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Monday, January 7, 2019

#ATBR2019 REVIEW: Freefall by Jessica Barry @jessbarryauthor @harperbooks #Freefall

by Jessica Barry

A huge thank you to Harper Books for these copies! WHAT A RIDE!
This is a debut novel you do not want to miss.

Publisher: Harper Books
Publish Date: January 8, 2019
368 Pages
Genres: Suspense, Thriller

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. For years, 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.

My Review:

It's quite possible that I sometimes rate debut novels a bit higher than I would other books.  Maybe it's because I always feel that the first book may be a little bumpy and therefore it's a learning process. So when I come across a debut that just bites at me like the bugs did to Allison in the woods... well, I just can't help myself.  Ok ok, I realize that might not have been the best analogy but I hope you get where I'm coming from.

Told in alternating views between Allison and her mother, Maggie, who she's estranged from - Barry takes us not only on a journey of Allison's surviving a plane crash, the mystery behind who is after her and how she got into this predicament, but most importantly into the relationship between a mother and her daughter.  Maybe because it's my mother's birthday today and I'm missing her more than usual that this is what his harder for me over everything else.  *Sorry Jessica, if this was not your intention.

There are definitely things that seasoned thriller readers will see coming a mile away.  But who cares?!  The short chapters make this book a one sit read... not only because of how quickly each part seems to go but because this starts out strong and well, YOU JUST NEED TO KNOW!  Like most debut novels, there are certain things that could probably be improved upon, but I can't pick apart a book that I just absolutely was drawn right into.  From pages one to the end, I was hooked.

Barry, bring me more. I'm waiting on you. 😉


Jessica's Review:

I am always amazed how solid some of these recent debut authors are. FREEFALL by Jessica Barry is a solid thriller debut that I couldn't put down. A great one to start off the year!

We start off with a bang - almost literally. A small passenger plane crash in the mountains leaves Allison the only survivor. With adrenaline coursing through her and her survival instinct kicking in we are brought through the frantic thought process with her as she gathers supplies before fleeing the wreckage. Injuries are sustained but she must keep going.

Meanwhile, her mother is informed that the plane crashed and she is presumed dead. Maggie knows that her daughter has to still be alive. We alternate between Maggie and Allison's POVs, paired with short chapters, made this a total binge-read for me. While this is a great thriller this also examines a very complicated mother-daughter relationship. Sometimes I feel these can be over the top or farfetched, but I think Barry did a great job.

I know some thriller fans will see the twists coming, but that didn't take away from the reading experience for me. The ending did surprise me, and I personally love when that happens. I've seen mixed reviews for this one, but I think it was just what I needed!

Like I said, a solid thriller debut, and I'll be looking for more from Barry in the future.

5/5 stars

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