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Freefall

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Overview

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 . ...

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Freefall

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Overview

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 . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"In a genre overloaded with bubble-gum-pink teendom and paranormal dark fantasy full of fangs and fur, Mindi Scott’s debut novel Freefall stands out as fresh, realistic, young adult fiction.

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

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Sixteen-year-old Seth's best friend Isaac has died and Seth is rethinking the direction his life is taking. He decides to stop drinking (Isaac's death was alcohol induced) and to take school seriously, so he can graduate with his class. This plan falls flat with his older brother who wants him to take off on a band road tour. Playing the bass is an important part of Seth's life, but he opts to stay in school and keep his part-time job at the car wash. Then Seth meets Rosetta. They have an instant connection, but they each have deep phobias and other grief-related problems. Seth comes across as a complex character, making mostly rational decisions concerning personal problems, school situations, friendships, and his budding romance. Other characters are also well developed, some likeable and some not so much. Although the plot moves slowly at times, the story presents a realistic picture of life for many high school students and comes to a satisfying conclusion. Some sexual scenes and innuendos along with dialogue sprinkled with a variety of swear words make this a choice better reserved for mature readers. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
VOYA - Juli Zimmerman
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. Reviewer: Juli Zimmerman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442402782
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 10/5/2010
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 315
  • Sales rank: 356,219
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Lexile: HL720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mindi Scott is the author of Freefall and Live Through This. She lives near Seattle, Washington, with her drummer husband in a house with a non-soundproof basement. Visit her at MindiScott.com.

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Read an Excerpt

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4

8:19 P.M.

This was Daniel’s deal. He’d taken the order, contacted a supplier, and set it all up. I was just the sucker he’d roped into driving him for the actual delivery. Which meant, technically, I was also the guy who had the police cruiser riding his ass through town.

Just like always.

“You know, Dick,” Daniel said, “I’m pretty sure you bring this cop bullshit on yourself.”

“Oh yeah?” I kept the steering wheel as steady as I could and stole another glance in the rearview. All I could make out in the dusky darkness were bright headlights and the outline of the light bar on the cruiser’s roof, which—so far—wasn’t flashing. “How do I bring it on myself? By hauling you around everywhere in my brother’s unlucky car?”

“No,” Daniel said. “By driving like a paranoid old lady. You’ve got to blend in better on the road. And go faster. You might not realize this, but cops pay close attention when people are under the speed limit too.”

“I know that.”

What I didn’t know was why Daniel thought he was some kind of speed-estimating expert; the Mustang’s speedometer was always stuck at zero whether I was at a dead stop or cruising the highway.

I looked in my side-view mirror. From what I could tell, the cop had no plans to stop tailgating me anytime soon. The experience was not doing wonders for my hangover headache or crazy-nervous heartbeat.

“You’ve got to quit looking at him,” Daniel said between swigs of his Jack and Coke. “And take some deep breaths or something. The street you want is coming up next left.”

The moment of truth. I flipped on my blinker, and then eased into a pretty smooth turn, even with all the weight Daniel had piled in the back. I peeked in the rearview again, trying to be casual about it.

To my relief the cruiser hadn’t followed. We were in the clear for now.

A minute later we hit the crest of Ray Fitch Hill—“Rich Bitch Hill” to those of us unlucky enough to live by the river—where huge houses sat on square, perfect lawns with clipped hedges and lit-up flower beds. Amazing, really, the ritziness of this part of town. Most of the cars alone were worth three, maybe even four, times as much as the single-wide mobile homes Daniel and I called home.

Daniel directed me to the place, and as I backed into the driveway, Pete Zimmer, the Kenburn High football god himself, was waiting on the sidewalk with two other jocks. They all looked alike with their buzz-cut hair and T-shirts that said, I AM COLLEGE, I’D DO ME, and SEXY NEVER LEFT.

“Just let me handle this,” Daniel said to me.

“I always do.”

We climbed out of the car. I fidgeted with Isaac’s miniature Magic 8 Ball while Daniel clasped I-Am-College Pete’s hand all secret-handshake-style. This crap had been going on for over a year, so I should have been used to it, but Daniel acting buddy-buddy with guys we’d always hated still weirded me out.

Pete nodded toward me. “Hey, Seth.” Then he got down to business. “Danny, I have all these people showing up. Last big party of the summer and you’re late with the beer. What’s up with that?”

“Hey, these things take time,” Daniel said.

The fact that he didn’t correct Pete over the Danny thing bugged me too. Everyone got a nickname from Daniel—he’d been calling me Dick instead of Seth for years—but he usually didn’t let people get away with calling him anything but Daniel.

I popped the trunk, which was packed tight with cases of beer and a whole mess of Jack Daniel’s and vodka. Then I went around, leaned into the car, and pulled out the blankets from the backseat that had been covering up more stacks of the same.

Pete stood at the back of the car, staring down. “What’s all this single-serving shit? I ordered a keg.”

“That didn’t work out,” Daniel said, playing it cool. “But I got you a good price and threw in a bunch of hard stuff, too. You and your pals can stay sloppy drunk all night with this.”

Pete frowned. “What are you trying to pull, Jackson?”

If I hadn’t known better, the expression on Daniel’s face would have made me believe he was actually sorry. He clamped his hand on Pete’s shoulder and hunched down so they were at eye level. “Look, Zimm. I have it on good authority that the police are looking for some underage parties in your neighborhood to raid this weekend. If you have a keg, there’ll be no way to hide it. You’ll be screwed, I’ll be screwed, we’ll all be screwed. It’s safer this way.”

I’d-Do-Me Eric raised his eyebrows and looked down the street like he expected to spot police cars staking out the place.

“Where’d you hear that?” Pete asked. “About the cops?”

“I have people everywhere,” Daniel said, waving toward the Valley.

Pete looked like he wanted to ask more questions or possibly kick Daniel’s ass, but Sexy-Never-Left Garrison cut in. “Dude, beer’s beer. Let’s do this.”

“Yes, let’s,” Daniel said. “Dick and I will haul everything in for you, no extra charge. Sound cool?”

Pete shrugged. “Go for it.” Then he headed back to his mansion with his friends trailing behind.

When they were gone, I couldn’t help laughing. “You have people? Every where?”

“Hell yeah, I do,” Daniel said, grinning. “And these people of mine predicted that beer will be served in huge quantities right here tonight. Which is exactly why you and me are going to stick around.”

I shook my head. “No way.”

It was more of a reflex than anything. Saying no to Rich Bitch Hill parties was as automatic to me as saying yes had become to Daniel.

“Come on, Dick,” he argued. “It isn’t like you have anyplace better to be.”

He was right. And, well, the truth was, I actually did need to do something to get my mind off all the crap from the night before.

Daniel could always pick up on it if I was wavering, so he told me his usual lie to seal the deal: “Just give me twenty minutes here and we can take off, okay?”

