Author Mike Walzman introduces readers to Bix Freedman in The Fall to Freedom. Bix Freedman reached the prime of life during his high school years. He had it all--sex, drugs and money. Even though he came from a wealthy family, he acquired his own by selling drugs. After a stint in rehab he decides that he wants to become rich; however, he wants to do it legally. At this time, his druggy friends are all that is left in town; everyone else has gone away to college. Not wanting to lose any time in getting rich by going to college, Bix stays home and decides to go to get a job. He goes to work at a pizza place. This is a humbling experience. While he is working there, he has an idea that he thinks will help him achieve his goal of wealth. He still needs to work while he is putting this dream into action.
Bix soon discovers that things don’t always go the way you want them to, and that the temptation to return to his old ways can be overwhelming at times. Because he hit his prime so young, he is still a young man having to deal with some huge issues. One of these issues involves dealing with a mother of a friend who overdosed. She places a lot of blame on him, as he also does on himself. He also has to handle his parents and the disappointments that he has caused them. Something has to change, and it is up to Bix to figure out what he needs to do to move on.
The Fall to Freedom is very hard hitting. The author Mike Walzman does a great job of creating realistically flawed characters. In spite of Bix’s issues, I found myself liking him and enjoyed being taken into his mind and watching him process through his dilemmas. His goals to strike it rich quickly aren’t very realistic; however, there are people who have managed to achieve their dreams by not being realistic, so I kept my hopes up for him. As with most young adults, they have to figure the truth out for themselves so that they can grow. Bix has a lot of growing to do. Readers will enjoy following along on his adventures/misadventures and be glad that it is his story, not their own. The Fall to Freedom is highly recommended, especially for young adults.