All the Rage
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 one was really hard for me to rate. I really had to think about it. I really liked it. It kept me glued to the book and I was crying like crazy. However, it was hard to overlook some of the downfalls that the book is guilty of. What I really liked about the book was that it really sheds the light on the rape culture and how women/girls are treated so differently than men/boys. The book also deals with the injustices of social class. I have to say that it surprised me just how cruel these high schoolers are. They were just so terrible. There’s not a word bad enough to describe these people. It’s one thing to not believe her rape accusation but it’s another thing entirely to wish she were dead or something. It’s just appalling and unfortunately, that kind of behavior isn’t just fictional. I think that’s what made me so emotional. The cruelty that Romy faced at the hands of her peers, best friend or ex-best friend, teachers, and even from the police department.
“But just because something starts out sweet doesn’t mean it won’t push itself so far past anything you could call sweet anymore. And if it all starts like this, how do you see what’s coming?”
The writing was … interesting. It wasn’t one of my favorites but I dealt with it. I was really confused with the timeline of it, especially in the beginning with the whole separation between now, two weeks ago, and her flashbacks of Kellan raping her. Along with that, her flashbacks were written in third person point of view, which I can understand it in a literary way. There were some other things I didn’t really understand why the author did, like the obsession with the lipstick and nail polish (other than it being an indicator that a person wearing red lipstick and red nail polish must be Romy). The only thing I could get was that “makeup is an armor” but I don’t understand why the first chapter is the same as the final chapter. Maybe I’m being dense? I don’t think I’m the only one confused here.
As for Romy, I don’t know what would happen to me if I were in her situation but I think her actions were understandable. She’s angry, quiet, lonely, keeps to herself, afraid of other guys, withdrawn. I get it. I can see it being true. My only problem is that I didn’t think she developed as a character. She didn’t deal with anything that happened to her. It was just like reading her going through the storm. The book didn’t feel as powerful as it could have been. Another thing that I felt was problematic was the lack of direction the plot had. Kellan was the reason Romy was the way she was but we didn’t even get to meet him (not really). There is so little about Kellan, I couldn’t even hate him for what he did. Then in the middle, we get another plot thrown at us about Penny, both whom Kellan and Romy know, who disappear. The synopsis makes us think that Kellan could’ve played a part in it but he wasn’t even in the story. His presence is so minuscule, I had to check the synopsis so many times to remember who it was that raped Romy.