Tuesday, February 24, 2015

All The Rage

All the Rage by Courtney Summers 1.5 STARS

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?
*netgalley provided a copy in exchange for an honest review
The summary of this book really hooked me. After reading some of the reviews I was convinced this would be an amazing book, I couldn't wait. I wanted this book, and the moment I got my hands on it I started reading it. But I was really let down. I was more than disappointed. So let me explain...

First, I admit that the writing is amazing. In fact, I feel guilty that I didnt enjoy the book, because the writing is so good. The author made me feel as if I were the main character, Romy. Her emotions were strong and while they didnt quite resonate with me, I could still feel the shame and depression rolling off of her in every scene. But this is also part of the problem with the book. There is a difference between making me empathize and understand a character and depressing me so much with a character that I have no urge to continue reading. I have read plenty of book with the former (i.e. Therapy by Kathryn Perez) but unfortunately, All the Rage led me to just be plain depressed. In fact, I wouldn't even consider the ending, a Happy Ending, but rather a conclusion. It is neither satisfying nor happy, but rather a means to an end. While some parts of the story are brought to an end, Romy is left with no true "ending" and certainly only provided with mild peace. 

Now Romy, gosh, I do not think I have ever read about a more depressing woe is me character. Romy unfortunately is bullied endlessly because she spoke out against her attacker, a popular jock and the Sheriff son. We learn most of this story through the use of flashbacks, which are actually quite difficult to decipher and confused the story line quite a bit in my opinion. In fact, we never even meet Kellan throughout the entire story (after the prologue/intro that is). Romy obsesses over painting her nails and putting on her lipstick but refuses to buy pretty undergarments. Okay, I get that after being raped you may not want the "sexy" clothes and I understand the nails and make up are her way of looking good on the outside, a facade. But the author needlessly and tirelessly brings these two points up way too frequently.  

Third, there were so many other issues with this book, I don't know where to begin. The police officer/sheriff angle was really disappointing. The small town feel is over done and didnt have any meaning here. In fact the author has made small towns look bad, as if they are all hick towns, the rich are the ones who can get away with anything and men rule the town. I really couldn't figure out where the book was going, what is the driving force of the plot. The missing girl piece seemed haphazardly thrown in there, as did many of the elements in this book. I didnt understand the purpose of this book and in the end my rating shows that I disapprove completely. I am surprised I didnt like this novel, given the authors following and the summary I thought this was a slam dunk. Unfortunately, I was let down. I would give her other books a chance, but am in no hurry. 

I hate giving bad reviews, so I always try to say who might enjoy this book, so I think if you are looking for a depressing book with some harsh issues and realities but without a happily ever after then you may enjoy reading this. 

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