Author: Christa Desir (Twitter)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: October 15, 2013
Genre: YA, Contemporary
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.
Contemporary fiction is a genre that seems to either hit very well with me, or simply miss me entirely. I know that many readers and reviewers read contemporary for escapism. I, however, read the genre when I'm looking for a hearty dose of reality that I cannot otherwise find in fantasy, paranormal, or dystopian books. Fault Line promises readers a dark, emotional journey and, as we're thrust into a tumultuous and emotional journey, Christa Desir exposes the underbelly of society that we do not like to see.
Fault Line is one of those books that will have either extremely strong advocates for it, as well as those who are immensely opposed to it. Dealing with the messy, painful topic of rape, this book embraces the grittiness and rips us from our comfort zones. There is strength in this, as it isn't glossed over or muddled with unimportant romance. Rather, the aftermath of such a heinous act feels as though the book, the characters and, at times, the plot, have been broken and ravaged by such a vicious crime.
I, for one, can appreciate that Ms. Desir didn't turn this book into merely a cautionary tale in which we see the hurt, but we watch our main character simply bounce back after the fact. I think that would have defeated the purpose of Fault Line. Rather, as the title implies, we see where everything begins to crack, crumble and fall apart, causing this ripple effect of destruction to everyone and everything about Ani. When we meet Ben and Ani, their banter is endearing and hilarious. They are real, and it's a great draw into the story. However, the crime decimates Ani's character, shattering her reality and, essentially, ripping away Ben's identity, as well.
Despite the strengths of the premise though, I felt that Fault Line became too obvious and too jumbled at times. There are so many gray areas and so very many emotions that can be played out throughout the story, but they truly got lost in the shock value of the novel. There is a meaning to the lighter on the cover, and there is certainly a meaning to the message "Who do you blame?" on the cover. My issue is that we're offered almost too much and from the wrong point of view. We bounce from one painful act to the next and, when I feel like I know Ben, he does something that makes me lose faith in his character entirely. I simply could not come to terms with his rationale.
Overall, Fault Line has a ton of potential, but it isn't without its flaws. The author makes a bold choice when tackling such dark subject matter, but I think that any inherent meaning is a bit lost in the shock value we see. I give it a 2.5 out of 5, and I recommend it to upper YA/NA readers, as the subject matter is heavy and, at times, a bit graphic. This is for fans of contemporary fiction.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.