Freefall by Anna Levine

Don't let the cutesy cover fool you on this book.

As an 18 year-old girl living in Israel, Aggie is already gearing up for her two years required service in the Israeli army. Her parents are sure she'll make the 'smart' choice and opt for a safer position - hopefully somewhere way behind the scenes, pushing paper. But small, stubborn Aggie has other ideas. She wants to join a combat unit. No one seems to understand Aggie's bizarre choice - not her best friend Shira, who is hoping for fame and fortune and a spot on the entertainment squad and certainly not her self-righteous sister Hila, who can only see the benefit of her own humanitarian service. With only her Grandmother's tales of 'the old days' in her ears and her army issued pack on her back, Aggie sets off for a grueling three-day boot camp and further scrutiny. Under the watchful gaze of their tough commander, Aggie and her fellow recruits make the best of their extreme physical trials while forming lasting bonds with girls from all walks of life.

It's upon her return home however that Aggie finds herself truly facing the realities of war. Feeling frustrated that she hasn't yet received her assignment from the government, Aggie jumps at the chance to travel north where her fellow boot-camp friend, Lily's, town has been bombed with hopes of being able to help.

Freefall is a short novel but one I'd be happy to dive back into without hesitation. The smells of the home-cooked spicy food, the sweltering desert sun, the rhythm of music -- it all became so very vivid in just the brief time I spent with Aggie. Her compelling first-person narrative refuses to be anything but honest yet still retains that effortless quality of a young woman sitting down to confide in her best friend. Best of all, Aggie could be any teenager ready to move into the 'adult' world but unsure of their place in it. Anna Levine's prose strikes the right balance between scary real-life exposure to war, funny cultural anecdotes and a touch of romance to keep any reader engaged and flipping the pages.

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Abby (the) Librarian review
Becky's Book Reviews 
GreenBeanTeenQueen review

book source: provided by the author


Anonymous said...

I love this book! I am from Israel, and I have never read a book that expresses how it is to live in a country like mine better. I would recomend this to anyone who likes a good book and would like to understand more about the life here. I wish the world would read it.. =)

Michelle said...

Anon - I'm glad to hear this one is accurate, becuase I truly loved the story and Aggie's voice.