Date of Publication: October 15 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.
Fault Line was a book I've had an eye on for quite some time. It wasn't until a few years ago where I really started thinking about social justice and learning about things like victim blaming and slut shaming. This is one of the most relevant books I have read in quite some time, and I enjoyed it a lot for being a complicated mess.
The characterization is extremely strong. We see the world through Ben's eyes, and he begins the story ignorant. He is helplessly attracted to Ani and he is always commenting on how she is different from every other girl he has ever met. Ben hasn't really thought too much about feminism or social justice or anything like that. Ben spends a lot of time salivating over Ani, but he has a lot of respect for her mind too. He loves the way she calls out his bullshit, he loves her forwardness, and they really are a wonderful match. Also, Ben is a POC and that does play a subtle role in his characterization.
Ani, from Ben's eyes, is a lively, artistic girl that is fully living her life. She is someone I couldn't help but adore because I also loved her honesty and her painting and her tree pendants. She has a wonderful self-confidence and a great relationship with her mother.
What occurs is horrible and my heart broke for both Ani and Ben. Ben didn't begin flawless. He is confused and hurt and doesn't know what to do. However, he cares. Deeply. He seeks help and does everything within his power to save Ani. And it's painful to watch. Although the story is centred around Ani, Ben's POV demonstrates that rape affects everybody.
Some people have said that they did not enjoy the ending, and I agree that it is abrupt. However, I have always adamantly believed that not everything is a perfect story with a clear resolution. It would be unfair to Ani or Ben to give this story an ending because the impact of rape doesn't end one day. It affects the victim everyday. That's why people are called rape survivors. Because that's what they do.
I learned a lot from Fault Line, and I know there is probably a lot I don't know. I'm always a little nervous to write about serious topics because I know I could be saying something wrong or hurtful and I have no intentions of such a thing, but it's really hard to know what you don't know until you are called out for it. Ben's journey in Fault Line was really a prime example of this. I think Fault Line needs to be read by everybody, because there are a lot of things to talk about. I really want to talk about this book with someone so if anyone has read it, let's discuss in the comments. And if you haven't, well, I think it's an important read.