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Fault Line

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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.

240 pages, Hardcover

First published October 15, 2013

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About the author

Christa Desir

6 books294 followers
I'm a YA author who loves dark contemporary books. Novels include: FAULT LINE (Oct 2013), BLEED LIKE ME (Oct 2014), OTHER BROKEN THINGS (Jan 2016), LOVE BLIND (May 2016), and FOUR-LETTER WORD (May 2018).

I am also a feminist, rape victim activist, book seller, and romance novel editor. I live outside of Chicago with my husband and our three children.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 360 reviews
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
September 17, 2013
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Sometimes when I hear of professional critics or other authors looking down on the YA genre, I can't help but to shake my head and pity them. "The Young Adult genre is for kids!" they cry. "There's no depth!" they exclaim. And then I read a book like Fault Line and it's clear that those people have no idea what they're talking about. What other genre is able to connect so deeply with people of all ages? What other genre can push the limits as much as YA does and have us re-evaluate the way we see the world through the eyes our childhood we may have long moved past?

Fault Line is not an easy book to read. It's raw, gritty and dark, but it's important. It doesn't tell a new story or one we're unfamiliar with. It highlights a situation in a way that really forces the reader to address the effects of how our society has dealt with rape and how it continues to shape how we view the victim. For me, Fault Line really resonated and made me cry. This will be a book that lingers.

Ben meets Ani and is immediately smitten with her. Her blunt and straightforward personality is not something he's used to and causes him to keep on his toes. Much of the book's first half focuses on their romance and relationship. Their first date, awkward feelings, first kiss. It's sweet the way they fall for each other. You can tell they both care for each other deeply and it eventually develops into love. They're just normal teens, doing what normal teens do.

Unfortunately, all of this unravels after Ani attends a party Ben decides not to go to and the consequences of that night changes everyone. At the party, Ani is gang raped by a group of guys and left passed out with no recollection of the event of the night. In the aftermath, she is left broken, a former shell of the girl she used to be, unable to move past the traumatic experience.

Ben and Kate, the friend who was with her at the party, are guilt-ridden as they are plagued with the what-ifs and could-have-beens. Ben blames himself for not attending the party with Ani. Kate blames herself for not keeping a better eye on her best friend. And Ani. Ani blames herself and everyone, and in the process, losses her self-worth and identity.

This book was so incredibly written. Sure Fault Line could have been written from Ani's perspective, but it would have lost Ben's obsession with fixing Ani, his horror of seeing is girlfriend self-destruct and the domino effect it had on his own life and family relationships. His narration is not always comfortable as he says things or does things that he doesn't mean. However, it was so realistic because he's just a kid, trying desperately to protect and help heal Ani.

Ani and Ben's character development is not going to work for everyone. There's no doubt that her and Ben's life spirals out of control. Ani, who was once the talented artist and jewelry creator, barely smiles and suffers from Rape Trauma Syndrome. Ben, who has the promising future as swimmer and a potential scholarship, can no longer muster up the motivation to get in a pool and becomes obsessed. These characters do develop, just in the most heartbreaking way possible.

It's going to confuse some readers and anger others. But it's also going to raise important questions on victim-blaming, a central theme of the novel. Who is to blame for Ani's attack? Is it Ben for not going to the party? Kate for not protecting her friend when she thought something was wrong? Or is Ani the one to blame for consuming alcohol? For making out with guys, table dancing, announcing to the crowd she would hook-up with the guys? Did all those things make her rapable?

These questions don't surprise me and they do show up in one form of another from Ben, Ani herself and the student body. But they are only a distraction from the real issue, because victim-blaming serves only one purpose: it takes the blame away from the one person who deserves it the most, the rapist.
"I heard one of them say something to his friend like 'We're gonna love this ride' when he was going upstairs with her."

This is, unfortunately, how our society works. All one has to do is look at the most recent rape cases in the media. Just think about what happened with the Steubenville, Ohio rape case. The victim-blaming was astounding. "Oh, she was drunk. She doesn't even remember, how does she know she was raped. She was asking for it. She agreed to it." Ani's situation isn't so different.

I think about this book and then I think about all the other women out there whose story I don't know or hadn't heard because she was too afraid or chose not to speak up or the attack was covered up. As a community and society, we generally suck when it comes to crimes against women and seeking justice for victims.
"Although the police are investigating the party, chances are, they won't pursue it."

Instead, we reason it away: Maybe she was confused. She was drunk. She probably wanted it.
"Could've been roofies, though. I've seen chicks act like that when they're buzzing on Special K. There was a bunch of E going around at the party too."

"Ani, it's still considered rape if you weren't fully conscious. You didn't really make those decisions. You have to be sober to consent."

And make excuses: Maybe she had a history of doing what she did? Maybe she was just "one of those girls."
"I'm not really a jump-in-the-sack-after-the-first-month kind of girl."

Blame other parties: Maybe it's just how she was raised. Probably a broken family or the parents weren't involved in her life.
"When you asked me to have sex with you, I thought I should get her opinion on the whole thing. I knew I wanted to, but we'd only been going out for like a month and sometimes my judgement gets a little skewed by your sexy baldness."

"I figured my mom might help me see through all the hormone drama so I could look at things rationally."

Sympathize with the rapist: But the guys who were with her were equally drunk! They didn't know what they were doing because they were wasted, too.
"Yeah, a couple of guys came down talking about the show. They were the ones who called her the hot little Manhole."

(Interesting how they were sober enough to remember it, tell their friends and brag.)

But again, why do those things even matter? How are saying any of these things better than Todd Akin's "Legitimate Rape" comment? It isn't. But this is how things are. This is how society deals with rape cases in the media. We feel like we just don't know enough to call it rape. And while we sit around in our comfortable, familiar skins debating an incident we were miles and worlds away from, victims and their families suffer. This is the reality.

But Fault Line is not a grandiose mystery novel where the main character sets out to discover the truth of that night. Its focus is on how Ben and Ani cope in the aftermath of her attack. It's about a victim struggling to reclaim her herself. It's about feeling powerless with helping the person you love, watching how one situation ruins a person to the point where they aren't the same anymore and might never be again. What do you do? Run away? Tell someone the secret that's not yours to tell? Stand by that person when it seems they don't even want you around anymore? There are no easy answers.

I should warn readers that this book does not have a happy ending. In fact, some will find it very unsatisfying because of its openness. However, I found it very realistic. The road to Ani's recovery would most likely be hard and long and the novel ends with her at her worst. I'd like to think she eventually gets better, but that doesn't always happen in situations like this.

If I have one negative thing to say, it's on the prologue. It didn't think it was necessary and detracted from the final scene in the novel.

To conclude:

This is going to be The Book That Divides. Personal views and experiences are bound to play a factor in how each reader receives Fault Line. Some people are going to love Ani, while others will hate her. Some may question the incident, while others will strongly connect with it. Some are going to question Ben's actions, while others applaud. Either way, Desir has us talking and with a topic that is so very misunderstood, that's never a bad thing.

Highly recommended for older teens and joint reading for younger teens with their parents.

