Review of All the Rage by Courtney Summers
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?(Summary from GoodReads)
I remember All the Rage getting a lot of buzz in the book community right when it first came out. When I finally managed to read it for myself, I was excited to see what everyone liked about it so much. I read Summers’ novel in two days and only put it down when I had to. All the Rage is a fantastically written and necessary read about rape culture in the lives of teenage girls.
I felt so many things over the course of reading this book, and for me one of the strongest emotions throughout the story was anger. I felt so, so angry about how people in this book treated Romy. Never once does Summers shy away from the fact that Romy has done nothing to deserve how the world around her treats her. Instead, people just choose not to believe her.
In addition to rage, Summers fills this story with a lot of other emotion. The writing and this story, and Romy, are sharp but still stunning. Romy consistently reapplies lipstick and red nail polish, but she also has a love interest. Summers balances her need to protect herself with her vulnerability.
I hope that All the Rage is a book that eventually finds its way onto the shelves of every high school classroom. I hope that everyone who reads this finds themselves thinking a little bit harder about rape culture, and I think this has to be an important book for teenage girls who’ve experienced sexual assault. A personal favorite of mine, All the Rage should be added to your must-read list if you haven’t read it already.
Disclosure: I originally read a copy of this book that I had checked out from my library, and then I bought a copy.