Kari's Reviews > Freefall

Freefall by Mindi Scott
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's review
May 14, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: arc-or-review-from-publisher-author, read-teen, books-i-own

The Short Version:
Freefall is a brilliant debut and a refreshing read. From the male narrative, the romantic element, and plenty of aspects that will reach a range of readers regardless of age or sex, Freefall is a hit. Scott’s writing is natural and smooth, and Seth’s voice is one of the most stand out aspects. With several twists—many of which are hard to predict—a beautifully handled ending, and a well developed, bold cast of characters that cover a range of backgrounds, personalities and styles, Freefall is engaging from start to finish.

The Extended Version:
A striking blend of humor, intensity and emotion, Freefall is a beautiful telling of one teen muddling through life and trying to figure things out. Hitting on both light and heavy topics, Freefall holds nothing back when it comes to Seth’s life. With fantastic background built into the story and interspersed throughout, a strong narrative, and fantastic writing, this book is a stunning debut.

Seth is, by reputation, a jerkwad and a loser. He’s going nowhere, and the world might even be better off without him in it. But Seth is trying, and it is this single quality alone that made my heart pour out to him and root for him. He has no one to hold him accountable, no reason to try in school, and it seems like he has no reason to stop drinking all the time and wasting his life away. Yet Seth wants more, and it is from this launching point Freefall pulls the reader quickly into Seth’s world. He’s smart, but overtaken by untapped potential. He’s funny, attractive, and friendly. But he’s also someone who runs from his problems, lashes out, drowns himself in his misery, and seems to screw up everything he touches. Seth is flawed in ways he can't even see, and yet Scott has written him in a way that is sympathetic and understandable. When his entire background is taken into account, the road that’s led him to where he is makes sense. Even at his worst moments, there is still an endearing element to Seth and I completely empathized with this boy. The changes he makes are astounding, well paced, and perfectly build, making Seth a very three dimensional, raw character.

Rosetta is gorgeous and funny, with her own outlook on life. While she may be the driving force that really pushed Seth to try to change his life and figure things out, his own desires and motives where there even before Rosetta walked into his life. With baggage of her own, the two find common ground in surprising ways but that doesn’t shield them from still facing pitfalls of their own. The interactions between these two cover an array of settings and outcomes, adding a perfect romantic and dramatic element to the book.

Daniel is an interesting character as well. He plays in the same band as Seth, led by Seth’s older brother, Jared. Daniel’s a drop out, same as Jared, and also on the road to nowhere fast. In many ways, it seems like he’s dragging Seth down. He isn’t the best influence, and he pulls Seth into some bad situations, but the underlying friendship is still clear. These two have a surprising intensity between them that pushes over into many other aspects of both Seth’s mindset and his life.

Kendall is another strong player in this story, the trailer park girl who moved up to the rich part of town. She and Seth have known each other almost their whole lives and have a surprising history between them. Kendall is a mess, but also has a beautiful strength to her that resonates throughout. For every mistake she makes, Kendall seems to come back swinging to make up for it in even bigger ways, and I completely adored the way she and Seth interacted. Some of the most intense, stunning moments of the book were between these two.

Freefall is a mixture of romance, drama and coming of age. There are several intense scenes filled with unadulterated emotion but the underlying messages run deep and strike the reader quickly and strongly. Despite these scenes, the majority of the book really is humorous. Much of this comes from Seth. Scott has nailed the male narrative, bringing Seth to life in fantastic ways. His logic is so simple and logical it’s funny. The things he says, the thoughts he has, and the reasons he does things build his personality in a great way. He slips the reader into his mind easily from the start, and through Scott’s writing and his narrative, the reader is often left feeling confused and shocked. His emotions are raw and unstoppable, his screw ups huge and frustrating, and his comebacks gratifying.

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