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. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight . 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.
*TRIGGER WARNING: Rape*
I’ll just get this out of the way right off the bat: that synopsis is misleading and the book that I ended up reading was not the book I expected. That isn’t to say that I thought the book was rubbish, because it wasn’t. But that synopsis does not give an accurate overview of the story or the plot, which in fact, doesn’t feature Kellan Turner as a present character at all. This is why authors should write their own summaries. PLEASE.
Courtney Summers’ portrayal of Romy, a girl who is raped and then branded a liar, is hard to read. The story focuses on the aftermath of the assault as opposed to the event itself, becoming a raw portrait of Romy’s life and feelings as she tries to move on. The writing is honest, and although the mood of the book is bleak, Summers’ doesn’t let the prose slide into ‘teen angst’.
The book puts the suffocation of small town life and high school politics under the microscope, with Summers writing about both of these topics with sharp observation. She must remember her own school days well, as she paints a pretty accurate picture of the viciousness of teenagers who don’t dare to step outside of the box.
Relationships in the book are well crafted and Summers paints a sad, but defiant picture of a mother and daughter trying to come to terms with something that seems so much bigger than they are. She also exposes the alliances and fractures that exist within communities of people who all know each other’s business with a sense of murky suffocation. Sometimes, the difference between being a liar and having people believe you comes down to whether you’re BFFs with the Sheriff’s daughter.
The structure of the book is a strange one, with the chapters skipping between different time frames. To me, the timeline wasn’t overly clear and it made the experience much more stilted as I skimmed previous pages to work out whether I was reading past or present. Some readers like this kind of ambiguity, but I’m not overly keen.
All The Rage falls into a group of books that I’ve read recently and haven’t been sure whether I’ve liked or not. These books tend to be gritty, tackling difficult subject matters and realistic (whether we like it or not) situations. I’m starting to think now that we shouldn’t like these books at all, they’re not written to with the intention of being liked. They’re written because they deserve to be heard. So, although I probably won’t ever class this book as a favourite, I have utmost respect for it and Courtney Summers for speaking out and tackling an issue that affects way more people than it ever should.
- Author: Courtney Summers
- Release Date: April 2015
- Pages: 321
- Rating: 3.5/5
- In three words: Gritty, impactful, bleak.