Hello! As my book reviews have been well received, which makes me very happy by the way(!), I thought I would make them a regular feature on my blog. Today’s book I will be talking about is All The Rage by Courtney Summers.
*Trigger Warning* – This book contains and discusses topics such as rape, sexual assault and drugs.
All The Rage by Courtney Summers
Publication Date: 28 January 2016
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
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?
Let me start off by saying how much I loved Courtney Summers’ writing style in All the Rage. I found the narration of this novel to be very powerful and moving; almost poetic.
I had heard a lot about All the Rage – it has made many an appearance on “must read lists” – so when the opportunity arose for a review copy, I had to seize it. All The Rage deals with some very sensitive and hard hitting topics such as rape, victim blaming and bullying, which is not be suitable for younger readers.
The book switches between the time of the attack, and the time after. I did find it hard to follow at first as it does switch back and forth without warning, and it wasn’t clearly marked. It may be down to how it is formatted in Kindle, so it might be easier to follow in paperback.
Romy, our protagonist and narrator, is a shell of the girl she once was. Her life before the attack is not explored in depth, and we can only guess by small inferences that she was a popular girl who had lots of friends and went to parties. After the attack, she is depressed and lonely. Not only is she bullied by her classmates but she is also shunned by her neighbours. I felt that the narration of the novel reflected her anxious and broken state.
I have to admit that I did not find Romy particularly likeable. There were times that her actions did not make any sense, and seemingly written in to propel the plot forward. It could be argued that this is because of the attack, and her state of mind “does not make sense“, but at the same time there were other ways her actions could have been explained.
To be honest, I found the missing girl plot did not add anything to the story. It was introduced over half way through and seemingly resolved without question or suspense in the last few chapters. We are told what happened in fewer words or less with no questions answered. Personally, I found this part of the story to once again not make sense and I’m not sure how it even related to the overall story. It feels like it was added in for the “shock” factor. It didn’t seem to help Romy’s character development and nor did it go towards redeeming another.
Overall, I feel a little disappointed with All The Rage. The ending, in my opinion, was rather rushed and left a lot of things unresolved and unanswered.
All The Rage is definitely not an easy novel to read, and at times not nice to read either. Whilst it hasn’t become an instant favourite, and didn’t really shock me to my core, it did suck me in and will probably stay with me for a while. If you were wanting to read this book before this review, you should still read it anyway. I feel like everyone will have their own reaction and opinion to this book.
All The Rage is currently available to download on Kindle, with the paperback version being released in January 2016.