Free to Fall by Lauren Miller
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?Publishes in US: May 13th 2014 by HarperTeen
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Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision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.
Genre: YA scifi
Source: Harper Teen
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I wanted to read this one because I read Parallel by Lauren Miller and really enjoyed. Even if she wasn't an author I had previously read, I would have still picked it up. I like the ideas of fate and destiny and if something can change it. With this app that will help you make the best decisions, what is driving that? Best decisions for who? I wanted to know what was going on at the school, and the uncertainty and then breaking away from it that Aurora (Rory) seems to have in the synopsis seemed like something that I could really relate to.
I am glad that the story starts before she's at Theden. We get a glimpse of the life that has shaped her. A mother who died when she was a baby, a dad and stepmother, being obsessed with school, grades, and having her life just so. But I also like that she was drawn to Beck, the free spirit, who still hears his conscious, which meds and meditation has labeled The Doubt--when your brain makes you doubt perfectly reasonable things. He is a photographer, and has been her best friend.
It was neat and different at Theden at first, with Rory rooming with a girl from her high school that she hadn't really even talked to before, who disappears in the middle of the night and acts like they are besties. Their adviser has these pods that does simulations and it puts them in the middle of dramatic situations and sees what they'll do. Their relationship throughout this one really surprised me. I didn't think there was much depth to Hershey, and at times she surprises me both way. Also, the part that Dr. Tarsus, their adviser, plays in this one reminded me of another famous teacher and student situation and dynamics.
With secret societies, lies and mysteries from Rory's past, Free to Fall takes us on a wild ride. Rory has to figure out who is with her, who is clueless, and who is working behind the scenes and realize what about Lux and Gnosis is more than it seems. Some of it wasn't expected and others I could guess about halfway through.
I liked the romance. There was automatic chemistry and tension and I liked North, that he was different and that he challenged Rory to think for herself and open her eyes to things around her. North had so many mysteries and at times I even began to mistrust him, but the circumstances ended up only making me like and respect him even more. I think that he and Rory are good for each other. He is smart and though it seems like he is classes below her, there is definitely more under the surface and he can keep her on her toes academically as well as with real life matters.
The ending wrapped things up well for me, and I was pleased with the depth of the plot and how things unfolded. The setting, the tech, the romance and the plot were all excellent and entertaining.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you want an app that advised you the best decisions?