Academic journal article English Journal

All the Rage

Academic journal article English Journal

All the Rage

Article excerpt

In All the Rage, 17-year-old Romy Grey becomes a pariah in her small town after she is raped by the sheriff's son. When another girl with a connection to the wealthy Turner family goes missing, Romy must weigh the true cost of the silence into which she's been shamed. Summers tackles heavy subjects such as violence, alcoholism, and poverty, all while calling into question the culture of victim-blaming that permeates conversations surrounding sexual assault. Students may have already read media reports of rape cases involving teenagers out of Steubenville, Ohio, and Concord, New Hampshire. All the Rage provides a springboard for discussion about consent in a way that few contemporary young adult novels do.

The text lends itself to these discussions. For example, when Sheriff Turner, the father of Romy's rapist, suggests that Romy wanted the rape to happen, she thinks, "And it's not that she tells him it didn't happen, it's that by the time he asks, she no longer has a language of her own." Summers's novel is highly feminist, calling into question all of the ways in which society shames and silences women. Teachers might encourage students to read All the Rage through a feminist or social class lens, examining who in the novel holds power and why. The Turner family, because they are wealthy and influential, are viewed opposite Romy, a young woman from the wrong side of town. When Romy and her former friend Penny, the girlfriend of the Turners's younger son, go missing after a party, Summers contrasts how the town of Grebe responds to each girl's disappearance; when Romy turns up on the side of the road, drugged and altclothed, she is blamed for distracting the search for the wealthy and beautiful Penny. …

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