06 April 2015

Review: All the Rage by Courtney Summers


All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Expected Publication: 14 April 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin

Pages: 336 

Genre/s: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Source: Publisher for review

Find it: Goodreads ~ Amazon

Synopsis

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. 

My Thoughts

All the Rage is not an easy read.  In fact, at times it is so confronting it would be easier to put it down and move onto something much more light and fun.  But this is what Summers does – she takes a girl, in this case Romy, who has been through a terrible trauma and puts her smack bang in the middle of a group of nasty, vindictive teenage girls who would rather place the blame on one person than admit there is something bigger going on.  

And we could argue until the end of time that not everyone is like that, and we’d stand up and do something about it if we were in that situation, but it’s mob mentality at it’s very strongest – to admit your opinion doesn’t match the group would mean social death, and therefore they continue, despite the mounting evidence otherwise.

Trying to describe this book is almost impossible – it’s confusing, gripping, and mentally and emotionally exhausting.  Romy herself is confused and confusing, she pushes people away whilst trying to get closer, and she’s never quite sure how she really feels about people and situations.  She’s close to her mother but doesn’t confide in her, has an easy relationship with her mothers’ boyfriend and a complex relationship with Leon, her colleague and the boy who openly admits that he likes her.

Romy hides behind her shield of perfectly applied nail polish and lipstick – they are her signature, for better or worse (and made me painfully ashamed of my own nails every bloody time she mentioned it – even now as I type I keep looking at the terrible state of them!) and even when it is cruelly used against her, she sticks to her guns – I love a good stubborn character and Romy is right up there.

Summers writing is rather different than her normal style, but I loved it –nothing is laid out neatly and it was up to me to decipher what was happening and put all the pieces together. Normally this wouldn’t be my kind of style, but it definitely works in All the Rage – it’s so reflective of Romy’s state of mind that anything else wouldn’t have felt right.

If you’re looking for a gritty, emotional read, I can most definitely recommend All the Rage.  It’s tough but compulsive reading, and although there’s no happily ever after (and that’s not a spoiler if you know Courtney Summers’ books), it’s a very satisfying, thought-provoking read.

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