Free to Fall

Free to Fall

3.95 (6,718 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.95 (6,718 ratings by Goodreads)

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From the author of Parallel comes a high-stakes romantic puzzler set in a near-future where everyone's life is seamlessly orchestrated by personal electronic devices, perfect for fans of Black Mirror.

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes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

Imaginative and thrilling, this fast-paced story with two starred reviews is not to be missed!

"Miller offers an intricately plotted, intellectually rich thriller that will please a range of readers, from those searching for a page-turner to those wishing to thoroughly engage the mind." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Engaging and thought-provoking, Free to Fall should appeal to a variety of readers with its blend of action, secrecy, and romance, and it provides excellent discussion opportunities." --School Library Journal (starred review)
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 480 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 37mm | 553g
  • English
  • 0062199803
  • 9780062199805
  • 613,386

Back cover copy


Rory Vaughn: a brainy, introverted sixteen-year-old who has always felt like an outsider, although she can't put her finger on a reason why. When she is accepted into her dream school, Theden, she is shocked to find out that her mother, who died when she was born, also went there and dropped out just before graduation. This is a secret her father has kept for sixteen years.

Theden Academy: the only high school of its kind, Theden is an intense two-year liberal arts program for the strong willed and highly gifted. Students are designated by seven Greek numerical prefixes (the Hepta being the best). Rory is a Hepta.

North Pascal: a handsome, tattooed, coffee barista townie who can quote Milton and knows as much about philosophy as Rory's classmates. He was banned from Theden's campus for breaking and entering. This isn't North's only secret.Lux: the decision-making app that everyone uses. No longer caught up in the details of their everyday lives--all those endless decisions!--people are free to just enjoy themselves.

Akratic Personality Disorder (APD): a mental illness whose name comes from the Greek word akrasia, the term Plato used for those who act against their better judgment. See also the Doubt.

The Doubt: the colloquial name for the whisper within that children hear but adults are taught to ignore.
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Review quote

"PARALLEL beautifully tackles the universal themes of fate, destiny, and the search for a soulmate, proving that there are no wrong turns. Your heart will soar and you'll be cheering at the end."--Jordanna Fraiberg, author of IN YOUR ROOM
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Rating details

6,718 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 31% (2,104)
4 41% (2,729)
3 21% (1,427)
2 5% (339)
1 2% (119)

Our customer reviews

I wanted to read this one because I read Parallel by Lauren Miller and really enjoyed. Even if she wasn't an author I had previously read, I would have still picked it up. I like the ideas of fate and destiny and if something can change it. With this app that will help you make the best decisions, what is driving that? Best decisions for who? I wanted to know what was going on at the school, and the uncertainty and then breaking away from it that Aurora (Rory) seems to have in the synopsis seemed like something that I could really relate to. I am glad that the story starts before she's at Theden. We get a glimpse of the life that has shaped her. A mother who died when she was a baby, a dad and stepmother, being obsessed with school, grades, and having her life just so. But I also like that she was drawn to Beck, the free spirit, who still hears his conscious, which meds and meditation has labeled The Doubt--when your brain makes you doubt perfectly reasonable things. He is a photographer, and has been her best friend. It was neat and different at Theden at first, with Rory rooming with a girl from her high school that she hadn't really even talked to before, who disappears in the middle of the night and acts like they are besties. Their adviser has these pods that does simulations and it puts them in the middle of dramatic situations and sees what they'll do. Their relationship throughout this one really surprised me. I didn't think there was much depth to Hershey, and at times she surprises me both way. Also, the part that Dr. Tarsus, their adviser, plays in this one reminded me of another famous teacher and student situation and dynamics. With secret societies, lies and mysteries from Rory's past, Free to Fall takes us on a wild ride. Rory has to figure out who is with her, who is clueless, and who is working behind the scenes and realize what about Lux and Gnosis is more than it seems. Some of it wasn't expected and others I could guess about halfway through. I liked the romance. There was automatic chemistry and tension and I liked North, that he was different and that he challenged Rory to think for herself and open her eyes to things around her. North had so many mysteries and at times I even began to mistrust him, but the circumstances ended up only making me like and respect him even more. I think that he and Rory are good for each other. He is smart and though it seems like he is classes below her, there is definitely more under the surface and he can keep her on her toes academically as well as with real life matters. The ending wrapped things up well for me, and I was pleased with the depth of the plot and how things unfolded. The setting, the tech, the romance and the plot were all excellent and entertaining. Bottom Line: Smart and easy to root for more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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