Friday, May 16, 2014

Review: Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

Free to Fall
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?
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Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision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.
Publishes in US: May 13th 2014 by HarperTeen
Genre: YA scifi
Source: Harper Teen
Series? No

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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. 

Bottom Line: Smart and easy to root for heroine.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
 Would you want an app that advised you the best decisions?
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  1. Well, that blurb got me. And your review sealed the deal. I am so reading this one.

  2. I definitely agree with you! The blurb + review really makes me want to read more about the book! Great review!

  3. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsMay 16, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    I haven't read Parallel yet (though I had heard about the religious aspect, which turned me off it- but I'm going to give it a try soon now). But, I'll probably read Free to Fall first, since I loved the whole idea of the App, but the psychological aspects behind that, and because of it, and it'll probably be one that'll keep you thinking.

    Glad it gives you a chance to get to know her and her life first before it starts properly, I do like a little background information and setting, otherwise it's hard to get into the character.

    Hmmm, would I want an app that advised me my best decisions? In a way, yes, I would. I'm one hell of an indecisive person and procrastinator. I'm the type that always second guesses the decision (I mean, even books here, I can never decide what to read next so I have a friend pick a random number out of so many books, and I read that number.) <- See. But in a way, I wouldn't either, because you'd also second guess that decision made for you. So either way, I'd still probably be an indecisive person and procrastinator, haha.

    Kirsty @ StudioReads

  4. Andrea @The Bookish BabeMay 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    I've heard such good things aboutiller's work! I think I would enjoy Free to Fall, too. Thanks for the review, Brandi!

  5. An app that advised me of the best decisions might be handy to have. I like the idea of this one and that it wrapped up nicely. I am going to have to check it out.

  6. I really like the way you sum up your reads, I always struggle with that in my reviews so I usually skip it LOL.

    P.S. Shared this post directly via Twitter, reached my Triberr limit just letting you know in case you checked the stats and I'm missing. Eep!

  7. I have this ARC and was on the fence about reading it, but maybe I'll give it a shot!

  8. no prb girl. I have to do it for amazon so I figure might as well figure it out for the blog

  9. I know, right? Where to go, what to eat

  10. There is a religious, but I think that most of it is from a play rather than from the bible. God and Jesus wasn't really mentioned, more about moral standards and ethics type thing.
    I can be really indecisive too, so I def understand, but like you, don't know if an app would fix that.

  11. Melissa (Books and Things)May 16, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Now I think I would have passed on this one if it wasn't for the review. I do like the sound of the romance and the ending. I'm an ending girl! :) Hm... I might have to check this one out.

  12. Ooh you've really made me want to read this! I wasn't going to because the synopsis didn't grab me but I think I'd really enjoy it. Lovely review!

  13. I have had the first book for ages but still haven't read it. I'm glad you enjoyed this!

  14. I've been curious about this one. I'm glad you liked it :) I haven't seen many reviews on it do I'll have to look more into it. Great review!

  15. Bea @ Bea's Book NookMay 16, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    I received this for review but decided to pass on it and gave it away. Ah well. I'm glad it was good, I had my doubts based on the blurb.

  16. It had me from the blurb, so a little difference going in.

  17. I had a bit of free time and I had really wanted to read

  18. I really liked the romance and that kept me going

  19. To be completely honest, I don't think I would love an app who'd make my decisions for me. I still want to have control of my life, to be able to discern what I think are for my best interests, because who else know one better than oneself? ;) Great review, love! I can't wait to read this!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  20. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)May 17, 2014 at 5:33 AM

    This sounds far more exciting than I would have expected. I'll go ahead and add it to my tbr.

  21. Great review Brandi. Rory sounds like a great heroine, sounds like she is a determined type of girl.

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  22. Def was determined, loved reading her

  23. Me too girl, except not with side effects that come out later in the book

  24. Yes, I would like with stipulations as well

  25. What a intriguing plot! This sounds great!

  26. Glad you loved it, Brandi. It's something that truly doesn't really interest me, but you've at least made me curious. :)

  27. I LOVED Parallel so I'm super excited to read this one.

  28. I am glad you liked this one so much! I think this is a clever idea as well. I think no, I would not like an app like that for multiple reasons. One, we would be entirely dumb. We would never learn unless we made mistakes. Another thing is that there is something to be admired and enjoyed even in sadness. Lastly, well, choice is a wonderful thing to have!


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