Published by HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes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.
In Free to Fall by Lauren Miller, Rory is accepted to one of the most, if not the most prestigous boarding schools in the country. Acceptance to Theden Academy guarantees a life of wealth. You automatically get a full ride scholarship to any college you want, a Fortune 500 company executive position, etc. Acceptance into this school means your life is going to perfect, or so Rory thought. Theden Academy isn’t all it seems and hanging out with a mohawked, tattooed barista just turns her world upside down. Everything she thought she knew isn’t exactly the truth, and unfortunately, the truth can kill you.
This book was so good! It freaked me out, if we’re being completely honest. This Lux app can make any and every choice for you. It learns your habits, it learns your personality, it learns what’s good and not good for you. Ask it any question that you need help answering, it’ll do it for you. Not sure if your current boyfriend is right for you? No problem, Lux can compare your personality chart to theirs that is stored on this nationwide database and let you know the results. IT’S FREAKY. And if you don’t think so, we probably can’t be friends. And honestly, you’re one of the ones that has Rory worried about. There comes a point where you completely give up your life to Lux and your handheld and at that point, there is no return.
What was even more realistic and terrifying about this novel is that Lux is an app designed for the world’s most popular brand of phone, Gnosis. New phones are released every year that claim to be even better. There are press conferences to reveal what the new “it” gadget is going to look like, and everyone tunes in. Does this not sound exactly like Apple?! Lauren Miller, you win. (This is why I’m SO team android, people!) The resemblance between Gnosis and Apple was uncanny. I would LOVE to discuss with someone, anyone, about what is truly going on with this Lux app but UGH I CAN’T BECAUSE SPOILERS. Somebody PLEASE read this book so I can talk to you about how this could happen in real life. I’ll put it this way, I’m VERY hesitant to have something done that we are “encouraged” to do every year. NO YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!! Miller has seared a fear and rebellion into my mind. Kudos to you for making me think and question the things going on around me!
Y’all. If you liked PARALLEL, which I gave 5 thought clouds, you’re going to love this book. Miller’s signature sci-fi plot is present and had me turning page after page to discover the truth, and what Rory was going to do about it. I loved Rory and her tenacity and curious mind. North was sort of an anomaly at the beginning but as Rory spent more and more time with him I couldn’t resist his secret geeky charm. They made a great team and I’m so glad they had each other. They had an energy about them that was palpable and they made each other stronger. Rory’s roommate, Hershey, was mysterious and I couldn’t tell whether I could trust her or not at the beginning. I’m not going to tell you whether you should or not though, just read it!
Oh, did I mention that this book makes you actually think? Because it certainly did. There were riddles and mysteries and I loved being mentally challenged while reading! If you haven’t picked up a Lauren Miller book before, I strongly strongly suggest that you make FREE TO FALL your first one. It was awesome!