We are a world unto ourselves. For some people, this is holds more truth than it does for others. In the case of Will in Michael Christie’s If I Fall, If I Die, this is incredibly true as Will has never been outside his house in t his entire life. He’s lived secluded with his agoraphobic mother in their Thunder Bay home. In leaving his home, helmet on his head, Will embarks on adventures of growing proportions the further he ventures from the known, safe confines of his home.
Will’s adventurous streak, much to his mother’s dismay, takes him to public school, where he meets Jonah Turtle, a quiet artist skateboarding type, one of his first and only friends. In teaming up with Jonah, Will seeks out Marcus, the first boy he met when he left his house, as Marcus has gone missing. In their search for Marcus, Will and Jonah stumble across a far larger scheme afoot in Thunder Bay with grain alcohol at its base.
The story of Will was an interesting one as his mother’s perspective was interspersed throughout the novel. I was thrown off quite a bit when a third perspective of Titus was suddenly interjected toward the end of the novel without much context to its inclusion. It didn’t seem to quite fit with the story, despite my correct conjecture of Titus’s true identity; however, after reading through to the end, I can somewhat understand why Titus’s perspective was included, but I feel as though it could have been incorporated better or more akin to how Will’s mother’s perspective was periodically included. I think that the novel handles the concept of agoraphobia, the seedy business of moonshiners, and rapidly growing up in a tasteful manner that fosters further thought on the subjects.
Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.