Book Review: Fault Line, C. Desir (2013)

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Well-Intentioned, but Sometimes Problematic

three out of five stars

(Trigger warning for rape.)

Just a few days before the start of his senior year, Ben meets her: Ani Taylor, the new kid in town. A California transplant, Ani is everything Ben wants in a girl: Direct. Outspoken. Ballsy. Artistic with just a hint of hippie chick optimism. Gorgeous, with legs that just won’t quit. And the best part? She’s totally into him, too.

All this changes when four or more young men gang-rape Ani during a house party. (While the book’s synopsis implies doubt about what exactly transpired at the party, Desir establishes that Ani was either a) drugged or b) intoxicated, either of which makes what happened rape.) As if being violently assaulted isn’t bad enough, first thing Monday morning the rumors start to fly. Before long, Ani’s known as the girl who fucked a lighter for an audience of strangers. Between the rape and subsequent bullying (“Firecrotch,” “Cum Dumpster,” and “The Manhole” are just a few of the nicknames devised by her classmates), Ani spirals into depression, shuts down emotionally, and begins acting out sexually. Meanwhile, Ben tries desperately to put the pieces of Ani – “his” Ani – back together again.

(More below the fold…)