All the Rage by Courtney Summers

April 13th, 2015 Kimberly Review 79 Comments

13th Apr
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
All the Rage
by Courtney Summers
Genres: Realistic Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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. With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out,All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

HEARTBREAKING INFURIATING warning Young Adult

I have come to love Courtney Summers writing from her zombie novels to her newest novel All the Rage, a gritty and realistic look at rape and other events in a small-rural town. A poignant, beautifully written story Summers holds nothing back and once again, her writing left me breathless.

If you grew up in a rural town that still has social ladders where everyone knows your name, and your family secrets and some family names are untouchable then you will at once identify with the characters and events in this book.

Chilling and realistic Summers’ shares the story of Romy Grey a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Who had to endure the unthinkable and when she spoke out, she was branded a liar by the town. Friends of Kellan Turner relentlessly bully her. He is the wildly popular sheriff’s son who changed her life in a single evening. He is one of the untouchables. Summers shares Romy’s deepest thoughts and fears as we see her try to find normalcy. When another girl goes missing and rumors begin to circulate that a girl in another town was assaulted Romy has to decide to fight or live with the consequences.

We spend a lot of time in Romy’s head and it is a very dark and difficult place to be. We experience her emotions, witness her coping mechanisms and see her try to adjust as she deals with the bullying, a romantic interest and her concerned parents. We feel her anguish, the constant need to be clean and the fragile shell she has become. You can feel her rage, tears and frustrations just below the surface. Imagine no one believing that one of the most horrific things to happen to you actual happened. You are told you are a liar, you were wasted and that these pleas for attention need to stop. Summers’ does not stop there, as our protagonist needs to make a stand, and speak out for the sake of others. As difficult, as the subject matter is I was riveted and my emotions ranged from outraged to frustration. If I were Romy’s parent I would be in jail right now.

In typical Summers’ fashion, she balances the darkness with light and in All the Rage; she does that with a young man named Leon. Patient, sweet Leon who dares to fall for a girl that is fragile and cracked. The romance was light, sweet and not without hurdles. Leon works at the diner a place where Romy feels some anonymity. The diner is located on the outskirts of town and is not a local hangout for her peers. Her job waitressing offers her an escape. Her parents are present and supportive but even they feel the pressures from this small-town.

All the Rage while gritty really makes the reader think about the shame and stigma young girls face when they speak up. If you ever wondered, why so many rapes go unreported step into Romy’s shoes. If you have read any of Summers’ book you know they tend to open ended and while we got some closure a lot was left open. I have come to appreciate the way in which she ends her stories and this one was exceptional and left us with hope.

About Courtney Summers

Summers was born in Belleville, Ontario in 1986 and currently resides in a small town not far from there. To date, she has authored five novels. Her first novel, Cracked Up to Be, was published when she was 22 and went on to win the 2009 CYBIL award in YA fiction. Since then, she’s published three more books–2011 YALSA Top 10 Quick Pick and White Pine Honour book, Some Girls Are, 2012 YALSA Quick Pick, Fall for Anything, and 2013 YALSA Top 10 Quick Pick and White Pine Honour book This is Not a Test. Her next projects are an e-novella, Please Remain Calm (a sequel to This is Not a Test) and a new novel, All the Rage, both out in 2015.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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79 Responses to “All the Rage by Courtney Summers”

  1. Melliane

    Romy sounds like a really interesting and different character to discover. I saw another good review about the book the other day and I confess that it made me curious. thanks for the review!

  2. Naomi

    Oh wow… this seems like it would take you on a severe emotional roller coaster. It is dealing with some difficult and ongoing issues that would have me on edge. Beautiful review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love how edgy and raw and totally honest it was Naomi

  3. Jenny

    Oooo this book is going to piss me off Kim! I’m going to want to throttle everyone in this town who doesn’t believe her and judges based on economic standing. As though money is some kind of magical lie detector. Grrrrrr. I’m going to need my chocolate and a stress ball on hand to squeeze all the way through as I root for Romy!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Right..but sometimes we need to get mad, and Summers tackled this as only she can do

  4. Nick

    I have this book to read, Kim and I’m utterly terrified to read it because I know I will feel all kinds of emotions when I do read it. I need to mentally prepare myself for it. I do think these books are so important though, so I’m really thrilled that Courtney Summers decided to tackle it.
    Wonderful review!

  5. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Even though I grew up in California, my small rural town was similar to many I’ve read about in the South. There are unexpected similarities, so I generally relate to these books and the characters resonate with me. This one sounds like one I must read. Thanks for sharing.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you pick it up Laurel, Summers has a wonderful voice

  6. kindlemom1

    Is it so weird that I really want to read this but am too frightened to? I just know it will be full of the feels for me but I also know I will love it too.
    Great review Kim! When I’, feeling not so chicken, I will definitely read this one. 😀

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Read it Ali, Summers handled it well, and I think I was more pissed off at the town itself.

  7. tonyalee

    I have been debating whether or not this is something I should read. I love dark books, but this would probably tear me up!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was more mad and angry then choked up..but yes you do get the feels

  8. Ramona

    Oh, I knew it! This one will break my heart… But I think it’s one of those stories that absolutely have to be written and read. This is one of the best reviews you’ve written, KImba. I guess it made quite an impression on you.

  9. lily

    I have an arc of this one in my room that I’m planning on reading but I’m just waiting until i’m in the proper mindset before I do. Since this one deals with such a difficult subject matter and it’s a tough book in itself I want to be in the right frame of mind going in. Lovely review Kim.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh I get it..this balances out your mood well between angry, totally pissed off and sympathetic.

