All the Rage by Courtney Summers • Magan Reviews

Book Review of All the Rage by Courtney Summers

All the Rage by Courtney Summers [twitter • website]
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 304
Target Audience: Mature Young Adult
Keywords: rape, growing up in a small town, missing person
Format Read: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!)

Summary: Romy can’t wait to escape her small town, where she’s ridiculed for “claiming to be raped”. (That’s what they say; the townspeople refuse to believe a cop’s son could do such a thing.) Romy can’t escape the truth and must face it head-on when her ex-best friend goes missing and all of her hidden fears and feelings are forced to the surface.

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Pre-motherhood I read purely for enjoyment. I could read tougher, hard-hitting subjects and be emotionally distraught, but not in the same way they’re affecting me now that I am chasing after my own little one. All the Rage by Courtney Summers certainly sent chills up my spine and made me hope and wish and pray for a better future for my daughter. It prematurely worried me into thinking about all the future boys and parties and experiences she’ll have that I’ll have zero control over.

But Summers’ book also helped me realize that I hope I’m not Romy’s mom. I hope I don’t ignore a terrible situation for Everett like Romy’s mom did when she was raped by the town’s golden boy, Kellan. When word got around that Romy was raped, her town rallied against her — they called her a liar, cast her aside and made her life more difficult by harassing her, and labeled her as attention-seeking. She bides her time at school, works at a diner just outside of town where no one knows her story, and is just trying to pass the days until she can get away.

When Romy’s ex-best friend goes missing after a large party, her anxiety worsens and so do the attacks from her peers. People disturbingly murmur wishes and lies that are so downright cruel they made me shake with rage. She is determined to bypass all the crude remarks and outright stares to make sure another girl’s wellbeing isn’t threatened or overlooked like hers was.

Summers’ tackles the challenge of rape and abuse by telling Romy’s alarming story. In every possible way, Romy is completely distraught — she’s broken and shattered after no one listened to her outcries. Though she wants a physical relationship with someone, the truth is she can’t escape the terrifying place her mind resides 90% of the time. It broke my heart when she learned of someone’s pregnancy and hoped the baby wouldn’t be a girl so she wouldn’t know the struggles women face.

Romy is compelling and gosh, I just wanted to hold her tight and tell her everything would be okay. Sometimes she came across as a bit cloudy and murky because she was reflecting on past events and I had a bit of trouble distinguishing present day versus past, but it all made sense in the end. Her present was consumed by the past. Summers has gifted us with a girl who thinks she’s damaged beyond repair, that makes some really poor, frustrating decisions because she can’t mentally break free of her suffering. In her typical refined manner, Summers forces us to stand up for victims all over the world to say, “Enough is enough.”

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Add ALL THE RAGE to Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble

Our Spring TBR List • Top Ten Tuesday

top ten tuesday hosted by the broke and the bookish

Hello, again, friends! We’re participating in the Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday this week where we’re discussing the books that are at the top of our to-read lists this spring. Estelle’s list includes a couple of library books she just took out and some review books, while mine includes the next five books on my review schedule (because I have become a little more regimented with my reading so I don’t miss deadlines and release dates). Here’s our collaborative list:

list of upcoming young adult book releases, books checked out from library

All the Rage • Things We Know by Heart • A Court of Thorns and Roses
Every Last Promise • Finding Paris • My Best Everything
LOL • Making Pretty • Scarlet Undercover
The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley

> > > < < <

What are you looking forward to reading this spring?
What are you most excited about on our TBR?

Thanks for joining in! Don’t forget to check out more Top Ten Tuesday lists linked up at The Broke and Bookish!

Top Ten Tuesday: Tough Subject Books

I’m pretty drawn to tough subject books. I scoured my Goodreads lists and narrowed it down to these FIFTEEN tough subject books instead of ten. (Bonus reads!) Obviously I didn’t follow the rules very well. Some of these were harder than others, but they all have aspects of them that really open your eyes to some difficult-to-discuss topics. If you have recommendations for me, I’d love to know what you suggest I add to my TBR.

I broke these down into a few topics and added brief notes for why they were difficult. No spoilers included. All links go to either a review on Rather Be Reading or Goodreads so you can check out the summaries.

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BULLYING:

young adult books about bullying recommendation

  1. Rites of Passage — bullying, sexism, hazing
  2. Tease — teen suicide, bullying
  3. If I Lie — knowing the secret truth about characters, bullying, ass-hat father
  4. Some Girls Are — bullying. bullying. bullying. stupid high school.

