This is a book that will stay with me for a long time. Well-written and delivering a strong dose of emotions, All the Rage by Courtney Summers centres on Romy, a rape victim, who is shunned and bullied by others. She is called a “slit” and no one believes what happened to her because she was drunk – “she should’ve known better, it’s her fault”. When a girl goes missing after a wild night, triggering horrible memories, Romy battles whether she should speak up.
The book hits home and is confronting. There’s no sugarcoating. It isn’t far from reality as rape survivors struggle to voice their stories and society has a skeptical reaction when they hear about rape and tend to blame the victim, especially if they’re women – and we still have a problem with teen/YA books dealing with serious themes as if young people are too young and immune to horrible things and at the same time, adults often dismiss them and their problems.
All the Rage captures the inner turmoil of the survivor. What I love is that Romy struggles to live her life and develop a relationship, but she also refuses to be a victim. She grows and circumstances set her back throughout the book but she fights on.
Even though I hoped for a happy ending or justice, want the other characters who don’t believe or dismiss Romy to feel shame, I’m fine with how her case isn’t solved because it’s hard to bring rapists to justice, it’s still an issue. The book ends with uncertainty but also hope. It certainly brings awareness to problems including internalised misogyny, violence against women and misconceptions on causes of rape. I hope it helps survivors to speak up and fight on.
If you’re looking for a book that’s thought-provoking and with teens dealing with serious issues, then I recommend All the Rage.