Fault Line

Fault Line - Christa Desir ARC review. 1.5 stars.

Oh boy, this one's a mess. This is a story about rape and its' aftermath. And as others have noted the author choose an interesting angle, telling the story from the perspective of the boyfriend of the victim, as opposed to the victim herself. That part worked out for me. The romance between the two leads at the start, though brief, even worked.

It wasn't spectacular, but it was tolerable. I felt like it was more of a caricature of teen life than an honest portrayal. The kids in the book engage in all the obligatory teen activities: parties, alcohol, drug use, but it all felt like someone reporting on it from the outside in, making it larger than life. But even those problems I could have overlooked. The target audience is teens, so it's acceptable to have the writing feel juvenile at times.

The part that really didn't work for me was the post-rape story which we hit at about the halfway point. Or as it should be known: the downward spiral of Ani into into a great and fiery demise of her own making.

What confused me was that the book has a lot of propaganda regarding activism for rape-victims all over it. The cover states some of the profits for sales of the book will in part being going to fund a rape-awareness support group. The dedication implies that the author has personal experience with the subject. So I went into the book thinking that I was going to read something that would support this mission and would be honest and real. I excepted something gritty. But gritty doesn't mean a lack of respect. I wanted a book that treated this subject with dignity. I'm not sure how this story does that. I

I can't imagine actual victims reading this and feeling well-- I don't know-- anything helpful. It doesn't offer outstanding moral advice, or way through through to the other side. In fact the book "ends" without any resolution at all.

And here is really the crux of the problem. I could probably have allowed for Ani to spiral out of control, devolving into a shell of her form self and coping by sleeping with anything that moves, but then the book ends. And now the real SPOILER: it ends with Ani having spurned all help, refusing to deal with anything that has happened to her and there is nothing more Ben can do. I was left thinking, okay? And now?

I'm not suggesting that all books have to have a moral, or a resolution that teaches us something-- in this case how to cope when your girlfriend gets raped-- but come on! I read plenty of dark fiction about tough stuff-- most of which doesn't have a happy ending-- I just don't see the point in a book that provides neither support nor advocacy for such a dicey issue. Don't misunderstand, there didn't have to be a happy ending, but having Ani just turn to empty sex and completely loose her way, while Ben looks on, desperate but unable to help her, there was no reason for that.

I felt cheated by this book. Had the ending been dark but with something profound, something that resonated, then perhaps I could have accepted it, but for it just to end-- that didn't work.

I'm going to go and read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson now, and maybe the author should too.