Welcome to the latest edition of White Pine Wednesdays where we will be discussing, All The Rage by Courtney Summers.
Now, when I read the summary and looked at the cover, I thought
Well well well, what do we have here? I see the Forest of Reading is taking on rape culture here. A bleak cover, for a bleak summary, for what is shaping up to be a bleak book. There are also hints of a mystery here, so I wonder how this book is going to unfold. I wonder if it will be on Speak‘s level. Speaking of Speak, if you haven’t read it, you need to go read it now.
And basically I was right. (The score’s 2-1 now 😉 ). This is an extremely depressing book about an extremely depressing and scary topic.
What topic is that? Rape, and rape culture, particularly within small towns. As most of us have already noticed, rape victims are usually negatively portrayed in real life. They were asking for it. They said yes, but don’t remember. They dress a certain way, so they deserve it. And when rape victims do have the courage to stand up, they can be ridiculed and shamed. However, that culture is slowly changing, with cases such as Bill Cosby and Jian Gomeshi.
I appreciate the fact that this book attempted to deal with such a sticky and loaded topic. It had the right amount of graphic-ness and descriptions so that the reader could really feel what was going on. It dealt with all aspects of rape… the before, during, and aftermath, and added a mystery into the mix. Those parts were well written and not emotionally cloying… and I loved the symbolism of certain actions/passages.
I did not appreciate the choppy flashbacks or the unreliable main narrator. I know for some people, it’s a thing, but for me, it took away from the actual emotions of the story. I disliked her. This feels a little rude, but the whole time I wanted her to get her shit together and come clean. Whether or not that happens is something I’ll leave up to the individual readers. I also didn’t like the way she treated the people close to her… she really needed to grow up in some aspects. However, she was understandable. I could see why she did certain things, but I couldn’t really excuse her for it.
I personally could not relate to it. I couldn’t really fathom how or why certain things happened. I mean, didn’t Einstein say “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” ? So I had no clue why the main character would get drunk. Let’s be honest: bad things happen to women. Things that women don’t deserve. Things that can’t be justified. Bad things tend to happen with plastered, off the walls women. There’s a higher chance of being drugged, date raped, and basically everything health class has ever warned you about. So, yeah, I’m confused.
SO WHY IS THERE SUCH A NEED TO DRINK? I can totally understand the appeal of getting together with friends and having fun. Yet, why is the definition of fun getting drunk? Drunk drivers, unsafe sex, rape and other things I’d rather not think of could happen. Obviously, those things don’t happen all the time, but let’s face it, the cards are stacked up against women. I know there is no obvious solution to this form of violence, but god, it frustrates me so much. Cutting out all the problematic pieces of the culture we live in sounds easy and clean, but as our awareness of this negative culture grows, the more glaringly obvious it becomes that this problems reaches far.
Here’s to hoping for a resolution within our lifetimes.
“You know all the ways you can kill a girl?
God, there are so many.”
“My dad used to say makeup was a shallow girl’s sport, but it’s not. It’s armor.”
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars
And I know some of you guys really enjoyed this. So if you disagree with me, comment why 😀