  10. Heidi

    I wrote up my review for this one yesterday. Totally agree. This was one heck of a read. So much emotion. I was most impressed with the writing. Summers has outdone herself.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yay..I really enjoy this author I wondered abut you and the open ending..looking forward to your thoughts Heidi

  11. Katherine

    This sounds like an intense read but I like that Summers balances darkness with light. I don’t mind reading about darker grittier subject but I like there to be some bit of hope or happiness for the characters. Thanks for sharing!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      She does give us hope. I have loved everything Summers has written Katherine

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Sophia, I would be curious to see what you think

  12. Melissa (Books and Things)

    This sounds like a book that would tick me off but in a good way. I have her zombie book I have yet to read and I really need to push it up the list. She really sounds like a good writer. Yea, this is a book that I would have to make sure I don’t throw across the room, me thinks. 🙂 It also sounds like it has a good ending. Brilly review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You cannot go wrong with this book or her zombie series..I love this author Melissa

  13. Candace

    I’ve read at least one of her books and I really enjoyed it. This sounds like it would be pretty dark but really good. Very emotional, for sure.

  14. A.P.Bullard

    I feel like this would be extremely triggering for me, but I am so pleased that there is voice being given to us survivors like that. Great review, and I loved how the author seems to be treating the topic with the respect it deserves.

    Many people say “Just report it!”, but have no idea what that all entails, and what it’s actually like. This book is so important, and I am grateful that it was written.

    Thank you for such a wonderful review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Some books do trigger and this will certainly piss you off, make you feel helpless and yet be inspired.

  15. Christy

    Word. This was a good book with a dark, yet realistic subject matter. Of course it pissed me off. lol

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yep..I think you would have to be dead not to be pissed off. Even she pissed me off a little, but then I have never walked in her shoes and hell every shoe fits differently

  16. Kathy

    I love it, when we get to dive into the dark recesses of a character’s head, and All the Rage has been on my must read this year list. I’m glad to know you enjoyed it.

  17. Bookworm Brandee

    I’ve read Cracked Up to Be by Summers and thought it was very compelling. I’ve since picked up other of her books but haven’t read them. *shrugs* I think she did a fantastic job at relating a tough teen issue – suicide. Rape is a difficult issue to undertake, particularly in a small town. I’m glad she did it so well. I’ll have to make sure to read this one.

  18. Jess

    I recently heard about this book and I am so happy to learn more about it. It sounds so amazing and I am sure it is a powerful read. I have it on my list. Thanks!

  19. Sharon

    This sounds so intriguing and powerful too. I don’t mind an open ending if we’re left with something like hope. Great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was well done and the girl has cred. Thanks Angela

  20. Renee

    This sounds pretty intense. I do love it when authors have tough issues like this one.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes..my opinion is if you are going to tackle tough subjects do it well.

  21. Jeann

    This book….it sounds like such a difficult subject matter and I can’t help but feel for the main character already, just from your review. I like the small town feeling of the book as well, although it sounds like it’s all the more confronting here. Wonderful review Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Jeann..small-town dynamics especially those dependent on the local economy have a very interesting dynamic.

  22. Lauren

    I keep hearing so much wonderful praise for this book I can’t NOT read it now. So happy that you were affected by it and you loved the writing. I definitely need to get a copy!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Lauren, it isn’t easy but beautifully written

  23. Rashika

    This was my first book by Courtney and I fell head over heels for it. I was a little scared to dive into it, knowing what it would be dealing with it, but I am glad I did because otherwise I would have missed out on of one of my favorite books of the year.

    It is such a beautifully written book too and Romy is such a wonderful character. Leon really does bring much needed lightness into the book and I love him SO MUCH.

    Fantastic review, Kimba! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was beautifully written. I adore this author Rashika

  24. Benish

    I actually reviewed this today xD This is a very powerful novel, and I really liked reading it. Leon was a great character as well, I do like how diverse YA Novel are being this year. Romy was a realistic heroine as well, and All The Rage is beautifully written.. I enjoyed reading your review Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am delighted you agree, Summers really did an excellent job

  25. Lorna

    I think I would just be mad and stay mad throughout. Probably not a good one for me to read but thanks for sharing 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was really glad to see how accurately Romy was portrayed..I think it will help others understand victims

  26. Cynthia

    I LOVED this book!! Chillingly realistic is a great phrase that fits. And I loved Leon. I loved that when he found out what happened, he automatically believed her.

  27. Tyler

    All the Rage sounds so powerful. Summers has quite the range from writing Zombie novels to books about sexual assault. That’s awesome.

  28. Mary

    This was a really challenging read for me, mostly because my mama bear came out and I wanted to help Romy out so badly. Summers’ writing range is incredibly impressive!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh I feel you on the mama bear, and yes Summers continues to amaze me

  29. Liz

    I fell asleep last night and didn’t get to finish it. You know my thoughts on it LOL. I do love your review though, I think you did a fantastic job. 🙂

  30. Tressa

    This is one I originally passed up (so hard to know which books will be good!) and now it’s been added to my tbr after reading another blogger’s review and yours. It’s such a touch subject and I’m glad she tackled it, especially the after, because no one really has. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I adore this author and would read an instruction manual if she wrote it…LOL

  31. Christina T

    I have this one for review and plan to read it soon. It sounds like such a sad and powerful story. I know stuff like that happens all too often in real life and it is heartbreaking that girls who have something so terrible happen to them also have to deal with crap from people not believing them.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love that it is realistic, and my most prevalent emotion was anger.

  32. Olivia

    Now this is a book I have added to my TBR because I just know I am going to read it and love it. It does sound like a tough and harsh book in places, but I think that is because of the strong element of realism in it that throws our harsh world in our faces. Can’t wait to try it, so thanks for the brilliant review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Summer’s really does amazing things with any subject she tackles