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Freewill

2.68 of 5 stars 2.68  ·  rating details  ·  320 ratings  ·  96 reviews
Why Are You Here?Will is supposed to be a pilot, to skim above surfaces. But instead he's in wood shop. He doesn't know why -- or maybe he just doesn't want to admit the truth. What Are You Doing?

He used to make beautiful things: gnomes, whirligigs, furniture. Now he's making strange wooden totems that seem to serve no purpose. What Do You Know?

When a series of teen suicid...more
Hardcover, 148 pages
Published March 6th 2001 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published March 1st 2001)
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Emmy Campbell
What honestly was this book? More importantly, how did this book win ANY kind of award? These are questions that I found myself asking after I finished this 150 page booklet.

I picked this up on my summer vacation to the beach and i was like 'eh why not' Mainly the Pintz Award and the cover art sold the book to me. I knew that John Green had won a Pintz Award for Finding Alaska, (but SOMEHOW not for The Fault in our stars [WTF]) So I picked this baby up. Note to self: READ PART OF THE BOOK IN BO...more
Jason Kurtz
“Freewill” won a Printz Honor award. I understand why, as it is a fine example of what YA writers are trying to do in the genre of fiction for teens. It is written in second person POV. The double meaning of the title, Will (the main character needs to be ‘free’ and the concept that he (Will) is not controlling the fate of the people in the novel, they have ‘free will’ as well. But we in the MFAC writing program cohorts have been talking a lot about plot (this book has a very scant one at that a...more
Stephanie
Feb 08, 2008 Stephanie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults
Recommended to Stephanie by: no one
The book Freewill by Chris Lynch was about this teenage boy who seems to be a loner with a somewhat traumatic background. He lives with his grandparents and goes this school for certain kinds of people. Lynch is very vague throughout the book. Although that characteristic makes you want to read on, it gets slightly aggrivating because there are so many blanks and question marks throughout the book. Anyway, we go through the thoughts of this kid Will and his desire to be a pilot, even though he's...more
Snorkle
I did not get this story. I read the whole thing and was not impressed at all. I didn't like how the story progressed, and I also thought that it was a little dark. The story was told in a really different format, and I thought it was confusing and hard to get used to. I almost couldn't wrap my mind around it. There was some language in it as well, which was annoying. I am really not liking the pattern that is developing around the Printz books I have been reading lately...I don't think that I'v...more
Conner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gaisce
2.5

Freewill is a Printz honor and one of those books that you appreciate what the book is trying to do more than enjoy the execution.

Told in the second person, in a sparse and almost repetitive cadence, the story is about Will, who is disconnected from life and whose only outlet seems to be strange woodwork projects that he doesn't even particularly enjoy. When the wood totems show up in a series of suicides, unwanted attention is drawn to him and he must decide if he should speak up or let hims...more
Rhea
DNF at around 15 pages.

I'm usually a sucker for heavily stylized writing, which is why I'm surprised to say I couldn't get into Freewill's writing at all.

The biggest problem with Freewill's writing is its use of second person. You are a guy named Will, you think and act like Will, you behave like Will, etc. Will is a teen with problems, so he would already be hard to relate to and understand; but now that you are Will, it's not just that you need to hold the picture of Will and the plot in your...more
Janie
This was boring and confusing. This is the plot as far as I can tell.

(view spoiler)...more
Seth McDiarmid
I wanted to read this book because I was intrigued by its cover.

Yup.

There were several things about it that I enjoyed, though not enough to outweigh the incredibly heavy feeling of hopelessness that its narrator injects into every sentence and was left clinging to me like a co-dependent teenage girl. It left me screaming, "what the heck was the point?" I hesitate to buy into the thought that this was the author's intent, but if it was...genius.

