A mostly Young Adult book review blog run by a mother and daughter team.
The only way that I can start this review is by saying that All The Rage by author Courtney Summers is haunting. It’s the kind of novel that I read and shook my head at and felt completely and totally unsettled. This is a novel that shocks you and disgusts you and keeps you fearful for the truth of just what is going on in the plot. This is an unforgettable read that I think everyone should pick up at least once. It is mysterious and eye-opening, showing readers the life of a girl who is shamed for being assaulted and her struggle to survive past it.
Romy Grey has lived being ridiculed by her peers. Talking about what happened to her at the hands of Kellan Turner has cost her friendships, family, and her happiness. But the Turners are an influential family in town and to be speak out against them is to sign your own death certificate. Nobody can look at Romy without thinking of her as a liar. A girl seeking attention. When news reaches Romy about Kellan assaulting another woman, the idea of speaking up and fighting back against him rises to the surface. But how can she? Running off to a party, Romy finds herself caught inside of a web, one where any wrong movement could mean facing a truth darker than anything she could imagine.
All The Rage begins with beautiful writing describing an ugly scene. We are introduced to the novel’s subject matter firsthand and are left to wonder what’s supposed to come next. Summers does not shy away from how gritty the situation that Romy is put in is. She is a character who is surrounded by hatred in a town fueled by animosity. The people around Romy are cruel and judgemental and are portrayed in a way that feels incredibly real. Summers does an amazing job at showing us a place where victim blaming is alive and well, through the eyes of the victim.
The story inside of All The Rage is one that is heartbreaking and heart pounding. The first chapter we are introduced to shows us the night of a party. The first half of the novel is set before said party, showing us the build-up and giving us the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of Romy being there. The second half of the novel is all mystery. The entire town searching for a missing girl who everyone wishes was Romy instead. Romy suffers through the second half of the novel. Trying to connect back to memories that have been supressed while also trying to come to terms with what has happened to her.
Every single moment of All The Rage is emotional and hard to stomach and forces readers to cheer on our protagonist, hoping for the best in a bad situation. I was brought to tears more than once and constantly wondered what the big reveal at the end of the novel would be. I will admit that I was a bit underwhelmed by it considering the build-up and that the conclusion wasn’t at all what I expected it to be, but the exposition and slow-build was enough to keep me satisfied. This is definitely a novel that is unforgettable in its realism and will give readers some food for thought, as well insight into the life of a victim of sexual assault.
I would recommend All The Rage to readers who are looking for a novel that is exhilterating. Any readers who are looking for a novel that is a mystery with bits of romance and action thrown in should also give it a read. Readers who want a novel that is well-written with beautiful prose should also give All The Rage a shot.