All The Rage Blog Tour! Review: All The Rage by Courtney Summers

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Title: All the Rage
Author: Courtney Summers
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 336
Source: ARC provided by publisher

Overall: 5 Stars

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, Courtney Summers' new novel All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women in a culture that refuses to protect them. 

My Thoughts: 
When Romy Grey was raped at a party one night, she tried to speak up against her rapist. Kellen Turner was the sheriff's son, her small town's golden boy... and nobody believed Romy, the girl whose father was a drunk, who lived on the wrong side of town. Branded a slut, a liar, and an outcast, Romy has been abandoned by her closest friends, the very people who should have supported her when she needed it most. 

The only place Romy still finds any refuge and semblance of peace is at Swan's Diner, where she works as a waitress on the outskirts of town. At Swan's, nobody knows Romy was raped, and nobody thinks she's a liar. She's just a pretty teen girl named Romy. But when a classmate she once considered a friend suddenly goes missing and a desperate, town-wide search to find her begins, Romy must reconsider her decision to remain silent, even if it means exposing herself to the harsh criticism of her community again.

I felt so much rage and anger for Romy while reading All the Rage. Why is it so easy for society to cast the blame on victims of rape? If a woman dresses in revealing clothes showing skin, or acts flirtatiously to a man, why is it we are so inclined to judge her in the wrong? That she must have been at fault, and not the other way around? Much like Courtney Summers' previous novels, All the Rage offers us no easy resolutions or straightforward answers. Romy may have physically recovered, but the trauma of her rape has left long-lasting psychological damage that cannot be quickly healed.

Romy is not necessarily a reliable narrator, but it doesn't mean she isn't telling us the truth. Her thoughts can be fragmented, and there are gaps in her memories that she cannot recall, but I felt it was a reflection of just how broken and hollow Romy feels deep inside. At school, she is relentlessly bullied and called out for being an attention seeker, but it couldn't be further from the truth. Romy wants to be invisible, to hide away from others because she cannot trust anyone anymore. She doesn't feel safe in the world unless she can meticulously apply red nail polish to her nails and red lipstick to her lips; it's the only form of control she feels she can still exert over her own body after being so utterly violated.

While All the Rage is a fictional contemporary novel, it is heartbreaking to know that there are women just like Romy who suffer in silence without the justice they deserve. I find it utterly terrifying and horrifying to know someone can rip away my agency and make me feel powerless, that sexual assault is still a crime that offenders never truly face punishment. Rape has become synonymous with terms like shame and silence when it shouldn't, and this is something we must find a way to change in the future.

Courtney Summers has written a powerful, unflinching novel that adds to a much needed discussion about rape culture and its consequences. All the Rage is an emotionally-charged book that explores difficult subject matter and makes no promises of consolation or assurance. Romy's story will surely hit you with all the feels and resonate with readers long after finishing the novel.

Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for providing this review copy! Don't miss the rest of the stops on the Canadian blog tour for Courtney Summers' All the Rage!

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  1. I loved this one too Liz! There were so many times where I wanted to rage at society itself.