Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: All The Rage by Courtney Summers

Title: All The Rage
Author: Courtney Summers
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Released: 2015
Summary: What are the consequences when a girl tells the world she's raped and nobody believes her? For Romy Grey, it means everyone in the town of Grebe hates her, her friends abandon her, and she becomes the number one person for people to bully. Why? Because Romy accused the sheriff's son, the golden boy Kellan Turner. Romy's life has become a waking hell. She only feels normal when she's away from the town where everyone knows her story. She tries to be a different girl by working in a town outside of Grebe as a waitress. But her sanctuary gets interrupted when a former friend goes missing and both of her lives start to collide. Romy can't pretend when everyone knows her story.
My Thoughts: This was my first ever Courtney Summers' book and I found the writing to be really beautiful. I was drawn into the story from the first, witnessing this broken girl who wears lipstick and nail polish like body armor. I was heartbroken for Romy and what she was dealing with, but I was also frustrated with some of her decisions and her treatment to people that cared about her. This is definitely a good book, but it could have been stellar if Romy would have dealt seriously with her demons.
My feelings on this book are kind of torn. I loved the writing, how raw it was. I also really enjoyed the first 200+ pages of the book. The author does a great job of conveying what this crime and victim shaming has reduced Romy to. The chapters just really flew by and I enjoyed the majority of this book.
Now for my grievances. I know some of the things I'm going to mention, Romy felt like she couldn't/wouldn't do, but I wish she had. I wanted Romy to kind of grow, face her demons, maybe change a little, and she never did. It was hard for me to keep rooting for Romy and be in her corner, when she did so much self sabotage. And I really wish she could have confided in her family. It's obvious that they love her and want to help her, would have believed her, but Romy just pushed them all away. And aahh the feels for Leon. A great guy that Romy blew it with. He was kind, patient, and probably would have understood if she had just told him the truth. I think part of the punishment she inflicted on herself was feeling she wasn't worthy of love so she pushed away everyone who offered it.
Another grievance I put a little on the author and a little on Romy. In the Romy aspect, they were off-the-wall decisions that were stupid and reckless. These scenes involved leaving work in the middle of her shift to go to the Wake Lake party and meeting sleazeball guy on a dirt road and not telling anyone. As for the author, they were kind of a cheap way to get aspects of her plot moving. After each one of the scenes, something major happens. My problem was that these decisions were stupid, and for a girl that seals herself off from everybody, why would she make them. In my head, I was yelling at Romy to be less stupid.
Romy also annoyed me with her kind of insensitivity to Penny being missing. It was all about Romy, how would people feel if Romy were the one missing? What would people say about her? How no one would even care about her being gone. She played the constant victim, which got a little annoying. I wanted more growth from her character. And poor Penny. It was glaringly obvious that Penny felt bad about what she did, that Penny would take it back if she could, and that she wanted to protect Romy. Romy was too hurt and bull-headed to see any of this, and because of that, she lost time and a really good friend.
So this book is a mixed bag for me. I started off really loving this in the beginning and middle, but over it by the end. Romy is an interesting, broken character, but I feel some of her own decisions accounted for her continued misery. I wanted Romy to give people a shot, a chance to prove there was love out there for her, but she was too caught up in the past, being miserable, and guarding herself from everybody to notice. I'm definitely interested in reading more by Courtney Summers in the future.
Strong beginning, but frustrating end.

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