Posted in Book Review, YA

The Free by Lauren McLaughlin




Title: The Free
Author: Lauren McLaughlin
Publisher: Soho Teen (Random House)
Pages: 342
Source: Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Law & Crime
Rating: 4 stars


This book was a journey. The character Isaac West was revealed through puzzle pieces only allowing us to see the whole picture by the end of the novel.


My Experience

Isaac West has been sent to juvie to serve time. 30 days. A lot can happen in 30 days. It is mandatory for Isaac to write his crime stories and to discuss it in group therapy. The group members are like piranhas, seeking the truth and only the absolute truth. The group claws at Isaac’s words until they scratch bone. Isaac is forced to face the stories he has always hidden from everybody even himself.


Metaphor I will use to describe this book

I will compare this book to rock climbing. You are climbing the mountain to get to the top. You realise you are getting higher and higher and that the danger is growing more intense by the meter. I felt like I was the backpack and the book was the rock climber. I didn’t want to look down because I didn’t want to see what was going on below. The higher we climbed the clearer the view became. Till we reached the top and I had this eureka moment of wow we made it.

After I finished the book I felt elevated.


What I did not like

I guess there was a certain romanticizing of juvie that I was unsure of how to process. It later sounded more like a boarding school with a few group of bullies than juvie. Ironically this is not something I didn’t like. What I didn’t like is how juvie seemed better to me than the free.


What I liked

I’m in love with the poem that was written in this book. As a poet, I truly admired the poem and would love to know who wrote the poem. Whether it was the author and if so how they made it so personal.



4 free snowflakes.



Sincerely Snow