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Friday, April 17, 2015

All The Rage by Courtney Summers (Review)

Title: All The Rage
Series: Standalone
Author: Courtney Summers
Published: April 14, 2015 St Martins Griffin
Format: EGalley
Pages: 321 per Goodreads

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?

This is a hard book to read.  This book feels more real than many of the books I've ever read.  This book is scarier than most of the books I've read.  This book is really... great.

You know, when this book started, and through most of it, I didn't like the main character Romy.  I felt she was a little evil.  There are points where she wishes death on people, people who were once her friend.  She lies to family.  She compounds her problems by telling lies and leaving out pivotal information.  She's a girl struck by sexual violence in her past.  Romy is a girl who never got the treatment and help she needed to get in order to move on with her life in a healthy way.  There are a lot of things about Romy I can't even speculate on.  What I can say is that for a lot of the book, I didn't like this girl, regardless of the horrendous things that happened to her.  Yes, I felt horrible for her, and I can completely understand where her bad feelings and distrust of the world were coming from.  But she had a close relationship with her mother, a caring mother who wanted to help, and she betrayed that relationship with lies.  That was a relationship that could have helped heal her. I don't in any way agree with what happened to her, but I wish she had made better choices afterward.

Of course, I'm not a teenager full of hormones and unexpressed anger.  I'm an adult woman, reading a book, with the knowledge of years that she hasn't experienced yet.  I just wish that this girl had trusted the people she knows she should to have gotten her help.

With that being said, the small town she lives in could all burn to the ground for all I care.  It revolves around a golden family who controls everything.  They escape punishment and retribution for the wrong things they do.  They go on living their crystal clear lives with no thought of the damage and irreparable destruction they cause in their wake.  Simply put, this family is horrible.  Turner. They pull their strings and tell their lies and it doesn't matter what happens to anyone else because they are untouchable.

Another big thing in the story is the disappearance of Penny.  Once a friend of Romy's, now they are more like enemies.  Romy has unresolved bad feelings toward Penny, understandably.  But now the girl is missing and the town is torn to shreds.  Penny's disappearance effects Romy in many ways, and it's truly saddening to watch her spiral as she pictures herself in Penny's shoes.

The story is eerie.  It's hot and its cold, and you can feel the sweat and you can feel the rain drops.  And that's one thing I love about Courtney Summers writing, she puts you right there. You feel it, whether you want to or not.  There are a lot of aspects to this story.  One bright point is a young man named Leon who has become smitten with a broken Romy.  I loved this character and felt bad for him at the same time.  But there are a lot of characters in the book are multidimensional, and they really bring Romy's story to life.  There might be triggers in this book for readers who have violence in their own history.  But this story is fantastic, and Summers did a fabulous job of drawing me in and keeping me there.

All The Rage on Goodreads
Courtney Summers on Goodreads

Previous Posts on Fictional Candy
Review - This Is Not A Test

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All The Rage on AMAZON