“Fine,” I said, pretending to believe him. “Twenty minutes.”

10:44 P.M.

I’d been to enough house parties to know when everything was about to fall apart. After two hours, this one was definitely on the way to disintegration. Forty or fifty rowdy drunk kids were there, all laughing and yelling their heads off while the suck-ass dance music vibrated children out of their beds the next block over.

I was ready to leave—I’d been ready since we’d walked in, to be honest—but Daniel had disappeared with some chick, so I headed back to the kitchen on my own, even though the booze was in there and I kind of wanted to steer clear. Being around these rich assholes was messing up my head worse than ever. The room I was trying not to go into was exactly where I kept ending up; the stuff I was trying not to drink was exactly what I’d been chugging all night.

Vicki Lancaster and Carr Goodwin were standing in front of the marble-y counter with a few of their friends, sipping from cans. Carr watched my every move like salespeople always did when Daniel and I walked into a store. The rest ignored me.

“This is the nastiest beer,” Vicki said, making an even bitchier face than usual. “Pete was going to get a keg, but then he got some inside scoop that the police are monitoring keg rentals. I wish he’d gone for it anyway.”

Daniel’s cover story had spread through the party like some big conspiracy. I was the only one who knew why he really hadn’t been able to get the keg: the girl who always hooked him up was still holding a grudge after finding out he’d hooked up with her best friend.

Carr laughed his big, booming laugh and said to Vicki, “Maybe it’s better this way. The last thing I need is for my position as vice president to be put in jeopardy.”

Everyone started busting up at that. I never hung out with Carr, but every time I heard him talk, he was going on about school politics like he was some important man. In jeopardy. Who says that?

I couldn’t take it anymore. I popped open a beer and gulped the whole thing down in about ten seconds. “You’re right, Vicki,” I said, crushing the can in my hand. “That’s the worst stuff I’ve ever tasted.”

She stared at me. It struck me that her skinny eyebrows and open mouth made her look like she’d just walked into a surprise party. I tried to keep a straight face, but burst out laughing.

“Oh, Jeez,” Vicki said. “Who let the trailer trash in?”

She was always giving me shit; holding some grudge over God knows what. “Trailer trash,” I said, helping myself to yet another beer. “That’s a good one. Did you come up with it all by yourself?”

She tossed her blond hair over her shoulder. “I did. I also came up with ‘You. Are. A. Loser.’ Don’t you have some meth to go smoke?”

I was bored of them already, so I gave Vicki a wink and started for the dining room. But then I heard her say, “Maybe if we’re all lucky, Seth will end up like Isaac. Such a nontragedy that was.”

I spun around, gripping the doorway to steady myself. If some guy had said it, I might have decked him. But since I wasn’t going to hit a girl—not even an evil one like Vicki—I settled for “You. Are. A. Bitch.”

It wasn’t enough. Nowhere near enough.

I had to get away from these people.

Two seconds later I was staggering away again and Carr was after me, grabbing my arm. “Watch it, McCoy,” he said in a low voice that was probably supposed to make me shake with terror. “I’ve got my eye on you.”

“Go to hell,” I said, jerking free.

I made my way back to the dance party revival in the living room and leaned against the wall. Daniel had five minutes to finish getting off, or I’d be leaving his ass behind.

Xander Yates—another kid I’d gone to school with forever but never hung out with—chose that moment to push his shaggy hair out of his eyes and stand next to me. “Hey, Seth. Great show!” he yelled over the music.

A bunch of hot girls in tiny tops and skirts were dancing in front of us. One of them was Felicia, a girl I’d been pretty into last year. I hadn’t seen her since the start of summer. By now I wasn’t sure if it was because of her or me. It didn’t matter anyway; she was all over I’d-Do-Me Eric’s older brother, and I couldn’t bring myself to care.

“Yes,” I said to Xander. “Really great show.”

He laughed. “I’m not talking about any of them. I meant your gig with the Real McCoys last night. You were awesome on that upright bass.”

“Yeah right.” I’m usually cool about accepting compliments, even when I suck—only a real asshole insults someone else’s taste—but I couldn’t be this time. “That must be why everyone was saying it was the worst they’d ever seen me play.”

Xander wasn’t fazed. “You were better at the gig you played in June, I’ll give you that. But I think your worst is a cut above most people’s best. Even when you’re falling off the stage you still put on a good show.”

He had one part of it right: I was better in June. Everything was better then.

Xander leaned against the wall like he was settling in for a long talk. “What did you think of those guys who played after you? I felt like the music was all right, but it was hard to get past the rough vocals. That’s a challenge, I think, when the front man . . .”

As I’d expected, he kept talking. And talking. Xander seemed halfway decent for a Rich Bitch Hill kid, but I wasn’t in the mood for conversation. Especially since I’d been too busy puking in the parking lot to have seen the set he was asking about, anyway.

I zoned out and scanned for somewhere else to go.

And that’s when I caught sight of the crazy red hair I’d woken up next to.

11:02 P.M.

Across the room from me, Kendall Eckman was running her fingers through her stop-sign red hair and laughing at whatever bullshit I-Am-College Pete was saying. She was all smiles in a black halter top and a denim skirt that barely covered her ass. No one would have guessed that less than twelve hours before, she’d been in her underwear, screaming and throwing things at me.

Kendall was the last chick in this town, in this country, on this planet, I would have wanted to lose my virginity to. And yet, at some point after I got wasted at the gig, fell off the stage, was chewed out by my brother, and puked in the parking lot, it happened. At some point before I’d woken up in my bed with a pounding head, stale beer/sour puke breath, and no clue how I’d gotten there or why Kendall was with me, it happened.

Turning back to Xander and his yammering, I considered my next move.

“. . . play a show in Seattle,” he was saying. “I told him we’d have a better chance . . .”

Kendall didn’t seem to have noticed me yet. I needed to keep it that way. I could sneak away. Or pretend not to see her. If she went along with it, we could ignore each other for hours.

Not that I’d be staying for any more hours. No way.

But then it was too late for pretending. I was looking at her and she was looking at me. Her huge, dark eyes narrowed and her pouty lips turned down.

Busted.

“. . . wondering,” Xander said, “do you ever play electric bass or any other styles of music besides rockabilly?”

“Nope.” I looked around for a hiding place. “I haven’t for a long time.”

Dining room, kitchen, bathroom, garage. Backyard!

“Well, if you ever want to try something different, my band—”

“I’m going out. There,” I said, pointing at the sliding glass door. “See you around.”

I pushed past two dudes, slid the door open, tripped outside, and pulled the door shut again.

The yard was like an ad for some yuppie resort, with all the matching chairs lined up and a couple of round tables with huge umbrellas poking out of them. I went around to the far side of the pool and fell onto a cushioned lounge chair, where I had a good view of everyone through the huge living room window.

What the hell was Kendall doing here?

