October 2, 2013

Dual Review: Made of Stars and Fault Line

Made of Stars Made of Stars
By Kelley York
Available now from Entangled Teen
Review copy

I discovered Kelley York's HUSHED sometime around March last year, I think.  I still haven't read it, but it's on my wishlist.  The summary really stuck out and has hung in my mind.  When York's new book, MADE OF STARS, popped up on Netgalley, I made with the grabby hands.  Here was a chance to give her a try!

MADE OF STARS is the story of three teenagers.  Hunter and Ashlin are half-siblings, and Chance is their childhood friend, who they hung out with during summers at their dad's.  Now, Hunter and Ashlin are living with their father again as they both take a gap year and decide what college to go to and whether college is even right for them.  When they meet back up with chance, it becomes clear that they're no longer children.  Something is wrong with their friend, who never lets them see his house and who has mysterious injuries.  There are also romantic shenanigans afoot, complicated by Hunter's long-distance girlfriend.

I liked that York dealt with coming out angst in MADE OF STARS.  It's a bit passe in YA novels nowadays, almost verboten.  But there are still a lot of teenagers dealing with accepting themselves and the fear of rejection, and it's nice to have books that deal with it.  York manages to balance it with the plot about Chance's home life so that neither one really takes over the book.  That's where we come to my misgivings.

MADE OF STARS contains a big epiphany, and there's definitely a climax.  But where's the falling action?  It just ended, right when things were getting really exciting.  And as far as I can tell, there is no sequel coming.  I want to read about the consequences, and York just left me hanging.

Which brings me to FAULT LINE.

Fault Line Fault Line
By C. Desir
Available now from Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster)
Review copy

FAULT LINE is the story of Ben, a popular jock, dealing with the fallout of something unknown that happened to his girlfriend, the confident, artistic Ani.  He didn't go with her to a party, and she ended up in the hospital with no memory of what happened, having to have a lighter removed from her body.

Kelly at Stacked made a great post about the issues raised by this book and the choice of the lighter for the cover.  I don't agree entirely with her about this book, but I think her review is very worth reading, so I wanted to point it out.

One way in which we differ is that I liked the beginning.  I think the future scene lets the reader know they're in for a wrenching read, and that the sweet, almost romantic comedy tone of Ben and Ani's courtship isn't going to last long.  Now what I disliked was the ending, which doesn't really move past the beginning.  FAULT LINE truly is Ben's story, and it's about his journey.  The ending made me realize I'd rather be reading Ani's story and see her reach some resolution.

FAULT LINE is a difficult book to read.  Debut author Christa Desir's prose is fine, and doesn't linger nastily over unpleasant details, but the few details there are hurt.  Ani's story is powerful, painful, and - worst of all - realistic.

I do agree with Kelly that the character of the rape counselor is a bit too obvious, although it was obviously easy for Desir to draw on her own experiences for that character.  And if a book hammers in that there is no right way for a woman to react to rape, but that it's certainly wrong for others to shame her, at least its being unsubtle with a decent message. 

I think that FAULT LINE deals pretty well with a very difficult subject, and hope that experience smooths out the bumpier aspects of Desir's plotting.  I know lots of people don't like issue novels, but I'm always up for an author who can take an issue and turn it into an interesting, affecting story.

MADE OF STARS is also a book that tackles difficult issues, with a little bobble at the end.  I put these two books together, because in the end I reacted to them much the same way.  I was completely absorbed until the book just ended, leaving me wondering where the rest of the pages had gotten off too.


  1. This author is new to me - thanks for the introduction!

  2. Oh, I haven't read this one yet! Great pick! Looking forward to reading this one...as my TBR pile grows ever-larger! :)

  3. I still want to read Kelley's Hushed as well; it sounds great.

    Sorry these two left you hanging at the end. They have great premises though.

    1. Yeah, Hushed just sounds so weird and cool.

  4. Ugh I hate when an ending leaves me hanging! I was looking forward to checking Made of Stars out, but now I'm worried about the ending! Fault Line sounds like an intense read, and I think I might have the same reaction as you, I might rather read Ani's story. I do agree with Kelly about the cover, I don't think the lighter should be used to market Ben's story. Great reviews!

    1. Give it a try anyway! I did prefer Made of Stars ending to Fault Line's . . . it was just too open for my pickiness.

  5. I think that I probably will not read Fault Line. I kind of want to buy it, though, because I appreciate the sentiment, but it sounds trigger-y--like maybe it was written for people who do not have personal experience with that topic.

    And I haaaate being left hanging. That type of ending is so trendy right now, and it really bums me out.

    1. It all depends on your personal triggers. I think any writer dealing with rape has issues with that unfortunately. But I would say a lot of the advice on the book does lie more on the side of supporting a loved one who has been raped rather than personal recovery.

      I hate being left hanging too. (And I've written before about how I am a secret fangirl of the rainbows and unicorns sparkly happy ending.)


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