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Free Fall (Laurel Leaf Books) Mass Market Paperback – September 8, 1997


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
  • Series: Laurel Leaf Books
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (September 8, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440219752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440219750
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,904,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this taut and excruciatingly claustrophobic adventure story, two antagonistic brothers and their best friends get trapped in an underground cave. As they struggle to survive and escape, with only each other to rely on, the four boys find themselves dropping their macho facades and sharing their darkest secrets. In a starred review, Publisher's Weekly wrote "lean and skillfully wrought, this novel hooks the reader and doesn't let go." Children's Book Review Magazine said it "crackles with tension" and Booklist called it "a powerful YA novel." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Four high school boys are lost for 24 hours in an underground cave in this suspenseful adventure story. Seventeen-year-old Neil and his friend Randy grudgingly allow Neil's younger brother, David, and his friend Terry to join them on a road trip into Florida's Ocala National Forest for an afternoon of spelunking. None of the boys has told his parents, much less asked for permission, and with only vague directions, few exploring skills and fewer supplies, it's only a matter of time before crisis strikes. How the boys ration food, plan escape routes, cope with injuries, snakes and other unfriendly wildlife all make for gripping reading, and the story could stand on its own as a tale of survival. But Sweeney (Shadow) goes beyond the action genre, bringing the characters' outside lives into the cave to add further depth to the proceedings. The looming possibility that they may perish enables the boys to examine and come to terms with some of their fears and hopes and, in the case of Neil and David, to iron out a painful, two-year-long misunderstanding. The four personalities are distinct and expertly drawn, the roles they take on in the cave natural extensions of their histories. Lean and skillfully wrought, this novel hooks the reader and doesn't let go. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
75%
4 star
15%
3 star
0%
2 star
10%
1 star
0%
See all 20 customer reviews
Warning, the book has very strong language and some sexual themes.
ganondorf02
Ok, it was really funny when it was said when everybody was depressed and talking about dying.
Tea
The story touches up on such issues as family relationships, love, hate, etc.
Elana

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Elana on May 31, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I first picked up this book, I had my doubts. I expected "Free Fall" to be a boring boy's book. Was I ever wrong! The characters are realistic and express feelings and emotions that are totally believable in this day and age. The plot is riveting, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat for hours. The story touches up on such issues as family relationships, love, hate, etc. When Neil, Randy, David, and Terry enter the cave, they are unwilling to talk to each other, let alone work together. But as they begin to lose hope of ever seeing the light of day again, they find that they must put their heads together if they want to survive. This story teaches an important lesson about what it means to come through for your friends, and how to trust them with your secrets. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was GREAT! Four teenage boys go on a day trip to anunderground cave in Florida. They find some dangers on the way in andtogether they decide to find their way back out and go home. They take a wrong turn and end up lost. They have little food and no water until they find an oaisis. They share their deepest secerts and become best of friends. Neil, and excellent rock climber trys to climb out, but has a terrible accident and must depend on the others to save him. A very outstandingly written book. I suggest reading it as soon as you can.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "teardrop_2002" on July 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just finished "Free Fall" and I couldn't put it down! It kept you wanting to read and read it. I even wished there was a sequel! The personalities of the four boys were interesting to read. And the way the author had them talking to each other in different situations was funny. Sure, there were cuss words in it but that's just reality. The whole plot was worth reading a few cuss words, no matter what anyone says. It's an amazing book worth reading, even if you don't like to read books with guys as the main character!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book was so suspenseful, I stayed up until 3 in the morning just to finish it and find out what happens! The emotional outbursts of each character makes this more than just a survival story. The author touches on many different issues (relationships, death, survival, divorce, abuse...) which makes the characters seem real. This is an excellent book that will keep your interest to the very end! :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Free Fall is an outstanding novel! It tells the story of fourteenage boys who become lost in a cave in Florida. As they begin tolose hope, they spill their deepest secrets to each other--and realizethat they have more in common than they thought! Will they ever find their way out of this "death trap?" Read this powerful story and find out for yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tea on January 9, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this book up on a whim and I was shocked at how great it was! I read the whole thing in one setting... I really like how the author dug deep in the characters thoughts; it really made you be able to identify with them. It was real to life with out being too corny.
Be warned, there is strong language used, but I think its redeemable since that's how most teenagers talk and express themselves. Infact, don't think the book whould be the same without it. The way they sarcastically talked(mostly yealled)and joked around was hilarious. "Everybody dies weither they floss or not!" (Ok, it was really funny when it was said when everybody was depressed and talking about dying.)
The whole plot of the story was amazing too. You think its going to predictable, but then it flips you around so you never know what's going to happen next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was sooo good! I borrowed it from the library, and now I'll probably buy it. I finished it the same day I got it, staying up until one in the morning, and boy was it worth almost falling asleep in math class. Ms. Sweeney makes it sound like real kids are really talking. I hate how in other books, authors use all sorts of words that kids now-a-days don't use. Warning: If you're put off by foul language, read another adventure book. I'm not usualy into adventure books, but this book just looked so cool sitting on the shelf! I especialy liked how each character had a "hidden story". The only thing I didn't like was how the book suddenly ended. I would have liked a page of an eppilouge, to find out what happened to Neil, David, Randy and Terry. The best-go and read it now! ~Nishana
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I picked this book up, I thought it would be just a boys' book (spelunking, sweat, grunting, etc.), but girls can enjoy it too. This was more than just an adventure book. You'll really root for the characters. Through their struggles against nature (the cave where they're trapped), two brothers (and their best friends) explore their relationship and the terrible secret in their past . . . Read it to find out what that is.
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More About the Author

Joyce Sweeney is the author of fourteen novels for young adults and one book of poetry. Her novel, Shadow, won the Nevada Young Readers Award. Her novel Players was a Top Ten Sports Pick by Booklist. Her novel Headlock won a Silver Medal in the Florida Book Awards. Joyce is also a writing teacher and has mentored 36 of her students to publication. She teaches workshops throughout the state of Florida and is now launching online classes. Her hobby is community theater and she produces and directs several plays a year in South Florida.