Review of If I Fall, If I Die

Title: If I Fall, If I Die
Author: Michael Christie
ISBN-13: 9780804140805
Publisher: Hogarth
Publication date: January 20th 2015
Pages: 288

Synopsis: “A heartfelt and wondrous debut, by a supremely gifted and exciting new voice in fiction.

Will has never been to the 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 drowns in panic at the thought of opening the front door. Their little world comprises only the rooms in their home, each named for various exotic locales and filled with Will’s art projects. Soon the confines of his world close in on Will. Despite his mother’s protestations, Will ventures outside clad in a protective helmet and braces himself for danger. He eventually meets and befriends Jonah, a quiet boy who introduces Will to skateboarding. Will welcomes his new world with enthusiasm, his fears fading and his body hardening with each new bump, scrape, and fall. But life quickly gets complicated. When a local boy goes missing, Will and Jonah want to uncover what happened. They embark on an extraordinary adventure that pulls Will far from the confines of his closed-off world and into the throes of early adulthood and the dangers that everyday life offers. If I Fall, if I Die is a remarkable debut full of dazzling prose, unforgettable characters, and a poignant and heartfelt depiction of coming of age.”

If I Fall, If I Die is the first novel by prize-winning Canadian author and skateboarder, Michael Christie. Since he was a small boy, eleven-year-old Will Cardiel has lived Inside with his mom. Once a successful filmmaker, his mother,  Diane Cardiel, has agoraphobic. Going Outside would trigger a Black Lagoon for her, so he doesn’t. Until today. Unable to ignore a loud noise, he investigates, and meets another boy his age.

She worries about Will, but she knows that she’ll have to let him go one day. When he insists on going to school, she manages her anxiety.

This story is told over two years of Will’s life, is narrated by Will, Diane and Titus. Christie gives the reader a  plot with several mysteries. His characters are complex and believable. My favorite part of the novel, the relationship between Diane and Will. I admit the book really wasn’t for me so I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

FTC disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.




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