In the interest of being honest and up front, I was one of the 50 recipients who won a copy of the ARC of All The ROriginally posted at Always, Lissa
In the interest of being honest and up front, I was one of the 50 recipients who won a copy of the ARC of All The Rage from the giveaway that St. Martin’s Press held back in November of 2014. This in no way means that I will be biased in my review. Quite frankly, I don’t need to. Courtney Summers has written yet another book that I have fallen deeply in love with, even if the subject matter is hard to handle.
Earlier, I came across a “review” on goodreads that said “stop writing teen rape books.” The fact that you can even write a review on goodreads without even having read the book annoys the crap out of me, but that’s neither here nor there. This is EXACTLY why All The Rage is necessary. This is not just “another teen rape book.” This is a gritty, hard novel that gives an unflinchingly real look into the way that rape survivors are treated and abused after their already horrific assaults. Romy is the epitome of a victim. But this does not mean that she’s pathetic. Romy is quite the opposite. Can you even for one moment imagine losing everything – your sense of self, your sense of safety and self-respect – having it stolen from you and when you speak up, you are ostracized, treated as though it were your own fault? Anyone who can go through that and survive is certainly not to be pitied, but to be admired.
Courtney Summers is known for writing about the harsh realities of teenage girls and their “politics” and All The Rage continues in that tradition. Summers shows us the ugly side of people who cannot handle truths and instead prefer to live in their own blissful ignorance, no matter what the cost. Her characters, while fiction are painstakingly real. The pain and shame Romy and other past characters (Sloane from This is Not a Test, Regina from Some Girls Are) showcase is REAL. These are characters that girls and women who have been hurt and abused can actually relate to and THAT is important. In a time where victim-blaming/victim-shaming has become common practice? THAT is why these “teen rape books” are so important.
It’s no secret that I harbor a major girl-crush on Courtney Summers, but because of my own past, I was both afraid and eager to read All The Rage. It was rough but so worth it. Her writing is superb, flawless and this is certainly her greatest work yet. Every page is filled with emotion. Romy is a heartbreakingly fragile and yet still amazingly strong young woman who refuses to give up even though that is exactly what she wants to do and you will find yourself eagerly turning the pages to see what happens next. If that is not the mark of a great writer, I don’t know what is....more
first book I read by Courtney Summers was ‘Some Girls Are’ and I immediately loved both, her style of writing as well as the characters that she created. I devoured the book and read it in under a day. It was the same with the rest of her books. So when I first heard about ‘This Is Not A Test’ I was extremely excited to get my hands on it, but when I found out that the plot had to do with zombies… I was sold and it immediately went on my “MUST HAVE IMMEDIATELY” list.
However, it must be said that ‘This Is Not A Test’ is not your typical zombie story. There is very little blood, gore or brain matter as is usually found in a zombie novel. Instead of placing her survivors directly in harms way by making them fight for their lives in open spaces, Summers took a non-traditional approach and sent them into hiding in their old high school. Safer, perhaps. But certainly not safe, especially with tempers on the rise, several teenagers playing the blame game and an unsecure entrance in their fortress.
If you’ve never read a Courtney Summers book, then let me explain something. Her protagonists have all been fairly damaged, almost broken heroines. But they are heroines. Do not mistake damaged for weak. Each of the girls have been strong in their own ways. And Sloane is no exception. She’s spent most of her life talking her father’s abuse and now she’s been abandoned by the one person who understood exactly what she was going through, her older sister, Lily. Sloane wants nothing more than to stop living. And the day she chooses to attempt to do so, happens to be the same day that the world falls victim to a Zombiepocalypse.
Sloane’s pain is real. Each page of this novel drips with her pain. Her emotions are confused, and she is completely on edge. But even though the entire world has gone insane with an infection that creates these zombies and even though she’s angry at the sister who swore she’d always protect her, you can tell that Sloane, while not happy by a long short, finally feels as though she can breathe while the survivors are barricaded in that school. For once, she’s not worried that something she says, might end up with a black eye. Or broken ribs.
One of the things I loved about this novel is that it feels real. Real emotions from characters that come across as real. If you think about, you know someone just like each of them. Another thing I loved about this novel was watching Sloane get stronger with each chapter. My only complaint (and it’s really not even a complaint) is that I guessed the ending early on and that it was rather anti-climatic. I highly recommend this novel. I couldn’t put it down and anyone who says it’s just another zombie book, was definitely not reading the same book I was....more