Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
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, Courtney Summers’ new novel All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women in a culture that refuses to protect them.
I have really mixed feelings about All the Rage. I wanted it be an amazing young adult novel tackling the tough topic of rape, but in the end I found it to be a good attempt at doing so. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the story. I did. I just wanted more from it.
Courtney Summers’ writing was great. How she set the book up was very cool. I liked how All the Rage alternated between “Now” and “Two Weeks Earlier” to give the reader bits and pieces of the story. There were also some important flashbacks that were done well. The characters and the world they lived in felt real.
There were quite a few things that I felt All the Rage was lacking, though. First, the period of time in Romy’s life after the rape until “Two Weeks Earlier”. The reader knows from the beginning the horror Romy experienced, but what happened in the aftermath was lost. I never saw how she mentally got from the rape to her current habits and way of living. I needed to know how so many things were the way they were. What little I got of that time wasn’t enough. I wanted a section in the book that detailed that time frame. That would have really helped with the second thing I felt was lacking a bit: the depth of Romy’s character.
Romy was dealing with some hard truths. Her actions and thoughts were perfect. My issue was that they felt like they were just at surface level. I knew how she was reacting, but I never felt like I truly knew what was going on in her head. I’m not sure that makes sense. The only way I can think of explaining it was that it was more like I was reading about her thoughts and actions rather than experiencing them.
The third thing that was a little off for me in All the Rage was the mystery behind Romy’s missing classmate. I loved the mystery and how it amplified Romy’s problems. I thought it was a really cool and shocking twist, but it wrapped up too quickly for me. The answer was just kind of thrown out speedily and I never felt like the character’s motive was truly explained. That made it hard for me to believe.
What I was really disappointed in was what didn’t happen in the end for Romy. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say I don’t think she got the closure she deserved.
I know much of this review sounds negative, but I truly did enjoy reading All the Rage. I was addicted to the mystery of the story and couldn’t put it down. I read the book in one evening, forcing myself to stay up way past my bedtime to finish it. It’s definitely a book worth reading, and I am looking forward to reading more from Courtney Summers in the future.