I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Also by this author: Some Girls Are, Fall for Anything
Published by St. Martin's Press on April 14th 2015
Genres: Bullying, Social Issues, Violence, Young Adult
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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.
Sometimes I am skeptical about “issues” books. I get annoyed that they take on this preachy, holier than thou tone and then at the end, everything is magically resolved. Actually, they remind me of those after school specials that used to be on TV. What Courtney Summers does is write about issues, but she does not write “issues” books. Instead, her books take a look at girls who are in the middle of some serious problems and she makes it real and harsh and not very easy to read. All The Rage is her latest book and one you need to put on your to be read pile.
All The Rage is about Remy Grey, a girl who used to be in the in-group until this party where the sheriff’s son takes advantage of her. After the party, she becomes known as the girl who cried rape. We see Remy experience bullying because no one believes her. Her best friend, Penny, actually forwards some evidence that Remy wanted it to the police. What this book explores is consent and how having a crush on someone does not mean you consent to letting them do whatever they want to you.
Remy is not a main character that you fall in love with or immediately like right off the bat. She’s prickly. She’s vulnerable. She’s real. If you like reading about books with raw, uncensored characters, you will love this book. She does not do all of the right things after she’s victimized. She doesn’t want to report because of Kellan’s reputation. She dresses a certain way. She wears her makeup in a certain way. She doesn’t fall into the image of the perfect victim and I loved that. I loved that she felt like a real person who absolutely did not deserve what happened to her.
The best thing about Summers’ new book is it’s exploration of rape culture. It shows how rape culture is not only men, but that females are complicit too. Instead of blaming the rapist, we say things like ‘he had so much going for him — now his life is ruined.’ To me, this kind of thing implies that boys will be boys and he couldn’t help it. We see a lot of this attitude from other characters in the book. There are girls in this book who bully Remy because she had a crush on Kellan, so obviously she’s just a victim for attention. As a reader, this enraged me, but at the same time, I thought it was a clever examination of the culture that we live in.
If you are in the market for a book that is incredibly intelligent commentary on our culture and why we need feminism, you need to pick up All The Rage and rage right along with main character Remy at the unfairness of her situation as well as those of other victims. This book is well written. It’s a quick read. It is real and raw and painful. I absolutely recommend it.