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Fault Line Hardcover – October 15, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—High school senior Ben is busy working on getting a swimming scholarship, dealing with life at home as his father transitions to a new job, and looking out for his younger brother. The teen's life takes a quick and dizzying turn when he falls for Annika, the hot new girl at school. Ani's sexy quips and artsy, adventuresome spirit dazzles Ben, and the connection and chemistry between them grows the more time they spend together. Ben misses a fateful party, while she goes alone with her friend Kate. The next day, he's at the hospital, waiting as Ani gets prepped for a rape kit. Ben and Ani's lives descend rapidly into a nightmare as she reacts to the firestorm of ugly rumors and Ben becomes obsessed with finding out what happened that night. The novel is a grim take on the horrible ramifications of date rape, which impacts not only the victim but all those around her. Similar to Steven Levenkron's The Best Little Girl in the World (Contemporary Bks., 1978), author and rape-victim activist Desir is clearly knowledgeable about this important subject. However, the choice to tell Ani's story from the perspective of an outsider does not help readers understand her or other survivors. Instead, teens' experiences will mirror Ben's own helplessness and frustration as he tries, and fails, to help his girlfriend. A grueling, if unfortunately timely, read.—Evelyn Khoo Schwartz, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC


"The issues in this story are important for teens today, and should not be taken lightly. Fault Line is a story that will stay with the reader long after finishing the last chapter." (VOYA)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; 1st edition (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442460725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442460720
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I suppose I shouldn't start off a review by saying I don't know what to say about a book, but really, after reading this one I'm mostly speechless. I didn't love this book, I don't even know if I enjoyed reading it, but everything in this book felt so real and so painful that it was just compelling. From the first, incredibly disturbing, scene I was completely sucked in.

I'm selective about my male narrators and I started off a little skeptical of Ben. Once the story really starts the first time we meet Ben is when he's hanging out with his friends. I don't think there's any 17-year-old guy who comes away looking like a good guy while hanging out with his friends. But very quickly I came to really like Ben. I liked how passionate he was about swimming. I liked how he liked Ani for her hot body, but also really liked her quirky personality and humor. I liked how he cared so much about his younger brother. There were a few moments where I wondered if what Ben was thinking would really be what a teenage boy was thinking, but those times were few and far between.

Ben and Ani's relationship was a little bit too insta-love for me, but really I thought it was appropriate for teenagers and I did think they were a really great match. I also really liked the supporting characters like Ben's friend Kevin (the story about Kevin and the pliers had me laughing out loud) and Ani's friend Kate, who annoyed me at first, but really proved to be a great friend.

From the description I knew something terrible was coming, but I was still utterly shocked by it. I'm sure I've heard worse things in my life, but oh my god, this was pretty bad. I actually had to get up out of bed, where I was reading, and go for a walk around the house before I could continue.
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Format: Kindle Edition
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
See more of my reviews on Birth of a New Witch! My copy was an ARC I received from the publisher.

Sexual abuse and sexual assault can screw people up like nobody’s business. Responses can vary from not wanting to be touched at all to wanting to have sex with everyone to anything between the two or far beyond them. It’s one of those events so damaging that their effects on the victims are unpredictable. With Fault Line, Desir writes a raw and perfectly illustrated story of one girl’s downward spiral, the boyfriend who goes down with her while trying to help her, and how rape is everyone’s problem, not just the victim’s. This is a tragedy, not a mystery.

Ani and Ben’s development both separately and together feels a little bit rushed, but there’s enough personality and heart on Ani’s part to feel her pain immediately once she’s raped about a third of the way through the book. Her downward spiral into trying to empower herself by living up to her reputation while telling herself she’s challenging it is all too familiar. I wanted to reach into the book and tell her she was only hurting herself and others, but I know I’d never get through to her. No one could at the point she was at. Not even her beloved Ben.

Ben’s individual development is the one that carries most of the novel’s issues. We hear about how he’s on the swim team and up for a scholarship and spends a lot of time with his family, but we don’t see very little of that in action before Ani is raped and he starts to neglect all that to try and help her get better. It’s simply things we heard he lost and it almost turns him into a vehicle for a story instead of a living, breathing part of the story. The last thirty pages or so are what save him because he finally gets it.
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