Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ALL THE RAGE APRIL: Guest Review by Meaghan from Feeling A Little Bookish

Hello, everyone!

Welcome back to ALL THE RAGE APRIL! If you missed any of the posts from this month, check out the master list here! There have been so many incredible posts this month, and I'm truly grateful for everyone that has participated.

Today, my friend and fellow Ottawa Blogger Meaghan from Feeling A Little Bookish is here with a very personal guest review of All the Rage! I hope you'll check it out!

Title: All the Rage
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: Griffin Teen
Release Date: April 14th, 2015
Source: Borrowed ARC

Meaghan's Rating: 5/5

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. 

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive? (Summary from Goodreads)
**Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault**

First of all, thank you Ciara for hosting me today on your blog. Where do I start with this book? I think I should mention that before this book I was a Courtney Summers book virgin. That's right, I had never read one of her books despite Ciara raving about all things Summers. This book had all the makings of a first time. It was uncomfortable at times but it was so worth it. It was such a good read with such a good theme.
The narrative of this story is one that will make you uneasy reading about. It is about a girl who is raped and about the fallout of this rape. It is also about a missing girl and how these two events collide dramatically. The book is ripe with bullying and slut shaming. I had a very difficult time reading this book because most of the characters you encounter in this novel are so horrible. Romy is bullied because she confides in someone that she was raped. The person who raped her is far more popular than Romy and as a result she becomes a social pariah. People treat her horribly and she is ostracized. Romy feels shame, anxiety, and loneliness all because someone decided to take what wasn't his. He decided that his need to overpower someone was more valuable than their self worth and sense of security.
I can relate to this book is some ways more than others but it was very touching. When I was in university I was date raped. It was not the violent, pin you down kind of date rape that is commonly depicted. At the time, I thought that this made a difference. Despite being violated and despite feeling paralyzed and numb I thought that it was my fault. That I could have somehow stopped it. That I should have fought back more, been louder. I thought that because I was stupid enough to go back to his house after one date and fool around with him that I sent mixed signals. That my 'no' somehow looked like a 'yes'. I am a smart, educated woman who heard all the time that rape is not the victim's fault yet I still blamed myself. Did I report the incident? I sure didn't. I felt ashamed and didn't tell many people at the time. I didn't allow myself to cry after that night and even now I speak about it rarely. So, why take a paragraph to write about this in a book review?
I think that women cannot hear it enough that it is not the victim's fault. So many women and girls who find themselves in this predicament blame themselves and worry about the fallout. This book highlights how difficult it is to be honest and open about sexual assault. It showcases that there are still major changes that need to take place in our society. Why do we pick apart women for what they wear, for how they may have acted? Why do the perpetrators of these crimes seem more believable? Changes need to happen because they are not happening soon enough.
I think this a book that both boys and girls should read. It's heartbreaking to see Romy go through her healing process. This book doesn't try to gift wrap everything up with a nice bow. It's gritty, raw and poignant and needs to be in the hands of all teens. Let's be serious, I think most adults should read this book too. I will be reading more of Courtney Summers this much I know for sure. This is a definite 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you, Meaghan for your brave post. I think it's really important to keep this conversation open, and I appreciate that you were willing to tell your story.

Stop by tomorrow for a guest post from another first-time Courtney Summers readers!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight) 

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