5 out of 5 stars
I haven't written a full book review in a while. Just too much going on. Too many books to read that I could be reading that I'd have to stop reading if I'm writing a review. Then again somethings must be talked about, must be discussed, must to spoken of. Some talents are too much of a glimmer on the surface of this world not to talk about, some works of art need to be pointed at and given yells of "You need to read this... NOW!" Such a talent is Courtney Summers, such a piece of art is All The Rage.
Below is a cut and paste from a entry a few days ago when I started reading this book:
I don’t really read much realistic fiction. I like to escape, I need to escape, but there are some writers I am right there ready to take part in their creations when they appear such as Laurie Halse Anderson, Nova Ren Suma, and Courtney Summers to name a few. The reason these writers stand out in my mind? Others are squeak hammers; these three are those climbing ones that would go straight through your skull. I’m thinking about this as I’m reading All The Rage by Courtney Summers sitting in the library after work. If I’m going to read realistic fiction I don’t need no after school special rated for the age group and time slot, which is usually before school even lets out. I want; I need to feel scratchy, played, twisted, punched in the face to pay attention, called to think, and questioned about myself and the world, by myself and the world. I love writers, artists who have no interest in me being comfortable, except when they are playing with my little bitty brain holder. Love when a book can make you have to put it down for a bit so you can think, because dammit you really need to think on this. Art that crawls under your skin and you see the pages as an elastic gift which flips between the eyes we need and this is where powerful art lives. So I’m going to sit here and read more. Sometimes I look up and wonder why the world around me isn’t noticing what’s going on? Can’t they see? Don’t they feel what’s going on here?
I finished this book after many moments during reading it when I was left shaking. Shaking because of things I remember what a story a friend told. Shaking because I've read story after story about the reality, the cold hard truth of what kind of world we live in. Courtney Summers can do that to you with her writing. She can shake your life.
There's a scene in Some Girls Are that had me stop reading it for a week because it hit me so hard.
You should go read that too. My review is here.
All The Rage is a book that keeps your mind from focusing. I don't know if I can explain it. From the formatting of the chapters, to the places where different type setting is used, different ways of approaching the story, it stirs you away from getting your feet planted. What Courtney Summers does in tackling the subject of rape culture is never for a moment do you forget this is about a person; which is what news agency's do time after time when covering stories. The writer of this story isn't playing to dramatic points and this isn't done I think to keep you from guessing whats coming but to show you the reality of the pain, the reality of the reality.
Most writers would tackle this like a gun shot wound on a kids show, no blood, no gasping for life. Courtney Summer goes at it like a finger poked deep into the wound. There's pain here, there is falling, there's standing, there's cruelty, and there's numbness that's is honorable. There's a numbness that is there that no can understand from out of it.
All The Rage is also about the armors we wear to give a little fuck you to the world when it wants you to be strong in demanding fashion. Being strong is a personal choice. Being weak is a personal choice. The way of dealing is a personal choice that belongs to that person. Not yours, theirs. I love Courtney Summers characters because she isn't crafting you a birthday card friend and Romy Grey isn't one. She's a person. The writer says here is a person, deal.
Ok, I suck at reviews. I just write and ramble but this is a great book. Go and buy it. Check it out at the library. Give it to friends, talk about it with friends.
After reading the last words of this story and thinking two things came to mind- If you want to be a ally don't get angry when someone points out your mistakes like when you might need to back off. and two- This persons pain, its theirs to own in whatever way they want to own it.