Or, the better question: What was I doing? This was Kendall’s neighborhood now. These were Kendall’s fancy friends. Of course she’d be here. I hadn’t been thinking when I’d let Daniel talk me into this.

I finished my beer and tossed the can under my chair. I wanted another but I didn’t feel like going in to get it, so I leaned back and stared at the sky instead. Aside from the people who lived here, everything was better on the Hill than in the Valley; even the fucking stars were brighter.

There was sound all around me: the conversation of the guys smoking weed by the fence, the whispering of the couple making out on the air mattress, the music coming from inside Pete’s house. But I wasn’t part of any of it. It was all just background, swirling over and around, bouncing off me. Maybe Vicki’s wish would come true and I would end up like Isaac. Maybe I didn’t even care.

The back door slid across its track.

Open: loud music/laughing/talking.

Closed: muffled music/laughing/talking.

The unmistakable sound of flip-flops slapping the bottoms of feet echoed from across the pool and started coming close. Closer. Closest. The shoes stopped and the chair next to me scraped on the concrete. The cushion made a deflating sound.

I turned my head, expecting to see that dreaded red hair and Kendall raring to go for round two—of arguing, I mean—but the flip-flops wearer on the lounger was this hot girl with long, black hair. We’d never had a real conversation and I didn’t know her name, but I’d seen her around at school some during second semester.

“I’ve noticed that in movies about parties, everyone always ends up falling, jumping, or pushing each other into the pool,” she said, waving toward the water. “And yet here we are and no one’s in there. Not one single person!”

Lying down felt nicer, but I sat up anyway. This chick was too cute to ignore. “That’s easy enough to fix. You stand by the edge. I’ll give you a shove.”

She laughed, and if there’s any such thing as a pretty laugh, she had one. Just hearing her was enough to snap me out of my funk for the moment. “Actually,” she said, “I think I’m good for now. Thanks, though.”

To make her laugh again, I said, “All right. Fine. Be that way.”

It didn’t work at all; I sounded like a dickhead.

We sat there for a few painful seconds with neither of us saying anything. I glanced toward the window for Kendall or Daniel while Flip-Flops stared at me.

“I am so glad to be out here and away from everyone right now,” she said. “I hate coming to these parties.”

“Why’s that?”

She bit her lip in this sexy, nervous way. “I don’t know. I guess because I don’t really drink or any of that kind of stuff, so being around people who do is just kind of . . . surreal.”

“Surreal?”

“Everyone seems fake and weird in there,” she said with a shrug.

“Oh. Like being surrounded by pod people?”

I had no idea where I came up with that. I didn’t even know what I was talking about.

“Kind of the opposite, maybe,” she said. “See, these pod people are normal humans until they get loaded and suddenly start thinking whatever they say and do is super-great. But in Body Snatchers, they’re emotionless, freaky alien creatures. So it’s a little different.”

Huh. So pod people were from a movie, then?

“I know exactly what you mean,” I said.

It was another lame attempt at humor because, obviously, I was partway loaded—just like probably everyone except her—but I still knew full well that I wasn’t funny or interesting or deep.

For some reason, though, she missed my meaning.

“Really?” she asked, smiling. “So you’re saying I’m not the only non–pod person here for once?”

I didn’t want to have to tell her she’d pegged me all wrong, that she was looking happy and beautiful for nothing, so I nodded. It wasn’t exactly a lie, I figured. Somewhere in that huge house was someone else who was sober. Maybe.

Another silence.

Flip-Flops looked toward the door. Was she thinking of going in because I wasn’t talking? Should I say something to make her stay?

“My car has at least enough gas to get to the ocean,” I blurted out.

She leaned toward me and I could see right down her strappy top. Nice.

“That’s good,” she said. “Are you taking a trip?”

“Um, well, I wasn’t for sure planning to,” I tried my hardest to sound serious and sober. “But I’ll take you if you want. Since you hate this party so much, I mean.”

She laughed again. Such an awesome laugh. If I had a recording of it, I’d play it on repeat for hours. “That’s a very sweet offer. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to pass.”

“Let me guess.” I sounded ridiculously jokey to my own ears. It was like I couldn’t stop. “A girl like you doesn’t take rides from a guy like me?”

Before she got a chance to answer, the back door was opening again and a big group came out. Carr and Daniel were with them. Almost everyone started toward the pool, laughing and making a bunch of noise, but Daniel hung back and lit up a cigarette.

I watched Carr, hoping he’d take the opportunity to drown himself. Instead, he dragged a chair over and sat down next to Flip-Flops and me. “You okay out here?” he asked, putting his hand on her shoulder.

She smiled. “I’m fine.”

“Good.” Carr stuck his lips by her ear and used a whisper voice that was so loud the people inside the house could almost have heard him. “This guy’s pretty hammered,” he said, gesturing toward me. “I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t harassing you like he was Vicki a few minutes ago.”

Her smile faded. She eased away from Carr and studied my face like she was making sure she could identify me in a lineup. Carr was watching me too, and I wished I’d knocked the bastard out in the dining room when I’d had the chance.

Then the wailing of sirens cut into the night. You’d think they’d have come quietly so they could catch us offguard, but here in Kenburn, Washington, the boys in blue were all about the scare tactics. “Cops,” Daniel said, rushing over. “Time to bail.”

No shit.

I tried to jump up but caught my foot on the cushion. The lounge chair and I crashed side by side inches from the edge of the pool. The beer can I’d stashed came rolling out and hit Flip-Flops on her foot. She glanced down at it for one long second, and then headed for the gate without looking back. I pushed myself up to get going too, but Carr gave me a hard shove, and I fell again.

Right into the pool.

The chlorinated water stung my nose and plugged my ears as I hit the shallow, tiled bottom. Being tossed in cold water while wearing all my clothes felt wrong and somehow more intense than anything I’d experienced for weeks. But thanks to the air pockets that had formed in my shirt, I surfaced easily. Carr was gone, and Daniel was poolside looking panicked. “Dick, this isn’t what I’d call a good time for a swim.”

The sirens sounded close now. And from what I could see through the sliding glass door, everyone inside was freaking out. Such amateurs.

I paddled to the steps and pulled myself out.

“Hurry up! Unless you want to get busted?” Daniel yelled over his shoulder as he went for the gate.

I bolted after him. My socks and shoes were sloshing, my T-shirt and jeans were heavy and suctioned against my skin, and my coordination was for shit. But I didn’t stop running until I’d caught up with Daniel at the edge of the woods. “What about the car?” I asked.

“I hate to break it to you, but you’re in no shape to drive and neither am I,” Daniel said. “We’ll get it tomorrow.”

I followed him into the woods to go the back way home. It was a forty-minute walk, and by the time it was over, I was covered with dirt after tripping my way down the hill, through bushes, over fallen trees and branches, and across the river in soaked clothes and shoes that wouldn’t stay tied.

What was it Flip-Flops had been saying about movies, pools, and getting pushed in? Because as far as I could tell, it sucked balls in real life.