ARC was received via Edelweiss from the publisher. Thank you!

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Ellen Hopkins.
Author 58 books17.3k followers
September 26, 2013
This is a must-read, because the conversation is so important. Rarely do we look at rape from the viewpoint of someone who's in love with the victim, and not the perpetrator. I have lately seen a huge necessity for teen boys to gain understanding of what rape is, especially as concerns date rape. The author is a rape survivor, and an advocate for rape victims, so she comes from a place of true knowledge. And she doesn't tiptoe around the ugliness.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,358 followers
September 20, 2013
Fault Line is one big dirty mess without order, sense, or emotion. It deals with the very serious topic of rape, but it lacks the substance it needs to be the raw, gritty read it's trying hard to be.

While I have numerous issues with this novel, I think what's behind most of it is the lack of character development. The book is told from the POV of Ben who meets and falls in love with this girl, Ani. After she gets raped, Ben tries to bring the old Ani back to him. All this sounds like it packs a deep emotional punch, giving us a story about the struggles a couple faces after a tragedy like rape. Except it doesn't. The book is only a bit over 200 pages long; there is very minimal time used to introduce this relationship before it all goes downhill. The timeline flies by with days and week between chapters so it's not necessarily insta-love, but I never understood why they even liked each other. Unsurprisingly, I never grew to care about this romance, let alone the individuals it involved. Ani is an incredibly blunt person who will say what's on her mind which I usually like, but to be honest I was kind of embarrassed for her whenever she opened her mouth. Ben, on the other hand, was impossible to read. He would seem super irritated with Ani, then 2 seconds later mention how much he liked her. Their personalities consisted of nothing but surface embellishments to try and make them three dimensional.

Approaching a topic like rape is not done without difficulty, and I'm not a fan of how it was handled in this book. It's all assumptions on Ani's part, for one, who has zero memory of that night and no reason to claim rape when everything points to lack of judgment. We don't even know if she had sex with anyone aside from the lighter they found inside her. A lighter she was rumored to have masturbated with to give some boys a show. And if she did have sex with actual human parts, it was by going upstairs with equally drunk guys saying she was going to fuck them (there were witnesses), she had both intent and willingness. She wasn't falling down drunk, incoherent, nor drugged (she was tested). I'm not saying a person can't say no afterwards and get raped, but is this even what she says happened? We don't know what she thinks happened at all, actually. There were no signs of rape - no semen or signs of force or roofies etc. I don't automatically feel sympathetic towards someone who cries rape because they got drunk and had a lack of judgment. This is where character building could have made all the difference. Who is Ani? Did she get herself into these situations often? What did she think of all of this? Why did she even move to town? Most important of all, why should I give a shit about her stupid decisions? We don't know what kind of girl she is other than blunt with a weird hatred for movie dates and a zoo fetish - all superficial stuff. Maybe drunk sex is a regular activity for her and this time she doesn't remember so she cries rape because it's embarrassing to have sex with a lighter, you know? This book should have worked on character development much more to get any sympathy or understanding from the situation.

After the night in question, Ani starts having sex with any guy who will have her, including fat old teachers (their description, not mine) - we're talking regular blow jobs in the locker room, sex in janitor's closets, you name it. All the while Ben puts his life on pause, risking the loss of a scholarship, spending every hour of his day doing research, going to meeting, seeking advice on forums, etc, to help her heal. I completely understand where he was coming from, but I didn't believe in the extent he let her do what she was doing while he stood by her side looking like an idiot. Not for a teenage boy. Even more so considering they'd been together one whole month… She even tells him to his face: "No, you are definitely not with me. But trust me, you're among the minority. Just ask your friend Kevin" then STILL refuses to break up with her - even when she demands it! Uh wut? I get it, anyone would want to help someone they love, fine, but dude needs a reality check. Maybe I would have believed it had he been crafted with a real personality that I understood, but as it is I just felt exhausted with the whole thing. I came to despise Ani, actually. I wanted her to self destruct already. Nothing had made me sympathetic to her cause at all.

I will give one thing to this book, it did try, and try hard! There was a large amount of detail added in to try and make this a profound, well developed read. It was all so so random. Like two mentions of Ben's dad helping his aunt to find a job (1st mention: she is looking for a job. 2nd mention 100 pages later: she found a job… Um. Oookay then? *thumbs up*). Or how his brother might get bullied for playing the clarinet… then nothing more. Or this whole thing about a necklace meant to be meaningful but was forgotten as soon as the page is turned. Even his swimming which was a big part of him, ended up being irrelevant to this story. And then... the ending. What in the world was that? THAT IS NOT AN ENDING!

I have not read a book with such a lack of feeling as I did this one. I can't recommend it. To anybody. Believe me, you will never look at a lighter the same way!

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Katie.
10 reviews50 followers
January 1, 2014
1 #$@&%*! Star.

This book..... I just want to

It just made me so freaking mad, I can't even... UGH!!!

*Deep breath*

Ok, so this may come as a surprise to you, but I didn't like this book.

I like to look on the bright side though, so let's start with the good things about this book:

.........Um... the... um... writing! Yes, the writing! It was not the worst I've ever read! Just close! But not the worst!! And um... the uh.... OH!!! Having a male POV! Yeah that was... um... different!! Yeah! Different..... So... yeah.


Here's what I didn't like/what made me want to hit something:

There was no NO! Not cool!!!

I straight up hated the characters!

In the beginning, the way Annika talks and behaves is equal parts unbelievable and unlikable. She's very unusual, but instead of having an admirable uniqueness, it just put me off. And while I love people who are honest, she was just smug and rude.

Ben has no personality! All I know is he doesn't like being embarrassed and he like to oggle Ani. In the beginning he was constantly checking her out, it was irritating.

And even though I feel so bad for Ani and Ben because they're both going through something so horrible, I can't help but be so mad at them for handling it so, so terribly! They both act so selfishly, even if they don't think they are, and it breaks my heart, but mostly it just pisses me the hell off! This is one of those books that makes you want to yell at the characters and force them into therapy, and then maybe go into therapy yourself to handle your new anger issues.

Plus the side characters sucked! Both of their best friends only make things worse and I found myself thinking "why are you even here?" and I just wanted them to leave.

Also, the physical descriptions in this book are really weak! I was repeatedly reminded of how long Ani's legs are, but I still don't know any of the characters' eye color!!! I have absolutely no idea what a lot of the characters look like, it's crazy. I only know hair and skin color for the two main characters and that's the most description I got for any of the characters.

There was a lot missing in this book; the author left too many blanks to fill and the story is like a piece of swiss cheese, it has so many holes! Like Ani and Ben go from dating to boyfriend/girlfriend without showing what happened, there's lots of "three days later" and sometimes the story skips for weeks at a time!

This book was just lacking too many things– character depth, physical details, a happy ending, character likability, a smooth timeline...

It was just an overall unenjoyable, frustrating, disheartening read.

And BTW, at first I thought this cover looked awesome, but now it's just... NO!

