For What It's Worth

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: Free to Fall by Lauren Miller


18602289What 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Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision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. ~ Goodreads | Author | Amazon

Source: Provided by Harper Teen for my honest review

Review:
I really loved the concept of Free to Fall. Although I don’t believe we’re being programmed what to think and do with our phones yet, I do think a lot of the themes explored in this book are already happening. We rely heavily on technology and I could easily see us flocking to an app that pre-selects what music we should listen to, what restaurants we should go to, what areas to avoid for our safety, who we should be friends with, without ever questioning it. We already do that to some extent. While most apps offer helpful suggestions and reviews - this takes it a step further, excluding anything from your app that deviates from the Lux app’s plans for your future.

For the most part I really enjoyed this book. It’s fun, action packed and has a enough high tech future, sci-fi elements while still showing a world that’s very familiar to our own and relatable. Rory is a great protagonist. She happily goes with the Lux program because it makes her life better. She’s an over achiever able to reach all her life goals thanks to Lux and Gnosis – the company that makes the app. When she starts questioning things, she’s all in and fights for what she believes in. I loved Rory right from the start.

The story sort of got too big though. Instead of focusing on that one theme, free will, Free to Fall starts heading into Lost (the TV show) territory with evil government initiatives, secret societies, double crosses and the romance, while sweet, didn’t really grab me. It’s all interesting but spreads the story too thin IMO.

While I was hoping for something a bit darker, this was a fun stand alone (stand alone FTW!!) that had great social commentary about free will, plenty of intrigue and a touch of romance.

26 comments:

  1. I was curious about this book when I first heard of it. But I agree with you that some books tend to get too packed with stuff these days. The spy story/evil government angle is getting a little old - also because it's not realistic that an average teen (or a couple of them) can uncover and fight such a plan. Of course, suspension of disbelief is often required when reading - but still...
    On a side I've been wanting to read Miller's "Parallel" for a while, but I found out it was more romance than multiverse oriented...

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    1. I thought the teen angle worked really well in this book. I could see why the parents would be oblivious - or even want the kids to be better behaved using the app. It was easier for everyone to have the decisions made. And of course only teenagers would rebel against that in that way :-)

      Everyone keeps telling me about Parallel. I had a few issues that didn't work for me in this book but overall I really liked it and her writing style so I'll probably read it soon.

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  2. Err...I meant "on a side note" of course :).

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  3. I have a love/hate relationship with technology, but this book sounds really fascinating! Seeing how it's a stand alone, I'll probably give it a go. Great review!

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    1. It's worth reading despite the few issues it had. It's the future but SO many things were relatable to now.

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  4. See . . . you say it's not as "dark" as you'd like, and maybe that's true, but stuff like this creeps me the hell out. Which Batman movie was it where the human were being zombified by their TVs? And yeah, I'm trying to stay away from convoluted Lost-type plots just now. Great review though ;)

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    1. Ha! Yeah - I'm very hard to creep out lol

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  5. Yeah! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, even though I can totally get how a plot like that would get huge, and in a stand-alone it would be hard to cover as much as perhaps should be. I need to get my copy of this!

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    1. I thought she should have stuck to one or two things but I still think it worked overall - and I loved that it was a stand alone. It ended well.

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  6. This sounds like a great read! Nice review, it sounds like an interesting story!

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    1. It really was! Kind of creepy because it felt so possible.

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  7. That's great the book is a standalone, but it does seem to try and cover a bit too much. Regardless, I like the theme. You're right, we're already headed in that direction in certain ways...creepy to think about.

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    1. It was set int he future but there were so many things that felt like they were happening now - just maybe in not so sinister a way - or maybe it is and we don't know yet!! lol

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  8. Stand alone yay! That always works for me

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  9. Great review, Karen! I really enjoyed this one, but you make a good point about the story getting so big. There were lots of pieces to keep track of.

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    1. Thanks :-) I think the different plot threads would have worked better if it was a series but I still really enjoyed it.

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  10. Awesome review! I really liked the author's debut novel (PARALLEL), so I've been looking forward to this one. I'm guessing you liked it but didn't love it, since it strayed a bit from the overall theme. I'm curious to see how the story got too big. I hate it when there's too many things to remember and too many things going on, lol. Guess I'm a simple girl who enjoys simple things. :-P

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    1. I want to read that one now! I ad a few issues but I liked her writing.

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  11. Oh I'm not sure about this one, but yes... standalone FTW! I think I would feel the same way that it would be stretched to thin. In that case a series might actually help out the storyline. Still, I do like the message and might read it for that.

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    1. Yeah - the different twists would have been better in maybe a duo logy but it was still very good.

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  12. I'm glad it was good, Karen. After PARALLEL I'm expecting a lot from Miss Miller :) Great review!

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  13. Dude books like this scares me LOL! And you're right, the premise is quite interesting and really the way technology works, this could be a possibility in the not so distant future. Remember Minority Report (Tom Cruise) and how he'd swipe his screen and now it's what we call iPhone and other touch devices... I promise I'm not weird

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    1. Yeah! It's so close to what we're already doing that you could actually see it happening.

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  14. YOu know I really never do like when things become all...goverment-y when the scope gets too big I just lose interest. I do have this one to review though eventually.

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