See a parachute malfunction similar to one in the book (and a similar setting, too: a drop zone that doesn't check jumpers' credentials!).
Watch Tracy Barrett jump out of a plane (don't adjust your volume—there's no audio!)! And again! (If this gives you white knuckles, remember that skydiving is a very safe sport, especially compared with other high-speed sports, such as downhill skiing.)
An interview with Book Club Babble. They asked me more about skydiving than most interviewers, and it was fun talking about it.
Clancy, 16, lives alone with her very protective father who owns and teaches at a skydiving school, the Drop Zone. Her mother died in a freak skydiving accident 10 years ago while practicing with her exhibition team. Clancy is very focused on school, but when she is not studying archaeological digs or packing parachutes at the DZ, she spends her free time with best friend Julia and her boyfriend, Theo. He is the classic “overbearing boyfriend” who thinks Clancy is a wilting flower. When Theo unexpectedly goes away for the summer and a very interesting college boy starts frequenting the DZ, Clancy is torn between her current, comfortable, life and a future of freedom that seems closer than ever. Clancy feels constrained by her present situation but has to confront her past before she can move forward in her life. The plot is greatly influenced by the personal and political landscape brought to light by the Gamergate controversy and the #MeToo movement. There is personal hardship, adventure and adrenaline, as well as romance (there is a heavy petting scene, but it is tame enough for an older middle schoolers). This classic coming-of-age story begs to be advertised for summer reading. . . Hand it to fans of Cecil Castellucci’s Don’t Cosplay with My Heart and anything written by Sarah Dessen.
— School Library Journal
[T]his book is unique in two ways. First, it gives a fascinating look into the culture of skydiving. And, second, teen readers get to watch Clancy grow from a state of emotional isolation to one of real connection through healthy relationships. Freefall Summer models healthy emotional growth, a process which baffles many teens. . . .
Readers may be surprised that the scariest realization in this book has nothing to do with skydiving, as Clancy faces her own imminent independence: “From now on I’d be in charge of my own life-the good parts and the bad parts,” she thinks, “and if things didn’t work out the way I planned, I’d pull my own reserve and land on my own two feet.” Clancy Edwards is a character who will inspire both teen and adult readers to take the leap into their own wild blue yonders, reminding them to own their actions-and pack their own parachutes.
— Chapter 16
Freefall Summer is a great coming-of-age story about learning to be grown up with your parents and crossing that invisible line of child to adult. It has wonderful family dynamics and a great storyline of breaking the mould that someone has set for you.
— Lisa Talks About . . .
Freefall Summer is one of the best books I have read because I could see everything taking place as if it was happening in front of me. This book was fast paced and full of challenges that Clancy must learn how to handle. I recommend this book to older teens who enjoy adventure and a little bit of a love story.
— Bluebird Books
The book was a fairly quick paced read, with some action, romance and family drama, but my heart was won with the ending. There is nothing I love more than a jump-ahead ending, and Barrett's was so lovely. It gave me a ton of closure and put a huge smile on my face.
— We Live and Breathe Books