Luke was not eager to accompany his best friend, Hayden, and the cocky new kid, Russell, up to the cliff that night. The plan was to watch Russell jump off the cliff into the lake--his initiation to the Briar Academy fencing team. But instead, after an angry confrontation with Hayden, Russell falls to his death. Now Hayden is in jail and the pressure is on Luke to report what he saw. But what did he see? An accident--or a murder? Luke has always followed Hayden's lead, but this is one decision he'll be forced to make on his own. And to do it, he must face the truth about his friendship with Hayden and his own painful past. This suspenseful and scandalous tale of rivalry, peer pressure, and finding the courage to take responsibility will have an impact on readers long after the last page.
- Hardback | 250 pages
- 142.24 x 208.28 x 27.94mm | 385.55g
- 18 Jan 2010
- HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
- New York, NY, United States
"Nineteen-year-old Anhalt displays some definite polish in her debut novel...Teens drawn to boarding-school-scandal dramas will find plenty to gasp about here."--"Booklist" "Anhalt seems to know the boarding-school world well, creating a rich setting for this drama of family demons, school friends and rivals, and an anguishing struggle of conscience. . . . An unusually rich and layered first novel."--"Kirkus Reviews" "Teens will love this title because it is full of page-turning events and is difficult to put down."--"VOYA, " 5Q, 5P (highest rating) "The high stakes, complex character development, and realistic dialogue and interactions will keep readers riveted--and likely have them imagining themselves in Luke's position."--"Publishers Weekly""" "Teens will appreciate the action and the drama, without being overwhelmed by trendy names and labels as in other books set in boarding schools. . . . Anhalt, a college sophomore, shows great promise in this debut novel."--"School Library Journal""" "[There's] plenty of jealousy, drugs, and misplaced loyalty to keep the pot boiling."-"Bulletin "
Our customer reviews
I am always impressed with new authors. The idea of all the hard work involved in writing a book, and then putting it out there for public criticism for the first time, must take an amazing amount of courage. It is especially impressive when I turn to the info on the back cover and see that the author is a 19-year-old sophomore in college. That's the case with a new release called FREEFALL. Just how tough are you? When life hits you with a father who commits suicide and a mother who can't seem to get past it, how do you handle the other tough stuff that comes along? Ask Luke Prescott. One might think that Luke has it all. He attends a fancy boarding school and has hopes of attending a nice college. Money isn't really an issue for him or for the friends who surround him at Briar Academy. He and his best friend and roommate, Hayden, are on the fencing team, enjoy the company of the occasional attractive female, and both get excellent grades. What could go wrong? Although Luke feels he knows Hayden pretty well, Hayden has been acting strange lately. When a new kid named Russell shows up and demonstrates his excellent fencing skills, Hayden doesn't seem able to cope. When Russell also moves in on Hayden's girlfriend, things come to a head. Unfortunately, Hayden's temper may have gotten the best of him during an initiation ritual that involves the new fencing team member and a jump from a nearby cliff. Luke finds himself faced with testifying either for or against Hayden at a trial accusing Hayden of killing Russell. He was there, but answering the question about what exactly happened is much harder than Luke ever imagined. Debut author Ariela Anhalt has crafted a sure winner. Readers will be drawn into the culture of Briar Academy with its cliques and rituals. Luke's family story adds depth and emotion that underline the complicated situation he faces at school. Anyone who gets involved in his story will no doubt find themselves measuring their own strength and convictions against those of Luke and several other characters. I look forward to seeing more from Ms. Anhalt in the future.show moreby TeensReadToo