Thursday, April 9, 2015

ALL THE RAGE APRIL: Guest Post by Kim from Pingwing's Bookshelf

Hello, lovely blog readers!

Welcome back to ALL THE RAGE APRIL! If this is your first time stopping by, check out the master list of posts from this month and catch-up on what you missed! Today we have our second guest post of the month, coming from a dear friend of mine (and fellow Ottawa Blogger!) Kim from Pingwing's Bookshelf. I love what Kim has to say here, and I hope you guys love it too.

After I finished reading All the Rage, I wanted to write something honest.

I’m honestly tired of women’s bodies being used against them. I’m tired of a woman’s personhood being ignored and being reduced to body parts. I’m tired of reading women’s stories, all heartfelt and some all-too familiar, only to have their experiences questioned, scrutinized, doubted, and discounted.

I’m tired of reading click-bait articles and their despicable comments. I’m honestly tired of reading the comments – ranging from hate-filled threats of bodily harm and death aimed at women, to less terrifying yet still infuriating trolling.

But I don’t stop reading. It could be so easy, too easy, to pretend that nothing outside of my own experience exists, and I don’t want to be wilfully blind. I am tired though of having a voice and being afraid to use it.

These are the things that were going through my mind as I read
All the Rage. There was so much about this book that resonated with me, e.g. Romy’s thoughts at times about not wanting a body, wishing she didn’t have one. I feel that way sometimes. Our bodies are so often not our own, and we see in this book how they are used against us.

I am a big fan of Courtney Summers’ books, but I know by now how intense they can be, how gritty and visceral, so I prepared myself going into this one.

In typical Courtney Summers fashion, this book’s honesty was heartbreaking. So much of All the Rage is too true and familiar. The portrayal of sexism, misogyny, rape culture, privilege, bullying, ‘mean girls’, and the wilful blindness and ignorance to these issues is infuriating and exhausting. This book’s portrayal of these issues had me nodding my head in recognition, and this recognition is heartbreaking. How can the things that happen in this book be real and true?

How can this be the lived experience for so many people? Why aren’t we all shocked and outraged? Why don’t we all care more?

And then the end - oh man, there's this thing at the end, at once so small yet so hugely representative of the problems in our society, that had me come as close as I ever have to throwing a book in anger and frustration. What makes it worse is that it comes after what I saw as a moment of hope, and then this thing that is so gut-wrenchingly accurate comes along and it just got to me.

I feel like this would have been a terrific book to read when I was in high school and discuss as a classroom full of teenagers. I mean, honestly, I want EVERYONE to read and discuss this book, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what I would have thought and said about this book and its ideas if I had read it as a teenager.

Part of what really stood out for me in this story is the way other girls participate in the bullying that Romy experiences. It was so real, and I wanted to reach into the book and shake these girls. It was enraging.

Tying everything together in 
All the Rage is the mystery of what happened to Romy the night of a big party, and what happened to her ex-friend Penny who, unlike Romy, never made it home after that night. I loved the mystery aspect of this book. It added an extra layer to the story that made for a gripping, tense read.

I love the way Courtney Summers writes. This may be, in my opinion, her best book yet. I am supremely biased in favour of her book
This is Not a Test, because there are zombies in it and I love zombie stories so much, but the way this book impacted me emotionally, the way I am still thinking about it so much after finishing it, the way I couldn’t put it down once I started reading, has me thinking that this could be my new favourite Courtney Summers book.

I absolutely recommend this book. It's a must-read for so many reasons! I wish I could make everyone read it and discuss it and recognize the importance of what the book is saying, because it shows that we are failing girls in so many ways.


Check out Courtney Summers' #ToTheGirls campaign and support it on April 14, 2015. You can participate by writing and sharing your own message on social media.

You can purchase All the Rage via the links below, and for the time being, you can pre-order and receive your choice of a previously-released book by Courtney Summers for free! More info here.
- Kim from Pingwing's Bookshelf

Thank you for your guest post, Kim! I really appreciate you lending your voice for this amazing novel.

Stop by tomorrow, lovely readers! We have another guest post coming your way!

Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | The Book Depository 

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

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