* I received an ARC of this book for an honest review*
Profile Image for Lucia.
735 reviews815 followers
September 17, 2014
After shocking intro, readers are taken 6 months back in time. You will witness how Ani and Ben met and how they grew close only to be driven apart after one ill-fated night. Ben watches Ani change and wants her to be this cheerful girl she used to be. But can he save her? And most importantly, does she want to be saved???

My Ben and Ani:

I loved how they met for the first time, how feisty both main characters were and how much fun their happy banters were. I really liked narrator's "voice" at the beginning. If only it lasted for more than first couple of chapters...

This story deals with heavy topic - rape. I have to admit that approach to this topic was quite original. Instead of "victim" POV, readers see everything through her boyfriend's eyes. But once shock from what happened faded away, everything felt forced and not realistic at all.

So what ruined this book for me? Unstable "performance" of the hero and narrator. While I liked him at the beginning, I grew confused and didn't understand him at all by the end. Plus I wasn't rooting for the main couple at all.

Faul Line is weird story in which both main characters are depicted as quite bad people, making terrible choices, behaving badly and selfishly. Who to blame? Only themselves and their decisions.

If this book was supposed to leave some kind of message or affect me, it didn't... I was just weirded out with so many things... But at least I was never bored when reading it. I am glad I finished it, even though it left me with very confused feelings. Still, I wouldn't recommend it to my friends.

*ARC provided by publisher as an exchange for honest review*

MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing
1 review
March 15, 2013
I was afforded the humble privilege of reading an advance copy of Fault Line today and I must say this book ranks up there among the best I’ve ever read. It is a fantastic story—gut-wrenching, agonizing, stress-inducing, on-the-edge-of-your-seat, hands-shaking, in-your-face awesomeness. The author does a fabulous job of getting the reader engaged with the characters right from the start. The prologue, only about a page and a half long, grabs a hold of you and won’t let you go with the need to find out how on earth the characters got into that situation. The agonizing decisions made by the characters are spot on. I would compare the level of angst and drama to Jodi Picoult. You cannot put this book down even to eat or sleep. Written in first person, common for the genre, the author did a marvelous job of getting the reader to understand the emotions of the other characters and the motivations that drive their choices. An excellent must-read for parents and their young adult children, even teens, that will open up discussion on a wide range of subjects from sex to rape to communication.
Now that I’m posting this review, I see that others have posted before me. A few are making me question what book they were reading. Apparently not this one. The main character does not rape his girlfriend in this book. In fact, quite the opposite. He shows a great deal of restraint and sensitivity with regard to her feelings.
I have two teenage children. I can tell that the author did extensive research into the social interaction of teenagers. The decisions made in this story are so real, exactly the kinds of interactions you would find in any American high school. Teenagers do stupid things and they make strange bad choices—the most important, and perhaps most disturbing, choice being not to tell anyone of the multitude of problems they have, even as the issues compile. This is so totally what teenagers do. Even those with the best of relationships with their parents. To think otherwise would be denial.
I hope this author has a multitude of other stories up her sleeve because I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
Profile Image for Keertana.
1,127 reviews2,172 followers
February 16, 2014
For all that I live in a progressive, diverse community in the Northeast, this is still a town where nasty letters against the Gay Straight Alliance make the quarterly report and high school boys laugh at the thought that a girl wearing a short skirt isn't "asking for it." Needless to say, when a novel about rape is published and begins to garner mixed reviews, I am curious. Fault Line is a dark, gritty read, but I don't just use those terms to describe its subject matter. Desir's novel is physically uncomfortable, from the situations she describes to the lack of resolution by the end. Fault Line isn't a love story. It isn't a novel about a girl who becomes raped but finds romance to heal her. It isn't a story of a teenager who looks for help and digs herself out of the dark hole that rape has propelled her into. In fact, it's just the opposite.

When Ani moves into Ben's neighborhood, his entire world is turned upside down. Confident, sarcastic, and fiercely independent, Ani is nothing like the simpering females who fight for his attention. An excellent swimmer and handsome teen to boot, Ben has it all going for him and now, with Ani by his side, his life is perfect. Until, that is, Ben receives a frantic call from Kate, one of Ani's close friends, informing him that his girlfriend is at the hospital. Informing him that at the party he skipped out on last night, Ani was gang raped. Informing him that when Kate and Ani went to put together a rape kit at the hospital, the doctors needed to perform an ultrasound on Ani. Informing him that the boys who raped Ani left a lighter inside her.

Utterly distraught and blaming himself for Ani's predicament, Ben doesn't know what to do. And, the more and more he hears about what happened at the party the night Ani was raped, the more and more the lines blur. Ani asked for it. Ani danced on top of tables. Ani wasn't that drunk. Ani got off on a lighter in front of the group of guys she voluntarily went upstairs with. Yet, despite these rumors, Ben can see Ani disintegrate before his eyes. Suddenly, the creative, strong, and humorous girl Ben fell in love with has become a shell of her former self, refusing to reveal the truth of her rape to her mother, smothering herself in over-sized sweatshirts, and hiding from the barbs sent her way.

Ani - who cannot remember what happened the night she was raped, who does not know if her behavior was the product of date rape drugs or mere intoxication - begins to lose sight of herself. From the strangers around her to the close friends she once had, everyone ceases to see Ani for the brilliant girl she is, instead focusing on her assault. Needless to say, this is all Ani begins to see as well. Within a matter of weeks, Ani has emerged from her shell, convinced that all she is good for is sex. Where Fault Line shines, in my opinion, is in creating a destructive, alien, and unfathomable mechanism for Ani to cope with the loss of freedom and choice she suffered. Unlike most heroines who push away the world, converging in on themselves or pursuing suicidal tendencies, Ani becomes increasingly active sexually.

Ben, who witnesses first-hand how Ani spirals out of control, is rendered speechless by her decisions. While, on one hand, he respects Ani and understands that it is her choice to do as she pleases with her body, she is still his girlfriend. More than that, though, Ben is fueled by his own guilt at leaving her to attend that fateful party without him by her side and, as such, he aches to help her in any way he can. While Ani's sexual conquests increase, Ben phones a therapist, attends a healing group, and speaks to rape victims about their experiences.

In dealing with an issue as delicate as rape, Fault Line never falters. Not only does Desir emphasize the importance of putting together a rape kit, but she also covers a variety of organizations available to help both victims and their loved ones. Moreover, despite the blurred lines concerning Ani's rape and the unconventional - and, frankly speaking, unlikable - methods she resorts to in order to cope with her assault, Desir never places the blame of Ani's rape on Ani, Kate, or Ben. While all three blame themselves, Desir firmly stands her ground that rape is an action that only the rapists themselves are at fault for, though unfortunately they rarely suffer the consequences.

