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Rage: A Love Story
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Rage: A Love Story

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  3,295 ratings  ·  263 reviews
A National Book Award Finalist offers an intense portrait of an abusive relationship.

Johanna is steadfast, patient, reliable; the go-to girl, the one everyone can count on. But always being there for others can’t give Johanna everything she needs—it can’t give her Reeve Hartt.

Reeve is fierce, beautiful, wounded, elusive; a flame that draws Johanna’s fluttering moth. Johann
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  3,295 ratings  ·  263 reviews

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Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, teen
It wasn't so much that reading this was painful for me, it was the fact that it seemed like such a rough, tiring journey for nothing. I'll quote Ketchum: '...despite Rage being a painfully realistic portrayal of abuse, and the darker side of LGBT culture, this book left me with a bad taste in my mouth.' It's the same thoughts I felt after the novels completion.

The premise is already thick with deleterious possibilities: a compassionate 18-year-old Johanna, besieged by tragedies of loss and wave
Originally posted at Sweet Treats & Thrilling Tales

I can’t lie. Rage is a very difficult book to read. It would be difficult for anyone to read even if they haven’t been in any sort of an abusive relationship. But for someone who has been in an abusive relationship, it’s extremely difficult. However, Julie Anne Peters writes with such a poetic grace that you cannot help but be sucked in.

Reeve is probably the most realistic character of the book. Her pain is real and obvious. She hates what she d
Feb 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to elissa by: Capitol Choices
Took me almost 2 mos to read this, not because I didn't like it, but because the abuse was hard to read about, so I could only take it in small doses. That speaks to the powerful writing here. The ending was very strong and realistic, so I'm glad that I stuck with it, as it was worth it. The characters were all likeable, including the abusive girlfriend. It was very easy to believe that they would all behave the way that they did. First love can be very complicated (or any love, really). Probabl ...more
Dec 07, 2009 rated it liked it
This tale of lesbian courtly love gone awry features Johanna, a reliable and compassionate eighteen-year-old whose life seems destined to be defined by loss, and Reeve, the young woman Johanna has fallen in love with from afar. Johanna has lost her mother and father, and her much older sister, Tessa, who has recently moved back home with her husband, has remained distant ever since Johanna revealed her sexuality. Assigned to tutor Reeve's twin brother, who is autistic and violent, Johanna slowly ...more
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, lesbian
The first half was a little tiresome and hard to get into — the characters and storyline started fleshing out by the second half. (view spoiler) ...more
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abuse, romance, glbt
This was a different kind of amazing-- it wasn't the writing but the shock value of the characters' plights. Johanna is living alone as a senior in high school after her father and mother have both passed away and her sister has chosen to unsupportingly move away with her husband. But everyone in the story is dealing with a loss. Tessa (Johanna's sister) has lost two unborn babies (and her parents). So, when Johanna meets Reeve and her autistic twin brother Robbie, her world becomes tumultuous t ...more
Jillian Jayde Hastings
I found myself incredibly disappointed in this book. The pacing and the plot were technically good but I found it to be rather predictable. I found mysrlf incapable of connecting to a single character and at times felt that the storyline and soul behind Johanna was rushed for the sake of length. Maybe I am desensitized from working with LGBTQ teens, some of which coping with abuse, but I didn't find the abuse scenes particularly difficult to read or insightful. All in all, I'd say it suceeds at ...more
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fiction Lovers, lesbian teens, teens in abusive relationships, Everyone
Rage: A Love Story, a rather misnomer in my opinion, but go ahead, I'll bite.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate the author, Ms.Julie Anne Peters, her book is officially the shortest book I have ever read that took me 10 days to finish. *claps in mock enthusiasm*
Honestly that is not a jab at her more so at me. There are very few books I have found in this world that make me so uncomfortable I literally cannot read them. So Bravo. Well written. (and that is complete honesty). On that same not
May 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
I wanted to read this after reading Keeping You a Secret, but I was pretty disappointed. I was hoping for more interesting LGBTQ books but I wasn't a fan of this one. There were two main reasons that I didn't really like this book. One: It wasn't really what I was looking for, mostly regarding the ending. Two: The remarks the narrator had about Reeve's mentally challenged brother Robbie really bothered me a lot. My brother is autistic and in the beginning of the book the comments she made about ...more
Oct 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
I really like the way JAP writes, but this plot just wasn't working for me as well as some of her others. She tackles young lesbian abusive relationships, which, oddly, there aren't many books about (ha), but I don't like the speed at which the characters are "in love". They hardly know each other and Johannah is saying I love you to Reeve 43 times. ...more
Summer Munger
Feb 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lez-lit, crap
It just felt pointless in the end, and in a very 'after school special' kind of way. ...more
Rants and Bants
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I seem to be gravitating towards teen novels of late. This is a unique one though, mainly centered on being compulsively attracted/in love with thing(s) or someone. The lesson here is compulsive = bad. I think it's a great storyline for teenagers and adults to read and hopefully come out feeling "I too can overcome" ...more
Apr 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer-lit, ya-ness
The greatness of this book doesn't come particularly in the writing, or the plot -- the presentation of the characters, who they are, what they feel, all of that, is very real ... I feel like this book has successfully climbed out of the alluring mire of the "woe is I -- a gay teen in high school". This girl, Johanna, is gay. She knows it. She figured it out, it was maybe a tough thing to tell her family, etc., but she's past it, and still in high school. She's majorly crushing on another "out" ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
I feel like this book took me for a roller-coaster ride. I was hooked and unable to put it down, but there were many aspects of the book that bothered me. Johanna is a fragile girl who falls for an abusive girl, Reeve. Reeve's twin brother has autism, and she comes from a home with a drug-addicted mother and abusive father. Johanna's sister doesn't seem to accept Johanna is gay, and she also is emotionally affected by her miscarriages. To add to all of this, Johanna's parents both died, and she ...more
A.R. McKenna
Jun 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, young-adult
Hm okay so this brief review has some spoilers but not a lot.

