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?
First off, thank you so much to Goodreads for this Advanced Readers Copy of ALL THE RAGE. When my mom called me from home and told me that a book arrived in the mail for me, and that this was the book, I actually screamed I was so excited. I notoriously never win anything, and I'm so happy that I actually won something for once.
I'm not going to discuss the plot in depth, as I don't want to spoil the story. However, I do want to say that ALL THE RAGE tackles the subject of sexual abuse and silencing girls with a striking complexity that is different from anything I've read before. Specifically, Romy, the main character, is so complex. The way she both internalizes and externalizes her pain is real, and as I made my way through the book I truly understood why she felt like she had to stay silent. I loved Leon's character arc, and how we learn more and more about him as Romy learned about him, how he could be "all the good things" and still such a mystery. Overall, Summers tackled huge thematic topics of patriarchy and the treatment of girls in our society with such truth and honesty without sounding preachy or accusatory. It was just a blunt, honest portrayal, and I loved that so much.
I was fascinated by Penny, specifically how we only knew Penny through Romy's depiction of her. This ex-friendship resonated with me, as I believe it will resonate with many girls. I think we've all been there where we go through a terrible friend breakup and think horrible thoughts about someone who we used to be so close with. Despite the tension, it is evident how complicated this friendship is and how conflicted Romy feels about Penny after she goes missing, particular her internal guilt about being the one who was found while Penny was still out there, missing.
Structurally, the book jumps around in time, the jumps occurring before Penny goes missing and after. The jumps that happen are not jarring in any way, and they feel cohesive. Courtney Summers knows how to keep the reader at the edge of their seat, both releasing and withholding information when necessary.
The language and imagery is so potent throughout the entire story, in typical Courtney Summers fashion. You really can feel all the rage within the writing itself. One particular image that I loved so much was the red lipstick / red nails that was woven throughout the story, the juxtaposition between staying silent yet wanting to be seen, and the implications of this imagery.
Also, shout out to Romy's mother and Todd. One of my major pet peeves in YA is the absent parent or the two-dimensional parent. Romy's mother's presence was so real, there were moments where I saw my mother in her. And I loved how much Romy loved her mother, and was happy that she was happy with Todd, the boyfriend / father figure in Romy's life.
That's all I want to say, because I'm afraid I'll get too spoiler-y otherwise. ALL THE RAGE is another powerful novel by Summers. It's honest, complex, and the sort of book that is relatable universally. Currently, with all the talk in the media surrounding rape culture and victim blaming, books such as ALL THE RAGE are even more important. Because girls, it is not your fault.
5 / 5 Stars.
ALL THE RAGE will be out on April 14th.