Fault Lines by Brenda Ortega was a great novel. Dani, the protaganist, is likeable, realistic, and easy to relate to. The plot moves along at a nice pace. It is a simple story, yet it conveys powerful themes...of divorce, family issues, and friendship.
Brenda Ortega, author
When her revenge plan goes awry, fourteen-year-old Dani Burkhart finds herself in unexpected places: the back seat of a cop car, the police station holding room, Juvenile Court. She wants her old life, the one with a family that’s not falling apart. She wants to stay in her home with the woods in back, and keep her carefree dog with the windshield wiper tail, and hear her big brother laugh and shout “Sweet, D-Dawg!” when her curveball dips like a sparrow. Dani has always believed her grandmother’s philosophy: Right will win. But if everything is going wrong, why not punish the neighbor who’s to blame, who pulled the string that unraveled everything? Makes sense – unless there’s more to the story than Dani wants to admit.
Fourteen-year-old Dani Burkhart’s life is falling apart. Her parents are divorcing, they are moving out of the house she grew up in, and she has to find a new home for the puppy they can’t afford. Though Dani knows that her neighbor Mr. Reiber, aka Creeper, isn’t directly responsible for her problems, she still believes he’s “the jerk who tugged the loose string that started unraveling [her] life.” After a few successful vandalism acts against him, Dani is arrested after taking the heat when her younger brother accidently breaks Mr. Reiber’s window. Chapters that alternate between past and present allow readers to see how Dani got to such an unhappy place and whether she can pull herself out of it. While Dani’s grandmother comes across as a bit too saintly, Dani’s angry reactions to the changes in her family and social life are fully believable. Ortega (The Twelfth of Never) resists the pressure to tie up everything with a bow, and she avoids turning Dani’s choices into a lesson for readers. Kids going through similar situations will find Dani a relatable and non-judgmental voice. Ages 12–up. (BookLife)