All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin
From the publisher:
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.
This is a book about rape. It’s also a book about rape culture, victim-blaming and slut-shaming, because when the golden boy in town rapes the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, whose fault do you think the world says it is? Hint: not the person who actually did the raping. It’s a sad truth, but this is the world that we live in and this is the reality that many women face, which is why this is an important book and one that should be read by teens, parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. Basically everyone.
Romy’s pain is real and raw and not easy to read about. The emotions she’s dealing with, the guilt that she feels, for something that happened TO her, that has been put upon her by society and her school is almost unbearable at times for her – and for the reader. But this is what the world does to girls, to women with bright futures who make the “mistake” of having one too many drinks in the presence of a rapist (in Romy’s case – in other cases, it’s the “mistake” of simply being in the presence of a rapist at all). It’s not an easy read, nor should it be, especially if a person reads this book with the understanding that this is reality for all too many women and girls. But as I said, it’s an important one.
All the Rage packs an emotional punch but it’s worth the roller coaster ride of emotions to get to a more healing place by the end of the novel. I think this is a must-read and I believe Courtney Summers, more than almost any YA author I can think of, truly gets teenagers, especially those in crisis. She understands how bad it can get and writes with painful honesty about all types of issues. Just read it.