Luke and Hayden are students at an elite boarding school and members of a high-profile sports team. Hayden is a member of life's charmed club, those lucky individual who are attractive, wealthy, athletic and smart, and to whom everything comes easily: good grades, girls, friends, you name it, they have, or can get, it. Luke, on the other hand, while plenty talented, has to work for what he gets. When a team initiation goes horribly wrong, Luke finds himself with a monumental decision to make: support his friend Hayden which might mean to lie, or choose the alternative. Both obviously have far-reaching consequences. With her deft weaving of multiple threads of the story throughout the narrative, Ariela Anhalt displays her considerable skill as a story-teller and accomplished writer.
Anhalt combines her familiarity with the prep school milieu--the people, the relationships, the pressures--with an insight into her characters' psyches that belies her youth. Luke is complicated, grappling with his own baggage and struggling toward self-knowledge, largely without benefit of adult guidance or counsel, except that which is motivated by self-interest. We know what he says and what he thinks about what he says, and have much to consider between the two.
Freefall is everything you want in a novel: a good story that leaves you with a lot to think about. It should be required reading for high school students.