Book Review: ‘All The Rage’ Is Required Reading

all the rage

Review by Ann McDonald

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

This book will shake all complacency regarding rape from your mind. The remembered words whispered, “What a terrible thing to happen.” “Oh she was at a party and was drinking!” “He said that she chased him!” “She liked him. ” “She said no!” Romy Grey, a teenager a year out of the experience that has defined her as a liar and she has become an outcast in her own community and in her school. Her life has become unbearable, she is bullied without pause and you are grimly trying to encourage her to to hold on. This story takes her too close to the edge of the abyss where the darkness of non-existence is better that what she has become. You begin to understand teenage suicide. She is desperate for people to look at her and see her.

Romy and her mother Alice have moved across town to live with Alice’s boyfriend, Todd Bartlett, a good man, unable to work because of an accident years earlier but they are going to make it together. Alice is glad Romy has her own room and the shadow of her drunken father is fading. Penny was Romy’s best friend and she is going out with Alex Turner, the brother of Kellan Turner. The sheriff’s two boys are beyond question and no charges were brought against Kellan. Romy can’t remember exactly what happened in full so she has no defense. Penny and the girls in school don’t give her and chance, calling her an attention seeker and a liar. This is a well-told, complicated story with well-drawn and believable characters. There are human touches that are welcome from the people she works with at a diner over in the next town, where nobody knows her.

She meets Leon and it’s heartbreaking to see how she struggles because she wants him to like her but she is afraid. When Penny goes missing after a lakeside party, she is torn over it.She is in shreds because she wants her alive but she is numb. Slowly, the truth begins to unfold and it shocks you to your very core. Romy survives and is changed forever and this book should change certain attitudes as well. Teenage boys and girls should read this. Highly Recommended.

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Ann McDonald

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