Author: Anna Levine
Published: September 1, 2008 from Greenwillow Books
My editiong/number of pages: HC/272
Age group: Young adult
Source: Author/Teen Book Scene
Aggie is eighteen and getting ready to do her service for the Israeli Army. She could get a cushy assignment—maybe pushing paper somewhere—or she could just take her chances. Only, Aggie isn’t like that. Despite her small size and the fact that she needs to gain weight to even make the grade, and despite the total disbelief of her entire family (except her grandmother, who is an old freedom fighter and don’t you forget it), Aggie is trying out for an elite combat unit.
Ben—Aggie’s crush of the moment—isn’t at all convinced that she’s making the right choice. Shira, Aggie’s best friend forever, is bewildered (and perhaps a bit too interested in Ben). Then there’s Noah. And the serendipitous snow. And a good-bye kiss that turns into, well, a real kiss.
Luckily for Aggie, her backbreaking, sand-in-mouth, completely-lost-in-the-desert training produces an unlikely dividend: friends. The kind she never imagined she could have. The kind you’d go to war with—and for.
Freefall is a surprisingly good book and I was amazed at how quickly I got into it. I hadn’t heard much about it before I picked it up and after reading it I honestly don’t know why. This book needs to get some more attention. It’s one of the best young adult books I have ever read and I don’t think it has gotten the attention it deserves.
Aggie Jacobs is just about to start her time in the Israeli army and she has no idea what she wants to do. She could get a desk job like most people but it doesn’t feel right to her. What she really wants to do is get into an elite combat unit. Too bad nobody believes she can do it. She knows she’s much smaller than the other girls trying to earn a spot but she also knows that she is a lot more determined. It’s going to take a lot more than sandbags and desert heat to make her give up her dream.
From the very first page I was drawn into Aggie’s world. The descriptions of Israel were beautiful and so vivid. I know very little about Israel but Anna Levine made it feel like I had lived there my whole life. I could picture every last grain of sand in the desert and practically smell the exhaust from the bus leaving Aggie behind at her first boot camp. I didn’t want to leave the world that Anna created and Aggie lived in.
Aggie was another reason I loved this book so much. She was brave, strong, funny, and so real. She knew it was unlikely that she would make it into an elite combat group but that didn’t make her give up. It made her stronger. She worked even harder than the other girls because she knew they had the advantage of being bigger than her. I have read tons of books but out of all of them Aggie is the easiest heroine to connect to. She’s just trying to find her place like everyone else is.
Overall, I don’t think I can do justice to Freefall. I’ve only mentioned a few things that I loved about it but if I went on I don’t think I would ever stop. Anna Levine is a masterful storyteller and Freefall is a wonderful book that I can’t recommend enough. (Oh and I absolutely adored Noah and Lily!)
First line: I am about to jump.
Cover: 5=A++ (I love it!)