Fault Line by Christa Desir
Published: October 15th 2013 by SimonPulse
Synopsis (Goodreads): Ben could date anyone he wants, but he only has eyes for the new girl — sarcastic free-spirit, Ani. Luckily for Ben, Ani wants him too. She’s everything Ben could ever imagine. Everything he could ever want.
But that all changes after the party. The one Ben misses. The one Ani goes to alone.
Now Ani isn’t the girl she used to be, and Ben can’t sort out the truth from the lies. What really happened, and who is to blame?
Ben wants to help her, but she refuses to be helped. The more she pushes Ben away, the more he wonders if there’s anything he can do to save the girl he loves.
My thoughts: Christa Desir doesn’t hold anything back in Fault Line. It’s a powerful, brutal book that is certainly difficult to read, but definitely worth the emotional ride.
If I’d gone into Fault Line without a sense of what the subject matter would be, I’d have assumed it was a typical contemporary romance based on the beginning. The turning point comes as a punch to the gut.
There are lots of young adult novels that deal with the aftermaths of sexual assault from a survivor’s point of view, and many of them are excellent. Desir takes a different approach with Fault Line and tells the story from Ben’s first person perspective. Not only is his voice compelling and authentic.Desir’s portrayal of the pain and frustration of not knowing how to help someone you love work through their trauma and the guilt of believing you could have prevented it are heart-wrenching.
While the writing makes for a quick read, the book raises questions that require thoughtful contemplation and could serve as the basis of discussion of slut shaming, rape culture, bullying, victim blaming, and other important issues. Desir’s expertise shows in her nuanced and realistic portrayal of rape and its aftermath.
This is a great pick for reluctant readers who like edgy, issue-driven books.
Estelle at Rather Be Reading: “Fault Line is so tightly written, and feels important without getting preachy. Ben and Ani’s stories could have happened to any one of us or the people we know, and I think that’s why the reading experience was so painful. These horrific things are happening, and people are truly feeling and reacting in these ways in real time. I know it’s not easy to read a book filled with so much sadness, but something has to be said for Desir’s supreme writing style and character development because Ben and Ani have not left me since I closed Fault Line.”