Posts Tagged: Courtney Summers

Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

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Review: All the Rage by Courtney Summers
All the Rage
Courtney Summers
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: April 14th 2015
by St. Martin's Griffin

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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?
-A copy was provided by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for review-

This is some terribly gritty stuff! This story revolves around a rape, and soon enough, you can add in a girl’s disappearance. So yes, this book is harsh, and Summers tackles it head-on with her immensely poignant writing style. She has a way of dissecting her characters until you can’t help but feel just as lost, just as completely broken as they are. I was honestly emotionally and psychologically confused for much of this novel. This book also touches on one of today’s biggest challenges with gender violence – society’s disbelief and victim blaming. Especially when the accused is the son of a prominent town figure. Stories like this are, sadly, the reality for many girls in our own world.

With that said, this is not a story to tread lightly. This is not the book you pick up when you want a light read, or even just a diversion. This book will make you feel uncomfortable. It will put you into the skin of a girl who feels dirty, filthy… dead. It’s not the kind of novel where you will connect with the character in the way one might expect. How can you connect with someone who’s so broken, she doesn’t even feel worthy of living? Instead, you become one with her. You become one, and you hope against all hope that she gets through this seemingly impossible hurdle – if it can even be called that. In other words, she’s a character who forced me to stay at arm’s length emotionally, if only to protect my sanity, while still drawing me entirely into her psyche. This girl does not only bear the weight of an assault, she also has to deal with being the school pariah. The person who “cried rape” while her peers bully and mock her for “wanting attention”. What’s worse is you can glimpse at what a wonderful person Romy truly is… or was. You can see that she is kind, caring, and only wants a freaking break! She harbors so much fear and mistrust, that she can’t even see when someone good finally comes around.

Leon is the light at the end of this tunnel, and I was glad that even though she doesn’t see it, he brings at least a little bit of warmth to her life – to this book. I was so happy to see him not give up so easily, realizing that this isn’t the real her, something is eating her up inside. Furthermore, there’s her mom and step-dad who are both there for her, present at just the right times. Similarly, her job at the diner and this work dynamic is a welcome change from the isolation. It sort of becomes a safe haven for her and I loved that. When we’re not focusing on Romy’s internal struggles, the plot follows the disappearance of the only girl who gave Romy the benefit of the doubt. It’s not a plot that ended up surprising me – even though I didn’t guess every detail of what transpired, it’s easy to predict the bigger picture. However, this story is more about what happened to Romy, than what’s happening presently. It’s about her finding the strength to at least try. As expected – having read Summers’ books before – the ending is somewhat open ended, though full of hope. It’s realistic, but I can’t say I didn’t wish for more. Like a short “one year later” prologue. But that’s the thing with her books, you need to know her characters to be okay, so these somewhat open endings, while appreciatively realistic, can feel very abrupt.

All the Rage is raw to the bone. It’s painful, bitter, heartbreaking, and incredibly important. Summers has been an auto-buy for me from the very first page of hers I ever turned. She’s a powerful storyteller, and she has done it again!

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Review: Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers

Review: Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers

Posted by on 01/12/2015 • 23 Comments

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

I could leave my review at that, really >.< Courtney Summers has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Her books are just so well written -enthralling and character driven. My first book by her was This is Not a Test, which I absolutely loved, so I was stoked when I heard she was coming out with a sequel. This is a novella, though, but it’s on the long side with about 100 pages or so (mine was an eBook so I’m approximating). Still, there’s no lack of intensity and general Summersness I’ve come to love!

Please Remain Calm begins right where we left off in This is Not a Test, but this time we’re in Rhys’s perspective. After hearing there was a safe haven not so far away,…

Review: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Review: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Posted by on 12/06/2013 • 23 Comments

If you would ask me point blank if I enjoyed reading this novel, my answer would be no. Because can you really enjoy something that hurts so much? Can you find delight in something that pisses you off so much? Now, if you asked me if this novel is one that needs to be read? Not only is that answers yes, but I would also add that this is a story that I’m thoroughly thankful for. It shines the most brutal light on bullying, not giving us a choice to look at it first hand. To experience the pain, the remorse, the emptiness that our protagonist feels. And Courtney does this in a way that ambushes you, with a narrator who was once a bully herself; a girl who has…

Giveaway: What Goes Around by Courtney Summers

Giveaway: What Goes Around by Courtney Summers

Posted by on 08/26/2013 • 6 Comments

Being a big fan of Courtney Summers and her fantastically raw writing style, I’m excited to share her upcoming new book What Goes Around which is a two-in-one featuring both Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are. I read Cracked Up to Be just a couple of months ago and it is, for sure, a must-read for any contemporary reader! You can find my review here, if you’re curious! 🙂 And thanks to St. Martin’s Press, I have a pretty copy up for grabs! Also don’t forget to Like Courtney’s page since she’s likeable and all that jazz! 😉

Read an excerpt, here!

Giveaway

St Martin’s Press has generously offered a paperback of What Goes Around by Courtney Summers for giveaway.

Review: Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Review: Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Posted by on 03/18/2013 • 31 Comments

Already being a big fan of Courtney Summers since I read This Is Not a Test, I knew before going into this that it was going to be a ride with a lot of feels! So much feels!

Parker is the definition of a snarky bitch. She has an attitude you want to slap her for, but as a protagonist she’s especially amusing and definitely entertaining. The used-to-be cheerleading captain turned angry emo tells us that something has happened to this girl to change her so drastically. This “something” is told to us via strange behavior from Parker which seem insignificant at first, but as the book progresses the feeling gets more urgent, and is mixed with flashbacks that leaves us wondering what the heck exactly happened here. These flashbacks…

Review: This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Review: This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Posted by on 06/04/2012 • 52 Comments

When someone sees a zombie book there are two reactions: 1) Oh zombies, scary and gory! AwesomeSAUCE! or 2) Ewww zombies! Icky! – pass. So this is a warning: As far as zombie books go, This Is Not A Test has to be one of the tamest. It’s not gory, nor is it an adrenaline filled story. Yes there are zombies and it can get intense at times, but funnily enough, it is not about the zombies. It’s about a girl who doesn’t want to live in this world anymore. She can’t keep going with a dad that beats her, and a sister that left her. This book is about finding the will to live in all this melancholy. Surviving in a school with others who only want to make…