I don’t remember how I heard about this book (maybe a BUST review, maybe somewhere else; it is forever a mystery), but I know it’s been on my Amazon wishlist since before it was released, so when I was in Barnes & Noble last week, searching for books to buy with the two coupons in my wallet and coming up with nothing, it was a blessing to find this on one of the shelves, peeking out at just the right angle. I hurried over and snatched it up, declaring, “This one. I’m getting this one.” (Shortly after I found another I’d read a Huffington Post review for months ago and decided on that as well.)
I had a few library books to finish up before I could start All the Rage, which was an emotional struggle because I really wanted to get to this book. Finally, Saturday night, I cracked it open for the first time. (Not literally. The spine did not crack when I opened it, which was a sad surprise.)
All the Rage is the story of Romy Grey, a “wrong side of the tracks” kind of girl who’s rather recently been ostracized by her high school and is left to survive. It’s the story of people’s refusal to believe the truth because it would destroy the reputation of the most beloved high school residents. It’s not a particularly new story–I found myself thinking at one point that it’s the kind of thing I could watch on Lifetime–but it’s the way Summers write and portrays what Romy is dealing with that really makes this book worth binge reading.
Summers has such a way of capturing Romy’s thoughts through a bit of first person narration that borders on stream of consciousness at times. Readers are inside Romy’s head, feeling what she feels and knowing what she knows (or doesn’t) in each moment. More than once this made me furious to the point of tears because the people around her were so stubborn, dismissive, and flat-out cruel. At other times, I would simply get angry with Romy for not being honest at least with her mother, but I can’t blame her–how many teenage girls really sit and talk to their parents about exactly what’s going on with them?
It’s books like this, books that make me feel so deeply and so intensely, that I love the most, and when the writing is as clever and beautiful as in this one, even given the subject, well, that’s kind of like a gift from the writing gods.