Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to Raincoast / St. Martin’s Griffin for this ARC!
Courtney Summers is known for tackling tough subjects with raw emotion. They are thought provoking, intense experiences, and I think of all her novels, All the Rage is the one that has made me the most uncomfortable and terrified.
All the Rage is largely a book about rape, rape culture and the failures that young women who have been raped are facing. There’s issues of power and influence, and essentially these are the problems Romy combats with throughout the story. There’s nothing more terrifying than telling the truth and having no one believe you. This is a conversation we should be having, we should want to give these people the support we need. Yet, like this novel questions, are we really providing support or covering up something we don’t wish to come face to face with?
Summers’ paints so many unnerving and ugly pictures in All the Rage. Romy’s self-worth is constantly questioned because she’s “the girl that lived” and yet not a single person questions if she has problems or what actually has happened to her. I found myself fuming at how many of the characters treated her, like it was a joke or that it didn’t matter. Of course it matters. I found myself in particular wanting to punch out Alek, Brock, Tina, Cat, Turner, and well really, a huge chunk of the cast. Their sense of entitlement and power, it’s just so wrong. So evil.
I will admit, I loved Romy’s mother. Her desire to help, understand, she knew something wasn’t wrong, but like any parent, there’s the desire to let their teen work through it first. I loved the messages she and Romy would leave each other, their tough conversations, she and many of the characters at the diner were really interesting, and Holly, oh my goodness, I felt for her when she said that while Romy wasn’t her daughter, it was like missing a daughter.
The book emotionally wrecked me. I was feeling all the rage while reading it, angry, frustrated, and disappointed that the world can be such a crappy place for rape victims. I realize my review is a bit all over the place, but it’s because I found myself feelings jumping all over the place, leaving me so exhausted and upset in the end. You cannot blame Romy for harbouring so much mistrust in the world, when in her world, she really has been kicked and beaten to the curb. I wanted to grab her from the book and hold her, even though I know she’d never let me.
All the Rage hurts, and it will leave you black and blue in the end. It pulls every punch and hits you harder and harder until you’re wobbly at best. It will make you angry, vengeful, and emotionally exhausted, but this story is meant to be told and will constantly be important. It certainly will leave a lasting impression.