Saturday, May 2, 2015

Review ~ All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 336
Publication Date: April 14th, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Goodreads Description: 
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? 
Source: I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All the Rage is a tough book to review. It's incredible. It's an important story. Powerful and thought-provoking as well.

There were a lot of questions asked through this book. How do we react to bad things happening to "good" people? Are we more sad for those that are well known and loved by those with big names? Are those that don't have that wonderful reputation as important? Are they even as human--do they deserve the same treatment? (The answer is of course, but sometimes that answer isn't reflected in people's behavior.)

This book was about how sexual abuse changes people's lives. How girls have less of a voice--how they're shut up by society--when they're up against those who supposedly can get away with anything. They feel like they have no voice, like they're not as important. (Again, I have to say of course we have a voice, but that doesn't mean we don't feel like we're silenced.) The book was also about how "golden people" are not always what they seem. Some people refuse to believe that, though.

Romy's story was heavy. I didn't get angry often because Romy didn't feel that way often. She felt like a ghost. A sad ghost who had grown accustomed to how things were. She didn't feel like she was as wanted as the missing girl was. She kept thinking of how it would be if she were missing instead--how things wouldn't be the same. She felt . . . dead. The way Romy's POV was written--down to the very structure of individual sentences--conveyed that Romy felt dead inside. All of this made my heart heavy. It wasn't easy to read.

Romy's red nails and lips were incredibly important to the story. It was her armor. It helped her brace herself against the ugliness of her life. It seemed to help her be strong.

A couple more random things. . . . One of the characters, surprisingly, had an eye-opening experience. I appreciated that because it showed that sometimes those who act ugly can see things differently and start caring. The ending left me with a heavy heart, but also a glimmer of hope. It was a really good ending.

I realize that most of this review isn't made of my likes/dislikes/reactions/etc. of the novel. That's because the author is really good at making readers think. When I finished reading, I was thinking of all the messages and themes of the novel rather than what specific things I liked and which things I didn't like. That is one of my favorite things about this book. It made me think. It made me examine what was going on in the story. 

Overall, reading All the Rage was a tough experience worth having. Courtney Summers keeps wowing me. She writes such fantastic, important reads. She writes them WELL, too. Her writing made this book hit hard and I LOVE that. You don't want to miss out on this book, especially if you're a fan of YA realistic fiction!

2015 challenges this book counts towards:
105 Challenge
Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

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