Free to Fall

Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

published on May 13th 2014 by HarperTeen
Young Adult | science fiction | romance

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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Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision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 was supposed to buddy-read this one with my good (very fangirl-y) friend Kayla, but she went ahead and left me panting in the dust. But that’s fine! *hugs Kayla* You can check out her awesome review right here.

“Don’t exchange the truth for a lie.”

When I started this book, I was expecting a huge amount of flailage, feels and fangirl squealing to come as I read. While that didn’t go as planned, Free to Fall still did leave me going “What the fuck is happening?” a load of times throughout the course of the book. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t possibly mark this one as a DNF because I needed to know how it ends!

Free to Fall had its fair share of ups and downs for me. The heroine, Rory, is an example of this all on her own. There were times where I would like to give her a standing ovation, but sometimes I wanted to kick her in the shins, you know? Maybe shove some chopsticks up her nose or something. I’ll try to give a few examples:

> A good point: Rory wasn’t afraid to use people. She manipulated people to her own advantage. While this is definitely not a desirable quality, it’s definitely realistic. She didn’t hurt anyone to gain anything, but she might have pretended to be nice in order to get what she wanted.

> A bad point: This girl, apparently, does not like having a social life. Apart from her roommate and her boyfriend, she tries to avoid her other friends. Who are actually pretty nice. I really feel bad for these nice-but-kind-of-creepy girls. If you don’t like them, tell them instead of avoiding them.

> A point that is both good and bad: Rory was no clueless little Barbie. She had the brains I wish I had but probably never will. It did get bothersome how she was able to solve all the problems so quickly, but I guess that made her unique. We are all sick of the clumsy, idiotic main characters, right?

The other characters were balanced out. There were a few I couldn’t give the smallest crap about, but some who I really wanted to know more about. Rory’s parents also had an interesting past, and I was disappointed when their backgrounds were cut a bit short. I would’ve liked the author to elaborate more on those, since their pasts do play a big part in the story.

“The fool is destined to repeat history. The wise man has the wit to avoid it.”

The actual plot had a lot going on. It might have come off as a bit too extravagant at times, but I was really curious about everything that was happening. The whole thing with Lux, Thaden Academy and whatever other creepy stuff happened–I wanted to know everything. I guess the thriller aspect is what kept me from putting this book down and giving up on it.

While I would love to praise the plot some more, it will eventually branch out to one of the minor plots: the romance. I could not stand this romance. North, the love interest, came off (to me, at least) as a creep. On the FIRST DAY THEY MET, he downloaded Rory’s personal profile and record. Does this not scream stalker to you guys? Because honestly:

Lauren’s writing style was easy to read. I found myself flipping pages and reading smoothly. I wasn’t really able to connect with Rory all that much, but I did get a sense of character and how she thought. Bonus points because this book has a lot of quotable quotes, too!

Okay, I need to dedicate a paragraph to the ending. I’m not sure if I was shocked with all the revelations or not. I think I would have been, if Rory didn’t discover them so quickly on her own. She discovered secret after secret so rapidly that I didn’t have a lot of time to process what the hell was going on sometimes. This one ended in a mind-fuck-y manner, but again, I wasn’t very affected by this one.

If you want to be creeped out by a realistically possible future, you might want to check this out. When I start imagine how this could actually happen to us some day–*shudders*. I don’t even want to think about it.


Skulls 2.5


About Aimee

Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

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23 thoughts on “Review: Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

  1. The premise sounds really interesting, but at the same time it feels like I’ve seen so many similar ones (and I don’t even read much sci-fi, so that’s saying something). Plus, yet another example of the romance overcrowding, it seems (from your review, anyway…or maybe I’m reading it wrong).


  2. Since I want to read this after so many people have loved it, including Nick, Danielle and Lauren, I’m going to read your review skimmingly. Anyhow, I’m so sorry you didn’t love it :( I think Rory’s manipulation is the good kind, you know? It’s not like she’s this awful villain people love to hate, she’s realistic. But people can be happy with two friends O.o Some people don’t need more than two. Does everyone need more than two? :O Clumsy and idiotic yeaaa. Pretty tired of those. So sorry you didn’t like the romance, Aimee :( I hope your next read is/was better, little one!


  3. Despite reading your review. I’m still tempted to read this one Aimee. :)

    I do agree with all your points, but something about this book is calling to me, and I need to read it now!! :D I hope I’ll like the plot though, even if the romance was eh…a good plot would make up for it.


