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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  442 ratings  ·  159 reviews
A propulsive debut novel with the intensity of Luckiest Girl Alive and Before the Fall, about a young woman determined to survive and a mother determined to find her.

When your life is a lie, the truth can kill you

When her fiancé’s private plane crashes in the Colorado Rockies, Allison Carpenter miraculously survives. But the fight for her life is just beginning. For years,
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Harper
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Emily May
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the kind of pulpy, plot-based read that you can power through in a single sitting, preferably on the beach or during a plane ride (if the plane crash aspect doesn't make you too nervous). The short chapters keep the pacing up and make it easy to zip through.

However, seasoned thriller readers might be a little disappointed by the lack of surprises. Most of the plot is fairly easy to predict and the one promised "twist" felt a lot more like deus ex machina to me. That being said, this can
Larry H
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't know about you, but sometimes when I'm reading a book, something about the title triggers a song (or even two) in my brain, something that keeps running through my head the entire time. Needless to say, I was glad I devoured Jessica Barry's Freefall in one day, because I don't know if I could have handled Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" running through my head longer than that! (If it gets stuck in your head, you're welcome.)

"Here are the facts: I am alone. I am on a mountain. The plane I w
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 exciting stars!

Freefall opens with Allison surviving a plane crash. She is the lone survivor, and she’s in the mountains with a smashed cell phone and few supplies.

The pilot was her fiancé, and she has lost everything. And guess what? She actually doesn’t want to be found. On top of it all, someone is following her.

Across the country, Maggie, Allison’s mom, has been told that her daughter likely died in the crash…but Maggie refuses to give up hope and sets out on a determined search for her
Katie B
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This turned out to be a pretty solid thriller. Maggie Carpenter is devastated to hear the news her daughter, Allison, died in a plane crash. Even though they have been estranged for the last two years, Maggie is determined to find out more about Allison's life leading up to the crash. Except wait, Allison didn't actually die, but she doesn't want people to know she survived either. Told from the perspectives of a grieving mother searching for answers and a daughter who seems to be runni
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This is well plotted, if unsurprising, and the pace is fast. It’s told from the alternating voices of the daughter and mother which work but there are mistakes that the editor should have caught. Firstly, it is a character driven novel and the characterization should have been accurate. The mother is depicted as nearing eighty years old as opposed to her actual age. Next, please remember where your characters are. The daughter receives a phone call while on a treadmill in the lower level of her ...more
⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 / 5

WOW you guys! Freefall by Jessica Barry is a fast-paced survival story that I absolutely could not put down!

What it's about: Allison Carpenter is on her fiancé's private plane when it goes down over the Colorado Rockies. The pilot doesn't make it, but amazingly enough Allison survives. But Allison knows a terrible secret, one that some very powerful people will kill to keep under wraps. So she must run, and not let anyone know she is alive. Meanwhile, Allison's mom Maggie is told that h
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-arcs

This is my first review of the new year and what a read it was, this one begs to be read in one breathless sitting, a total binge read. From the brief, incredibly fast paced chapters to the switch between points of view it’s a truly entertaining read with a fresh premise, what more could you want?!

This flips between Allison for one chapter and then her mother Maggie the next, Allison’s story begins from the minute her plane crashes and Maggie’s from the moment she finds out about the accide
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Allison by her own choice had no contact with her mother for two years, and then her mother found out that Allison had been killed in a plane crash.

Maggie had not talked to her daughter since her husband had passed away, knew nothing about her life, and was at a loss to answer questions about her daughter.

Maggie did what every mother would have done to keep in touch, but to no avail, and I admired her for searching out details about her daughter’s life under the circumstances.

Maggie could find
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
It's quite possible that I sometimes rate debut novels a bit higher than I would other books. Maybe it's because I always feel that the first book may be a little bumpy and therefore it's a learning process. So when I come across a debut that just bites at me like the bugs did to Allison in the woods... well, I just can't help myself. Ok ok, I realize that might not have been the best analogy but I hope you get where I'm coming from.

Told in alternating views between Allison and her mother, Maggi
Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-copy
Review to come
JuJu (Julie)
My Thoughts:
One hell of a debut! A well-written, gripping and positively unputdownable thriller! I can’t wait to see what Jessica comes out with next!

This book looked so good, I had to start reading it as soon as I was approved! First...the cover caught my eye. Although it’s nothing spectacular, there is something catchy about it. Then...I read the description. A plane crash in the Colorado Rockies. I’ve lived in Colorado most of my life, so this was the clincher!

The chapters alternate between
Renee (
DNF 22%

While I found the premise super interesting - I love survival type thriller- the structure of alternating perspectives and random flashbacks that took away from the current pace and tension didn't work for me.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
What do you do when you are in a plane that just hit the ground. Hard. The pilot is dead and you are wounded. You know you have to save yourself...

The first chapter of this interesting tale is very captivating. Allison, one of our main characters, finds herself wounded, physically and mentally (why that is will be explained later) and knows she has to save herself. Although for the past few years she's led a very sheltered life, she is deep down still the same resourceful young woman. She doesn'
Liz Barnsley
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Immersive page turner of a thriller. Review to follow.
Basic B's Guide
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic debut from Jessica Barry. This has all the makings of a binge read. Short chapters, multiple POVs, and a twist at the end that I did not see coming. This book reminded me a bit of The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger which was a favorite of mine earlier this year. Fierce female lead characters, corrupt business men and the great lengths people go to make a buck.

