Going into reading this book, I kind of expected it to be something like Kim Curran’s novel, Glaze (which I also reviewed last month). This is because there’s some similarity to the plot in the sense that both are about how corrupt corporations and the government are using technology to manipulate people’s lives.
The main difference though is that Glaze is a social media app that records anything and everything people post online, and it can be accessed through a chip in one’s brain, while Free to Fall is all about Lux, which is more of a decision-making app that uses information one has uploaded on ones handheld devices. Both are scary but I’d have to say that Free to Fall wins hands down on the excitement department. In fact, I loved this book!
The characters are all very easy to relate to. Rory, is your typical teenager who, like a lot of us, is kind of addicted to social media to the point that she relies on Lux to make decisions for her even down to the most trivial issues such as what to wear. I love the development of her character as she goes from being Lux-obsessed to eventually ditching the app altogether. I love how she gets stronger and more mature as the story takes place.
I also really like her love interest, North, who’s your typical rebel who doesn’t really hate technology but abhors Lux because from the beginning he already knew what it was being used for. I love that he has tattoos, that he’s a barista in a coffee shop and that he’s a hacker. He’s your typical “bad guy” type on the outside but totally smart and sweet in the inside.
I also love the Rory-North love story. At first you’ll think that they won’t jive well together because they seem total opposites. But I guess, opposites do attract and in the end, it was North who was there for Rory in her quest to find the truth. I love how their story just had the right amount of romance to add to the excitement in the novel.
There’s lots to love about the other characters too. The great thing about this novel is the fact that it makes you think you already know who the heroes and the villains are in the beginning. But, there are a lot of surprising twists and turns that will actually throw you off.
It is definitely an exciting, suspenseful read that makes you think twice about how you use technology in your daily life and how much of yourself you expose online. How many of you are addicted to your phone or your tablets? How many of you post about the most personal details of yourself on social media? The really scary thing is, this story can actually happen to us in real life. That’s why the story is so brilliant!
I love, love, love this book! It was so hard to put it down. I’m looking forward to reading more of Lauren Miller’s work in the future. With that I leave you with a John Milton quote that Miller used in the book.
I formed them free, and free they must remain
Till they enthrall themselves;
I else must change their nature.