I guess this novel was kind of hard for me to read because it reminds me of me and my ex-gf. While she wasn't physically abusive to me, she intentionally hurt me with words. It was emotionally abusive, I guess you can say. Reeve reminds me of her. She's so torn and destroyed on the inside that she inflicts that same pain on other people. Violence is all she knows. While the story was good and kept a good pace, I found myself disliking
Sep 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Johanna only wants one thing - Reeve Hartt. Reeve consumes her thoughts, her dreams, her reason for living. With an intensity that borders obsession, Johanna makes it her mission to make Reeve hers before their senior year is over, which gives her approximately fourteen days. Through a twist of fate, the two girls are thrown together, and they ignite a passionate love affair that turns abusive. Throughout the novel, the reader experiences the emotional roller coaster of their turbulent relations ...more
Jan 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Johanna has a huge crush on Reeve, one which is based almost entirely in fantasy as opposed to reality. She also has lost both her parents and her older sister lives with her as a practically absentee guardian. Rather than feeling victimized by everything, Johanna tries to make things right with those who don't deserve it while ignoring those who need her, something that I found very realistic. The lesbian sex fantasies are quite spicy, and they also show the difference between your fantasy of s ...more
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jumanji
I enjoyed this book a lot. Johanna Lynch is dependable, smart, and works hard for what she wants. But when she meets Reeve all the things she once was fly out the door. Reeve and her brother Robbie have always lived in awful circumstances, using mother and abusive father. Growing up like this has caused the two to have bad reputations and be somewhat violent. As much as Reeve protests Johanna still falls in love with her.
I like that this book doesn't really dwell on what sexuality they are. Ther
usagi ☆ミ
Oct 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book was very emotionally difficult to read. It deals with a serious issue within the gay community as a whole - domestic violence. Most outside of the community don't understand or believe that domestic violence doesn't happen (much) there, but it does. And this book boldly goes where not too many have gone before. Combine that with rising rates of teen domestic violence within relationships and you have an explosive story on your hands.

But! Just because this book is painful to read doesn'
Nov 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
I've read some of the author's other YA GLBT books(Luna, and Keeping You A Secret) and enjoyed them a lot more than I did this one. I was actually looking for a more developed relationship between the two girls. Because without that, the actual abuse that occurs doesn't totally ring true to me. Even though I was a bit let down I still think the author wrote about an important topic- Domestic violence. It occurs in all types of relationships: gay/lesbian, straight..violence knows no labels or sex ...more
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this book when I had just turned 14 years old (early 2011) and about to start high school in a few months. I didn't realize the relationship was abusive until the very end when it was pointed out because it was a girl being abusive; that hit me like a truck, and literally ruined my life for a few weeks. I feel like this book gave me a new outlook on abuse and abusive relationships while I was still very young and for that I have it four stars.

Note: I do realize how ridiculous I sound abo
Chassity Oden
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
i think that this book was really good i mean it was a little weird at the begging of the book because this girl watches this old man master bate to himself in his bed and then starts to cheer him on i mean who does that but anyways this book is still a very sexual cute romantic book for mature readers i would not recommend letting young readers read this book it just has way to many thins going on it it that they should not be finding out in a book so if you are a young reader don't read this b ...more
Dec 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
ugh my first f/f book and it was TERRIBLE. god. characters are stupid. johanna's an idiot and an obsessed creep UGH i hate this book. i made it past half-way and then i was I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE SPARE ME ALL THIS SADOMASOCHISTIC RELATIONSHIP UGH WHY PEOPLE WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELVES HAVE YOU NO SELF-RESPECT dkjafshlkjdahflskjdfhlkjdsahfdsalkjh /tableflipping rage why did i read this ...more
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I don't really remember much of this because I did read it a while ago, but it was the first LGBT book I read and I know that I enjoyed it. The character was raw and I like that. I picked this up from the library based on the cover and I didn't even read the synopsis. I am glad though because I think the fact that I read it on a whim made it better. I would recommend this to anyone. ...more
Feb 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I think that Peters is a terrific author, but I wasn't crazy about this title, at least partly because I didn't really like nor feel much connection with any of the characters. Probably that means this is just not the book for me, but I respect that it could be a very interesting book for another reader. ...more
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I just finish this book like an hour ago and I'm still recovering but this is one of my favourite books now it was amazing ...more
Hoo boy. I've been having a decent time rereading all of these Julie Anne Peters books, and even the ones that frustrated me I at least found readable and reasonably light-hearted and fun and full of good cute queer content, and I haven't been shy about the issues I had with them... but I have to be honest, I straight up hated this one. HATED. Almost everyone involved was completely terrible, the central conflict was confusing and awful, no one's motivations were even remotely understandable, an ...more
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Julie Anne Peters was born in Jamestown, New York. When she was five, her family moved to the Denver suburbs in Colorado. Her parents divorced when she was in high school. She has three siblings: a brother, John, and two younger sisters, Jeanne and Susan.

Her books for young adults include Define "Normal" (2000), Keeping You a Secret (2003), Luna (2004), Far from Xanadu (2005), Between Mom and Jo (

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