Free to Fall
By Lauren Miller
Available May 2014
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Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision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.
This Blonde’s Review:
We are a society dependent on our phones. We don’t remember phone numbers anymore since our phone has them. We don’t have to wait patiently without anything to do because we have games, books, texting, and any number of things on our phones at all times. In Rory’s world there is also an app called Lux. Lux will help you make the best decisions, it knows the restaurants you like and the best drink choice at a coffee shop. It knows who you should date and what school you should go to. If you follow Lux’s instructions your life will be wonderful. Just don’t let Doubt, that voice inside your head that could tell you differently, sway you from the path.
Rory has been a good girl, following Lux and doing everything she should her whole life. Until she goes away to school. Suddenly she starts hearing the Doubt. She finds herself in situations where the Doubt tells her things correctly, people refer to things she doesn’t understand, and she meets new people who open up her eyes. Is North, the new guy she met, right to avoid using Lux? Is the secret society she’s being introduced to going to shed light on the things she doesn’t know? And does she have a teacher out to get her? There are so many things that cause questions in what used to be her very clear and obvious life.
I enjoyed this. There were so many great characters supporting Rory, even if some of them didn’t start off on the right foot. The choices she makes aren’t always perfect, but seeing her go from good girl who uses her app to order a drink to rebel who wants to change everything is great. Rory learns things about herself and the people around her that she never would have expected. Some of those things seem like they were unnecessary and easily moved past, while others were great ways to build on the story.
While there were several points to the book that didn’t seem necessary the general idea was still an entertaining one. If the description sounded good to you give it a try. It isn’t one of my top books of the year partly because of the parts that felt unneeded, but it was one that had me wanting to see where the author would take it. I finished this book pretty quickly because it kept me looking for the end.