great dystopian novel with interesting characters, fascinating plots and a never ending amount of twists that will keep people reading to the very end. To say I loved this book would be an understatement. I want to personally go up to Lauren Miller, jump up and down and tell her how much I love this book and shake her hand. I think this is definitely one of the best books of 2014 and rate it five stars for the emotional feels and mystery it contained. I’ll definitely be reading Lauren Miller’s other book she has out called Parallel and any future books she comes out with. She’s definitely one of my favorite writers from now on.
Fans of Science Fiction
Fans of dystopian fiction
Fans of secret societies
Fans of natural romances