Book Review: All The Rage By Courtney Summers

Book: All The Rage by Courtney Summers

Published April 2015 by St Martin’s Griffin|321 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

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’ve wanted to read this book for a while, and it’s one of those books that have been pretty hyped.  Unfortunately, for me, it didn’t live up to the hype, and it didn’t live up to the expectations I had for it.

We see Romy after her rape, and how she’s treated.  No one believes her, and she’s ostracized and punished for speaking up and saying something.  People are terrible to her, and it seems like the entire town is against her.  Especially when something something happens to one of her classmates- and they all wish it had been her instead. I wasn’t expecting things to end the way they did and I hated seeing how no one cared about what she went through.  I was angry at how people treated her, and it’s sad and horrible that there are so many others who have experienced what Romy experienced.

What I thought was interesting was that we don’t really get what happened before- we know she said something, because of how she’s treated by her classmates and some of the people in town.  It seems like her mom and her stepfather know but it’s not clear what they do know.  Well, who I’m assuming is her stepfather, since it’s not explicitly stated what their relationship is, and it seems like this guy is not her biological father, but it’s hard to say, since it’s never clearly mentioned what happened.

At any rate, we don’t know if there were charges pressed or if she went to the police, or if she just told people what happened.  We don’t get that story, and all we know is that something happened, and it might have happened to other girls as well.

I think that was one of my problems with the story.  I don’t need every single detail, but I wish we at least had a little background or a vague idea of what happened.  What happened to her was horrible, and the aftermath was horrible, but I think have a little bit of what happened what have gone a long way.

The timeline was also really weird, and it jumps from now to two weeks earlier to after, and the timeline of when things happened was never really clear for me.  It made it hard to follow what happened.  Everything’s jumbled, and maybe that fits with what’s going on with Romy, but it made things confusing to me.

It also felt like the summary didn’t match what actually happened in the book.  Kellan barely showed up in the book, and I felt like we didn’t see Romy struggle with speaking up or staying silent.  I felt like the book described is not the book we got.

It’s not that I wouldn’t recommend this book, because it worked for a lot of people.  I wish I were one of them, but I do think there are better books out there that deal with the same subject matter, like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Some Boys by Patty Blount.

2 stars.  This book didn’t work for me, but I can see why people love it so much.

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