If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie
A heartfelt and wondrous debut about family, fear, and skateboarding, that Karen Russell calls “A bruiser of a tale… a death-defying coming-of-age story.”
Will has never been outside, at least not since he can remember. And he has certainly never gotten to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who panics at the thought of opening the front door. Their world is rich and fun loving – full of art, science experiments, and music – and all confined to their small house.
But Will's thirst for adventure can't be contained. Clad in a protective helmet and unsure of how to talk to other kids, he finally ventures outside. At his new school he meets Jonah, an artsy loner who introduces Will to the high-flying freedoms of skateboarding. Together, they search for a missing local boy, help a bedraggled vagabond, and evade a dangerous bootlegger. The adventure is more than Will ever expected, pulling him far from the confines of his closed-off world and into the throes of early adulthood, and all the risks that everyday life offers.
In buoyant, kinetic prose, Michael Christie has written an emotionally resonant and keenly observed novel about mothers and sons, fears and uncertainties, and the lengths we'll go for those we love.
There were things I liked about this book and things I didn't like as well. I was very interested in reading this book when I read the summary but it didn't seem to hold my interest. Reading felt more like a chore than fun pastime, which makes me sad, so it took me quite a while to read this one.
The beginning of the book was super slow, the middle got pretty good, but then the end seemed rushed and anticlimactic. There were too many story lines mixed in and I just couldn't keep up! And then it just ended…as if the author was told to wrap it up.
If I Fall, If I Die certainly wasn't the worst book I have ever read but it wasn't my kind of book at all. I probably will not be recommending this book to many people but I wouldn't mind trying another book by Michael Christie if he writes one. His writing style was good; I just didn't enjoy this story.
*Note: I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.