 

CIRCUMSTANCES & RELATIONSHIPS:

young adult books with difficult topics, circumstances, and uncomfortable relationships

  1. The Tragedy Paper — albino character, seclusion, longing after an unavailable girl
  2. Ketchup Clouds — written to a prisoner, hidden identity of main character
  3. The Lucy Variations — uncomfortable relationship with an adult, parents dictating every move
  4. When You Were Here — loss of a parent, misuse of prescription pills, loss of sense of self
  5. Small Town Sinners — discovering one’s own religious beliefs apart from what parents have taught you to believe
  6. Room — being held hostage, abuse, kidnap, written from the POV of a 5 year old

 

SEX / ABUSE / PREGNANCY:

young adult books about sex, mental and sexual abuse, and pregnancy

  1. Where the Stars Still Shine — mental/emotional abuse MC suffered from mother’s instability
  2. Please Ignore Vera Dietz – implicit sexual fetish, death of a friend, crumbling friendship
  3. Me, Him, Them, & It — teen pregnancy + working through the decision to keep, abort, or give up the baby for adoption
  4. Uses for Boys — language + actual way it was written, but also sexually explicit, borderline uncomfortable for me — sex isn’t described as overly poetic and is raw and often very in-your-face
  5. Live Through This — sexual abuse by a relative, mental instability of the MC who questions right from wrong

 

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Which of these books was most difficult for you to read?
What tough subject book recommendations do you have for me?

Shelve It: Saturday & Summer

weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week

Oh man. It’s been about a month since I did one of these. But hello! I’m here. How are you all doing? It’s been a busy few weeks so far — friends visiting, lots of work changes, James finally got a small break from school, the weather is nice — you know the drill. Basically the books keep piling up and I haven’t shared them with you. Well, well, well. Today is your lucky day. Hope you find something in these piles that catches your eye!

Oh hey, it’s the first day of summer! Do something fun! And go wish Anna of Anna Reads a happy birthday!

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Let’s get started:

From Jamie (Perpetual Page Turner) ♥

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern (I read this + loved it.)
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang (September 2014)
Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick (September 2014) — verse book!

From Elena (Novel Sounds) ♥

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Starstruck by Rachel Shukert
The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith (The original cover!)
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (prepared to give this a second try)

From Maggie (Just a Couple More Pages) ♥

Boomerang by Noelle August (July 8 release)

Shelve It June 21 Gifted

From Bloomsbury (Thanks Courtney!)

My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter (A favorite of 2014 for me.)
When Mr. Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan

From Harlequin (Thanks!)

The Fragile World by Paula Treick DeBoard (October 2014)

Shelve It June 21 For Review

Borrowed

Behind the Scenes by Dahla Adler (out 6/24; I really enjoyed it!); thanks Rachel!
Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor; thanks Lauren!

Shelve It June 21 Borrowed

Bought

Since Last Summer by Johanna Philbin
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (My original copy got rained on.)
Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Triangles by Ellen Hopkins ($1 at my used bookstore) * verse + grown up book *
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers ($1 at my used bookstore)

Shelve It June 21 Bought

(For my Nook)

Fever (A Songbird Novel) by Melissa Pearl
Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
Just One Night by Gayle Forman
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Preordered 

In Deep by Terra McVoy (Out Jul8 8; read it this week + omg, can’t get enough)
Make It Real by Sabrina Elkins (eBook out July 1)

Big thanks to those who contributed to my book collection in the past couple of weeks! xoxo

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Actually, I’ve done pretty well on the “not buying as much” thing. Really! This is been a month of progress.

What’s been in your shopping bag lately? 🙂

Psst. Thanks for stopping in… we’ll be back tomorrow with a long overdue NAILED IT! 🙂

Top 10 Tuesday: Happy Recommendations + Requirements

top ten tuesday hosted by the broke and the bookish

Happy Tuesday all! I am so in love with today’s Top 10 Tuesday topic from the Broke and the Bookish. As book bloggers and book lovers, I’m sure so many of us are also “book pushers”. It is all too frequent that I’m talking to someone and a book recommendation pops in my head. Or when my friends come to visit my apartment and I don’t let them leave without taking a few books from my shelves to read.

I had some much fun compiling my list — a list that could really go on forever. In almost two years of blogging, and maybe three years of reading book blogs, my to-read list has been utterly out of control. Here are a few stand outs from my own reading adventures. If you know that’s good for you, you’ll pick up all of these titles soon… or else. 😉

Paying it Forward Books I Was Forced to Read

Freefall + Live Through This by Mindi Scott: Quite possibly the best recommendations that Ginger from GReadsBooks has ever given to me. She was nice enough to send these both my way, and I was utterly blown away by Scott’s realistic writing (in unfortunate situations) and vibrant characters that I wanted to care for.

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers: I love so many things about Magan but I love how she challenges to reach outside my comfort zone with my reading. Summers is a beautiful writer, even when she is telling a story about zombies. I couldn’t get over how much I connected to the story.

Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble: This one wasn’t much of a FORCED read but I felt forced to read it because of Book Chic Club’s amazing review back from December 2011. Since then I have read all of Trumble’s books, and I have Book Chic to thank. This book in particular is about a long distance relationship between two men, dealing with changes and homophobia and relationships and families. I couldn’t take my eyes away from this one.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: Why is this on my list? Are you going to disown me? My oh my. Back when Harry Potter came out, I was just not interested. I saw one of the movies in the theater and I fell asleep. My sister never got into them. But I took a Children’s Literature class back at my first college and well, I had to do it for a grade and then I got obsessed. That class was memorable for so many reasons but a big part of it was introducing me to Harry, Ron, and Hermoine.

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter: This title is a new development; I actually have a review coming up later this week. I’ve had it for a few months and I’m sure I would have kept passing it by if it wasn’t for Book Rock Betty and her enthusiasm for this story. Not exactly an Alice retelling but a unique interpretation of zombies, a bubbling hot relationship, and great voices for her characters. It was super fun and I’m so so glad I picked it up.

One Day by David Nicholls: An oldie but goodie. Rachel from Hello Chelly recommended this to me before we had blogs so I bought it for my honeymoon and absolutely devoured it. A grown up book about two young people through the span of many years, heartbreak, hardships, and love. It’s not a super fast-paced story but it’s completely well-written and I felt for these characters so much.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Funny story but the gal who married James and I actually recommended this to me before anyone else. I was really turned off by the name and the original cover but I gave it a whirl anyway and fell madly in love with Stephanie’s writing and Anna’s story. I am so so thankful for my officiant (for many reasons) but bringing Anna into my life is definitely in the top 2. (I think you can guess what 1 is.)

Nowhere but Home by Liza Palmer: I hope you all know Cassie from Books with Cass. Not only is she one of the sweetest people you will ever meet but um, she is kind of bossy and sort of pushy and when she really loves a book, she wants the whole world to love it too. I have no idea how many people she got to buy Liza’s book but I was one of them. I’m so glad I carved out the time to read this and got to text with her about it as I did. Nowhere but Home is a beautiful book about second chances and learning to be happy. It’s very Hart of Dixie-esque and the writing is gorgeous. (Plus there’s a lot of cooking and football and a cute man or two!)

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote: Man on man. I had to read this for a Non-Fiction writing class at my second school, and it just blew me away. You want scary for Halloween? Try this because it was true. A whole family shot in their home. Terrible, terrible. I have a wild imagination and anytime I think about this story, I can freak myself out. Capote is a gorgeous writer (I love him to bits) and he crafts this horrific incident in such a way that you will be very surprised to see who you are feeling bad for. This book is classic and will forever be one of my favorites. (Plus you will not be able to stop researching the crime, and that opens a whole new can of worms.)

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I’m so excited to read everyone else’s Top 10 Tuesday this week!

Be sure to add some of these to your TBR. I’ll be watching…

roz from monsters inc.

Always watching.

Two in One: What Goes Around by Courtney Summers

Great news! It’s Friday. But that’s not the only great news we are sharing today.

Courtney Summers released a new book this past Tuesday, and (yay!) it’s a combo of two of her previous books: CRACKED UP TO BE and SOME GIRLS ARE.

Here’s a summary of WHAT GOES AROUND, provided by St. Martin’s Press:

What Goes Around by Courtney Summers

Two girls. Two secrets. Two gritty, critically acclaimed novels in one.

For Parker, perfection is all that matters. No one will know how wrong she is inside if everything she does ends up right. But when the pressure proves too much, she makes a devastating mistake she’ll do anything to keep hidden—even if it means becoming a perfect mess. For Regina, popularity comes with a price. When she’s kicked out of her clique, she finds out what it’s like to be those she’s bullied and destroyed. Everyone says she has it coming . . . but is there something they don’t know?

There is more to these two girls than meets the eye.

With unflinching honesty and a razor sharp voice, Courtney Summers brings the tensions of high school terrifyingly alive inWhat Goes Around.

Both of these books have been reviewed on RBR and received some superb praise!

On Some Girls Are:

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers Magan Review Quote

On Cracked Up to Be:

Cracked Up to Be Review Quote from Magan Rather Be Reading

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press one lucky winner will receive a copy of WHAT GOES AROUND! You must be 13 years old to enter. Contest is open to those residing in the United States and Canada!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But wait, there’s more!

Read the first three chapters of both novels from WHAT GOES AROUND & be sure to visit Courtney Summers’ Facebook page to stay up-to-date on her writing!

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Find WHAT GOES AROUND on Amazon and Goodreads.