Monday, June 1, 2015

Review: All the Rage

All the Rage
Author: Courtney Summers
Published: April 14th, 2015
Hardcover, 321 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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?

There are important books out there in the world, books that say something in the best way possible and show the world a side of it that some people may not know. Books that need to be talked about. Books that you just want to throw off buildings and shout at people to read because they are so important in what they say, how the say it and who they say it to. This. Is. One. Of. Those. Books. courteny Summers has once again shown us the dark, inner life of a teenager. This is a gritty, real look at the aftermath of sexual violence and the lack of help that young women get when something has happened to them. Romy is ostracized from her community for "accusing" the sheriff's son of raping her. Her friends, family and everyone who knows her avoid her, her safe haven the diner she works at in another town. But when Kellan assaults another girl and someone goes missing, Romy must decide if her silence will make things better or just let more girls experience what she had to endure. What happens to the girl who everyone thought cried wolf suddenly needs to bring it up again?

Courtney's characters are so flawlessly flawed. We only know the After Romy, the Romy who meticulously paints her nails and her lips red, her armor against the rest of the world. We must watch as she tries to move past the act of sexual violence she endured during a party one night a year ago. Romy is essentially dead inside. She feels like she has no voice because society has refused to listen to her. I wanted to get angry with Romy, but instead she just felt like a hollowed out human being, sopast being angry and instead just feeling worthless. She compares herself to all those around her who she feels are better than her. She wonders what it would be like if she were the missing girl and if anyone would actually care if that were the case. She has a thought once she finds out someone is pregnant that she hopes the baby is not a girl. It's a harsh sentence, and it's not the only one. that shows you just how much that one act, that act that Kellan thought nothing about and that society decided wasn't a big deal, changed how she viewed everything in life. I'm so glad Courtney gave Romy a voice because Romy represents every girl, every human, who has ever felt less than themselves because of something someone did to them without their consent. I don't know how these girls feel, but to me Courtney has captured what I can only imagine it feels like, and no one should ever have to feel that way.

I was so happy with how Courtney treated the romance throughout this book. Romy was scared to let anyone close to her and the moments where she did think she could get past everything, those memories would come back to haunt her. It was so important for her to have a guy in her life that didnt want more than she wanted to give. As soon as she said no, he stopped and that was the most important thing to me. To show that difference between consent and non-consent and how someone reacts to those two things is what every young girl needs to be aware of. You have a voice, you're feeling smatter. If you are not comfortable in a situation than you should be able to say no and things should stop. End of story.

This is a dark, gritty and completely realistic novel that doesn't hold anything back. It's ugly, wonderful and scary. This book is so important that I'm just going to keep talking about, continuing to tell people how important it is and hope that everyone reads it. We can change how victims are treated, how girls feel afterwards and hopefully get to a point where no means no and nobody tries to change that. If this book can help anyone, that it has done its job. Go read it. Now.

"My dad used to say makeup was a shallow girl's sport, but it's not. It's armor."

"But just because something starts out sweet doesn't mean it won't push itself so far past anything you could call sweet anymore. And if it all starts like this, how do you see what's coming?"

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