Fault Line is definitely not a book for most readers. Its ending is open-ended, leaving this issue largely unresolved, but it makes a strong statement nevertheless. For me, however, the most important decision that Desir makes with her debut is in molding Ani into a victim whose actions do not inspire sympathy. Whether it be in media, films, or novels, the symbol for rape is a downtrodden young girl whose vulnerability is a cry for help. More often than not, though, true pleas for help are messy, disgusting affairs. While Ani, doubtless, makes a series of mistakes following her rape, instead of criticizing those decisions, Desir enables us to see to the pain Ani hides beneath the facade of a slut. Young Adult rarely delves far enough in creating heroines who defy the lines of the boxes they are placed in the way Fault Line did, which enabled this novel to exceed my expectations in delivering a gritty read. Told from the perspective of Ben, Desir's debut is a brilliant, but difficult, story to read; one that I hope will leave readers thinking for the days to come.
Profile Image for Liza Wiemer.
Author 5 books663 followers
January 20, 2014
ENOUGH! ENOUGH! ENOUGH! No one should have to go through this experience. EVER AGAIN. Yet it does, over and over and over again, every day someone is raped. Maybe this book will save you? Or a friend?

Fault Line is a wake up call. A shout for help! An alarm to shake parents and YA into seeing the reality of what can happen at parties, especially when alcohol and "date rape" drugs are present.

If I have some words of advice: 1. Never take a drink unless you pour it yourself. 2. If you're going to drink, make sure you have a friend with you who isn't drinking and can watch out for you. 3. Find ways to have fun without drinking to oblivion.

*****SPOILERS****** Don't read more, unless you want to.
Back to a review of this book.
Ani is a girl who was raped by more than one guy and had a lighter stuck where it should never have been inserted.
She doesn't tell her mom.
Ani's boyfriend Ben comes to the hospital and is sympathetic and kind and supportive. He's not perfect. He narrates this novel and tells his story. He begs Ani to get help. She blames herself. Her behavior becomes incredibly destructive and she uses "sex" with anyone and everyone to become what people say she is. It's her reality, but it's so unfair. Because she isn't that person. And she needs help. And not Ben's. He tries and tries and tries. To his own detriment.
There are no straight answers. The only hope is that Ani gets help.
********END OF SPOILERS*********

SO, this is an extremely important novel. It's not at all pleasant. It's painful, it'll rip your heart out. But I'd like to see parents and YA read it. WAKE UP! This doesn't happen to other people. It can happen to anyone, even people we know.

I met C. Desir in November at an Anderson's event in Naperville, IL. She's an amazing woman with tremendous courage and I commend her for writing this book. Such a different perspective on rape. Thank you, C. Desir.

I also want to thank Steph from Cuddlebuggery for encouraging me to set aside other books and to read this right away! I'm passing that encouragement on to others. It's important.
Profile Image for Glass.
643 reviews4 followers
January 22, 2014
I know that rape is a serious topic, that it's something we have to talk about, but I just couldn't get into this story.
It has interesting premise - told from the perspective of victim's boyfriend, dealing with the way rape influence other people not just victim, very realistic ending. My problem is that at times it felt too "clinical".
511 reviews211 followers
November 2, 2013

When in a library, or anywhere hunting books, I generally tend to stay away from stories dealing with sexual assault and trauma. I am not a picky reader. But since December 16, 2012 in especial, I have been growing more and more scared of these stories. India is a fucked-up country from our food security to the economy, and for almost a year now, I've been tracking newspapers and in each one of them, every fucking day, I've found a new rape/assault case. Maybe in the tiny 4-lines section in the side just above the daily surveys and temperature warning, perhaps in big, bold letters on the front page, and sometimes hidden obscurely so far within the pages that a year ago I wouldn't tread into. Ergo, it was a huge fucking deal for me to knowingly read Fault Line. And 20 hrs later, I'm still very scared and sad, and it made me cry so many tears upon tears, and lo! they have started yet again.

I haven't been cause to feel this desperate and melancholic about my[MINE!] characters since Froi of the Exiles.

Christa Desir's next novel, set for 2014, is already on my wishlist. Eh, but I think Bleed Like Me will almost definitely suffer from TOO AFRAID TO PICK UP SYNDROME that started with Swati Avasthi's Split, and re-emerged when I got my ARC of Quintana of Charyn. I haven't read either.

I ain’t gonna wish anyone a scary, spooky Halloween because, as you’ve sampled, I’m not in a festive mood.

Find the whole review on my blog.


Profile Image for Kyle.
495 reviews23 followers
February 17, 2014

One of the brilliant books about sexual assault in YA, or one of the worst?

Well, I’m not sure I’ve quite decided yet, but I guess we’ll have to figure that out together by the time I finish this review.

Books about sexual assault are tricky. Rape is a very serious issue, and so many people are affected by it, whether it’s somebody that you know or if you yourself are forced to have to go through something as horrific as this. So, as a writer you’re given such a delicate matter, and you can either face it head-on, unflinchingly, and look through every aspect of it, from the way how it affects a person psychologically and emotionally, to how we as a society react to it (slut/victim-shaming), and to go through the difficult task of how not to make it sound like an after-school special, or you can try and make it just the after-school special, and only have a one-sided reaction to it, where the victim is given oodles of support from everybody and the bad guy/girl is punished for what they did.

In the past, I have read the highly famous Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, which has since become one of my favorite reads, and just last year I read Jenny Downham’s You Against Me, which also had a very prominent rape storyline involving the main characters siblings. Both of those books took the more head-on approach, although Speak seemed to focus more on the struggle for the main character to find courage in herself to accept that life would be okay eventually, and that she needed to tell somebody what happened, and You Against Me was more about the reactions of society when somebody says that they were raped.

Fault Line is quite the novel, and is definitely an impressive piece of writing. It is reasonably well written, with a very convincing male voice, which I find extremely important in any genre when a woman is writing from a male POV and vice versa. Ben isn’t the most likeable character at time, he slut-shames, and he made me particularly uncomfortable when he referred to Ani in his head as one of the nickname she received after the rape happens.

However, going back a little, the fact that Ben slut-shamed Ani after the rape was very odd to me. It really made me question what the point of the novel really was. So, was it that the author was against victim-blaming, but fine with slut-shaming? That really bothered me, since I felt that the two aren’t that different really, and can a lot of times end up falling into the same category in rape cases.

However, when I read Desir’s Goodreads profile, particularly the second paragraph, I found that she included some details about her being a feminist as well as a rape victim’s activist, and that’s when I started to realize how brilliant this was. Looking at it from an activist’s point of view, seeing how she crafted the novel and how the characters, although Ben in particular, acted, it all started coming together in my head about how brilliant this book was.

This book shows us the politically correct way that society is supposed to respond to a rape, and then how it actually responds to a rape. This book shows us how we are supposed to help the person cope with what happened positively, and how we sometimes actually do it. This book shows how the rape affects the victim and their loved ones, and how radically different some of these effects are on the individual.

This book shows a side that nobody wants to see in a book about rape, but sometimes it happens. Now, I won’t punish the book for realistic, but more praise it for what it’s trying to accomplish. Do I approve of Ben’s slut-shaming? Er, no. If the author was just throwing that in because she didn’t care about slut-shaming than I would’ve had a huge problem with this whole book.

Do I like that Ben referred to Ani with that disgusting name in his head? No, my stomach was actually in knots when he said that and I had to set the book aside. Yet I can still understand why he said that. And what Ben does later in the book also makes me quite sick as well.

