Freefall makes use of a clichéd plot. Two high school boys (one a newcomer, of course) are rivals both on the fencing team and for the love of a girl named Nicole. They frequently goad each other and it's no secret they don't like each other. So when it comes time for Russell to go through the fencing team's ritual of jumping on a cliff to the water below, you know things aren't going to go well. Russell dies and Hayden stands accused of murder. Although Luke, Hayden's roommate, witnessed the whole thing, he's not sure what Hayden's intentions were when he gave Russell that little push. While Hayden sits in jail awaiting trial, the attorneys on both sides of the case pressure Luke, who's also being told what to do by his classmates. Luke holds Hayden's life in his hands, what will he decide?
Ariela Anhalt's debut is cliché, but still interesting with good exposition and pacing; unfortunately, it has absolutely horrible dialogue. I just wasn't buying that the characters would really talk like that. Furthermore, a lot of what Luke said was simply the repetitive phrase, "I don't know." Even if that's how a high school boy really would answer questions about another student's death, it comes across as lazy writing that does nothing to move the plot forward.
- Date of review: 04/14/2010
- Publisher: Harcourt
- Publication date: January 18, 2010
- Genre: Teen Fiction