Fault Line by Christa Desir
Published by Simon Pulse
3 out of 5 stars
Format: Egally (available in a variety of formats from 15 Oct 2013)
Fault Line was a book I read a little while ago, but until now I’ve not been able to review it. I gave it three stars, but I’m not sure that it was worth 3, perhaps 2 but for trying to tackle a pretty horrid subject, I’ll give it 3.
I didn’t really read the synopsis, the cover suggested dystopian type (I’m thinking earthquake), its not. Its a contemporary.
Fault line is written from the POV of Ben, a boy that is in love with the somewhat complicated Ani, the opening is a little jaw dropping, then we rewind to a time before that Ani, back when Ani was just a feisty girl. We read the story of how Ben and Ani got together, how things changed at one party and then we deal with the aftermath.
There is nothing nice or likable about the story, this is a story of rape, blame and an inability to make things right. Pushing the rape aside for the moment, character-wise the story is weak. Ani is an awful character to start with, snide, catty and blunt, its like Desir has tried to write a feisty heroine but instead ended up with a cocky little madam, after the party Ani is even less likable, I understand that this is a book about the aftermath of rape and that its not pretty, but I didn’t even feel sorry for her, I just couldn’t find it in me to care at all. Ben’s not much better, he doesn’t read like a boy (presumably because the author is female), i always find it strange when a female (or male) author tries to write as the opposite sex, it almost never works. Ben came off wet and whiney and in all honesty if i’d been Ani I’d of dumped him in chapter 2. All of the boys were a bit like that in the book, unbelievable and sappy.
Then to the rape, hats off to Desir for highlighting an issue that is so frequently shoved under the carpet, the way Ani reacts is probably the saving grace for the book, its human and nasty and probably not what most would expect a rape victim to do. But then its all ruined by the counsellor commenting on everything being ‘normal for a rape victim’ its almost like Desir felt the need to put that in every other page to make the reader know that she’s done her research.
I know it seems like I’ve slated the book a lot, and I have, if it had been written by an author who was a seasoned ‘YA grit’ type writer (Sam Cameron etc) then it’d be a 1 star, but Desir is a new writer and there is obvious talent there, and to tackle a taboo subject in book 1 is an almighty feat. Further character development and oomph is needed, Ani needs to be less mean girls and more every day girl, but in general it was a book that kept me turning the page, it wasn’t an inspiration but it was a thought provoking read.
**ARC/Egally kindly provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.