So yes, this novel does still have problems though.

I enjoyed the novel significantly more in the first 35% before the rape actually occurred and it was establishing the relationship between Ben and Ani. After the rape, it’s definitely a much different novel, in terms of atmosphere and focus. While I do applaud how these changes were carried, I still just couldn’t muster up the same liking for the book I had at the beginning.

Although I did not like the majority of the characters in this book, I thought Ben and Ani were well-fleshed out. But seriously, I don’t like Ben. At all. I also found some of the characters seemed to be the embodiment of the after-school special. They were too perfect in how they treated Ani after the rape, and all their dialogue after the rape seemed to from a health textbook, and it made their characterization seemed so flat and insincere.

Still however, I cannot deny how well-written the POV was, the first third of the book, as well as the final quarter, when things started to begin to wrap up a bit more, and the ambiguity of the ending. All in all, I think this is an impressive debut, and one that I would heavily recommend in October when it hits bookstores, and I for one will be eagerly awaiting Desir’s next book, Bleed Like Me.

Profile Image for Josh.
183 reviews33 followers
April 1, 2013
This is a really important book - it asks very difficult questions, and at times is hard to read. But many important things are difficult to get through and I strongly urge you to not only start, but to finish this book. You will be challenged to question your assumptions and your views.

The writing is intelligent, and engaging. The characters are more nuanced then you would expect for such a short book, and Desir does a lovely job of drawing you into their lives and relationships. It is because her writing is so disarming and the characters are so likable that the decline of Ani strikes you so hard. It's not the tough luck of some kid, rather I found myself really rooting for her, and ultimately feeling gutted by what happened to her.

I really hope all of my friends get this book. As another reviewer said, it's the kind of book that you need to talk to someone about after you finish it. These sorts of conversations are critical to dealing with sexual assault, and the more we talk about it, and the more we acknowledge the problem the less invisible survivors will be. After a couple of days I got over the book and was really wishing I could talk to my friends about it. I couldn't and ended up putting down some of my thoughts in a blog (http://labroides.org/2013/03/28/on-se...). I look forward to this book coming out so we can carry on these discussions.

In summery, this is not an easy book to read. It will make you cry, but when you're done and you've hugged someone you love, you will be more open to addressing the inequities which perpetuate rape culture. That, ultimately will make you a better person and our society a more compassionate one.
Profile Image for Brittany S..
1,580 reviews702 followers
March 10, 2015
4.5 stars
Finished in an afternoon -- I had to. That was SO intense.
And now I need a hug. And I want to give hugs to lots of other people.

Review originally posted on The Book Addict's Guide: FAULT LINE was an incredibly emotional book after which I just wanted a hug. Christa Desir does an amazing job of pulling the reader into the story of Ben and Ani and honestly for me, it all felt insanely real. What really solidified it for me was the fact that I know Christa Desir is a rape victim activist so it was equally horrifying in the sense that I’m sure she’s heard stories exactly like this. Even though FAULT LINE is a work of fiction as far as the characters and this specific situation goes, I couldn’t help but think of all of the people this has actually happened to and my heart just went out to them as I was reading. It’s actually very hard for me to sit down and write a coherent review for this book because it was just so shocking and I felt so many FEELINGS that words just aren’t able to speak in place of the book itself.

I’m actually really glad that this book followed Ben’s POV, not because it would have been too difficult to read from Ani’s but because it brings an entirely different aspect to the overall story. Obviously from the synopsis and general buzz about the book, we know that something incredibly awful happens to Ani that not only changes her life, but affects her relationships and her overall view of herself. It was really eye-opening to see that through Ben’s eyes. Yes, Ani went through a horrible experience and it dramatically affected the rest of her life, but through Ben’s perspective, we get a better look at how it affects the people around her and how much this one event really turned everyone’s lives upside down. It was heartbreaking to witness and I really felt a special connection to Ben and just wished I could have been there for him through that struggle in his life. It was so hard for him to try to be there for Ani and acquiesce to what she was requesting versus deciding what really was the right thing to do in order to help her. There wasn’t always a clear path and everything just became so complicated and twisted after this one event.

I’m really glad that Christa Desir didn’t shy away from the messy, horrific details. There are some cases where I read books and feel like it’s an overshare as far as details go, but I think some of those really were necessary in FAULT LINE. It’s a very sensitive subject but the brutal honesty was important to the integrity of the characters as well as the overall subject matter. One of the things that really wrenched my gut was that Ani didn’t want to speak up after the incident. Now, I really can’t blame her because I wouldn’t want to tell people about something like that and I’m sure if I were in the same position (god forbid) that I’d probably shut down and completely internalize everything. The problem was that she wasn’t able to get any help and really couldn’t begin to heal from it until she allowed someone to help her. It was so hard to watch her struggle with this on her own and not know how to handle all of the emotional turmoil that came after.

I really appreciate how the book ended in the sense that there never really is an ending or a neat package with a bow on top of it to resolve an issue like this. After rape, physical abuse, assault… Really, there never is a happy ending and recovering from something as horrific as that takes much more time than one novel can cover. I really commend Christa Desir for putting these words on paper and getting this story out to teens and adults alike. It was very hard to sum up my feelings about this book because of the intensity and content so I just hope my words did it justice.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,213 followers
April 6, 2013
When Ani -- a tough girl, the kind of girl who is unafraid to be a little rude, a little biting, not "nice" -- is raped at a party, her boyfriend Ben cannot help but feel like had he been there, it wouldn't have happened. All he can do at this point is be there for her, to not judge her, to understand that what happened was something that shouldn't have happened to her. That it was not something she brought on herself.

But as she continues to fall into a spiral of self-destruction and self-loathing, is there any way for him to be there for her and help her get better? And what if those attempts at making her feel better only push her away further? At what point does he have to cut the cord?

Desir's novel about sexual assault from the perspective of a male voice -- one who did not initiate the incident -- is compelling and honest. It's brutal and what happened to Ani is incredibly difficult to read, not only as a woman but as a person, period. As much as he wants to protect her, Ben knows there is really only so much he can do. He can BE there for her, and he is.

This book should be talked about for what it covers and how it covers it.


There are so many problems with the writing here. At times, this book's agenda is far too obvious. It's important what messages are conveyed here -- don't blame the victim, be supportive, listen to them -- but the way it's laid down from a volunteer counselor in info dumps is overwhelming and diminishes the characters. Ben is a good guy. He wants to be good. He loves and honors Ani. But he doesn't get the chance to do that or be that for her because the counselor takes over and tells him what to do, point A to point B. He scoffs at it, even though he follows it. But why can't he do this and figure it out himself? Why is it handed to him and by extension, just handed to the reader? If we want to start a conversation and start thinking about these issues heavily, we need the chance to see them, to absorb them, and to make the sorts of connections we need to individually. In other words....we aren't living in a world where that sort of clinical speak gets through. It's through our own actions and cognitive skills we put these things together.

It was the easy way out.

