Saturday, April 4, 2015

Review: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

All the Rage 
Author: Courtney Summers
Release date: April 14, 2015
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Romy is "the girl who cried rape", and Kellan Turner is the Sheriff's son and the golden boy of town that everyone thinks is perfect. She has been found to be a liar, and as such has lost everything--her friends, her family--everyone. But then the golden girl disappears, and Romy was secretly one of the very last to have a meaningful conversation with her the evening before...could this be history repeating itself somehow? What IS the cost of her silence?

My thoughts: This is a raw, and shameful story of one small town's dirty secrets. Of course it could be any town, anywhere which is what makes this story not only so awful but also so good. 

So many of us have grown up in towns, or even cities, that are so darn small. In those small towns so many of them have sad, and rather dark secret little histories with stories of things that either have happened and been ignored or things that happened and were then altered to be something else after the fact. Sometimes these are small things and sometimes these are big things. We've all heard the stories, or we've all seen the movies if we haven't the stories ourselves. I grew up in, and still live in, just such a small little city. There are so many stories...from a substitute teacher who partied with the high school kids...to a specific spot with a specific name that the high schoolers partied at in the middle of the country roads...an then there are darker stories too...

This story that Courtney Summers spins in ALL THE RAGE is a darker story, and oh what a sad, sad story it is filled with awful people. Both the adults and the classmates all around the main character of Romy are just awful. This treatment is all because the main character claims that she was raped by a boy who is the son of the Sheriff's and the richest woman around who owns the only big business to "be anything" from their little town. Plus, poor Romy (literally) has an extremely alcoholic father who has broken their family apart completely right around the time this happens unfortunately. Oh, and guess who the dad worked for!? You betcha! The richie rich mom! Who he called a very naughty word and then got fired. Ugh! Now she never sees her father, all the kids at school hate her and the bullying there is completely out of control. 

To try to deal with all of this horrifyingness on her own because she is in complete denial and just wants to forget everything since she's certainly not getting any help from the law anytime soon, she works every night after school outside of town so she doesn't have to run into anyone she might know, she keeps her head down, and she wears red lipstick and nail polish like armor! Then she meets Leon, and thinks there's hope that maybe someone might like her again as long as they don't know anything about her story or her life/town. But once the Golden Girl disappears and there's tons of media coverage around her town she begins to have a very hard time keeping the "life" she created after the rape separate from her "real life". 

Summers does such a good job making you feel Romy's brokenness. The need to hurt yourself again and again just so you can feel something again because you are so numb all the time afterward. Also, the mean girls and the mean boys were so mean! Whoa! But I've seen it and heard it in the halls...they turn on you in an instance! And they are SO good and hiding it from adults it is unbelievable. 

What I really didn't like about the story was the broken mother. I wanted the mother to be stronger, and to stand up for her daughter! Why didn't she do that? I just didn't understand that part of the story at all. I don't know parents like that. 

Final thoughts: A good new "Broken Girl" addition to any collection. 

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