Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fault Line, by Christa Desir

Fault Line, by Christa Desir, was released yesterday.

I read it a few months ago (full disclosure: an e-ARC, provided by the author), and want to tell you how important this book was, even if it was a very difficult read.

Make no mistake, this book is about Rape. There is no adventure, no magic, and very little hope between its covers. I don't say this to discourage you from reading it, or to imply that it is not a fantastic, important book (because it is, all those things), but only to warn you: this book will break you.

Be prepared to weep over the trauma portrayed within its pages. If you're a parent, or have any friends who are women, or know any douche-bag assholes who perpetuate rape culture, or are a human being with even a sliver of compassion for your fellow humans in your soul, be prepared to have your heart torn out by this book.

And then stepped on.

So ... I'm not going to be able to talk about this book the way I talk about normal books. I mean, it's fiction, sure, so it works on all the levels all books do, and it has to, but it's a little difficult to talk about "oh I loved this character's arc, or oh the sensory description of this setting was so vivid, I ..."

You see what I mean? This is a book about rape, and more specifically, what it does to two characters, who are teenagers, and who are beautiful, broken, imperfect individuals. Let me give you the summary, from Goodreads, before I move on:

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.

There are some people out there who don't get this book. I think that's okay. I hope that it's not because it's too triggery for them, but I'm afraid that may be a big part of it, and that is very sad. But it's also okay. That's kind of how books work, isn't it? For me, the book made perfect sense, even if it hurt me at times to be experiencing its story, and to think about how many people I must know who have suffered through similar circumstances. Rape and sexual assault and violence, and sometimes more importantly, their aftermath, are terrible, disturbing things. But they do exist, and denying them, or not writing and reading books about them, does not make them go away.

So read this book. In the end, its message is a powerful and important one. It should be required reading in high school. I'm going to ask my daughters to read it, and I think you should too, once they're old enough.

In the meantime, you can find Christa Desir:


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