Review: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

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Summary:

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?

Review:

First of all, forget that summary. Honestly, it gives absolutely no justice to this book. I just finished reading it and I’m so emotionally spent, and so angry with this world and all the things women have to fear. This should never happen.

You want this, you’ve always wanted this and we’re not going that far, I promise. Really? His hands are everywhere and he’s a vicious weight on top of her that she can’t breathe against so she cries instead, and how do you get a girl to stop crying? You cover her mouth.

This is not the first book I read about rape, but it’s probably the most real, raw, and powerful I’ve ever read. Romy was raped by the sheriff’s son, and obviously, he got away with it. But something I really liked about this book is that he actually never appears in it, and it’s like the author isn’t giving him the power to keep tormenting this girl.

Now maybe they fooled around and maybe she was a little too drunk at the time, but rape? You can’t just call it something like that.

Now this is something that makes me want to throw up. Romy said what happened, but since she liked the guy, since she had too many drinks, since he was the golden boy, it couldn’t have been rape, right? He wouldn’t have done that. That’s bullshit. When the word “no” is out there, it’s over, and he has to stop. No matter if the girl liked the boy, if they’re in a relationship, if she says to stop, he has to stop. If he doesn’t, it’s rape. No one can touch you if you don’t want them to. And it’s so infuriating that this is still up to debate, that people still think things like that. It’s our body and we’re the only one to have a say in what we want to do with it.

But just because something starts out sweet doesn’t mean it won’t push itself so far past anything you could call sweet anymore. And if it all starts like this, how do you see what’s coming?

Romy has to face all this, and it’s like she tries so hard to detach herself from the girl who was raped, but it’s impossible, and having no one to talk to only makes it worse. This book is not about a girl who’s finally getting better after something so horrible happened to her, this is a book about what happens in between; about the fear, the shame, the disgust, the rage and all the ugliness that pours into this girl’s life, and in the life of those who love her.

I don’t believe in forgiveness. I think if you hurt someone, it becomes a part of you both. Each of you just has to live with it and the person you hurt gets to decide if they want to give you the chance to do it again. If they do and you’re a good person, you won’t make the same mistakes. Just whole new ones.

Thankfully not everyone in this book is terrible; I loved Romy’s mom and her boyfriend, and it’s like their relationship is there to give you hope that it can be beautiful, that not everything is so rotten. There’s also Leon, the guy who works with Romy. He’s nice, sweet and respectful, and even though Romy is really closed off, he tries so hard to be what she needs. But in the end, Romy is the only one who can do something, she is the one who has to decide to go on, somehow.

Inside, in my room, I write my name on my lips over and over, but I don’t feel right, I don’t feel like myself. All those parts of me turned off. I don’t want to be a dead girl. I don’t want to be a dead girl. I need to come back.

I loved this book, beautifully written. So intense and meaningful.

manuela calloway sisters

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One thought on “Review: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

  1. Pingback: Recommendation Saturday: standalones | Calloway Books

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