You know all the ways you can kill a girl?
God, there are so many.
This story… these characters… those words… Courtney Summers has done it again.
I don’t think, on the whole, I am a person who is afraid of much. I’d even go so far as to say I have a somewhat reckless, risk-taking personality at times. But I am scared of a few things… you want to know what one of my biggest fears is? Telling the truth and having no one believe me. Honestly, I think that’s truly terrifying. Knowing you’re being honest, knowing what you know, and being powerless to do anything about it. That’s the first reason this book affected me so much.
What I mentioned above is a running theme behind the scenes of this story, but Summers incorporates many other elements that she excels at. For one, the author has an incredible understanding of teen girl politics – as shown previously in Some Girls Are. I should mention this book is nasty, graphic and contains some coarse language, but I guess that’s high school for you.
…how can you put something so golden, a girl who can barely open her eyes or her mouth – how can you put something like that in front of them and expect them to be better people?
Summers’ writing improves with every book she releases, writing scenes with words that manage to somehow be beautiful and horrific at the same time. But most of all, she has a talent for getting inside the thoughts, feelings, worries and insecurities of teenage girls. She paints unlikable characters and still breathes humanity into them, something that so few authors can do successfully.
As well as all of this, All the Rage also looks at small town life and the alliances that can exist within small communities of people. It makes it easy for your crimes to be overlooked if you’re friends with the right people, or be called a liar if you’re not.
I want to explain to you why I think her books are so different from other YA “issue” novels that deal with angsty teens, but it’s difficult to do without just pushing one of her books into your hands. I guess there’s something very raw, painful and honest about her stories that still steers clear of emotional manipulation. Even the characters we are supposed to find sympathy for are complex and flawed in their own way. I like that.
I hope she writes more soon because, as you may have guessed, I’m an unapologetic fangirl.