Freefall by Anna Levine 5 of 5 stars.
What would your life be like if military service was compulsory, not voluntary?
Aggie is eighteen and getting ready to do her service for the Israeli Army. She could get a cushy assignment--maybe pushing paper somewhere--or she could just take her chances. Only, Aggie isn't like that. Despite her small size and the fact that she needs to gain weight to even make the grade, and despite the total disbelief of her entire family (except her grandmother, who is an old freedom fighter and don't you forget it), Aggie is trying out for an elite combat unit.
Ben--Aggie's crush of the moment--isn't at all convinced that she's making the right choice. Shira, Aggie's best friend forever, is bewildered (and perhaps a bit too interested in Ben). Then there's Noah. And the serendipitous snow. And a good-bye kiss that turns into, well, a real kiss.
Luckily for Aggie, her backbreaking, sand-in-mouth, completely-lost-in-the-desert training produces an unlikely dividend: friends. The kind she never imagined she could have. The kind you'd go to war with--and for. (Book blurb)
Military presence is a very strong factor for young Israelis. Brothers, sisters, boyfriends, and besties are pulled into compulsory service as soon as they finish high school. But not everyone has to be a fighter. Aggie's mother would have her doing something in an office, cool and safe, but Aggie, a dancer, isn't sure she wants to spend the next two years of her life doing paperwork. The only person who encourages Aggie is her bestfriend Shira's brother Noah. As Aggie's feelings change for Noah, her heart is faced with even more decisions.
Aggie soon finds herself in the middle of the desert toting sand bags alongside a group of other girls. Blood, sweat, and tears form strong, unbreakable friendships. Later, when one of those friends is in trouble, Aggie realizes that she has to make her own choices. Nobody can do that for her.
Freefall is a beautifully written, heartfelt novel that left me smiling through tears. There are stories that you enjoy, and then there are stories that leave a permanent mark in your heart. Sometimes there are characters that you feel a real, solid connection to. This was one of those books.
Anna Levine is a truly brilliant writer. Her characters hardly seemed fictional at all. They were real, living breathing people. Alot of times I say characters were believable but that isn't the case here. These characters are real. I almost expect to see pictures of them all in the back of the book. Aggie, her grandmother, Noah, and Lily were probably my favorites. I don't think I will ever forget them.
The only problem I have with this novel is that its too short! Its one of those books that you can't stand to put down, but you cringe as you see the stack of pages to the right getting smaller and smaller. I seriously think I could have picked it up and read it all over again as soon as I finished. It doesn't really matters what kind of novel you like, there is no way you could not love this book.
Find out more about the Anna Levine Freefall blog tour by clicking here.
To order a copy of Freefall by Anna Levine from Amazon.com, please click here.