Thursday, September 18, 2008

Freefall Anna Levine

Freefall Anna Levine I loved this story but before I say why I am going to pull a Tyra and make it all about me for a minute. This is a very good, I promise. A customer came in today who looked familiar. I couldn't place from where, I just figured I'd seen her in the store before and left it at that. Before checking out she wanted to see if her friends Young Adult title was released yet. I was happy to check, I am all about the YA. All she gets out is the title before I am interrupting. I am like OMG Freefall by Levine, I am reading that right now and loving it. After that my memory clicked. I meet Yael ( we introduced ourselves this time) at a Sarah Dessen signing eariler this year. While waiting in line to get our books signed we got to talking (about books of course) and Yael said her friend had a YA book coming out in the fall from HarperCollins that is being compared to Sarah Dessen. What are the chances that Yael would come seek out her friends book, and not only am I familiar with it but I am currently reading it, and I was the one to help her. Everything would have to be aligned right and I doubt it will happen again.
Sarah Dessen is a fair comparison for Anna Levine's, Freefall. Though it reminds me more of Melina Marchetta. I love Dessen and Marchetta, so either one is a very nice compliment. In Israel every citizen must give two years of military service. Abigail (Aggie) Jacobs is 18 yrs old her time to serve has come. Most women decide to take office jobs. Aggie can't she herself cooped behind a desk for two years. So even though Aggie's family doesn't believe in her (except her grandma) and she's on the small side, she enlist for combat. Sometimes I love when an author throws me into the story. The first chapter doesn't read like hello my name is, but rather like I am being reintroduced to characters I already know. Levin does just this with the beginning of Freefall. She has created a great character in Abigail. Aggie's life is changing though she's unsure of herself, she's still willing to take a chance on herself. Aggie goes to pre-basic training with nine other women. She fights through the exhaustion, pain and doubt to make it to the end. Aggie is also trying to sort out her love life, before this year she had no options, now there are two. Her friend, Ben and her girlfriends older brother, Noah. Freefall is so good because Levine doesn't try to make it anything more then it should be and she doesn't stray from Aggie. Its easy to fall in love with Levine's writing style. Time to share.

Aggie kisses Ben
"Maybe the taxi jolts or maybe I don't know maybe we've both been waiting for the opportunity, but its our lips that touch and for a moment, or longer our bodies press together. His lips hold mine. His hand circles my waist. I am suspended. My heart beats like tiny bird wings, and I hover in unfamiliar territory before pulling away."

Aggie tells her family of her service plans
"They're laughing. Laughing at the thought that I would even think of trying out for an elite combat unit for girls and that an army as strong as ours would have to use someone as hopeless as me. I want to start crying. I want to get up, slam my chair against the table, tell them they're hurtful horrible people, and then stomp out. But they're just waiting for me to lose it, to have a temper tantrum so they can look at one another and say, "And she thinks she's elite soldier material." So I just sit there, head bowed."
I highly recommend Freefall and I hope we haven't seen the last of Aggie Jacobs

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