Set in 2030, Free to Fall by Lauren Miller is a young adult dystopian novel in which “The Doubt”, a small inner voice, is labeled as mental illness and medicated away in those who cannot ignore it. In this world, nearly everyone has an app on their phone called Lux. Lux keeps track of all data and helps the user with every decision, major to minor. This setting is ripe for the unfolding tale of high tech social engineering.
Sixteen year old Aurora “Rory” Vaughn is accepted to Theden Academy, an exclusive college prep boarding school. Rory and her friends are addicted to social media, selfies, and coffee.
The characters struggle with the typical teen issues ranging from dieting to dating, as well as the school work load you would expect at a private prep school. Secret societies, teen angst, conspiracies, mysteries, betrayal, and romance keep the action flowing while the characters grapple with moral questions brought up in Free to Fall. I liked the allusions and themes from The Bible and Paradise Lost woven throughout.
The first time I read Free to Fall, I was stuck by the eerie parallel of current social behaviors and the technological advances we have made that make this imagined world a little too plausible for comfort.
Highly recommended for teens and up. This is an excellent book for discussion.
Some language, kissing, intimacy and heavy petting (not graphic), secret society, simulated death and violence, mind control, drinking, death of parents
Click here for a discussion guide for Free to Fall with Bible verse references from Embracing the Detour.
Visit Lauren Miller’s author website here.
Watch the trailer for Free to Fall.