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Free to Fall
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Free to Fall
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From the author of Parallel comes a high-stakes romantic puzzler set in a near-future where everyone's life is seamlessly orchestrated by personal electronic devices. Imaginative and thrilling, this...
From the author of Parallel comes a high-stakes romantic puzzler set in a near-future where everyone's life is seamlessly orchestrated by personal electronic devices. Imaginative and thrilling, this...
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Description-

  • From the author of Parallel comes a high-stakes romantic puzzler set in a near-future where everyone's life is seamlessly orchestrated by personal electronic devices. Imaginative and thrilling, this fast-paced story with two starred reviews is not to be missed.

    Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes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

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Lauren Miller is an entertainment lawyer and television writer. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 10, 2014
    It’s 2030—handhelds are tinier, Gnosis is society’s current technology juggernaut, and people rely on a program called Lux to maximize happiness for their every decision, down to ordering coffee. Like most people, Rory Vaughn consults Lux every chance she gets, but she has a secret: she suffers from “the Doubt,” an inner voice that supposedly marks a person as crazy. After Rory is accepted to the exclusive Theden Academy, she begins searching for answers about her long-dead mother, who also attended the school. While there, the Doubt only grows stronger, and Rory’s Lux consultations diminish. Then Rory falls for North, a sexy, antiestablishment barista-hacker, who has her back as she’s drawn into a complex web of secrets and lies. Miller (Parallel) offers an intricately plotted, intellectually rich thriller that will please a range of readers, from those searching for a page-turner to those wishing to thoroughly engage the mind. Mathematics and Milton’s Paradise Lost serve as additional drivers pushing Rory toward the truth in this boarding school murder-mystery with a near-future SF twist. Ages 13–up. Agent: Kristyn Keene, ICM.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-When Rory Vaughn, 16, gets accepted to a prestigious boarding school, she's elated. Even Lux, her decision-making app, tells her that Theden Academy is the best way to assure her perfect future. Yet, within her first few days there, Rory finds so much more than what she'd expected on the surface, and inconsistencies about her own birth lead the teen to question her own past, present, and vision for the future. With friends and teachers who encourage her to follow the illustrious path of Theden alums, she wonders why she finds herself so drawn to the rebellious hacker North and his outsider, anti-Lux lifestyle? As more secrets of the past are uncovered, Rory begins to wonder if the same covert group that may have caused her mother's death could now be after her. Miller's science fiction-based romantic thriller takes on social commentary about teens consulting technology for every aspect of their lives. Engaging and thought-provoking, Free to Fall should appeal to a variety of readers with its blend of action, secrecy, and romance, and it provides excellent discussion opportunities.-Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MA

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2014
    A girl solves family mysteries while uncovering a technological conspiracy. When Rory is accepted by the prestigious, superelite Theden Academy, she doesn't have to ask Lux if it's a good idea to attend. (The popular decision-making app Lux compiles user data to make recommendations.) Before Rory leaves, her father gives her a letter and necklace from her long-dead mother, revealing that her mother was a Theden dropout. The letter--a quote from Paradise Lost--baffles Rory. Additionally, she must cope with the sudden appearance of the Doubt--in this future, any inner voice, be it intuition or providence, is viewed as mental illness. At the school, the student-body president pursues her, she has tons of friends, and she's even invited into an exclusive secret society. But she finds romance with a counterculture barista-hacker townie. Through a psychology-class project on the Doubt, she accesses her mother's school and medical records. Unraveling the inconsistencies about her mother, she discovers dark truths about Lux--and as the only one who knows, it's up to her to stop it. Rory's stated brilliance is inconsistent with the heavy foreshadowing, and in the final act, there's a marked drop in believability as both the conspiracy unravels and the solution becomes apparent. Despite these missteps, the story offers wonderful treatments of its themes and will keep readers flipping pages. Recognizable characters and intriguing technology shine in this cautionary tale. (Science fiction. 13 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    May 15, 2014
    Grades 8-12 Rory is thrilled when she is accepted at Theden Academy, the most prestigious school in the country. Her mother had gone there, but she left before graduation and died in childbirth less than a year later. Theden promises their students exceptional futures, but within the elite circle is an even smaller, more prestigious group, for which Rory is tapped. As she becomes more immersed in her new life, Rory realizes her mother has left clues to protect her from things that aren't as they seem. Miller has created intricate societies within and outside Theden. Now, people are tethered to a device called Lux that makes many of their decisions. Also discouraged is listening to gut feelings, renamed the Doubt. A relationship with a hacker, North, allows Rory to delve deep into the real purpose behind Lux, Theden Academy, and the intended impact on individual lives. Miller smartly doesn't exchange strong, involving characters for nonstop actionthere's plenty of both. Readers may not quite understand every technical detail, but they'll be thoroughly caught up in the romance and the story's very high stakes.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) Miller (Parallel) offers an intricately plotted, intellectually rich thriller that will please a range of readers, from those searching for a page-turner to those wishing to thoroughly engage the mind.
  • School Library Journal (starred review) Engaging and thought-provoking, Free to Fall should appeal to a variety of readers with its blend of action, secrecy, and romance, and it provides excellent discussion opportunities.
  • Melissa de la Cruz, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of BLUE BLOODS and WITCHES OF EAST END Praise for PARALLEL: "A fun, twisty novel about the paths you choose and the paths you don't...to follow your heart's desire. Deeply romantic and entertaining!"
  • Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of MY LIFE NEXT DOOR "Penetrating, jaw–dropping, and so real, PARALLEL had me turning pages at warp speed, hoping for the best tomorrow. Read this book."
  • Lauren Barnholdt, author of TWO–WAY STREET "Best. Debut. Novel. Ever."
  • Jordanna Fraiberg, author of IN YOUR ROOM "PARALLEL beautifully tackles the universal themes of fate, destiny, and the search for a soulmate, proving that there are no wrong turns. Your heart will soar and you'll be cheering at the end."
  • Jennifer E. Smith, author of THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT "Wildly inventive and wonderfully romantic, PARALLEL takes readers on a journey that will open their minds and their hearts."
  • Anna Jarzab, author of ALL UNQUIET THINGS "Thought–provoking, romantic, and so, so smart, PARALLEL is an absolute must–read for anyone and everyone who has ever wondered, What if?"
  • Kat Zhang, author of WHAT’S LEFT OF ME "An intricately–woven story about free will, parallel universes, and cute boys. Miller nails the inner snark of the high school senior, as well as the confusion of figuring out just where your life is supposed to be headed."

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