  4. Whoah. I thought this book is a contemporary romance! Haha. Okay so the main character looks likeable, the love interest has some creepy behavior? Hmmm. But I have to admit, that blurb? It’s soo intriguing! I don’t know if it’s obvious but I don;t really read Sci-fi that much. So yeah, I might give this a try and thank you for the honest review, Aimee! At least I know now what to expect :D


  5. I read Lauren Miller’s PARALLEL last year, I think? and I really enjoyed it. I loved how she was able to make sci-chic so fun and adventurous (yes, she does label her books as sci-chic! Haha.) So I’m a bit sad to see this rating D: But I think I understand… somehow. I tried reading this book not too long ago, and kinda didn’t really feel it, and set it aside and until now haven’t gone back to it yet. Plus, I read Khanh’s review not too long ago, and she did mention about the shady “dystopic” setting… haha.

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews


  6. And I thought that this would turn out to be a bit of a favorable review, but it only ended up with 2.5! And that blurb sounds interesting, but it sadly sounds so cliche, in some way. But you mentioned creepy, and I do like creepy possible futures.


  7. Bishbosh riffroff! I’ve not read this novel, but I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it all that much Aimee D: First thing I noticed about what you said… why is the guy such a creeper meeper? THAT’S SO FREAKY!! STAY AWAY FROM ME YOU. But yes, this novel sounds positively creepy pertaining what it represents, and from the premise I would cover my eyes and hide if our world ended up that way xD Sounds like this one had promise, sadly it seems to have failed to deliver :(
    Fantastic review, though Aimee! :D Thanks for sharing! <


  8. Sorry this one didn’t quite inspire the flails an squees you were hoping for Aimee! I’ve read some wildly varying reviews for it, but I loved her first book so I’m still excited to give it a try. And for some reason, in books boys doing mildly stalker-ish things don’t bother me. I have no idea why, maybe I just chalk it up to fiction and gloss over it ;-) In real life though, North’s actions would definitely be creepy!


  9. I had read the 8 chapters like we said but then IT WAS SO GOOD and I’m so sorry D: I totally lost track of the chapters and then I was halfway through and well… yeah :P

    I choked on my mocha when I read “shove some chopsticks up her nose” xD

    I wish this one had gone better for you! We should pick another book and actually stick to that one together so we can react at the same time and do a discussion after :D


  10. Haven’t read this one yet (and not in a hurry to at this point), but thoroughly enjoyed your review. Its my first time ‘visiting’ your blog, and I headed over from a link at Jeann’s Happy Indulgence. Particularly intrigued by your chopsticks up the nostrils visual…. that took some serious imagination. Or not. If not, I’ve decided I need to run screaming from you. ;) The Bledel creepy clip was ridiculously cute and on point for creeptastic stalker boy. You’ve definitely got an entertiaining digital home, here.
    OddModicum Rachel


  11. Even reading the summary I wasn’t all that keen on the romance. It sounded too… insta-love-y. Anyways. Well Rory sounds tolerable at least. And at least she isn’t a bluberring idiot xD


    1. lmao @ “insta-love-y”. That needs to be a thing, me thinks. Nothing worse than those insipid ya love stories where a page and a half after the meet-cute and a couple flirty conversations, they’re suddenly in the “I’d die for you” stage.


  12. Thanks for the great review, Aimee! I’m sorry this didn’t work too well for you.. I haven’t heard a lot about this book, but what I have heard has been mixed, so I’m not sure whether I’m going to give this a go or not.


  13. I don’t know if I’d want to check this one out or not, Aimee . . . It doesn’t really matter, b/c I am thoroughly creeped out too, LOL. And beyond the creep, the plot line sounds kind of convoluted, so I think I’m going to pass. Sorry this one didn’t really work for you, but thanks for sharing ;)


  14. Hmm, glad to hear that the actual reading is smooth so disappointed to hear the romance was terrible. I was really interested in reading this, but maybe I’ll keep it on the back-burner for now.
    Thanks for the review, Aimee!


  15. Shoving chopsticks up someone nose is not a good a experience. Not that it ever happened to me. XD

    Anyway, I wanted to read this because so many reviews I’ve read praised it. It’s sad that you didn’t like this as much but I would feel the same way if I’m exasperated most of the time with the heroine and I totally agree with North having stalkerish tendency. I think I’m reading this book solely because of its plot. Thanks for the honest review, Aimee!


  16. Hmm…I’m not sure what to think about this Aimee! I love the sound of the plot and the story, but I’m not sure about the romance. I like books that creep me out (like Dangerous Girls!), and this one sounds like it would definitely do just that. ;) Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3


  17. I’m sorry this one didn’t work out for you, Aimee! I keep telling everyone to read it, since it’s one of my favorites this year, but you make a lot of good points as well. But I don’t know – I really liked Rory, and the romance made me really happy with how well they worked together as a team. I can certainly see the creep factor though. :) Great review, lady!


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