My other big criticism: why do we need the prologue? Why is it the most crucial scene in the book, the one that ultimately changes Ben's actions, is what we lead with? Stop doing this, please. It kills tension, it kills growth, and it kills the impact of the story when we get the apex to kick off the book.

This book would make for a killer pairing with Erica Lorraine Scheidt's Uses for Boys in talking about sex. Neither book are shy. Neither book is afraid to put the characters into positions that are uncomfortable to read and uncomfortable to think about or talk about. But they both are important in advancing conversations we need to be having.

Longer review to come, probably. Three stars means I liked the book. The story is important and engaging and stomach-turning and hard to ignore. It's just that the writing and execution fails to match that.
Profile Image for Danny.
598 reviews160 followers
January 10, 2014
Read Review at Bewitched Bookworms

ntense! I must start with this word as it’s the only adequate word for this book and I honestly didn’t expect the level of true horror and sadness I experienced in this book!

Ben is such a wonderful boy!

He’s all tough on the outside and likes to talk big and appear like he’s the tough guy. But we experience Ben in such a different light that we soon discover that inside this tough shell there is a soulful and wonderful boy inside! I loved this contradictory picture we got from Ben as it perfectly reflects so many kids, teens but also grown ups - people who tempt to hind behind big talks! But what you see from the outside might not always reflect what goes on inside of someone !

Ani – carefree, artistic, quirky and unique!

Ani was just the perfect counterpart to Ben. She challenged his tough attitude and shell and showed him how life can be. She was this artistic and deep soul who was so outgoing and so quirky and bubbly that I loved this girl so much!

“Her energy was like a hot shower after running a marathon in an ice storm”

“She was so completely disarming. Like all the usual stupid crap about liking a girl didn’t apply with her”

When Ani changes after this one horrific party I was devasted. I wanted this wonderful girl back, just as much as Ben did. But her change was complete and it was real, and there was no turning back, just moving forward.

Brutal honesty

This book will make you gasp with it brutal honesty and just be aware that the author didn’t spare us with anything. She didn’t put on her soft gloves to spare us the horrible and excruciating details, but rather shocks us to the core.

I was crying so hard during the book and my eyes would pop out in utter shock about what is happening here.

As I will not go into detail all I can say that the author won me over with the brutal way she didn’t spare us anything and neither spared her characters.

This is a very brave book and I appreciate the route the author took so very much, as not every book will go down this route and would rather spare us some heartbreak and devastation.

This book affected me in so many ways that for days I wasn’t able to forget this story.

But in the midst of all these horrible things, there is hope at the end, even though I wasn’t able to see it for a very long time. For most of the book I wasn’t able to appreciate the wonderful characters like Ben who give this story so much soul and deepness that there is light after all.

The end might not be as we will hope during these excruciating hours we spend with these two kids – but when I turned the very last page I felt a sort of relief. It was an honest ending, brutally honest just like the rest but it was a genuine ending. One I could life with.

There is still so much to say about this book, like how wonderful Ben’s character was. The way Ben dealt with the horrific happenings was showing how much beauty is stuck inside this boy. I hope that every girl who experiences something similar has a friend like Ben at her side, even though nothing will make it better. I feel like knowing that there are kids like Ben out there – the world is a better place.

7 reviews1 follower
February 24, 2013
I got a copy of this book to review ahead of time because I work for a newspaper. I was wary of reading it because it sounded like the same old story, weird girl shows up and changes the boring guy's life forever or something. But it's not like that and I really liked that.

The guy Ben is a horrible person. I love that the author made the narrator this really gross guy who doesn't like girls very much. Like you can read it in his language that he doesn't respect them. But the girl Ani comes along and she gets under his skin and they start dating.

And then Ani is assaulted at a party and someone and when I read that I gasped so loud. People start calling her names and saying horrible things. It's so sad and it made me really feel for Ani and I love that the author was able to capture those feelings from the perspective of a second person.

Ben is such a jerk though. He makes it all about his feelings and then he realizes he shouldn't and he tries to help. But then And it really made me sick to read from that point on. He never admitted what he did and it was never brought up like it just never mattered, but first Ani is assaulted at a party and then her boyfriend does something to her too. It made me feel so sad for Ani because Ben's a jerk and she's painted to be like really awful and he's at the end of his rope.

My favorite part was the ending because it sends such a powerful message. The whole time Ben acts like Ani's his possession but he didn't even know her for that long so it's kind of like, okay, at least you get the picture now. I wonder if Ben will ever own up to what he did and understand that he was wrong. I really like this book and I hope the author keeps writing because she paints things real stark and there's a lot of grey areas.

The thing I didn't like was the synopsis and how I think it's being marketed. Like I see it says "Who do you blame?" on the cover and that sends a really bad message given what happens in the story. You blame the person that assaulted and I don't understand how that's even a question or how it applies to this. There's not even a gray area about what happened, she had at least one drink so she can't consent so it's kind of weird to ask about that.

I also didn't like the prologue and I thought it was kind of useless.

I liked that the main character was biracial because there aren't enough biracial characters in books. I like that his friends were also bad people, they used the n-word and people threw around the c-word and called girls sluts and whores and even Ben uses a word that people call his girlfriend. It really paints everyone in the book as a bad person and they're bad characters but the characterization is really good. Like from the first chapter you know they're all jerks.

I really recommend this book if you like reading messed up characters.
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews707 followers
October 28, 2013
Give me the conclusion that I want! Hell, give me ANY conclusion. FAULT LINE is a painful read in the same way that Pieces of Us and the Storyteller were. It’s rape but tackled in a way that had me divided.

The impact of that one night goes beyond the girl and her thereafter. It’s a personal violation, yes? Even the most personal of violations there could be, right? Yet, it’s in the way things are told, how the impact of that one night and how said impact is given broader reach than expected (or wanted); so that it’s not her trauma alone to get over; it’s not her putting her life together anymore. At least that’s not what we’re privy to here. There’s just something about that that bugs me… though what that is, I’m not quite able to put in words… yet.

So FAULT LINE has us witness how the one on the sidelines deals with her as she (doesn’t) deal with it. It’s not just one person on the side either, because there are people there for him and it’s the same people who are either unaware or too aware of what’s going on that takes us a one then two more degrees away from point of impact.

It’s in stepping away from her that they both become victims in my eyes and I couldn’t wrap (still can’t) my head around that shift in perception. From the start I was all “ho-hum” about the guy because from the start I knew something bad was coming, yet for a good long while things were good; the change from good to really bad for them had everything in hyper-focus. As in me, jaw clench and feeling all these feels for her…then for him… then for them.

But the progression of him in the spotlight as opposed to on her had me stepping back. WTH?! Why him? Why his point of view? Then with each those “other” change in who she as from former free spirit to current damaged girl, well those had me taking one more, then two more steps back. Why? She felt over-simplified; and his role, felt over-emphasized… at first because there’s another realization that I wasn’t alone in feeling that way:

”Again with the common reactions to rape? Is everything a common reaction to rape?
“This all sounds like it comes out of a ‘very special episode’ of some crappy TV show. Seriously. Are you reading from a book? This is Ani. She’s not some poster girl for the damaging effects of irresponsible drinking or how rape can change your life. She’s Ani. My Ani.”

