Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review + GIVEAWAY: Free to Fall, by Lauren Miller, ends 6/8

There was a medical term for double-mindedness. Dipsychos. It was part of the pathology for akratic paracusia. "Of two minds" was how my textbook defined it. Reason and the Doubt at war in your brain.

"The point is, there will always be competing voices," I heard North say. "In your head and in the world. You can't spend your life caught between them."

I looked up at him. "You're telling me to choose."

"I know better than to tell you to do anything," North said, reaching around me to shut down his computer. "But if you don't decide, the world will choose for you."

This novel is set in the early 2030s, and is a fantastic piece of dystopian fiction that doesn't seem all too different from our 2014 world - at first. Rory Vaughn is super excited when she is accepted to Theden, an exclusive prep school near Boston. However, she soon discovers that the faculty at Theden has secrets, and it leads to a conspiracy that has been covered for quite a while.

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Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision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

The app that everyone is hooked on in this novel, Lux, sounded really cool at first. Unsure of what to eat? Lux will tell you what you are craving. Want to have your room key, bank account, music player, and more all in one shiny package? Lux can do that for you too. However, we soon find out that Lux and the company behind it, Gnosis, has ulterior motives behind the release of the program, and Lux might not be so cool after all.

I love dystopian books and this one was no different. Although Rory's every day world is similar to ours - there are still restaurants, and grocery and drugstores, for example - there are some things that are very different, too. iPods are a thing of the past, and earbuds are dropped down your ear canal. Apple and Google both don't exist any more, but some people, like Rory's boyfriend North, still use iPhones and regular laptops in order to stay off "the grid" - Gnosis's grid, that is.

I also loved all the technology references and seeing what is now extinct - libraries, for example, no longer have paper books, but they have media rooms and tablets you can use (rarely anyone uses laptops, it's all tablets now).

I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars except the end started to get kind of muddled in terms of science terms and explaining them. I recommend this novel for anyone that likes YA, sci-fi, or dystopian books, and I now want to go back and read the author's first novel, Parallel, which is also a sci-fi book, for the most part.

4.5 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


TWO lucky winners will win hardcover copies of Free to Fall. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Contest will end on Sunday, June 8th at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be notified via email on June 9th and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner(s) will be chosen. U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I am superduper into these YA sci-fi books! =) I'd love this one.

  2. The cover. It's always the cover! This sounds like a book that will really make me think, too.

    1. I am still thinking about this book, a day later!

  3. That sounds super interesting - it would an awesome one to jump into any weekend

  4. I could use some help decision making!

  5. I like the idea of this book. I wonder if the app would pick my husband. LOL!

  6. Sounds like this generations 1984

  7. It's hard to top the Hunger Games series along this theme, but I could use a new read. Thanks for the heads up.

  8. I don't like these genre very often but this ones sounds intriguing with all the tech. (Just like you say)

  9. Sounds like an interesting read to add to my nightstand this summer.

  10. I want to read this book because it sounds like something I've never read before. Plus, I read Parallel by Lauren Miller last summer and I really loved it!

  11. I think it will get my mind thinking! I miss those types of books. I haven't read a really good thinker in awhile! at gmail dot com

  12. Not entirely sure why. Other than a diversion

  13. I just bought Parallel and I think the synopsis for this book sounds really interesting!

    1. I haven't read Parallel yet! It looks really good though.

  14. Nice review. I love Carole's monthly list of books. I find new blogs and some wonderful books each month.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved June Edition. I am in the list as #48 and 49.

    My book entries are below.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Entry

    My Book Entry

  15. This sounds similar in some ways to another book that I love, Daemon. I can't wait to read this.



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