It all begins with a plane crash. Ally is fighting for her life and Maggie is confident her daughter is still alive. The stor
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)

In this narrative we follow the alternating perspectives of Maggie and Allison, a mother and daughter, just after a plane crash. What starts as a straightforward missing person story soon transpires to be a little more complex. The operative word here is “little” - for the first 200 or so pages I felt like we moved incredibly slowly in each of the narrative threads. The story lacked the typical pace of a thriller for me for most of this early part. This isn’t to say it wasn’t well written, I jus
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I need to get something off my chest.

Writers, a thesaurus exists to help you make better word choices. Please do not use it to help you make worse word choices!

Okay, back to the review. Freefall is a great story. The author, Jessica Barry, is a standout when it comes to pacing. She moves the story along quickly, keeping the reader interested with a steady supply of information – just barely enough, never too much – that’s both satisfying and tantalizing. I was interested all through the first h
Linda Zagon
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lindas Book Obsession Reviews “FreeFall” by Jessica Barry, Harper,January 8, 2019

Kudos to Jessica Barry, Author of “FREEFALL : A Novel” for writing such an intoxicating, addicting, intense, captivating, intriguing and thrilling novel. The Genres for this story are Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Action and Fiction. The timeline of the story is set in the present and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters or events in the story. The author describes her characters as complex and complic
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Crime, Thriller
*Rating* 3.5


Freefall is an edge-of-your seat tale of suspense about two women (Allison & Maggie Carpenter) who find the strength to take control of their lives in the face of adversity. Jessica Barry’s debut grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until its intense finale. Featuring a pair of rich, full-blooded women, this emotional page-turner beautifully captures the fraught yet unbreakable bonds between a mother and daughter and render
Marc Bougharios
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75 (rounded up)

First of all, can we talk about this lovely cover? It's just so beautiful I was so scared that I would damage it or drop anything on it.

Freefall is a suspenseful novel about a couple whose plane has crashed in the middle of nowhere. Allison's husband is dead, but she is on the run. If they find her they will kill her.

The plot of this novel was so intriguing and I knew that I had to get my hands on it when I read it. I've read a few plane crash stories before and this one reall
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
When a private plane crashes in the Colorado Rockies, the two passengers on board are feared dead. Allison Carpenter miraculously lives but the pilot is mortally wounded. Willing herself to survive, Allison sets out in search of help. Her mother believes she is alive since her body is still missing but soon discovers that there is more to Allison's story than what's on the surface. This debut novel is a true thrill ride.
Heather LitChick4ever
I received an advanced copy of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest review.

It didn't take long for me to become immersed in this book. There were no chapter numbers to mark out this book. Instead, the novel was divided into Allison's and Maggie's point of view and alternated between them. If the chapter told from Allison's point of view ended in a big reveal and twist in the plot, I read a chapter of Maggie's point of view before I got back to find out more from Allison
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun thriller! RTC
Kailey C
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars - I loved it.

I flew through this one. Short, quick chapters that alternate POV. I thought this was fresh, original concept that was easy to follow. Although she wasn't perfect, Allison was a bad-ass protagonist, which I always appreciate. I didn't see certain parts of the plot coming - I had suspicions, but either way I don't think it'd detract from the story if you guessed certain things. I would add this one to your TBR if you're a suspense fan.
Jennie Shaw
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s. A slower burn in the beginning in terms of getting answers, even when nothing much was happening, it felt very tense. A triumph, to say the least. When the reveals ended up happening, I can say with absolute conviction that I had no idea where the story would go next.

I loved the alternating POVs of Allison and Maggie, and shorter chapters kept the pace tight. The plot's depth was a surprise and delight, and I thoroughly enjoyed the way it unfolded. The sort
Olga Fry
I wasn't a fan of this novel but fans of plane crashes and survival stories may be. In this novel, Ally is the lone survivor in a plane crash, losing her fiance in the Rockies and having to set off and fight for her life before the individuals determined to kill her find her. While a quick page-turner, the writing itself was distracting. Scenes taking place in the present were filled with flashbacks, so there's no clear sense of being placed and weighed down in a scene. With the exception of Mar ...more
Angel wells
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I won an arc of this from Goodreads. I loved the storyline and the characters. I also liked the fast-pace of the story. I wish there was maybe one more chapter at the end to tell more about the mother and daughter reuniting because they went through so much...I would recommend it!!
Kristen Beverly
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Freefall starts with the bang of a plane crash in the Rocky Mountains. One person is dead and the other is on the move, desperately trying to survive in the wild and injured as someone is trying to kill her. Back in her hometown, her mother knows that her plane has gone down and is sick with worry as to whether or not her daughter is still alive. All these things together make for a fast-paced, thrilling ride! Once I was 5 pages into this book, I couldn’t put it down! Highly recommended for fell ...more
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 ⭐


First off thank you so much to Harper Collins, for sending me an ARC for my honest review.

Here we follow an astranged mother, Maggie and daughter, Allison. They haven’t spoken for a few years when news breaks that Allison was involved in a fatal plane accident, her body never recovered.

Maggie is left trying to piece together Allison’s life and trying to find out a little bit of her daughter’s life and what happened leading up to events of the plane crash. What she discovers is a t
Nancy McFarlane
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Freefall is a terrific character driven thriller which is told from two perspectives: that of the mother who is still grieving the loss of her husband to cancer two years earlier and of the daughter who ran away when she saw her mother do as her father wished and help him die. This thriller comes out of the gate at top speed. The mother is told her daughter and her daughter’s fiancée were killed in a plane crash and the mother decides she has to learn what her daughter’s life was like for the pa ...more
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Jessica Barry is a pseudonym for an American author who grew up in a small town in Massachusetts and was raised on a steady diet of library books and PBS.

She attended Boston University, where she majored in English and Art History, before moving to London in 2004 to pursue an MA from University College London.

She lives with her husband, Simon, and their two cats, Roger Livesey and BoJack Horseman.
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