Melissa's Reviews > Rage: A Love Story

Rage by Julie Anne Peters
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's review
Apr 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: books-i-own, julie-anne-peters, lgbt, read-in-2011, young-adult
Read in April, 2011

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 does to Johanna and yet, she doesn’t know how to control herself. She very much loves her twin brother Reeve and protects him as much as she possibly can. She can be selfish and yet at the same time she can be extremely unselfish. And that shows in every scene that she’s in with her brother.

Johanna has had an extremely difficult life. From the loss of both parents to the fact that her older sister (whom she adores) appears to have not been able to accept her sexuality to her relationship with Reeve. As much as I wanted to like her, I had a really hard time doing so. Johanna is basically a doormat. She pretty much lets everyone walk all over her. For most of the book, I found myself wishing that she would finally grow a backbone and tell everyone off.

That was my one major issue with this book, and with abuse books in general. Just because someone has become a victim of abuse does not mean that they have to stay a victim. Just once, I’d love to read a book where the victim fights back and does not succumb to the victim syndrome. It is in fact possible to remain strong after being a victim and that is also important. And personally, I think if Johanna hadn’t been such a victim, the book would have ended better. All in all though, Johanna is still a very believable character. Her reactions and fears are very common. So many women (and men) deny that there is a problem or will wait for their abusive partner to change, only to discover that that change will never come.

But despite my two cents on how I wish Johanna had been, I still recommend this book. Books about domestic violence are rare. Especially the domestic violence that occurs within a same sex relationship and I applaud Peters for writing a very real book about a very real topic.
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