Occasionally, an inexplicable ARC shows up on my doorstep. Last week, I found one from random House that wasn't YA, it wasn't an Alabama author, it wasn't in translation, it wasn't even to-be-released, having published in January. It's If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie.
I scratched my head, but I'm so glad I read it. The fairy bookmothers obviously knew I'd enjoy it.
It starts with a hidden child like Room, or The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean, but, rather than invested in hiding his existence, Will's mother Diane is a agoraphobic who sweeps him into her anxieties . Then Will makes a friend, goes to school, becomes a detective and a skateboarder, but the most resonant parts for me where the vivid, moving descriptions of the Canadian rustbelt Great Lakes city Thunder Bay, it's former grain glory, and native Ojibwe population. The language was transcendent. There is series of nice surprises in the end. And I think it had Alex-y appeal for teens. I'm passing it along to my husband, and definitely ordering a copy for school. Thrasher and Bolex cameras! If my skaters can get past the claustrophobia of Will's early life inside, I think they'll love it.