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Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision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 formed them free, and free they must remain,”
Free To Fall had almost everything I like in a book – conspiracies, tons of plot twists, people-who-were-not-who-you-thought-they-were, seemingly invincible villains, betrayals, NO insta-love, and (best of all) the the story was set in a boarding school (I have a soft spot in my heart for boarding school stories)! It was undoubtedly my favourite summer read.
The first three or so chapters of the book weren’t too eventful and rather draggy, but due to the fact that as a personal rule, I never abandon books in between, I read on. I am so glad I did, because the book quickly picked up speed and it became painfully difficult to look away from its pages.
The book addresses a problem we all face today: dependency on technology. Set in 2030, a time when majority of people consult their handhelds (called Geminis) when forced to make a decision, however trivial, the book asks the question: is a life without the freedom to choose, the freedom to make mistakes, really a life at all? Now, usually when authors try to address this issue, I find it very off-putting, but that was not the case with Free To Fall. The author gets her point across without being preachy and all “hurr-durr technology is evil and destructive and Thomas Edison was a witch”.
Although some of the plot twists were a bit predictable (or maybe that’s just my brain working overtime), and some events that took place in the book were too convenientlytimed. it didn’t lessen the overall enjoyability factor of the book. Overall, a lovely read, and a reminder that more attention should be paid to books by authors that aren’t too publicized.