© 2010 MINDI SCOTT

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First Chapter

Freefall


By Mindi Scott

Simon Pulse

Copyright © 2010 Mindi Scott
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781442402782

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4

8:19 P.M.

This was Daniel’s deal. He’d taken the order, contacted a supplier, and set it all up. I was just the sucker he’d roped into driving him for the actual delivery. Which meant, technically, I was also the guy who had the police cruiser riding his ass through town.

Just like always.

“You know, Dick,” Daniel said, “I’m pretty sure you bring this cop bullshit on yourself.”

“Oh yeah?” I kept the steering wheel as steady as I could and stole another glance in the rearview. All I could make out in the dusky darkness were bright headlights and the outline of the light bar on the cruiser’s roof, which—so far—wasn’t flashing. “How do I bring it on myself? By hauling you around everywhere in my brother’s unlucky car?”

“No,” Daniel said. “By driving like a paranoid old lady. You’ve got to blend in better on the road. And go faster. You might not realize this, but cops pay close attention when people are under the speed limit too.”

“I know that.”

What I didn’t know was why Daniel thought he was some kind of speed-estimating expert; the Mustang’s speedometer was always stuck at zero whether I was at a dead stop or cruising the highway.

I looked in my side-view mirror. From what I could tell, the cop had no plans to stop tailgating me anytime soon. The experience was not doing wonders for my hangover headache or crazy-nervous heartbeat.

“You’ve got to quit looking at him,” Daniel said between swigs of his Jack and Coke. “And take some deep breaths or something. The street you want is coming up next left.”

The moment of truth. I flipped on my blinker, and then eased into a pretty smooth turn, even with all the weight Daniel had piled in the back. I peeked in the rearview again, trying to be casual about it.

To my relief the cruiser hadn’t followed. We were in the clear for now.

A minute later we hit the crest of Ray Fitch Hill—“Rich Bitch Hill” to those of us unlucky enough to live by the river—where huge houses sat on square, perfect lawns with clipped hedges and lit-up flower beds. Amazing, really, the ritziness of this part of town. Most of the cars alone were worth three, maybe even four, times as much as the single-wide mobile homes Daniel and I called home.

Daniel directed me to the place, and as I backed into the driveway, Pete Zimmer, the Kenburn High football god himself, was waiting on the sidewalk with two other jocks. They all looked alike with their buzz-cut hair and T-shirts that said, I AM COLLEGE, I’D DO ME, and SEXY NEVER LEFT.

“Just let me handle this,” Daniel said to me.

“I always do.”

We climbed out of the car. I fidgeted with Isaac’s miniature Magic 8 Ball while Daniel clasped I-Am-College Pete’s hand all secret-handshake-style. This crap had been going on for over a year, so I should have been used to it, but Daniel acting buddy-buddy with guys we’d always hated still weirded me out.

Pete nodded toward me. “Hey, Seth.” Then he got down to business. “Danny, I have all these people showing up. Last big party of the summer and you’re late with the beer. What’s up with that?”

“Hey, these things take time,” Daniel said.

The fact that he didn’t correct Pete over the Danny thing bugged me too. Everyone got a nickname from Daniel—he’d been calling me Dick instead of Seth for years—but he usually didn’t let people get away with calling him anything but Daniel.

I popped the trunk, which was packed tight with cases of beer and a whole mess of Jack Daniel’s and vodka. Then I went around, leaned into the car, and pulled out the blankets from the backseat that had been covering up more stacks of the same.

Pete stood at the back of the car, staring down. “What’s all this single-serving shit? I ordered a keg.”

“That didn’t work out,” Daniel said, playing it cool. “But I got you a good price and threw in a bunch of hard stuff, too. You and your pals can stay sloppy drunk all night with this.”

Pete frowned. “What are you trying to pull, Jackson?”

If I hadn’t known better, the expression on Daniel’s face would have made me believe he was actually sorry. He clamped his hand on Pete’s shoulder and hunched down so they were at eye level. “Look, Zimm. I have it on good authority that the police are looking for some underage parties in your neighborhood to raid this weekend. If you have a keg, there’ll be no way to hide it. You’ll be screwed, I’ll be screwed, we’ll all be screwed. It’s safer this way.”

I’d-Do-Me Eric raised his eyebrows and looked down the street like he expected to spot police cars staking out the place.

“Where’d you hear that?” Pete asked. “About the cops?”

“I have people everywhere,” Daniel said, waving toward the Valley.

Pete looked like he wanted to ask more questions or possibly kick Daniel’s ass, but Sexy-Never-Left Garrison cut in. “Dude, beer’s beer. Let’s do this.”

“Yes, let’s,” Daniel said. “Dick and I will haul everything in for you, no extra charge. Sound cool?”

Pete shrugged. “Go for it.” Then he headed back to his mansion with his friends trailing behind.

When they were gone, I couldn’t help laughing. “You have people? Every where?”

“Hell yeah, I do,” Daniel said, grinning. “And these people of mine predicted that beer will be served in huge quantities right here tonight. Which is exactly why you and me are going to stick around.”

I shook my head. “No way.”

It was more of a reflex than anything. Saying no to Rich Bitch Hill parties was as automatic to me as saying yes had become to Daniel.

“Come on, Dick,” he argued. “It isn’t like you have anyplace better to be.”

He was right. And, well, the truth was, I actually did need to do something to get my mind off all the crap from the night before.

Daniel could always pick up on it if I was wavering, so he told me his usual lie to seal the deal: “Just give me twenty minutes here and we can take off, okay?”

“Fine,” I said, pretending to believe him. “Twenty minutes.”

10:44 P.M.

I’d been to enough house parties to know when everything was about to fall apart. After two hours, this one was definitely on the way to disintegration. Forty or fifty rowdy drunk kids were there, all laughing and yelling their heads off while the suck-ass dance music vibrated children out of their beds the next block over.

I was ready to leave—I’d been ready since we’d walked in, to be honest—but Daniel had disappeared with some chick, so I headed back to the kitchen on my own, even though the booze was in there and I kind of wanted to steer clear. Being around these rich assholes was messing up my head worse than ever. The room I was trying not to go into was exactly where I kept ending up; the stuff I was trying not to drink was exactly what I’d been chugging all night.

Vicki Lancaster and Carr Goodwin were standing in front of the marble-y counter with a few of their friends, sipping from cans. Carr watched my every move like salespeople always did when Daniel and I walked into a store. The rest ignored me.

“This is the nastiest beer,” Vicki said, making an even bitchier face than usual. “Pete was going to get a keg, but then he got some inside scoop that the police are monitoring keg rentals. I wish he’d gone for it anyway.”

Daniel’s cover story had spread through the party like some big conspiracy. I was the only one who knew why he really hadn’t been able to get the keg: the girl who always hooked him up was still holding a grudge after finding out he’d hooked up with her best friend.

