Highlighting the dark (and yet acutely relevant) side of high school today, Scott brings to the table heavy issues that are impacting teens with a storyline that reads as real as life itself. With characters that ring true and a journey that proves honest, Freefall is no doubt sure to be one of the best contemporary young adult books of the year."
--New York Journal of Books
VOYA October 2010
5Q 4P A/YA
Scott, Mindi. Freefall. Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster, 2010. 315p. $8.99 Trade pb. 978-1-4424-0278-2.
Trying to cope with the death of his best friend, Isaac, and re-evaluate his friendship with his non-enemy, Kendall, Seth is trying to turn his life around. The fact that Seth was the last person to see his friend alive and the first person to see him dead are haunting Seth, even in his dreams. Entering his junior year in high school, the drinking, partying and being hung-over are no longer entertaining, so Seth must decide if he will take school seriously and graduate with his class in two years or continue to waste away on guilt over his friend’s death.
Scott does a remarkable job capturing her characters and making them come to life. The reader will feel the depth of the characters and care about what happens to them. The novel is well-written with a realistic storyline that stays focused on the characters and the events that bring them together. Freefall will have the reader thinking about how a person’s own actions have consequences and no one is directly responsible for another person’s decisions. Scott sends a strong message that positive things can happen if one is willing to step out of their comfort zone to achieve them.—Juli Zimmerman.
Mindi Scott, Simon Pulse, $8.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0278-2
Scott's well-crafted debut reads like a John Hughes–style romantic comedy filtered through a study of teenage grieving. Despite the booze-influenced death of his friend Isaac, high school junior Seth McCoy has continued his partying ways, drinking to excess and getting high with his brother and their rockabilly band. When he finally attempts to stay sober (upsetting his brother in the process), he finds that he now has crippling stage fright. Seth meets Rosetta--a sweet, mysterious girl who is also coping with grief--at a party and is drawn to her, even as he attempts to deal with family and school issues. Subplots involving Seth's former trailer park neighbor, Kendall, and Seth's new band enrich the story, but it's the awkward courtship between Seth and Rosetta that forms the meat of the novel. Scott stumbles a bit--Rosetta epitomizes the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" archetype (even her name suggests that she's more of a device to help Seth better understand himself)--but Seth's slow discovery of his own potential keeps the story moving and entertaining. Ages 14–up.
--Publishers Weekly, October 11, 2010
Scott, Mindi (Author)
Oct 2010. 336 p. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, paperback, $8.99. (9781442402782).
Sixteen-year-old Seth begins a new year of high school, wracked with guilt over his best friend Isaac’s
death during the summer and suffering from stage fright that gets in the way of performing comfortably
with his band. In addition, he feels pressure to keep Isaac’s free-spirited former girlfriend at arm’s length while he grows interested in a new girl, who seems out of his league. In a story stocked with full and credible characters, Scott portrays a convincing contemporary world of a teen who is smart but
inexperienced, and talented yet uncertain of himself. Class dynamics are cogently communicated through the various characters’ interactions as well as in Seth’s own observations. This is a realistic novel with compelling issues depicted as they are in life—intertwined with one another yet broachable when addressed one at a time rather than relying on any deus ex machina to resolve things in the end. With this first novel, Scott proves herself a formidable talent in the field of YA fiction.
— Francisca Goldsmith, BOOKLIST, November 1, 2010
Scott, Mindi Freefall. Simon Pulse, 2010 [336p] Paper ed. ISBN 978-1-4424-0278-2 $7.99 Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 7-10
Seth’s world is divided into two kinds of people—those who live in the trailer park like he does, and the rich snobs who depend on him and his kind to supply illegal party goods. His main problem is that his best friend, Isaac, has died after a night of hard partying, and Seth feels responsible. He’s trying to move on, but he’s not sure what he wants to move on to; it doesn’t help that a bad reputation is hard to leave behind, and getting drunk is much easier than dealing. After a few stumbles, he starts a promising friendship with a girl named Rosetta, finally finding something worth focusing on, but his vexed connection with Isaac’s ex-girlfriend keeps his unfinished business center-stage; it’s not until he settles things with Isaac’s ex—and with himself—that he has what he needs to forge a real relationship with Rosetta. Seth’s character arc is fully realized, without the burden of too much introspection or weighty insight to bog down the pace of the narrative. Though there are clear class distinctions in the story’s milieu, there is nothing hyperbolic or clichéd in the portrayal of these characters, whether rich or poor, stoners or achievers, which is a refreshing change from most contemporary high-school dramas. Instead, the characters meet on the common ground of the issues they’re struggling with: how to handle your fears, and how to treat others decently even when you are hurting. This is a solid exploration of what you can and can’t do to help your friends, built on top of an engaging story of boy meets girl. KC
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, November 2010