Every year new discoveries continue to improve the electronics we are beginning to rely on. In particular, cell phones are one of those items that are becoming more difficult to do without. From keeping in touch, entertainment, business, emergencies and directions, many are looking for apps to help enhance their full enjoyment and further enhance the capabilities of this phenom.
Lauren Miller has taken us one step further to reliance in her novel Free To Fall. She has taken liberty and introduced an app that helps to make sure you never need to make decisions on your own, and never make a wrong choice. This is a world where technology does the unthinkable. Everyone is using the app called LUX. They no longer need to be worried about decisions and the aftermath. They only have to find entertainment and go out and enjoy their lives, no more problems. LUX does it all, and life is for enjoyment.
Yet Rory Vaughn does not feel so comfortable. She is smart but very introverted. She feels out of place but cannot figure out why. When Rory (who loves using LUX) is accepted into Theden, her dream school, she is shocked to find out that her mother who died at her birth had also been selected as a student there in the past. But for some reason she dropped out just before graduation.
This school only selects the best and brightest stars among students. The students are strong willed and highly gifted. Rory begins to settle in, but still struggles a bit with her differences. When she meets a kindred soul at the local coffee shop her life begins to careen out of control. Suddenly things become strangely mysterious and deadly. She is falling for a guy that may be part of the problem or part of the secret of the school. Something is happening, and she is beginning to find out more about her mother as she tries to lock into the issues. Someone seems determined to help her find the answers anonymously, and yet the answers seem to drum up danger and madness. She must find the secret to her mother’s past before it is too late.
Miller has given us a technological marvel. The app is a wonderful idea and has taken the world by storm. Everyone’s life seems just a bit better. But is it really? There is something just a bit creepy about the users, an almost Stepford wives sort of reaction. Everything and everyone is so much the same, and yet there is still that depth of will that makes them who they are, either nice or evil.
The characters are amazing and Miller takes the time to develop them fully. But be prepared because just when you begin to understand what is going on, you are taken in a different direction. Not everything or everyone is as they seem, and as the plot develops you are taken on a journey.
If you enjoy technology, nerds, and adventure with a dose of mystery and danger you will find this to be just the work. It would make a great addition to your young adult’s library.