I enjoyed the voice a great deal, though not the ton...more
Amanda
Will is a tormented teen dealing with the deaths of his father, stepmother, and several classmates in this obtuse story. I remember hearing people talking about this book when it came out, and figured it was worth a read, since it won a Printz honor, and I've liked his other books. When I finished, I had to look at the reviews to figure out what the hell anyone liked about it. The PW review summed up my feelings precisely: "this airless novel does not reward the effort required to penetrate it."...more
Jacqueline Rejas
I don't know about the others but I liked it. It's a bit confusing at first but then you get used to it. I initially though that Will has some kind of mental condition like dual personality that is why he keeps on referring himself on a 2nd person's POV. However I realized that he was talking to himself, an internal struggle, pushing himself to say what really is on his mind, to be honest on what he feels. I guess at the end of the book he tried to commit suicide and the totem was for him; howev...more
Sherry
THIS BOOK SUCKED. You could stop reading my review right there and get all the information necessary to make a decision about whether or not you want to give this book a shot....However, if you want to hear a little more... This book sucks because:

1. I never knew who was talking! Thoroughly confusing dialogue which skipped around and back and forth and I could never tell who had just said the last bit of emotional garbage because the book is written in SECOND PERSON. Who does that? NO ONE DOES T...more
Rozheanne Hilario
Okay so I bought this book because I liked the blurb at the back. It was catchy and it will really invite you to read it. But when I started reading, I was so confused because of the 2nd person POV. Well it's not just that, but the whole story is confusing. I mean one moment the wooden object's with Will, and then it appears in the "suicide places". It's like staring at an object and when you blink, BOOM, it's gone. It went to another place, and because it's written in the 2nd person POV, you wo...more
Marsha
Tedious, dreary, needlessly convoluted and boring beyond belief, it was all I could do to wade through this portrait of the artist as a young bore. Will’s interior monologue is relentlessly centered on himself and he appears to be suffering some kind of mental deficiency. You’re not sure if it’s a form of Asperger’s or amnesia. Either way, it makes him a total dullard.

The whole novel reads like one long strange interlude. Every word or sentence from someone else sets off a blizzard of inner comm...more
Danielle
What I didn’t enjoy about this book was how the format was set up. This story was told in 3rd person omniscient, which made the storyline difficult to follow and understand who was telling the story. Also, you couldn’t tell the difference of reality and Will’s thoughts throughout the book. Investigators said there was no proof that he could have committed any of the crimes, but in his thoughts he said he was responsible for the deaths of teenagers. Lastly, the author didn’t contain enough infor...more
Nicholas
I would not recommend this book. It's very convoluted it takes about 20 pages just to understand the writing style. The ending was less than par(if you could understand what's going on). My biggest complaint is the editing, whoever edited this book for the publisher should be fired. I'm not a stickler for grammar I'm sure I have some errors in this review but the book was terribly edited including typos and a plethora of missing parenthesis leaving you wondering what is happening and what is bei...more
Colton
Not good. Not even close.

The author sets up a really eerie mystery with an amnesiac schizophrenic teenage loser stuck in the middle, yet fails to provide any sort of conclusion to said mystery. I'm fairly certain he just couldn't figure out how to tie all the increasingly bizarre plot points together, so he just had the main character go swimming in the ocean, come to some realization about the meaning of life, and then, bam, the book ends.

The narration is very obnoxious, with the main characte...more
Zhong
Freewill by Chris Lynch is a confusing book about the life of a young teenager, Will. He is facing emotional damage from the multiple death, or suicides, of his classmates. This book goes by very slowly and is content is somewhat complicated; I wouldn’t recommend this if you favor books in the fantasy or adventure branch.
Freewill takes place in an American town. Will, the protagonist, is a seventeen year old student, whom is forced to be in a special school. Will is a gifted woodworker, but he...more
Emily Garrard
I was not a big fan of this book. It was written in second person point of view. I had no idea what was going on. Even when it ended. I was like what did I just read? The story is about a boy named Will who I am guessing is no loving life because his parents are dead because his dad killed his mom and then committed suicide I think is what happened. He was put into a special school for students who get in trouble or struggle in regular school. He is really good at wood working and makes a bunch...more
Sam
In 2001, this social issues book was awarded the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature. The book is about the journey of a young man, Will, who is trying to understand why death follows him. Over the course of the book the reader learns that his mother, father, and stepmother all committed suicide when Will was a very young child. He has lived a very difficult life because he feels that he is somehow responsible for their death. In this book, Will is living with his gr...more
Hannah Nelson
Jul 01, 2010 Hannah Nelson rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one.
Shelves: third-10
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily
It’s taken me a very long time to write up this book because it’s a bit hard to get my head around it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the other Lynch I’ve read, Inexcusable, because it tried hard to leave a lot of blank spots–but they were obvious blank spots, that drew a great deal of attention to themselves, and it ended up being obvious in all the wrong ways. At the same time, I do appreciate what Lynch was trying to do and I admire the book for its ambition.

