Young Adult, Dystopian, Futuristic
Part of a Series?:
May 13th, 2012
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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Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision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 was really excited when I received Free to Fall for review. I had heard good things about Lauren Miller from her novel “Parallel” and she was going to be a guest author at the Ontario Teen Book Fest so I was high in anticipation when reading this book. I was roughly half way through the book when I met Lauren, and she was so smart and so fun to talk to that I went home almost immediately to finish it.
I think what really gets me about all of this is that it felt so real to me. While Lauren’s novel takes place in the future, its not that far into the future and it is almost sort of warning of what is to come. Lux, the app that everyone uses on their phone, is like Siri on crack. I have Siri on my own phone but I must admit, I barely use it. Lux literally determines every movement of your day. It speaks in your own voices, tells you which bus to take when, what path is the wrong one, what coffee drink you should order, everything. It literally decides everything for you, and everyone trusts it blindly. I am getting shivers just thinking about it. For me, it felt so incredibly real.
I love that it was more than that though. The story could have been shallow, just a commentary on technology but it was so much more than that. Without going into too many spoilers, the more that we learn about Lux and the company behind it, the more that I felt the need to keep turning the pages. The mystery behind that and the mystery behind Rory herself was addicting. First, we’re on a roller coaster, trying to figure Rory out, and the next, we’re in the passenger seat while she unwinds the mystery of Lux. Its completely thrilling and terrifying. Everything that happens in this book seems so real, and terrifying and that’s what makes this SO good.
I also highly applaud Lauren Miller for accomplishing such a story in one novel. I honestly wish that other authors, myself, included could do that more often. It takes a lot to accomplish building up a story, and wrapping it up, in one book, especially in the sort of complicated story that she writes. Plus it makes it so much easier to move on to my ever growing list of books to read without having to worry about a sequel! I loved that! I think it takes a lot of talent to tell a complete story like in such a quick and perfect way.
4 out of 5 Stars