All the Rage

All the Rage

Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis via Goodreads:

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

The synopsis does not do this book a lick of justice.

Firstly, go into this book without reading that stupid synopsis. That synopsis leads you to believe this book is going to be about a girl who was raped by the golden boy of the town and who now is working her way to coming clean about what happened that night to save future girls this kind of pain and grief. That is a lie.

“I wish I didn’t have a body, sometimes.”  

Things You Need to Know Before Reading this Book:

1.) This is not a happy book, nor does this have a happy ending. For girls, especially, this will be gut-wrenching and you will have to periodically put this book down and go watch a funny video about cats or something.

2.) You will want to cry. I don’t care how much of a veteran you are when it comes to reading sad books, because TFIOS has got nothing on this crap.

3.) You will be enraged. I almost put angry there, but that’s too nice of a word. This book will make you want to commit homicide.

4.) This is not a story about a girl Overcoming the Odds or Coming Clean and Making Everything Magically Better. There is no happy or crying scene where Romy comes clean about everything that happened. There is no nice moment where everyone in town realizes how cruel they have been and apologize or show remorse. Again, you will want to commit homicide on most of the population in this town.

5.) This is not a life lesson kind of book about how girls who are victims of rape should come forward and confess the sins committed against them. This does not do that. This is about how a girl can do everything right and still have something like this happened to her.

(Also, below is not so much as a review as it is a rant and basically a sounding-board for the feels I have after finishing this book. So. Fair warning.)

Okay.

First thing, you should know I am not an emotional person. Actually, I take that back – I’m either too emotional or I’m not emotional enough. I have no happy middle ground. I come home during middle school and my parents tell me my cat – who I’d had since I was born, basically – had died or I come to find out my grandmother has been diagnosed with three different kind of cancer? I don’t cry. I blink and say, “Okay,” and go into my room to start on my homework. I’m a person who bottles things up. I don’t show much emotion to other people, even when it comes to my family.

I have this weird thing about me too: I won’t let people touch me.

Now, I’ve never been raped and I’m not about to pretend like I have any clue about how that feels or how I would even cope with something like that. But ever since I can remember, I’ve had this weird thing about how I can’t hug or touch people. At all. Which sucks because I come from a very touchy-feely family, and they take it as a personal insult whenever I refuse to hug them.

When I say I can’t touch people, I don’t mean I’m germ phobic or anything like that. An example can be my most recent birthday, and my grandmother came up to me and hugged me, and I have this resigned thing about being hugged by my family now – where I’ll force myself just because the backlash I get about being rude when I refuse to hug simply isn’t worth it anymore – so I let her, and she did this thing where she hugged me too tight and began to sing happy birthday right into my ear as she tried to rock me back and forth and rub my back, and I literally almost had a panic attack. It was something about how she was hugging me so tight that even when I began to back up and try to make her let go (she didn’t, not right away, which was so much worse) and the fact that I could feel her breath on my ear and neck where she was hugging me and the fact that the hugging was more than three seconds long sent my body haywire.

When she finally did let go of me, my heart was pounding and I had tears in my eyes. My hands were shaking and I couldn’t calm myself down for the next half hour. Had I not been in a restaurant at the time, I would have run to my room and hid. I was – simply put – terrified.

Of what, I have no idea. Again, I have never been raped or molested or any of that. But I have always had this reaction with people – especially my family – when they try to touch me, especially when I may not have been expecting it.But if I already have this kind of reaction, I can’t even begin to imagine what I would become if I was ever raped.

“His hands are everywhere and he’s a vicious weight on top of her that she can’t breathe against so she cries instead, and how do you get a girl to stop crying?
You cover her mouth.”

I don’t feel like I’m a particularly scared person. I don’t really have any phobias or fears. But being out of control with a guy, being raped? That is probably my biggest fear.

I have never dated. I am a twenty-year-old girl who has never had her first kiss and, quite frankly, I have no desire to be in a relationship. At least not yet. I have been asked out by a few guys, some of them being decent, really nice guys, and every time I have turned them down.

I am not afraid of men. I have had mostly male friends growing up and I’ve also grown up in a military family where I was taught and lectured on how to protect myself from these kinds of things happening to me. But that still doesn’t make me feel any better. I have never been to party, nor have I ever been drunk. There has only ever been one time in my life where I tasted alcohol, and that was when I was in Mexico with my family and it was legal there because I was eighteen.

What happened to Romy – and what still is happening to Romy – is my worst nightmare. I physically couldn’t read this in one sitting. I kept having to get up and move around my house, running hands through my hair and physically force myself to stop thinking about all the what ifs? My hands shook. I couldn’t sleep all last night.

You always see those statistics about things like rape, you know, the 1 out of 3 girls have been molested or the little pie charts about date-rape drugs. Those don’t really hit home, though.

“I want to burn a moment of helplessness into him so he can know a fraction of what I felt, what I feel, what’s followed me every moment since, so I You cover cover his her mouth mouth.”