Carr laughed his big, booming laugh and said to Vicki, “Maybe it’s better this way. The last thing I need is for my position as vice president to be put in jeopardy.”

Everyone started busting up at that. I never hung out with Carr, but every time I heard him talk, he was going on about school politics like he was some important man. In jeopardy. Who says that?

I couldn’t take it anymore. I popped open a beer and gulped the whole thing down in about ten seconds. “You’re right, Vicki,” I said, crushing the can in my hand. “That’s the worst stuff I’ve ever tasted.”

She stared at me. It struck me that her skinny eyebrows and open mouth made her look like she’d just walked into a surprise party. I tried to keep a straight face, but burst out laughing.

“Oh, Jeez,” Vicki said. “Who let the trailer trash in?”

She was always giving me shit; holding some grudge over God knows what. “Trailer trash,” I said, helping myself to yet another beer. “That’s a good one. Did you come up with it all by yourself?”

She tossed her blond hair over her shoulder. “I did. I also came up with ‘You. Are. A. Loser.’ Don’t you have some meth to go smoke?”

I was bored of them already, so I gave Vicki a wink and started for the dining room. But then I heard her say, “Maybe if we’re all lucky, Seth will end up like Isaac. Such a nontragedy that was.”

I spun around, gripping the doorway to steady myself. If some guy had said it, I might have decked him. But since I wasn’t going to hit a girl—not even an evil one like Vicki—I settled for “You. Are. A. Bitch.”

It wasn’t enough. Nowhere near enough.

I had to get away from these people.

Two seconds later I was staggering away again and Carr was after me, grabbing my arm. “Watch it, McCoy,” he said in a low voice that was probably supposed to make me shake with terror. “I’ve got my eye on you.”

“Go to hell,” I said, jerking free.

I made my way back to the dance party revival in the living room and leaned against the wall. Daniel had five minutes to finish getting off, or I’d be leaving his ass behind.

Xander Yates—another kid I’d gone to school with forever but never hung out with—chose that moment to push his shaggy hair out of his eyes and stand next to me. “Hey, Seth. Great show!” he yelled over the music.

A bunch of hot girls in tiny tops and skirts were dancing in front of us. One of them was Felicia, a girl I’d been pretty into last year. I hadn’t seen her since the start of summer. By now I wasn’t sure if it was because of her or me. It didn’t matter anyway; she was all over I’d-Do-Me Eric’s older brother, and I couldn’t bring myself to care.

“Yes,” I said to Xander. “Really great show.”

He laughed. “I’m not talking about any of them. I meant your gig with the Real McCoys last night. You were awesome on that upright bass.”

“Yeah right.” I’m usually cool about accepting compliments, even when I suck—only a real asshole insults someone else’s taste—but I couldn’t be this time. “That must be why everyone was saying it was the worst they’d ever seen me play.”

Xander wasn’t fazed. “You were better at the gig you played in June, I’ll give you that. But I think your worst is a cut above most people’s best. Even when you’re falling off the stage you still put on a good show.”

He had one part of it right: I was better in June. Everything was better then.

Xander leaned against the wall like he was settling in for a long talk. “What did you think of those guys who played after you? I felt like the music was all right, but it was hard to get past the rough vocals. That’s a challenge, I think, when the front man . . .”

As I’d expected, he kept talking. And talking. Xander seemed halfway decent for a Rich Bitch Hill kid, but I wasn’t in the mood for conversation. Especially since I’d been too busy puking in the parking lot to have seen the set he was asking about, anyway.

I zoned out and scanned for somewhere else to go.

And that’s when I caught sight of the crazy red hair I’d woken up next to.

11:02 P.M.

Across the room from me, Kendall Eckman was running her fingers through her stop-sign red hair and laughing at whatever bullshit I-Am-College Pete was saying. She was all smiles in a black halter top and a denim skirt that barely covered her ass. No one would have guessed that less than twelve hours before, she’d been in her underwear, screaming and throwing things at me.

Kendall was the last chick in this town, in this country, on this planet, I would have wanted to lose my virginity to. And yet, at some point after I got wasted at the gig, fell off the stage, was chewed out by my brother, and puked in the parking lot, it happened. At some point before I’d woken up in my bed with a pounding head, stale beer/sour puke breath, and no clue how I’d gotten there or why Kendall was with me, it happened.

Turning back to Xander and his yammering, I considered my next move.

“. . . play a show in Seattle,” he was saying. “I told him we’d have a better chance . . .”

Kendall didn’t seem to have noticed me yet. I needed to keep it that way. I could sneak away. Or pretend not to see her. If she went along with it, we could ignore each other for hours.

Not that I’d be staying for any more hours. No way.

But then it was too late for pretending. I was looking at her and she was looking at me. Her huge, dark eyes narrowed and her pouty lips turned down.

Busted.

“. . . wondering,” Xander said, “do you ever play electric bass or any other styles of music besides rockabilly?”

“Nope.” I looked around for a hiding place. “I haven’t for a long time.”

Dining room, kitchen, bathroom, garage. Backyard!

“Well, if you ever want to try something different, my band—”

“I’m going out. There,” I said, pointing at the sliding glass door. “See you around.”

I pushed past two dudes, slid the door open, tripped outside, and pulled the door shut again.

The yard was like an ad for some yuppie resort, with all the matching chairs lined up and a couple of round tables with huge umbrellas poking out of them. I went around to the far side of the pool and fell onto a cushioned lounge chair, where I had a good view of everyone through the huge living room window.

What the hell was Kendall doing here?

Or, the better question: What was I doing? This was Kendall’s neighborhood now. These were Kendall’s fancy friends. Of course she’d be here. I hadn’t been thinking when I’d let Daniel talk me into this.

I finished my beer and tossed the can under my chair. I wanted another but I didn’t feel like going in to get it, so I leaned back and stared at the sky instead. Aside from the people who lived here, everything was better on the Hill than in the Valley; even the fucking stars were brighter.

There was sound all around me: the conversation of the guys smoking weed by the fence, the whispering of the couple making out on the air mattress, the music coming from inside Pete’s house. But I wasn’t part of any of it. It was all just background, swirling over and around, bouncing off me. Maybe Vicki’s wish would come true and I would end up like Isaac. Maybe I didn’t even care.

The back door slid across its track.

Open: loud music/laughing/talking.

Closed: muffled music/laughing/talking.

The unmistakable sound of flip-flops slapping the bottoms of feet echoed from across the pool and started coming close. Closer. Closest. The shoes stopped and the chair next to me scraped on the concrete. The cushion made a deflating sound.

I turned my head, expecting to see that dreaded red hair and Kendall raring to go for round two—of arguing, I mean—but the flip-flops wearer on the lounger was this hot girl with long, black hair. We’d never had a real conversation and I didn’t know her name, but I’d seen her around at school some during second semester.

“I’ve noticed that in movies about parties, everyone always ends up falling, jumping, or pushing each other into the pool,” she said, waving toward the water. “And yet here we are and no one’s in there. Not one single person!”

Lying down felt nicer, but I sat up anyway. This chick was too cute to ignore. “That’s easy enough to fix. You stand by the edge. I’ll give you a shove.”

She laughed, and if there’s any such thing as a pretty laugh, she had one. Just hearing her was enough to snap me out of my funk for the moment. “Actually,” she said, “I think I’m good for now. Thanks, though.”

To make her laugh again, I said, “All right. Fine. Be that way.”

It didn’t work at all; I sounded like a dickhead.

We sat there for a few painful seconds with neither of us saying anything. I glanced toward the window for Kendall or Daniel while Flip-Flops stared at me.

“I am so glad to be out here and away from everyone right now,” she said. “I hate coming to these parties.”

“Why’s that?”

She bit her lip in this sexy, nervous way. “I don’t know. I guess because I don’t really drink or any of that kind of stuff, so being around people who do is just kind of . . . surreal.”

“Surreal?”

“Everyone seems fake and weird in there,” she said with a shrug.

“Oh. Like being surrounded by pod people?”

I had no idea where I came up with that. I didn’t even know what I was talking about.

“Kind of the opposite, maybe,” she said. “See, these pod people are normal humans until they get loaded and suddenly start thinking whatever they say and do is super-great. But in Body Snatchers, they’re emotionless, freaky alien creatures. So it’s a little different.”

Huh. So pod people were from a movie, then?

“I know exactly what you mean,” I said.

It was another lame attempt at humor because, obviously, I was partway loaded—just like probably everyone except her—but I still knew full well that I wasn’t funny or interesting or deep.

For some reason, though, she missed my meaning.

“Really?” she asked, smiling. “So you’re saying I’m not the only non–pod person here for once?”

I didn’t want to have to tell her she’d pegged me all wrong, that she was looking happy and beautiful for nothing, so I nodded. It wasn’t exactly a lie, I figured. Somewhere in that huge house was someone else who was sober. Maybe.

Another silence.

Flip-Flops looked toward the door. Was she thinking of going in because I wasn’t talking? Should I say something to make her stay?

“My car has at least enough gas to get to the ocean,” I blurted out.

She leaned toward me and I could see right down her strappy top. Nice.

“That’s good,” she said. “Are you taking a trip?”

“Um, well, I wasn’t for sure planning to,” I tried my hardest to sound serious and sober. “But I’ll take you if you want. Since you hate this party so much, I mean.”

She laughed again. Such an awesome laugh. If I had a recording of it, I’d play it on repeat for hours. “That’s a very sweet offer. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to pass.”

“Let me guess.” I sounded ridiculously jokey to my own ears. It was like I couldn’t stop. “A girl like you doesn’t take rides from a guy like me?”

Before she got a chance to answer, the back door was opening again and a big group came out. Carr and Daniel were with them. Almost everyone started toward the pool, laughing and making a bunch of noise, but Daniel hung back and lit up a cigarette.

I watched Carr, hoping he’d take the opportunity to drown himself. Instead, he dragged a chair over and sat down next to Flip-Flops and me. “You okay out here?” he asked, putting his hand on her shoulder.

She smiled. “I’m fine.”

“Good.” Carr stuck his lips by her ear and used a whisper voice that was so loud the people inside the house could almost have heard him. “This guy’s pretty hammered,” he said, gesturing toward me. “I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t harassing you like he was Vicki a few minutes ago.”

Her smile faded. She eased away from Carr and studied my face like she was making sure she could identify me in a lineup. Carr was watching me too, and I wished I’d knocked the bastard out in the dining room when I’d had the chance.

Then the wailing of sirens cut into the night. You’d think they’d have come quietly so they could catch us offguard, but here in Kenburn, Washington, the boys in blue were all about the scare tactics. “Cops,” Daniel said, rushing over. “Time to bail.”

No shit.

I tried to jump up but caught my foot on the cushion. The lounge chair and I crashed side by side inches from the edge of the pool. The beer can I’d stashed came rolling out and hit Flip-Flops on her foot. She glanced down at it for one long second, and then headed for the gate without looking back. I pushed myself up to get going too, but Carr gave me a hard shove, and I fell again.

Right into the pool.

The chlorinated water stung my nose and plugged my ears as I hit the shallow, tiled bottom. Being tossed in cold water while wearing all my clothes felt wrong and somehow more intense than anything I’d experienced for weeks. But thanks to the air pockets that had formed in my shirt, I surfaced easily. Carr was gone, and Daniel was poolside looking panicked. “Dick, this isn’t what I’d call a good time for a swim.”

The sirens sounded close now. And from what I could see through the sliding glass door, everyone inside was freaking out. Such amateurs.

I paddled to the steps and pulled myself out.

“Hurry up! Unless you want to get busted?” Daniel yelled over his shoulder as he went for the gate.

I bolted after him. My socks and shoes were sloshing, my T-shirt and jeans were heavy and suctioned against my skin, and my coordination was for shit. But I didn’t stop running until I’d caught up with Daniel at the edge of the woods. “What about the car?” I asked.

“I hate to break it to you, but you’re in no shape to drive and neither am I,” Daniel said. “We’ll get it tomorrow.”

I followed him into the woods to go the back way home. It was a forty-minute walk, and by the time it was over, I was covered with dirt after tripping my way down the hill, through bushes, over fallen trees and branches, and across the river in soaked clothes and shoes that wouldn’t stay tied.

What was it Flip-Flops had been saying about movies, pools, and getting pushed in? Because as far as I could tell, it sucked balls in real life.

© 2010 MINDI SCOTT



Continues...

Excerpted from Freefall by Mindi Scott Copyright © 2010 by Mindi Scott. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended- My All Time Favorite!

    I just heard about Freefall last week through a Waiting on Wednesday post and immediately fell in love with the story. I set high expectations for this book and fortunately was not disappointed. Freefall was absolutely amazing and is definitely one of my favorite books of all time.

    I loved being in the main character, Seth's, head. He's a typical teenage guy who recently lost his friend and is trying to find his way. Seth is on edge and trying to find his way and it's just incredible being on this journey with him. Mindi Scott did a great job at having Seth overcome obstacles without being at all preachy.

    All of the characters in Freefall were incredibly detailed and dynamic. Each one brought a something different to the table and complemented each other well. Rosetta was perfect. I loved how she was unique, but completely easy to relate to. She was sweet, smart and independent.

    Usually I can tell what is about to happen next in a story, but this one kept me guessing. It had tons of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. There was just enough drama and teenage angst to make this book amazing.

    One of my favorite parts of Freefall was the ending! It was perfect, it tied up all the loose ends and left me wanting a sequel! Please?!

    Characters: 5/5
    Creativity: 4/5
    Voice: 5/5
    Impact: 5/5
    Overall: 5/5

    Cover: 4/5
    I really like this cover. The falling broken glass is really pretty, yet simple. I love the tagline on the front: "Sometimes the edge is closer than you think."

    Amazing Quote:
    "...Rosetta had pulled off her shoes and the full-on running had begun. Past the lockers. Out the double glass doors. Down the steps. Like we couldn't get away fast enough. I didn't know where we were going. I didn't care where we were going.

    I can't wait to read Mindi Scott's next book. She's an incredible author that gives all of her characters a unique and witty voice. Everyone should read this coming of age story... it's incredible.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Freefall

    Freefall was a great book!
    I originally got it as a 'space' book--a book I read while waiting for a book I really want to read to either come out/get it. But once I started reading Freefall, I realized that I really should have had a different 'spacer book', since this is not a book to pass by!
    I don't really have complaints, just praise. One thing you should know is that I tend to stay away from guy POV's, since I really can't relate, what with me being a girl and all. But Freefall was easy to relate to! Seth is such a believable character it's uncanny. I couldn't believe how fast pages whizzed by, and not one moment was I stopping to think 'what is he talking about?' since somehow, Mindi Scott managed to make this book both original and interesting. I can't lie and say that I wanted to read it, but once my sister read it and raved about it, I had that thought that we've all had before: I gotta see what all the fuss is about!
    I liked Rosetta (or, Riley, who she is for like, half the book...) and how she wasn't some stuck-up girl who refused to speak to Seth (or, 'Dick' as he's known to his friends...) just because he has a history. I found the concept, a guy being the last person to see his best friend alive and the first to see him dead, really attention grabbing.
    Seth's troubling past definitely added to the mystique, and made him a character that I just couldn't wait to find out more about. Actually, all of the characters were enjoyable, a few more than others.
    Then, the ending. Oh, the ending! How marvelous! I smiled hugely when I read those last pages.
    I must say though, there were a few things that I felt were left a little hanging, but overall I liked the book, and reccommend it to fans of anything...well, cool.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    Honest novel and brilliant debut

    Freefall is a captivating novel that swept me off my feet from the very first page. This book brought me to tears, gave me strength and reminded me that everyone goes through rough patches.


    This novel is blatantly honest, Freefall describes the consequences that come from making bad decisions and how it can affect everyone around you for life. It was great that Mindi put two sides in this book as well. Seth, the main character, decides to try to turn his life around, yet, you still see Daniel and his path to further self-destruction. It helps you understand everything that Seth is going through and how difficult it is for him to change even after the loss of Isaac.

    I really appreciate little details that go into making a book. In Freefall the story is set up with specific times every so often, it kind of reminds me of a diary. I think this always helps readers fall into a story; it's believable when you add specific details.

    Rosetta was an interesting character to read about. To be honest I expected something completely different from her when I read the synopsis. I almost expected her to be some type of severe cocaine addict but I think what she was suffering from (devastating loss of her parents) was what brought her and Seth so close. They both felt at fault for what had happened and they both wanted so badly to fix things. It made the relationship and romance in this novel more beautiful than passionate.

    I was also so happy that this isn't another series. Not that I have anything against series but it's always refreshing to read a good novel with a great beginning, and interesting middle and a sweet ending. The way Freefall ended was good for this novel. Nothing was set in stone, it was more like. "Life is good!" Rosetta and Seth both grew into better people and this ending showed the outcome of that. I won't go into detail but it really was a good novel. I remember setting this down and just sighing.

    This novel was like a breath of fresh air for me. Brilliantly written and heartwarming.

    I give Freefall 5 stars. This is a new favorite for me and even inspired me to create a new "Favorites" area. Freefall is literally that, a free-fall into an amazing story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Meaningful, sad, and funny, full of sympathetic characters

    After Seth's best friend Isaac dies, Seth has a hard time keeping himself together. He drinks more than he used to, he lets his friend Daniel drag him to a bunch of crazy parties, and he finds that he's basically lost his ability to play music--without Isaac in the band, Seth develops a crushing case of stage fright. Also, he's barely passing his classes in school, and when he meets smart, beautiful Rosetta who hails from the wealthy part of town, he has no idea how to interact with her. Can a guy with this many problems turn his life around? Yes, and it's a joy to watch.

    Seth is an incredibly sympathetic character. For a guy who's just managing to stay in school, he's very smart and his underprivileged environment (lives in a trailer park, works at a car wash, mom is a bartender) doesn't make him feel sorry for himself. He's also refreshingly self-aware: he makes so many conversational missteps while talking to Rosetta, and he acknowledges in his head that it's all going wrong. His POV is consistent and his emotions are realistic for a teenage guy, because he doesn't talk about his grief, but the one time that the reality of Isaac's death really hits him, he locks himself in the bathroom and cries himself sick. It makes matters worse as he starts to realize that Isaac may not have been as awesome a guy as he had previously thought.

    Rosetta is amazing, too. She and Seth are in Interpersonal Communications class together and all the class scenes are hilarious and poignant at the same time as they both learn to break away from their fears. Rosetta plays golf at the country club and Seth plays bass in a rockabilly band, but for two people from such vastly different backgrounds and such divergent tastes, they fit together perfectly. Rosetta is wonderfully random in her conversations, like her mind's always working out some kind of puzzle and she can't help but ask those around her for their opinions on the subject. Seth is charmed by her intentional nerdiness, and so am I--it really makes her human and relatable, as does her one big phobia, which Seth helps her fight.

    I was hesitant to read Freefall because I've read so many books lately where the MC has a recently deceased loved one, and spending an entire book in the POV of someone who's grieving can make the reading process arduous. But when I started the book, what I discovered was anything but a downer. Freefall is exhilarating--I laughed out loud, I was turning the pages like crazy to find what would happen to Seth next, and I enjoyed it from start to finish. This debut is made of win.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Blake

    A l e c e a d s @ g m a i l . C o m no spaces ill get on at like 11 its 10:11 where i am right now

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  • Posted August 5, 2011

    Not really that exciting

    I thought there would be some twist and turns, but nothing. I wish there would have been a little more to the story.

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Don't hesitate to get a copy!

    FREEFALL is a heartwarming, exceptional novel with a vivid taste of real life - the great and the not-so-great. Mindi Scott's prose is contemporary and believable, just like the story she tells in this book is. The characters' depth is fantastic, which is key to FREEFALL because - to me - it is driven by its characters more than anything else.

    I love how Scott lets the reader know of Seth's slow but evident transformation throughout the book. Instead of just flat-out saying "I felt like I was changing," she makes you dive deep within the words to figure out what's really happening. From the very first page, I was hooked into Seth's head, seeing and feeling things like he did.

    Once you pick this novel and start free-falling, you won't be disappointed. The title lives up to itself. Trust me.

