Friday, June 5, 2015

All the Rage - Review

All the Rage

By: Courtney Summers

Published: April 14th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin

336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

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Goodreads description--In her hardcover debut, from the author of Cracked Up To Be and This is Not a Test, comes a powerful new young adult novel. 

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?

I feel like I’ve been picking apart book descriptions lately. This description is right and not all at the same time. The way the information is stated gives you the impression that All the Rage is something very different from what it actually is. I put off starting All the Rage because I just didn’t see how this book could not be emotionally draining. I was in the middle of my reading slump when the release date came and passed. I was kicking myself for missing the release date, but I knew that picking up an emotionally draining book while already in a slump would be the worst idea ever. And so now I felt mentally ready to take on All the Rage. However, I don’t know know if one is ever ready to take on a story such as this one.

The first thirty percent of All the Rage was extremely confusing to me. I couldn’t figure out the timeline of events between what was labeled as “Now” and what was labeled as “Two Weeks Before.” I even wondered for a bit if Courtney Summers was lying to me and the events of “now” and the events of “two weeks before” were switched. But that’s not the case. So if you find yourself feeling confused fairly early on, just keep pressing on. All will be revealed in due time.

You guys. I’m kind of torn on this book. On the one hand, My heart was breaking for Romy. She’s experienced one of the greatest personal traumas that anyone can experience. And instead of being comforted, consoled, and allowed to heal, Romy has been branded a liar, an outcast, and repeatedly abused and mistreated time and time again. There’s a level to All the Rage that leaves you feeling like humanity can’t possibly get this low, yet we know that it often does and even worse. Because people didn’t respond properly to Romy when she needs it the most, Romy in turn tries to cope as best as she can but the result is that she turns her pain inward and ultimately doesn’t respond to her trauma properly either. But I have to stop myself and have to ask “how do I know what the proper response is to such a tragedy?” I’ve never experienced the things Romy has. Who am I to judge how she responded? Yet, I can see where had she chosen a different path the outcome might have been different as well.

Romy is, understandably, deeply scarred due to the abuse she suffered. And as the expectant mother of a little girl myself, I’m not sure this was the right book for me to read now either. Sheesh. But it’s the stories of the silent that often cause us to be more cautious. I do know that we can’t prevent bad things from happening to ourselves or our children entirely, but boy are there certain things that we can be on guard against and do our best to prevent.

In the end, All the Rage just left me feeling extremely sad. Sad that humanity has seen and will continue to see this level of low, this level of violence. Sad that some still hold such horrible stories inside themselves. Sad that sin is such a part of this broken world. But we don’t have to stay here. There is hope and healing and redemption, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and comfort available. This story wasn’t about religion at all, but because of who I am, that’s what I take away from it. Horrible things happen to people everywhere, but through Jesus Christ even death is overcome.

Favorite quotes:

-Leon is…I forgot what it was like to want before he came here. But who said I needed to remember.

-Leon is nice. That doesn’t mean he’s safe.

-A house isn’t a home until it becomes a habit.

-There’s an unquestioned acceptance of my being here, being a part of this. It’s a warm feeling and I’m so hungry for it, but I close myself off to it before I get my fill. I’m not getting home to that. Best stay starved.

-“…we were friends and then we were best friends and then he fell in love with me. After a while, I caught up.”

-It’s amazing how bad you can make the truth sound.

-My dad used to say makeup was a shallow girl’s sport, but it’s not. It’s armor.

All the Rage was an emotionally draining book for me, but not exactly in the way I expected it to be. It’s an extremely sad story and really makes you think about the crappy things happening all over the world. But at the same time, the story was well done. The characters felt real. And I can’t help but give All the Rage 4 Stars for making me feel. Have you read All the Rage? What did you think? Let me know!

1 comment:

  1. I can't stand Courtney Summers' books. They're just too depressing. I need some hope. This one sounds even more depressing than the one I read.