When I was in middle school, I didn’t have a whole lot of friends. I moved a lot during that time due to my father being in the military, and so I was scarce with friends. By that, I mean I maybe had a small handful of five or six, and even then that was pushing it.

Of that small group, I knew about three girls who at some point or another confessed to me that they’d been molested and/or raped. One of these girls had been raped repeatedly by an uncle, and she had tried to tell her parents, but they’d brushed her off, not believing it. The uncle ended up moved away for unrelated reasons. The other girl had it happen once, and she was still confused about it. She didn’t remember it well, but it happened at a friend’s party with a guy who went to our middle school. She never told anyone because she didn’t fully understand what classified as rape and what didn’t. This boy was in our class. The last girl never said anything outright, but there were a few comments and things I saw that made me assume.

These girls were all around thirteen.

“A girl gets to a certain age and she doesn’t want to be herself anymore.”

And this was a nice town. These girls had middle class lives and parents who may have been busy, but who weren’t the worst parents ever. They were girls who made smart decisions, but sometimes things like rape can’t always be prevented because of smart choices or being warned of the danger beforehand. Things happen too fast.

And isn’t that just so sick? That because I was born a girl I have never felt completely safe? That I’ve had to be lectured by my parents and teachers about the things to watch out for in boys and men, but boys and men are never lectured about what not to do to girls? That a girl can’t go to a party and have one single drink because she might be scared it’s been drugged? And how my mother had to show me how to properly hold a glass if I ever go to a party in a way that makes it difficult for someone to slip me something if I do something as innocent as set it down for one freaking second? How I was told to never let anyone hold my drink if I run to the bathroom, that I should just take it with me?

Or how, when I was fifteen, my mother gave me an alarm to hook to my key-chain? How when I went off to college my first year my father almost bought me pepper spray, but didn’t because it was illegal to have it on campus, even though every girl in my dorm did anyways because we never trusted the boys in our hall who would hang out around the bathrooms and showers? How I was basically taught to be ashamed of my body, because if you have bigger hips or have a larger chest, somehow this is an invitation for men to treat you a certain way? How I get cat-calls because I was born into this body?

And when something as horrible as this does happen, the girl is forever looked at differently, like she’s pitiful or she’s a slut or she was just too stupid and looking for trouble. People always wonder why girls who get raped don’t speak up right away (if ever), and that’s such a stupid thing to wonder. Just look at how girls are treated already.

I was taught that it’s better to be dead than it is to be raped, and, frankly, I agree with that.

“You know all the ways you can kill a girl?
God, there are so many.”  

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3 Comments

Filed under 5 star books

3 responses to “All the Rage

  1. A Pencil in her hand

    This post is so powerful, Hannah. It’s true. I hate being a girl sometimes because of things like being terrified to walk alone at night, or be alone at /all/. I hate being stared at by guys, and worrying whether or not there is some evil person waiting for me in a bathroom stall or at my car. Now I sound paranoid, but… girls have to be paranoid in this world, and I hate it.
    No one should have to constantly be looking over their shoulder, or worrying about whether or not their drink has been tampered with. It’s terrifying what goes on in the world, even if you do everything right.

    *sits next to* Well, I know for sure I won’t touch you. I am a lot like that, but just with people I don’t know, which is pretty understandable. I don’t like people touching me, and I will usually jam an elbow into them. Whoops. (It’s a reflex, okay?)

    • Haha, thanks. If you feel like crying, so onto Goodreads and read Navessa’s review of this book (it’s the first review on the page). Like, holy crap.

      I find I’m better with touching if it’s, like, one of my girlfriends. I don’t mind hugging them, but I won’t initiate it either (unless I feel like it would be impolite not to). I don’t know. It’s just one of those weird things.

      I feel like girls have to be raised paranoid. It’s, like, while I’m being lectured by my parents about not going to parties and never drinking anything because it might be laced with a date-rape drug, my brother is being lectured on just not getting drunk and not doing anything stupid. Girls are taught to be scared; boys are taught to not to be too stupid.

  2. A Pencil in her hand

    I will. I don’t ever cry at books because I have a heart of stone when it comes to that, but I have a feeling it’s a review I have to read.

    See, I’m a complete hugger in my head, which makes it extra weird that I don’t like to be touched in public. Online, I’m the hug monster, but in real life, I’m like, ‘die’ if someone touches me that I don’t know really well. It makes sense to me that you’d be comfortable with your friends and hugging. Because in a lot of ways, friends are better for that than family. I don’t know how to explain it.

    They really are. I have been told those things my whole life. I’ve been taught how to jab someone in the eye with keys, or not stay in my car in a parking lot for long amounts of time. Things that I feel like no guy even thinks about. Maybe they do, but I doubt it. It’s an insane feeling to never feel completely safe. I don’t really think I’m in danger at every second of the day or anything, but that fear never goes away. It sits up in my brain, and then when books like these are published, my warning sensors go crazy, because I’m reminded that this /happens/. All the time. And it’s sick.

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