It’s kind of like stumbling upon the scene of an accident. Once you’ve looked, you’re part of it. Especially if you walk away.
Finding this book was like stumbling upon an accident, I was reeled right in. There was no escaping this book once it had its hooks in me.
I’ve been thinking about this book since I got it back in January at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting when I got the ARC (advanced reader copy). The cover, the title, the tiny little description on the back. It all screamed “Read me!” But did I? Not right away. I waited…and I waited…and I waited. It sat there on my shelf, patiently, knowing that eventually I would pick it up.
I am attending a Mock Printz discussion on Thursday. *Editorial note: The Michael L. Printz award is for excellence in writing YA literature. Many libraries and groups have “Mock Printz” discussions to try and figure out which book will win each year. Check it out here.* This book is one of the “extra credit” choices to talk about. It needs to be more than extra credit, it deserves an A+.
I devoured this story in 3 days, which it only took that long because I worked every day. This is the story of Romy Grey and how her life went from perfect to constantly being one step away from her ending it. It is dark, it is gritty, it is real.
I am glad that my ARC did not have the description that is on the released novel. Yes, it describes the book, but I think it would influence the reader to read the book in one way, where I went in almost blind. I had really no idea what I was in for and it hit me like a giant wave at the beach. I had to put this book down quite a few times in order to process, and to get through feeling like I was punched.
“That sounds horrible” you might think, but it isn’t. Only a REALLY GOOD BOOK can evoke such feelings. If the book has the ability to make me laugh, make me cry, make my heart hurt, then it has successfully done its job.
Romy’s story is one that is, unfortunately, all too true for many girls, and boys, today. Being called a liar for calling out the sheriff’s son, Romy is ostracized and looked down upon. When she wakes up one day on the side of the road, doesn’t remember what happened, and golden girl Penny is missing everything starts to unravel.
Experiencing Romy fighting for those to believe her, but being ignored was excruciating. I found myself often wanting to scream and find that character and hit them upside the head. Watching her be bullied and picked on was horrible. And that all these adults turned a blind eye was just sad. This reminded very much of the first two seasons of Veronica Mars. Romy and Veronica were in the same boat: raped at a party by some affluent boy, but ignored because their family, especially their fathers, is no longer respected. They both fight to bring the truth to light.
Written in beautiful prose this book just sucks you in and won’t let you go. You feel like you know, maybe, what is going on, but you never quite have all the facts until the VERY end. And what a stunner that ending was. Not just for the twist, but for something else that occurs. Something very human and unexpected happens, but it ended the book perfectly.
The only character I was unsure of was Caro, Leon’s (Romy’s love interest) sister. I was not quite sure of her place in the book. Maybe if I read it again, without all the emotion and turmoil it caused initially, I will see something. I enjoyed her, but I think Leon’s character could’ve existed without her. Maybe that is why she was there, to instill his character traits. She did have a scene that I thought was going to turn into something more, but in the end it didn’t. She was very well written, though.
Overall, I loved this book and have not stopped thinking about it since I put it down. It got it hooks in me and it won’t let go.
Go read it. Go read it now. Understand what’s All the Rage.