Author: Joshua David Bellin
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley for review purposes.
Freefall follows the journey of Cam, a privileged member of the elite, also known as the Upperworld. They’re getting ready to abandon the devastated planet Earth, leaving the Lowerworld to die along with the planet. A 1,000 year long deep sleep and the privileged Upperworld can colonize a new planet. But when Cam sees prohibited footage of the Lowerworld protests, he feels a connection to a girl named Sofie. When the chance arises to join Sofie’s cause for Lowerworld rights, Cam begins to see the unfairness of the world they live in. Cam begins to fall in love with Sofie, but she has her own battles to fight, and Cam has no choice but to board the spaceship to a new life alone. 1,000 years later, and Cam wakes to find himself and his crew-mates far off course, stranded on a hostile, uninhabitable planet. Who sabotaged their ship? And does Cam, Sofie and his past actions to have anything to do with it?
I’m always on the look-out for well-developed, YA science fiction books. Freefall is just that. Bellin created a fantastic world, one highlighting social, racial, and economic inequalities that you see today, but translated it into a very dystopian-esque setting, where corporations run the world. The book narrates between past and present, how Cam and Sofie fell in love and recounts how Cam and his shipmates ended up stranded 1,000 years in the future on an uninhabitable planet, surrounded by hostile creatures. The present-day setting was fantastically done, and I really enjoyed the science fiction horror/survival aspect.
Whilst I enjoyed the romance, it wasn’t my favourite part. It felt too much like insta-love, especially on Cam’s part. But it also felt like Sofie was just there to educate Cam on the blatant inequalities of the world. But then again, I think one of Cam’s learning curves was realizing that he wasn’t fully giving himself to the cause.
Despite how much I enjoyed it, I also had issues: the Lowerworld protesters are called Terrarists – not sure if the word was a play on Terra as in Earth, but the fact that the Lowerworld protestors were multiracial, and Sofie herself was of Indian descent, I felt the word was too closely associated with Terrorist (not entirely sure if that was the point, but it made me uncomfortable). I can’t speak for the Indian rep, but Sofie was, at one point, seen as exotic by Cam. That’s pretty much my only issue with Freefall, but it’s was a significant problem for me.
Lauren is a british blogger and book reviewer. She is an avid bookworm, writer and procrastinator extraordinaire. A recent history grad, Lauren is currently grappling with adulthood, finding solace in the written word. As an avid reader of YA literature, she’s a lover of sci-fi, contemporary romance, sister stories, and cute f/f books. Some of her favourite books include Code Name Verity by the incredibly talented Elizabeth Wein, and the soul-crushingly cute The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli.