A propulsive debut novel with the intensity of Luckiest Girl Alive and Before the Fall, about a young woman determined to survive and a mother determined to find her. When your life is a lie, the truth can kill you
When her fiancé’s private plane crashes in the Colorado Rockies, Allison Carpenter miraculously survives. But the fight for her life is just beginning. Allison has been living with a terrible secret, a shocking truth that powerful men will kill to keep buried. If they know she’s alive, they will come for her. She must make it home.
In the small community of Owl Creek, Maine, Maggie Carpenter learns that her only child is presumed dead. But authorities have not recovered her body—giving Maggie a shred of hope. She, too, harbors a shameful secret: she hasn’t communicated with her daughter in two years, since a family tragedy drove Allison away. Maggie doesn’t know anything about her daughter’s life now—not even that she was engaged to wealthy pharmaceutical CEO Ben Gardner, or why she was on a private plane.
As Allison struggles across the treacherous mountain wilderness, Maggie embarks on a desperate search for answers. Immersing herself in Allison’s life, she discovers a sleek socialite hiding dark secrets. What was Allison running from—and can Maggie uncover the truth in time to save her?
Told from the perspectives of a mother and daughter separated by distance but united by an unbreakable bond, Freefall is a riveting debut novel about two tenacious women overcoming unimaginable obstacles to protect themselves and those they love.
Free Fall (Fly Me to the Moon, #5) 4.3 out of 5based on
9 days ago
11 days ago
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a free copy of the book.
I've mentioned my love for dual narratives in previous reviews, and this is another to add to the list. I love this style of writing because it feels like two stories in one, and because it helps to build the suspense. You can see that these two voices will merge at some point in the future, but you just can't quite pinpoint it until it happens. I love the punch of that moment, and Barry played it perfectly with this book.
To piggyback on that, I thought the voices of Allison and Maggie were spot on. As a reader, you start with a certain opinion of each of them, and as their stories unfold and the layers are peeled back, you see each of them become more dimensional. And again, you could see the threads of their webs building toward a big finale, and it came with such a fantastic amount of tension.
This was one of those books I went into expecting to enjoy, and ended up pleasantly surprised by loving it. I read it, start to finish, in two short sittings, half the time on the edge of my seat. Fast paced, engaging, and interesting characters. This is a "highly recommend" from me.
16 days ago
Taking what she can find from the plane’s wreckage, Allison begins her journey towards civilization. Her fiancé Ben, has died in the crash but Allison is determined to make it out of the Colorado Rockies alive. If they think that they both have died in the crash, Allison has time on her side.
I really enjoyed this novel. I thought the flow of this novel was fantastic and I couldn’t wait to see how this novel ended.
There were two main characters in this story, Allison and her mother, Maggie and they both give us their side of the story.
Allison’s story begins as she struggles to make it out of the Colorado Rockies after the plane she was riding in, crashes. It’s not a hard-core survival story but she’s scared, injured, and she’s worried that the secret that she’s been hiding might somehow be linked to what has just happened. As she fights her way through the Rockies, Allison flashes back in time to her relationship with her parents. Allison then remembers when she met her fiancé Ben and she continues forward with this story, mixing it with her current dilemma of getting out of the Colorado Rockies alive.
Maggie’s story begins when she is notified that Allison was in an accident. They don’t have many details when Maggie is first notified but she remains hopeful that Allison will be found alive. As the days pass and more details are uncovered, Maggie still remains confident. Maggie feels horrible that she hasn’t talked to Allison in years and she begins her own investigation. Maggie also begins to reflect upon her relationship with Allison over the years and her marriage with Allison’s father.
It sounds like a lot to keep track of and I’ll admit that I’m an individual who gets confused when reading books that switch time periods a lot but this novel did a fantastic job. There were great transitions between the characters and time periods and I never felt lost when I was reading.
I liked the mystery elements of the novel and although there were parts of the novel that I had figured out, I liked how the elements of the book flowed together and how the book built up in intensity. There were little twists and turns in the novel, little aha moments, they made me smile.
What an incredible, fun novel. I can’t believe this was Jessica’s debut novel. I can’t wait to see what else Jessica will write. 4.5 stars
25 days ago
This is a pretty good book and I think some will like it. It is well written. For me, I didn't like it all that much. I thought it was a bit too disjointed with each chapter going between the two main characters and I didn't feel there was strong enough character development. Kat
29 days ago
It's a bit hard to see in this small picture, but the image on the cover of Jessica Barry's new novel Freefall, is a shot of the clouds taken from an airplane.
And that's where the book begins - a plane crash. Ally Carpenter is the only survivor when her fiancee's plane crashes. She picks up a few things, stuffs them in a backpack and starts limping off the mountain. She's hurt - but from her inner thoughts we learn she's desperate as well...."I know what's coming for me."
Ally's mother Maggie is informed of the crash - and the death of her daughter. And the news is all the more gut wrenching as she and Ally have been estranged for the last two years.
Freefall is told in alternating chapters from Ally and Maggie. We know Ally is alive - and her desperate flight from the crash has only raised more questions for the reader. Who or what is she fleeing? Why? Will she make it? Or is she too hurt? And then the narrative switches to Maggie. She can't believe Ally is gone and starts to try and piece together the last two years of her daughter's life.
I adore this method of storytelling. But I have to admit, it keeps me up very late - I desperately want to know what's going on with each character. And boy, oh boy, does Barry ever keep the tension high. Every chapter seems to end on a cliffhanger or a revelation. And you just have to keep turning pages! The who and why become clearer as the book progresses and more is revealed, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.
Freefall is a plot driven novel, but I found the characterizations done just as well. I really liked Maggie, her self awareness and her determination.
This was the right book at the right time for me - I was looking for a fast paced, action filled read. And I found it in Freefall.
3 months ago
Freefall opens with Allison surviving a plane crash. She is the lone survivor, and she’s in the mountains with a smashed cell phone and few supplies.
The pilot was her fiancé, and she has lost everything. And guess what? She actually doesn’t want to be found. On top of it all, someone is following her.
Across the country, Maggie, Allison’s mom, has been told that her daughter likely died in the crash…but Maggie refuses to give up hope and sets out on a determined search for her daughter. She’s also seeking understanding because she and Allison have been estranged.
Maggie and Allison are desperate to be reunited, and in their search and survival, that special, but complex, bond between mother and daughter is explored.
Wow, Freefall is a page-turner! It shows why survival stories are among my favorites. Allison is strong and determined, and Maggie may be even more so. Maggie became the power player, and I could feel her thirst for answers. The pacing is exceptional, and the intensity continues to build. Jessica Barry has written a fab debut. I will be waiting in line for her next effort.
Thanks to the publisher for the complimentary ARC. All opinions are my own.
3 months ago
I LOVED this book. This was the exact kind of fast paced, mystery thriller that I needed to start my reading year off right.
Jessica Barry nailed it with how this story unfolds - in quick, short chapters that move back and forth between Ally on the run after the plane crash, and her mom Maggie, who is trying to come to terms with who her daughter was and make peace with the fact that everyone is sure she is dead. I burned through this one, because it was just so easy to consume. Its the bookworm's dream when it comes to wanting to read just "one more chapter" - so easy to justify when the chapters are short and sweet.
I loved these characters too - Ally who is way more than you think when you are first introduced, and Maggie who is strong in the face of a life that has been hard on her. Scrappy, strong, resilient female characters are just so much fun to read, and I appreciated that both these women had all these traits in their arsenal. I also love that both were flawed and human and vulnerable. I think so many books fail in finding the balance between strength in a character and softness, but Jessica has perfected this.
Quite frankly my favorite part is how this story becomes something completely different than just the mystery of why the plane crashed and if Ally will survive. As it goes on, you start to understand that there is more than what meets the eye which landed Ally in survival mode on a mountain. That piece of the mystery is even more sinister and delicious than the plane crash itself.
I devoured this book in a sitting, because I simply couldn't wait to see what would play out. It was an awesome ride, and I cannot recommend this one enough - the perfect thriller to start off any bookworm's year.
4 months ago
These two reviews are so different I don't think they read the same book. I am confused and am afraid the books is as confusing as the books. Do I want to pay this much for an unknown author? I would like some real reviews that seem to follow the storyline for the book.
4 months ago
This turned out to be a pretty solid thriller. Maggie Carpenter is devastated to hear the news her daughter, Allison, died in a plane crash. Even though they have been estranged for the last two years, Maggie is determined to find out more about Allison's life leading up to the crash. Except wait, Allison didn't actually die, but she doesn't want people to know she survived either. Told from the perspectives of a grieving mother searching for answers and a daughter who seems to be running from her past.
Even though the story isn't exactly perfect, I really couldn't turn the pages fast enough on this one as you can't help but feel invested in the characters, particularly the mother. Maggie is what really drove the story in my opinion. I'm not even a parent but you do almost feel like you are grieving with her and understand her determination to find out more about what was going on with Allison during their estrangement. The thriller aspects of the story are done pretty well although there were a few times when you wanted to shout at the characters, "Come on, wise up!". Overall, it is a decent thriller, but an even better story about a mother's love for her child.
I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway. I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
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