Tuesday, April 14, 2015

All the Rage ~ Courtney Summers (arc) review [@StMartinsPress @courtney_s]

All the Rage
St Martin's Griffin
April 14, 2015
336 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from TBD/or Amazon

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?

Very few people are as skilled as Courtney Summers when it comes to creating characters that will disgust, irritate and/or anger you. In Some Girls Are it was the mean (mean) girls, but this time she brings the boys and men in on the action, as well.

Romy is the girl no one believes. Not when the accused is the sheriff's son. Not when his younger brother is there, in school, every day reminding everyone has perfect he is, how perfect she's not. She knows no one believes her and is doing what she can just to make it through each day until she can leave town.

People in All the Rage are horrible to Romy. Like really, really despicable. From just not believing her, deeming her a liar - which okay, I suppose that's allowed. But how far they seem to take things, how much of a problem they have with her and create for her . . . Then when you factor in that it's not only her classmates.

Her small town of Grebe is very much a boys' club, with the sheriff being the one in charge. Everyone else seems to follow his lead when it comes to judging Romy - and her accusation.

I want to say it's unbelievable and it is, but it also isn't.

That's the thing about All the Rage, it's one of those realistic fiction novels that you want to believe cannot, actually, be realistic. It just can't. Yet, you know it is.

With stories like this and, more recently, this it's not so unbelievable (even while it still so is).

Romy and her story - the one no one believes and what happens to her after - are important. They may be fictional, but they're not unreal. It is a hard book to read, but o ne you really should read. Read it, think about it, even talk about it.

Romy is a character I won't forget (and I'll likely never quite think of red nail polish and lipstick the same again).

arc received thanks to the publisher

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