Happy pub day to this fantastic debut!
Thanks to Harper Books for the free copies in exchange for our honest reviews.
FREEFALL – Jessica Barry (out today)
Check out the #ATBR2019 reviews 🙂
Chandra’s Thoughts: 5/5 stars
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.
My Thoughts: 5/5 stars
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.