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

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    Amazing voice, Amazing story

    Freefall is a brilliant debut and a refreshing read. From the male narrative, the romantic element, and plenty of aspects that will reach a range of readers regardless of age or sex, Freefall is a hit. Scott's writing is natural and smooth, and Seth's voice is one of the most stand out aspects. With several twists-many of which are hard to predict-a beautifully handled ending, and a well developed, bold cast of characters that cover a range of backgrounds, personalities and styles, Freefall is engaging from start to finish.

    A striking blend of humor, intensity and emotion, Freefall is a beautiful telling of one teen muddling through life and trying to figure things out. Hitting on both light and heavy topics, Freefall holds nothing back when it comes to Seth's life. With fantastic background built into the story and interspersed throughout, a strong narrative, and fantastic writing, this book is a stunning debut.

    Seth is, by reputation, a jerkwad and a loser. He's going nowhere, and the world might even be better off without him in it. But Seth is trying, and it is this single quality alone that made my heart pour out to him and root for him. He has no one to hold him accountable, no reason to try in school, and it seems like he has no reason to stop drinking all the time and wasting his life away. Yet Seth wants more, and it is from this launching point Freefall pulls the reader quickly into Seth's world. He's smart, but overtaken by untapped potential. He's funny, attractive, and friendly. But he's also someone who runs from his problems, lashes out, drowns himself in his misery, and seems to screw up everything he touches. Seth is flawed in ways he can't even see, and yet Scott has written him in a way that is sympathetic and understandable. When his entire background is taken into account, the road that's led him to where he is makes sense. Even at his worst moments, there is still an endearing element to Seth and I completely empathized with this boy. The changes he makes are astounding, well paced, and perfectly build, making Seth a very three dimensional, raw character.

    Rosetta is gorgeous and funny, with her own outlook on life. While she may be the driving force that really pushed Seth to try to change his life and figure things out, his own desires and motives where there even before Rosetta walked into his life. With baggage of her own, the two find common ground in surprising ways but that doesn't shield them from still facing pitfalls of their own. The interactions between these two cover an array of settings and outcomes, adding a perfect romantic and dramatic element to the book.

    Freefall is a mixture of romance, drama and coming of age. There are several intense scenes filled with unadulterated emotion but the underlying messages run deep and strike the reader quickly and strongly. Despite these scenes, the majority of the book really is humorous. Much of this comes from Seth. Scott has nailed the male narrative, bringing Seth to life in fantastic ways. His logic is so simple and logical it's funny. The things he says, the thoughts he has, and the reasons he does things build his personality in a great way. He slips the reader into his mind easily from the start, and through Scott's writing and his narrative, the reader is often left feeling confused and shocked. His emotions are raw and unstoppable, his screw ups huge and frustrating, and his comebacks gratifying.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

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    Highly Recommended

    This book was recommended to me by a fellow blogger after asking what are some books I HAVE to read that came out in 2010. Freefall by Mindi Scott was on the list. I've seen the cover countless times and the synopsis sounded amazing but I just never got around to reading it. So after the recommendation, I picked it up. WOW is about I can think to say about this book. For me, it really blew me away. I have never read from a male point of view and it been so clear. It felt like I was living in Seth's brain thinking EVERY possible though a young teenage boy would have. I was amazed that Mindi pulled this off so effortlessly. As you're reading this you see how messed up Seth is; his partying, drinking, drugs, not caring ways are horrible but as bad as it is you understand why he's this way. You cheer for him throughout the whole book willing him to turn his life around and make the right choices even when his friends continue to do these things, constantly nagging him to join them. I wanted to yell at them and tell them to leave him alone, let him make his own decisions! Of course they never listened to my yelling. There seems to be only one person who Seth considers listening to, Rosetta. She's completely opposite from Seth but alike in so many ways. You see their relationship grow and cheer for them to be together because they need each other more than they realize. She has her secrets and he has his and together they are able to trust and confide in each other. They work on helping each other with their phobias. I could completely sympathize with Seth's stage fright phobia. I am terrified myself of speaking in groups of people. I have my own way to deal with it, though I must confess, I would not deal with it in the way Seth does. I also don't play in a band with tons of people looking on. So I can completely understand his method of zoning out and not having to deal with it while he was on stage. Rosetta's phobia sounds a little silly but when you find out what caused her phobia its truly heartbreaking.

    This book is raw and real in every aspect. It deals with real issues that face teenagers everyday. Mindi didn't shy away from any of it for the sake of toning it down. You might not like what the character is doing or how they are acting but its a eye opener to know that people go through this. She laid it all out there for you to experience : despair, desperation, self destruction, learning to cope, breaking out of your own comfort zones; learning to trust and want to change for yourself and be a better person for those you care about that makes this book so powerful.

    This was such a fantastic read and I HIGHLY recommend it to you. I hope that everyone will read this book. I look forward to reading more from Mindi Scott in the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2011

    Freefall

    Complete disclosure at the end. Otherwise, good.

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  • Posted December 14, 2010

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    Worth Reading!

    Hmm... What should I say about Freefall? I can't say I don't like it, but I can't say I love it either. I guess I have mixed feelings about this book. Let's get to the good things first. Freefall is a portrayal of the modern teenage world - a world filled with wild, recalcitrant [1], obstreperous [2] teens. Most of them love partying, drinking alcohol and do drugs. Though this is clearly a negative interpretation, it also sends a strong message to people about how awful the situation of teenage misbehaviours is.

    Mindi Scott's writing is undeniably good. She uses her words to effectively craft a realistic fictitious world which encourages the reader to plunge into it. Seth McCoy is a typical sixteen year old boy - he drinks booze and enjoys himself in parties. But the difference between him and his peers are: 1) he doesn't do drugs; 2) he is drowning himself in guilt. Seth blames himself for his friend's accidental death and feels culpable [3] for it. But he soon meets a lovely girl called Rosetta and discovers that he is not the only one with problems.

    Well, this sounds great, right?

    Except that's one of the main things that I'm a little disappointed in. While it has the potential to be a great story, it seems to be going nowhere - there is not a main plot but only a few subplots. And there's no climax in the story - the ending seems to be quite anti-climatic. I kept hoping to discover a great secret or two - but the secrets (both Seth's and Rosetta's) are lacking of the "shocking" factor.

    The characters that I like are Rosetta and Kendall. Rosetta seems to be a pretty troubled girl because of her secrets, but she is likable. Kendall is a gutsy girl whom I learned to understand although I kind of despised her at first. I'm happy that Seth is willing to stand up for Kendall at the end even though Kendall accidentally spilled Rosetta's secrets.

    Freefall will appeal to those who are looking for books with some inner depth and emotion. If you like reading If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) by Gayle Forman, you'll most likely enjoy this book.

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  • Posted December 5, 2010

    Many Great Words Spoken

    I have heard that Freefall is a very nice book. So I'm def reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    I loved this book. It was engaging and had me wanting to read more. Great for teens and adults alike!! Keep them coming Mindi Scott!!

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