Publisher: Christa Desir
Edition: eBook, 240 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
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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.
Oh boy, Fault Line was a really tough cookie. It’s one of those books that leave an impression long after you read it and pulls each emotion from you in a really raw way. Fault Line centers around Ben and his new relationship with Ani, a new girl at his high school and just how much pain and trauma they go through because of one incident. This is by no means an easy or light read, and if you ever pick it up you should be aware that the author does not shy away from the reality of rape. The book has it’s flaws, which I will go over, so I think this is a book that really relies on reader response. So you’ll either enjoy it or you won’t…I think a middle of the road reaction will be rare.
Ben is a character that I initially started out disliking but as the book barreled forward I really started to respect him as a character, despite his flaws. There were moments where he had ‘sex on the brain’ which I’d say is pretty realistic for an active teen guy, based off of most of the guy friends I had in high school. But he’s a good kid and really does have ambition, drive and respect for Ani. When things get tough he doesn’t high tail it and stand on the sidelines, he actively tries…and sure he messes up, but he tries. There were times when I wanted him to step away and leave it, but then moments later I was hoping he would get through to her. I didn’t want him to lose as much as he did. Ani wasn’t the easiest character to like as she’s very blunt and straightforward, but the downward spiral she gets placed on is so severe that it really hurt to see her change and pull away from Ben. We don’t know if Ani is actually raped and neither does Ben or Ani, but I don’t think it’s really about if it happened or not, for me the book was more about the effect that the possibility of rape had on the, and the self blame that occurs after the incidents. Her reaction is a drastic one and it’s not easy to get through.
As I said there are some flaws, but to me they didn’t really bring the story down. The relationship between Ben and Ani isn’t really given the time to develop over the course of the 240 pages and I think if it had been given that time this book would have found a five star rating from me. As it is though we are kind of given the relationship, showed their chemistry and then things start to go downhill. There were moments when Ben’s unwavering loyalty drove me batty, and I think if some fleshing out had occurred then I would have understand him a bit better. We do get a lot of small details about Ben’s family but very few are followed and while I do see it as something could have been fleshed out more, I also know that Ben was barely following as he was caught up in Ani.
Fault Line is a hard read and I don’t see it as something most people can walk away from with no opinion. This is a book about reactions and feelings. I do recommend it but it’s very hesitantly because I know not everyone is going to see the book the same way.