Freewill is way more obscure. Even the mos...more
Anthony Guo
Freewill, by Chris Lynch, is a book about the protagonist, Will. I personally do not like this book as much, and I would say that this was one of the worst book I had ever read because the plot is confusing, and the conflict is not easily shown. Also, what makes this book stands out from others is that this book was written in a second point of view, which is the least commonly used point of view in literature. The point of view was one of the reason I was confused.
The plot is mainly about Wil...more
Katherine Gingrich
This was one heck of a confusing book. It is about a troubled teen going to an alternate school and living with his grandparents, who offer very little support or structure to his life. They live in a small town and there starts to be these strange deaths of teens popping up all over town, at the beech, the pond, and bridge. While Will is a talented woodworker, he claims throughout the entire book that he was meant to be a piot because he does not like surfaces. He is entierly buried inside hims...more
Neariah Mandisa
Freewill Harper Tempest, 2002, 148pp.
Chris Lynch ISBN 0-06-028176-6

Faith, Hope, Charity, Freewill. That's the title of this book and the chapters. And it makes sense. Will, the main character is a quiet and unsure boy. He insists that he's to be a pilot not a woodworker, when he is talented in that area. Teenagers are committing suicide, missing woodwork appears at these places and he believes he knows what's really going on. And it's up to the reader to figure out just who this mysterious char...more
Ben
I cannot remember in my life being more annoyed than I was while reading this book. I realize that authors of "serious young adult literature" are trying to capture the emotional turbulence of that time of life, but there is such a thing as going too far. Exhibit A: Freewill by Chris Lynch. The main character of this book isn't so much a credible angst-ridden teenager with problems as much as a selfish, self-deluded, cowardly, thoroughly unsympathetic character that seems to be almost a caricat...more
Amanda
I want very much to be able to rate this book more than two stars. I have a great deal of respect for Chris Lynch in his success at writing the story in second person. I think writing something like this would have given me apoplexy.

So while I respect his abilities and found many passages moving and the voice of the main character compelling, the effort I had to expend to simply understand the story and keep my focus was not rewarded. I spent time filling in holes and trying to understand Will,...more
Amanda B.
This was a very interesting read becuase it was much different from other books i have read. In this book about Will, a high school student, who slowly witnesses his world crash as his parents die. Because of his interest in what happened he turned his curiosity to art. Prior to the deaths, he used to be in a woodworking class where he made gnomes and furniature. But as soon as he could he became distant from what he had normally done and created a pole which later was connected to other multipl...more
Melanie
Freewill by Chris Lynch

After Will’s father dies in a suspicious car accident, he finds himself living with his grandparents. He lives in a fog, at times unable to get out of bed or go to school for days. When several teens die under suspicious circumstances, Will is afraid he is somehow responsible. In the end of the book he realizes he never really let his father go when he died.

Aspects that appeal to teens:
Death, suicide.

Will teens relate:
Hopefully not much!

Developmental areas:
Family relations...more
Alicia Stevens
Will is a seventeen year old boy that lives with his grandparents after his father and step-mother have died. He is also placed in a woodworking program at a vocational school to help cope with the loss but he insists that he should be a pilot instead.

This book is super confusing to read since it is given in second person, so it is like being inside Will's head, which is even more confusing since the boy is deeply disturbed and clearly has issues since his parents death/possible suicide.

I guess...more
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Chris Lynch is the Printz Honor Award-winning author of several highly acclaimed young adult novels, including KILL SWITCH, ANGRY YOUNG MAN, and INEXCUSABLE, which was a National Book Award finalist and the recipient of six starred reviews. He is also the author of FREEWILL, GOLD DUST, ICEMAN, GYPSY DAVY, and SHADOWBOXER, all ALA Best Books for Young Adults; EXTREME ELVIN WHITECHURCH, and ALL THE...more
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“Don’t fuck yourself waiting for fair. Understand? Listening? You will fuck yourself waiting for fair.” 13 likes
“Life goes on,” she says, like a dare.” 1 likes
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