Author: Christa Desir
Published: Oct. 15, 2013
Format Read/Pages: ebook/240
How/When I Acquired It: Pulseit.com's 31 Days of Reading/ Dec. 2013
Date Finished: Dec. 7, 2013
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.
This was a surprise read, through pulseit.com’s 31 days of reading, which I had to fly through to get to the end before the 24 hour deadline, so bear with me if this review is all over the place.
I really enjoyed this book, not that I enjoyed the subject matter, but I really appreciated the human feel all the characters carried. The story revolves around couple, Ben and Ani, from their first meeting to their uncertain fate at the end of the book. At first their relationship is great and they are having fun exploring each other, physically and emotionally. Then an unexpected and tragic event changes the course of their relationship, the story is mainly about how they deal with it.
The opening few pages had me hooked. It drew me in and I felt the need to know what the hell happened to make them get to that point (spoiler: Ani sucking off a teacher in a classroom at school and Ben reacting to seeing it happen.) We then go back sixish months, to the beginnings of their relationship. It all goes downhill when Ani goes to a party with a friend and is sexually assaulted. The remaining pages are spent with both Ben and Ani trying to deal with what happened in their own ways.
Some people are upset about the portrayal of Ben and the way that he seems to be making what happened about him and not Ani, but in reality, this is a completely logical and common reaction and in my mind it makes the character more realistic. He is a teenage boy who is trying to come to terms with the rape of his girlfriend who he is supporting through something he does not even really understand. At that age most kids do not have a handle on their emotions, nor do most have firsthand knowledge of something like this. Given that, his reaction is completely normal. I liked this better than if he was a perfect boyfriend who did and said all the right things, because then it wouldn't be real and have the raw feeling that it did.
Ben isn't without his flaws, he had ample opportunity to take help and advice that was offered to him and he waited until the last minute to really open his eyes and see the truth. By that time it was too late and had escalated past the point of return. My main issue with Ani was that she wouldn't let the ones that love her in at all. By not telling her mom what happened and resenting Ben for trying to be there for her she isolated herself. I understand that it would be hard to let others care for you, especially when they have no idea what it feels like to go through those ordeals, but she completely shunned any help that was offered and instead went down a darker road to cope with what happened.
Overall, Fault Line was a real and raw look into a subject matter that most people do not want to discuss. I found the story to be believable in a way that I could see it playing out in real life from the reactions of the two leads to the interactions that happen between the students in the high school. Ms. Desir did a wonderful job of keeping the characters human and relatable.