TITLE: IF I FALL, IF I DIE
AUTHOR: MICHAEL CHRISTIE
PUBLISHED: 12 FEBRUARY 2015
If I Fall, If I Die follows a boy’s first steps into the outside world. But the outside isn’t as innocent as Will thinks. There are bad, complex and dangerous people but Will is determined to find Marcus – a boy who falls into the wrong crowd. With Will’s mother’s anxiety and agoraphobia at its highest, Will is determined to prove to her that the outside is just as safe as being inside.
I have to say from the offset I just didn’t like this book. The writing from beginning to end just irritated me if I’m honest. Everything was overly described and I felt like the writer was trying too hard to hook the reader but it just didn’t do it for me. It felt like a drag to read. I felt really bad for not liking this book, to be honest, because the premise of it sounded promising especially as I was really looking forward to reading a book that would understand just how it feels to be anxious and a recluse and the writing style just ruined it for me. I can imagine many people enjoying this book, but the over-use of explaining one minuscule detail in a dozen different ways or words just to describe something so simple was just tedious page after page. It felt too draining to read and I couldn’t wait to finish reading it because it just simply frustrated me to read.
The one positive from the book I found was that I enjoyed the relaxation time chapters. I managed to read through those like a breeze as it gave me a gateway into why Diane (Will’s mother) shut herself off from the world. The book started off with one idea and then half way through it, it lost momentum and switched direction like it suddenly decided it didn’t want to stick with it and turned itself into some mysterious thriller about what happened to Marcus.
I know every book isn’t for everyone and I genuinely feel bad and guilty for not liking this but it’s better to be completely honest than to pave over the cracks – and that’s what my honest reviews are for: to say when I did or didn’t enjoy a book and unfortunately I just couldn’t enjoy this book at all. Don’t get me wrong, the author is talented and I respect him for trying to write about such a sensitive and complex subject matter – and this is coming from someone who personally has anxiety and doesn’t go out of the house for months on end unless my fiancé is visiting from The Netherlands – and as it’s the guy’s first novel, I feel really mean for saying I just didn’t like it.
I gave it a one star because for me, I just couldn’t connect with the book or the characters. I’m sure many others will enjoy reading the book, and I salute them for sticking to what they like and don’t like. I don’t know who I’d recommend this to – as my sister also read this and she found it frustrating to read as it kept going off in different directions and the plot just didn’t know where it wanted to go. I stuck it out with the book because once I start a book, I’m determined to finish it – even if I don’t like it as at one point – I hope that the book would help change my mind of if I like it or not but this just didn’t change my mind. Sorry.
Received a free copy from a Mumsnet giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Cross-posted my review to Mumsnet and Goodreads.