Romy is a small-town teenager who was raped by the high-school golden boy who is also the Sheriff’s son. When Romy reports the incident not only is she not believed pretty much the whole town turns on her as a liar and ‘trouble’. This book picks up after the event (although it does go into the incident so if that’s an issue for you beware). Romy is basically a pariah who has one safe place- the diner she works outside of town where no one knows what happened. When her former best friend Penny shows up one night with some interesting information it pretty much sends Romy into a spiral. Made worse the next morning when Penny never returns home from a party.
All the Rage by Courtney Summers started appearing on tumblr and other social media and I knew I had to read it. Aside from all other things this is an engrossing, well-written book. It took me two hours to read. I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know what happened to Penny, if anyone would ever get brought to justice and if Romy would be able to survive the fallout.
Do not doubt that it’s a rough read. In some scenes I felt like I was reading a living nightmare. There’s one scene where Romy is picked up for something by said Sheriff- I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to hurt a make-believe character so much in my life. The adults really don’t come off any better than the kids torturing her at school. Her mother and her mother’s boyfriend try but she can’t bring herself to tell them what’s really going on. (Something I think all kids understand at some point in time.) The teachers are awful they treat her as ‘trouble.’ Keep yourself out of trouble Romy. Don’t go getting into trouble.
There is one scene that really stood out to me to when some of the bullies write on her car, “Slit.” I thought it was a misspelling of slut because I had never heard the term that way before. Romy says slut is too humanizing for them to call her so that’s what she is- just a hole. I have to admit reading that made me feel physically ill. It’s just a personal thing of mine that I really wish more people would be conscious of- words hurt, they belittle, they scar and they do exactly what Romy says and dehumanize and we throw them around in so many different ways and forms with so little care to the damage they may do.
The other thing in this book that was important to me personally is it touches on the damage girls do to each other. Some of her worst tormentor’s in the story are other girls. They do it for reputation, for boys and for the constant fear that standing up for her will make them unpopular or put them in the spotlight. She points out to one girl that someone could have helped her when she was drunk and in danger but no one did and that’s a sad and sorry statement that rings all too true.
Okay, deep breath. There’s a lot to chew on in this book. It’s very well-done and I think people are going to take a lot of different things from reading it.
Recommend: Very much so.