Published: April 14, 2015,
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin.
Source: Requested an ARC from the Canadian distributor. Thank you, Raincoast!
The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.
With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?
Just a heads up: this review is going to be a little bit different by nature of the kind of book this is and the kind of reaction I had to it.
If I could only say one thing about All the Rage, it would be this: this book is so important. I wish I could make every boy read it so that they could get a glimpse of what girls go through. And I wish I could make every girl read it so that they could see why it's so vitally important to care for other girls and to treat them well. Maybe if everyone read this book, people would see why we need to support one another. Maybe people wouldn't be so needlessly cruel to one another. Maybe people would stop and listen to each other a little more - what they need, why they're hurting. Maybe then we'd all feel a little more comfortable opening up to one another. And maybe, just maybe, teen girls would get the care and the voices they deserve.
All the Rage is not a comfortable book. Romy Grey is not a comfortable girl, and you spend the whole book with her, trying to understand all the pain and all the rage (how fitting) that she feels forced to keep inside. Courtney Summers captures this so well that you almost physically react to being in her head. Romy is not a "likeable" female character but who needs likeable anyway? Romy is real. Romy is complicated. Romy is just trying move past the terrible things she has experienced. I commend Courtney Summers on the incredibly complex and deep character that Romy Grey is and on exploring all her layers and dark corners the way she does.
I think one of the major ways in which you can tell when an author has done a great job is when that author makes you really feel something. And I certainly felt lots of things while I was reading All the Rage. It's frustrating, sitting like a bystander to all of Romy's pain and wishing she would just open up to someone. But it also makes you understand completely why she and so many real girls don't open up because what's even more frustrating is sitting there screaming at the people around her to just listen. Listen to what Romy has to say. Stop being so dismissive, so uncaring, so inconsiderate, so outright hateful.
Courtney Summers captures rape and rape culture in this novel; plain and simple in all its stripped-down ugliness. You see how it completely tears a girl apart and the ways in which she tries so hard to cope. You see how it manifests itself in communities right through to the end of the book and it's infuriatingly accurate in the ways in which real communities talk about things like rape and rape culture. There was a moment at the end where a conversation made me want to throw down the book and tear something to shreds because I have heard that exact sentiment before in cases of the rape of a teenage girl and it just makes me want to scream "but what about her!?"
What. About. The. Girls.
Please, please read this book. And then give it to everyone you know so that they can read it, too. And maybe one day enough people will stand up for the girls.
Pre-order here: Amazon Canada // Amazon US // Barnes & Noble // Chapters Indigo // Indiebound // The Book Depository
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