This past weekend (September 2014) a fraternity at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was suspended when it came to light they were marking select girls’ hands with a red X. The red X was code that these girls’ drinks had been spiked with a date rape drug. Three women and one man were hospitalized after appearing severely intoxicated with memory lapses. Fortunately, no sexual assault cases have been reported to this party…yet.
What is unfortunate is that incidents of sexual assault and rape are a common occurrence in our society. The infuriating part is that victims are the ones normally blamed. Women are blamed for their outfits, walking alone, being too friendly, not being responsible with their drinking, and the list goes on. It also doesn’t help that the media will discuss how the perpetrator had such a promising career and now his life is destroyed. It is no wonder that many women do no report rape. RAINN estimates that out of 100 rape cases only 40 will be reported. Out of those 40 only 3 rapists will serve for their crime. This is a serious problem.
Thankfully many authors are tackling the subject and making. Christa Desir, Laurie Halse Anderson, Brendan Kiely are just a few. Courtney Summers is also an author known for tackling not only sexual abuse but also hard topics in her books. Her newest book, All the Rage, does not disappoint.
Some people may describe a book as watching car accident as it happens. All the Rage made me feel like I was in the car accident as it was happening.
Courtesy of St. Martin’s Griffin
Romy Grey used to hang out with the “golden” crowd, despite being from the wrong side of the tracks. Even when her drunkard father insults the town’s queen bee, the mother of her best friend’s boyfriend, Romy is still embraced by her crowd. Her best friend, Penny, makes sure the group knows that Romy is not like her father. However, this changes in one night when one of the golden boys rapes Romy. Ostracized by her old friends, community, and school, Romy takes refuge working in a diner where no one knows her story.
What makes All the Rage stand apart from all abuse/bully books is how Summers gets the readers in Romy’s head. Readers suffer the bullying firsthand and experience how Romy hides her emotions. Her meticulous routine of make-up and nail routine shows the little control Romy has over her situation. Even the potential love interest is not fully developed, but this is completely relevant to the story. Romy does not allow Leon to get too close, so how is the reader supposed to get to know Leon?
Rage, hatred, and grief will be readers’ constant companions. I recommend getting a latte and prepare for an all-nighter of an emotional roller coaster ride.