Yet, the longer I read the less I begrudged the boy telling the story his way because even if Ani were at the core of things; it’s the after that becomes the focus. How she, then he, then they change so drastically. Still, there’s the sentiment that she’s not the only one surviving that I was (still am) having a hard time with.

“This shit is bigger than you. You gotta talk to someone. You’re not gonna fix her or make her better. And honestly, who do you think you are to even try?”
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,280 reviews1,654 followers
October 4, 2013
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Ordinarily, I go into books, particularly new releases, knowing next to nothing about them. I don’t read reviews or even blurbs. In this case, I made an exception, because of the fascinatingly wide divide in opinions in the early reviews. April (Good Books and Wine) was the first to read and review Fault Line among the bloggers I know. She gave it four stars. Then Giselle (Xpresso Reads) and Jenni (Alluring Reads) read it and hated pretty much everything about it. Steph (Cuddlebuggery) decided to bump it up her TBR to find out what was going on and really liked it. Obviously, this book is divisive and invites strong reactions. I mention this context because I went into this book from a different perspective, having heard feedback from these various people and with an eye out for detail. That said, read closely and with my mind on the issues that were coming, C. Desir’s Fault Line is a starkly honest portrayal of the emotional, physical, interpersonal, legal, and medical difficulties presented in discovering the truth of what happened in a rape case.

Read the [image error]full review at A Reader of Fictions.
Profile Image for April.
2,101 reviews951 followers
May 6, 2013
One of my favorite things about young adult fiction is that it allows readers to experience the darker aspects of life in a safe place. At the same time, not every teenager is shielded from the harsh realities of life and so, for some readers YA can provide a way of processing what has happened to them and moving past the experience. I have a special interest in books that deal with sexual assault and domestic violence, because I have had a career working with and educating victims for several years. I am constantly on the prowl for books to recommend. Fault Line by debut author Christa Desir is the latest of many books that I would recommend with rape as a theme. It curiously explores angles that I have not previously come across.
Read the rest of my review here
Note review does not go live at the link until October 11, 2013.
Profile Image for Liz.
884 reviews185 followers
February 14, 2015
Most people probably expect stories about rape to be from the victim’s perspective, but that’s not the case with Fault Line. Desir’s novel is all about a boy named Ben who starts dating a girl named Ani shortly before she is sexually assaulted at a party. Fault Line offers a fresh, well written, and emotional perspective on sexual violence.

Read my full review here:
Profile Image for Morgan bookaddicts.ahoy.
417 reviews26 followers
December 3, 2018
*sigh* I’m DNFing this.. I want to be clear though, it’s nothing to do with the author, the subject or the writing. It’s only because of my personal headspace right now. I’m choosing to DNF, instead of adding it back to my “want to read” shelf, because 1) it will always hold bad feelings/memories for me now & 2) I tend to not go back to any books that I stop reading & I’m trying to be better about just admitting defeat instead of torturing myself.
Profile Image for Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids.
1,952 reviews205 followers
October 17, 2013
I'm going to be frank, this is not a book for everyone. It deals with rape, and the after math it has on the victim, her family, friends and boyfriend. Why did I read this? Because I feel that one, this isn't a topic that is addressed often enough. The topic of date rape, and what rape really is. Two, maybe someone reading this review will realize they're not alone. The author is not only a rape survivor, but she herself is also an advocate for rape victims. She doesn't sugar coat anything, and she gets right to the point. This book is direct, and though it was hard to read about some things, it needed to be. Rape is a serious topic, and it's not something that should ever be brushed off.

I put this book down quite a few times. I had a hard time reading it. Not only is this out of my comfort level, and what I enjoy reading, this book felt real to me. I felt like I was reading a page out of this character's life. Not only did my heart break for her, but it was so sad and painful to watch how Ani's rape effected her so much, it changed her. That's not something that should be taken lightly, nor was in this book. The interesting thing about this book though, is that it's not written from the victims or the attackers point of view, but the boyfriend of the victim.

All too often I feel when rape is discussed no one ever talks about the victims boyfriends or husbands. In this case Ben, the boyfriend is the one telling the story of how he not only wasn't there when the attack occurred, but he had to watch his girlfriend's life spiral out of control as she dwelt with her rape. It would have been great if Ben had some sort of super power that could have fixed his girlfriend up and made her back to how she used to, but Ben is just Ben. He's your average teen guy, who does what he can to help fix his girlfriend. I can't fault him for taking on the world himself to try and help her. His anger to those who attacked her, and what is happening, and his sense of helplessness as he watches the changes and the choices she makes, and it's downright heartbreaking. What's worse is his sense of not being back to do a thing, as the changes effect him and their relationship as well. No matter what Ben did or didn't do, nothing helped, and in the end it results into a heartbreaking decision. That decision is one I understood. I'd be a liar if I said it wasn't an emotional one, because it was.

As I said before, this is not a book I'd recommend to everyone. It's not light and fluffy. It's gritty, dark and realistic. I admire the author for writing this, because there are readers who are going to relate to this book, which is horrifying to think about. No one should ever have to deal with rape. Ever. I also admire the author for not being afraid to talk about rape as being rape. Regardless of what someone wears, what others may have heard they do or don't do, rape is rape, and Fault Line is direct about that. I know how hard it was for me to read this book, and I can only image how hard it must have been for the author to write it. More importantly, I can not imagine what victims go through. The courage it takes to fight back, to try to pick up the pieces and move on with your life and go on. I feel like the after math of what happens doesn't get talked about much, and this book addresses it, and it does in this book.

Now, the things I didn't like. I had a huge issue with, and was was extremely disturbed at the student/teacher relations that took place in this book. This book could have gotten it's point across and been completely fine without those sexually relationships in this book. That's not something I can even over look and not mention. The other thing I have to say, is while my heart broke for Ani, I also had a hard time with her continued streak of doing things to self destructive. I'm not saying I blame her for that, but she needed help, and I wish she had gotten that help during this book. Like real help. Same with Ben. Ben put everything on hold for her, which wasn't helping nor was it healthy for either of them. I'm just going to say this.... the ending of this book is horrible. That was not an ending. The book should have ended long before that scene. I know it shouldn't, but that bugs me the most with the book. Like really bugs me. I don't know, maybe there's a different ending in the published book compared to the arc I read, but since I read the arc for review purposes, that's the end ending I have to go off of. Aside from the subject matter, there were a few minor things within the story and it's development that needed to be a bit stronger for me.

This book has a lot of sexual context, a rape, and language. This is a book who's subject matter is best suited for mature readers.
Profile Image for Savannah (Books With Bite).
1,399 reviews186 followers
March 13, 2014
Before I even start with this review, I want to forewarn you that this story is not pretty. It’s ugly, dark and the cold hard truth. If you do not like rape stories, especially ones that are graphic and dark, I suggest you take care when you read this.

