Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Free to Fall, by Lauren Miller

There's an App for that...
Normally, I'm not such a fan of the Dystopian genre (all that post-apocalyptic gloom and doom is not my cup of tea at all), but Lauren Miller's Free to Fall sounded really I picked it up.

The basic premise of Free to Fall is free will and what could happen when one's free will is taken away (or, in this case, willingly surrendered). It is also the author's take on a world where technological advancements have gone too far.

In Rory's world, feelings of doubt and indecision are strongly discouraged. And let's not even get into the concept of listening to that "gut instinct." Instead, everyone relies on a decision-making App called Lux for everything. Lux directs people on everything from every-day things like what to wear and what flavor coffee to order big, life-changing decisions. By making all decisions for the user, Lux simplifies everyone's life in infinite ways.

Or that's what Rory has been led to believe.

Shortly after beginning classes at the prestigious Theden Academy, Rory begins hearing that forbidden "inner voice" telling her something is amiss. Then she meets Noah, a rebellious boy who refuses to use Lux. As a relationship develops between the two teens, Rory stops using Lux so much and begins to learn the (dangerous) truth about Lux and about her world.

Free to Fall was interesting in that it piggybacked on an existing trend: Our society's growing reliance on our Smart Phones for nearly everything--from keeping in touch (texting, using it as a phone) to entertainment (games, social networking, music, movies) to useful/practical things (GPS directions, Google). People keep their entire lives stored on their Smart Phones. Free to Fall highlights the potential dangers that could possibly happen if this trend continues.

If you're a fan of Ally Condie's Matched trilogy or Lois Lowry's The Giver series, try Free to Fall. I think you'll enjoy it. --AJB

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