All the Rage is a harrowing look at rape culture and the way we treat people who have been raped. Loosely inspired by the Steubenville case which was in the news at the time of Summers writing the book, protagonist Romy is bullied and thrown out of her social circle because nobody in the small, US town she lives in will believe that she has been raped by the “golden boy” of the town.
The plot line is extremely gripping and so unpredictable – I could have never guessed the massive twists. They had me gasping in shock because I couldn’t believe what had happened! I felt so connected to the story that the events really affected me as I was reading them and I had to read on to find out what happened.
It’s clear when reading All the Rage that Summers is a master of the writing craft. The way that she tells the story is perfect and I was hooked from beginning to end; I kept telling myself, “Just one more chapter!” and then it turned into five and six and then seven… I loved how natural it felt, as if you were in Romy’s town and witnessing the hate she received. Summers’ writing is perfect and works so well with the story; it has its own voice and comes alive with every word.
However, what Summers does best is include diverse characters that blend seamlessly into the story line. It doesn’t feel as if diverse characters are added so that they can be ticked off on a checklist, but because they’re real people too. I loved the secondary characters in this book and how they fitted in to Romy’s story – they had their own lives but also worked towards creating a bigger picture too.
All the Rage is definitely going to be my go-to recommendation for the future. I’d love to see more of Courtney Summers’ books published in the UK soon because the UK needs more Courtney Summers books! I know I’d be the first person to buy them if they were published.
You’ll Love This If….
You’ve read Asking For It by Louise O’Neill! They tie in nicely together as they’re inspired by the same case, and the stories do overlap in places.
You’re looking for a thrilling read that you can’t put down.
You’re a feminist and want to read more YA books with feminist topics!
Have you read All the Rage? What did you think of it? If you haven’t read it, let me know if you’re going to!
With so many books constantly popping through my letterbox all beautifully packaged and very appealing, it can be good to sometimes sit back and take stock of the books I still haven’t read.
The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine
I went through a phase a while back where I devoured as much middle grade as I possibly could and this was one of my purchases then. To me, it sounds like a middle grade version of Mr Selfridge which was on TV a while back, with a mystery thrown in. How cool does that sound?!
Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
When I received a copy of this from the publisher, I fell in love with how gorgeous it is. I can’t wait to read it because Nicole has been raving about it for a while, and I’ve heard that it’s told in an unusual way – not through a typical narrative, but through documents and emails in a really creative way. I LOVE books like that!
After hearing wonderful things about Courtney Summers’s books from Holly Bourne and then finding out that All the Rage is going to be published in the UK in 2016, I got very excited to read it. It’s had some great reviews on Goodreads and I think it will be a great feminist read.
Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
Kind of cheating by adding this one because I’m currently reading it, but I had to include it because I’m loving it so much. It’s a brilliant tale of friendship and how abuse doesn’t just affect one person, it affects a number of people. The way that Sara writes the friendship between Caddy, Rosie and Suzanne is beautiful and very realistic. I will be recommending this book a lot!
Am I Normal Yet? is the first book in a trilogy about a group of girls who set up their own feminist campaign group called ‘The Spinster Club’. I think YA gets a bad rep when it comes to feminism. So many people keep bleating out the dreaded words ‘Bella’ and ‘Swan’ – like Twilight isn’t a) TEN years old, and b) Not the only YA book out there. In fact, YA have LOADS of incredibly feminist books, and here are my top 5.
1) The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Most people know E C Lockhart for her haunting We Were Liars, but I have to say I actually preferred this book. Frankie is very much in love with her new boyfriend, but she can’t understand why she isn’t allowed into his secret boys-only club at their top private school. So she infiltrates it…
Why it rocks:
Frankie is the very definition of ‘kick-ass’ – you spend the entire book wishing you could be her. This book has incredible insight into the thirst of power, the complexities and contradictions of being a teen feminist who also wants a boyfriend. A top-notch quirky teen feminism manifesto!
Favourite quote: “It is better to be alone, she figures, than to be with someone who can’t see who you are. It is better to lead than to follow. It is better to speak up than stay silent. It is better to open doors than to shut them on people.”