How do you come back from the point of no return?
Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend, Isaac, alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time when Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn't wake up.
Convinced that his own actions led to his friend's death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.
Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth soon realizes he isn't the only one who needs saving . . .
Mindi Scott’s debut novel Freefall is the third book I have read for the Contemps Challenge and so far is my favorite. The novel is a shining example of how a realistic storyline with real-life characters, can pull readers in and keep them engaged without the use of paranormal suspense, and fast-pace action.
One aspect of Freefall that made it a favorite read is how true to life the story is. Scott tackles several very real teen issues and does it in such a way that the reader can’t help but see through the characters thoughts and actions just how terribly lives are affected when alcohol, drugs and sex becomes a way of life. This is not to say that Freefall is preachy or a vehicle of a moralistic soapbox. Instead, Scott masterfully brings her characters and her readers to some painful revelations.
Seth is a very dynamic and well-rounded character. He is guilt ridden over the loss of his best friend who dies before the action of the story begins. Seth feels responsible for Issac’s death since he was the last to see him alive and the first to find him dead. Seth uses drugs and alcohol to escape not only his guilt, but his stage fright. Despite his grief, Seth begins to recognize just how out of control his life has become and begins to try to fix it. The challenge is to stop drinking and finish school, which he embraces reluctantly at first. But, Seth’s a lot stronger than even he realizes and as the plot moves forward Scott skillfully reveals Seth’s strength and growth in an authentic and believable way.
The romance between Rosetta and Seth was one of the most real and well-written parts of the book. It developed slowly over the course of the action allowing the reader to understand the motivations behind both these characters’ attraction for one another. Seth reminded me of Ponyboy from the Outsiders, and since Rosetta lived in the rich part of town, and Seth came from the mobile home park, there are some parallels that can be drawn between Ponyboy and Cherry’s relationship and Seth and Rosetta’s.
Freefall is a very complex novel about overcoming grief, learning how to communicate, and taking a hard look at the details in life that so often can paralyze our ability to move forward. It is heartbreaking, real, and so well written that it is hard to believe that this is Scott’s first novel. Bottom line: I loved this book!