Back in 2012, I was walking into Barnes & Noble when there was an author set up near the entrance signing books. Not knowing who she was, my mom and I walked up to her and started talking. This book happened to be her debut young-adult novel. Her name is Kristen-Paige Madonia.
She was very sweet and friendly and when I told her that I liked to write, she told me to keep writing and to believe in myself. At that point, I had already written my first draft of The Stranger I Knew and was in the stage of stressfully editing. I picked up Fingerprints of You and she signed it for me. That night I started reading it and was instantly in love with her writing style. I felt as if I was feeling what the characters were feeling and it was refreshing.
Invisible Fault Lines is Kristen-Paige Madonia’s newest book, and the book I will be reviewing this week. I was excited to find out that she wrote another book, and was ecstatic to find a copy in my local library (I seem to go to the library a lot!)
Invisible Fault Lines is about a girl named Callan (Callie or Cal) whose Dad disappeared one Tuesday. After the initial grief that Callie experiences, she gets herself back up, determined to find her Dad and bring him back home. With the help of her friends, they find that life still moves on just like it did after the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.
Here are my thoughts:
Things I Like:
Stages of Grief
After Callie’s Dad goes missing, she and her mother experience the stages of grief. They have both lost someone that is important to them and that made their family complete. They both come to the acceptance of a new normal, through their own ways. The stages of grief that Callie and her mom go through are depicted so well, that it felt like I was also mourning the disappearance of Callie’s Dad.
To be honest, I hated Callie at the beginning of the book. She came off as irritating and overtly in denial of her Dad’s disappearance. Her best friend, Beckett, also rubbed me the wrong way at the beginning. For example, his need to quote random Presidents is a bit odd. But both of these characters grew on me, individually and together, as I continued on in the book. Callie’s irrational denial eventually wore off, and what was left was a great character that I wanted to continue reading about her journey. Beckett’s quote obsession, also grew on me, as his quotes really played into the thoughts that I was having about the scene. The friendship that these two share is push and pull, but they knew how to help each other out in the end.
The other characters in this book include Maddie, Rabbit, Callie’s mom, and Isaac. Each of these characters is vital in helping Callie be free of her inner demons, and helping her search for her Dad.
Things I Don’t Like:
There were many times that I would be reading and a random detail would be in the middle of the paragraph. It strayed completely away from the topic of the paragraph and felt out of place. This only happened a few times, but enough worth mentioning.
Invisible Fault Lines takes place in San Francisco, California. The adventures that Callie talks about and goes on, all take place in California. Now the issue I have is with the anagrams used to label the places. I am not from California, nor have I ever been there, so the lingo that is used I have a hard time understanding. For example, MOMA appears several times in the book without any reference to the actual name of the place. (After my own research, I found that MOMA stands for the Museum of Modern Art). MOMA was not the only anagram used, there are more. But to put it simply, I had no idea what these places were until I looked them up myself.
I have always found that the dialog between two characters should be on their own line. However, that is not always the case in this book. Sometimes two characters would talk in the same sentence. Many times it’s to agree with the other character, but I found that it made me looking back to figure out what was going on.
Overall, Invisible Fault Lines by Kristen-Paige Madonia is an enjoyable, light-hearted read about grief and coming to terms with a new normal. Although some parts came off as confusing, (ex. The weird dialog layout) it still flows well. The characters may have some quirks, but that doesn’t detract from the overall book. A strong message that I got from reading this book: you can easily fall through the cracks, but being able to come out of it is the hardest part. With that, I give Invisible Fault Lines…
What is your most efficient way to handle grief? Let me know in the comments below!
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