Once upon a time, I was college and met this girl. Let’s call her A. She was fun, free and loud. One night at a party something went wrong and she was never the same. After that, she didn’t seem to care about anything. All she wanted to do was party hard and harder. People started to talk about her and she didn’t even bat an eye. She told me that she was pregnant, had an abortion and went to party again. Only to call me a few weeks later, saying that she might be pregnant again and needed to borrow money from me for another abortion. I put my foot down and talked to her. She didn’t like what I had to say and stop being my friend. I felt like I lost and had no idea what to do to help her. After years of destroying herself, her body and her soul, she finally came clean. We became friends again but it wasn’t the same.

What Fault Line reads is true. And unfortunately I lived through that exact thing with my friend. Every minute of every day she destroyed everything. She took blame in for what happen to her and carried it around everywhere. No matter what I said to her, to no avail would she listen. I thank God that she did eventually got the help that she needed but it took years.

What I want to say is that many people may not like this story and the pictures it paints. But guess what? We live in a REAL WORLD, with ugly people. This stuff happens FOR REAL. People self-destruct and it not only hurts them but hurts others around them. Not everything occurs just like the story but each victim has their own story to tell and their own heartache to go through.

So when you read this story, think about the girls and boys who go through this. Who hide everything inside just to live. Who live with this darkness that they can not get rid of no matter how hard they push it aside. It’s takes months…years of help to get even an ounce of some normalcy.

In short, this book is good…really good. I swear it was like I was living my Freshmen year all over again. It made me cry and it made me angry that I didn’t do more for A. Read it.
Profile Image for Manon.
Author 6 books33 followers
December 29, 2014
Chronique originalement postée sur Sous ma Couverture

Super waouh.

Comment écrire une chronique sur ce roman si poignant ?

Je vais commencer par le début, contrairement à Christa Desir. Parce que Fault Line commence par la fin. Ça gâche tout, me direz-vous ? Loin de là. Au contraire, les conséquences de ce que je ne savais pas encore planait déjà au dessus de mon coeur, et je savais que ce serait un coup de coeur. Un coup de coeur qui fait méga mal.

Ben (le narrateur) et Ani sont des personnages qu'il est impossible de ne pas aimer. Il n'est pas possible de les détester, quand Ani fait preuve d'une franchise hilarante et touchante, et que Ben respire son amour pour elle comme si elle était son oxygène. La relation est tellement naturelle et douce que je me serais bien cognée la tête contre la table si je n'étais pas avide de lire encore plus, et toujours plus. Parce que l'épilogue restait là, comme une épée de damoclès au dessus de ma tête et au dessus de mon livre.

Et soudain, elle tombe.

Je me suis sentie brisée par les conséquences de la fête à laquelle Ani est allée seule, comme elles ont brisé leur vie à tous les deux. Ben fait preuve de tellement de maturité, et il est tellement difficile de juger Ani (parce que sérieusement, qui suis-je, et qui sommes-nous pour juger ses réactions et son comportement? personne), qu'on peut simplement se faire happer et souffrir avec eux, même si ça fini par devenir étouffant et choquant et indignant et ...

... Et tout est tellement bourré de culpabilité et d'auto destruction que je pense bien que Christa Desir m'a détruit avec eux.
Sans parler de cette fin qui ... enfin voila.

En tout cas, c'est un roman que je recommande à 1000% (pour les plus de 17 ans).

Ce que j'ai le moins aimé : La fin trop ouverte à mon goût.
Ce que j'ai le plus aimé : L'intensité du roman et des sentiments de Ben.

P.S. L'auteur offre 50% de l'argent qu'elle reçoit à une association destinée à aider les victimes de viol. C'est pas ultra généreux ?
Profile Image for Liviania.
957 reviews64 followers
October 2, 2013
FAULT LINE is the story of Ben, a popular jock, dealing with the fallout of something unknown that happened to his girlfriend, the confident, artistic Ani. He didn't go with her to a party, and she ended up in the hospital with no memory of what happened, having to have a lighter removed from her body.

Kelly at Stacked made a great post about the issues raised by this book and the choice of the lighter for the cover. I don't agree entirely with her about this book, but I think her review is very worth reading, so I wanted to point it out.

One way in which we differ is that I liked the beginning. I think the future scene lets the reader know they're in for a wrenching read, and that the sweet, almost romantic comedy tone of Ben and Ani's courtship isn't going to last long. Now what I disliked was the ending, which doesn't really move past the beginning. FAULT LINE truly is Ben's story, and it's about his journey. The ending made me realize I'd rather be reading Ani's story and see her reach some resolution.

FAULT LINE is a difficult book to read. Debut author Christa Desir's prose is fine, and doesn't linger nastily over unpleasant details, but the few details there are hurt. Ani's story is powerful, painful, and - worst of all - realistic.

I do agree with Kelly that the character of the rape counselor is a bit too obvious, although it was obviously easy for Desir to draw on her own experiences for that character. And if a book hammers in that there is no right way for a woman to react to rape, but that it's certainly wrong for others to shame her, at least its being unsubtle with a decent message.

I think that FAULT LINE deals pretty well with a very difficult subject, and hope that experience smooths out the bumpier aspects of Desir's plotting. I know lots of people don't like issue novels, but I'm always up for an author who can take an issue and turn it into an interesting, affecting story.

FAULT LINE is a book that tackles difficult issues, with a little bobble at the end. I was completely absorbed until the book just ended, leaving me wondering where the rest of the pages had gotten off too.
Profile Image for Katy Upperman.
Author 4 books309 followers
March 28, 2015
A little background… While I’ve read a few of Christa’s (currently) unpublished manuscripts, Fault Line was written and sold before she and I became friendly and began trading work. Because I know and very much appreciate Christa’s stark, no-holds-barred writing style, and am often drawn to dark contemporary YA, I have been (impatiently) awaiting Fault Line‘s release for ages. Seriously… I teared up a bit when the beautiful hardcover was finally delivered to my house last week. I started reading immediately, and could hardly put it down.

Fault Line is not the kind of book that sweeps you off your feet with romance and exoticism, nor is it the sort of book you’ll fall traditionally head-over-heels in love with. It’s not a book that’s going to leave you with that warm, content feeling that’s common in contemporary YA. Fault Line not a pleasant read — in fact, a good deal of this story is downright painful — but it is an affecting book and, I think, an incredibly important novel.

Fault Line is the sort of book that’s going to make readers wonder what they’d do if they found themselves in Ben’s (or Ani’s) situation. It’s going to put them in its characters’ shoes and force them to ponder all of the what ifs? and if onlys Ben and Ani had to face. Fault Line is going to keep readers up at night. It’s going to make them worry about its characters, feel for its characters, and wish for better outcomes for its characters. This novel is going to start conversations about rape, victim blaming, and the “right” way to cope. It is remarkably relevant.

I’ve read a few reviews of Fault Line that took issue with its ending. Yes, it is abrupt, and yes, it is open-ended. But to me, it felt right. There are no easy outcomes when it comes to sexual assault, and to have given Ben and Ani a shiny, ribbon-tied coda would have been disingenuous. I’m so proud of Christa for ending her novel in a real (though difficult) place, a place that allows readers to imagine their own conclusion for these captivating characters.
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