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Book Review: All The Rage

January 6, 2017

Book cover, All the Rage by Courtney SummersAll the Rage
by Courtney Summers
Macmillan 2015
(library book)

This was, at times, hard to read. But that’s part of what makes it an important book to read. I’m not entirely sure how to talk about the book, or my experience of reading it.

To paraphrase the book blurb: Romy Gray, a girl from the wrong side of town, knows that the Sheriff’s son, Kellen is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is. Telling the truth about him, that he raped her, has cost her friends, family. Former friends now bully her relentlessly. Working in the local diner feels like a respite, where nobody knows her, and maybe she can start to feel less broken. Until a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellen goes missing.

This is a book about poisonous violence against a young woman. Against young women. Working with Romy’s narration, letting her tell the story that pulls together past, present, and her experience and voice… sometimes the prose is constructed beautifully, with lines I wanted to stop and read aloud and marvel at. Even at points in the book where the story, and Romy’s experience, were breaking my heart.

This is a hell of a book. Staying in Romy’s voice, her experiences past and present. It was intense. Suffocating at times. To read about emotions of that intensity, in her voice, and also realize how small and turned-inward Romy’s school and town could feel. In Grebe, where everyone knows everyone, but there are still secrets, still ways to lie. It was suffocating to read.

I definitely want this on the shelves of any teen library. School library, public library. I want it to be there, and be a resource. But I have no idea how to get it into the hands of people who need to read it. “Here, read this book. It will break your heart with truths you already know. Or truths you need to learn.” There are discussion questions in the back of the book, which I appreciate. Because I’m not sure how to discuss it. How to get the word out to someone who might really need to read it.

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