By now, I’ve already read almost all of Courtney Summers books and it is no secret how I am a huge fan of her writing and the risks she takes when shewrites her stories. She reveals naked ugly truths (thanks for the term, Aunt CoHo) about people in her stories with assertion and undeniable truthfulness and for these things; my salute goes to her (always).
But even though she wrote dark stories in the past including an apocalyptic duology with zombies in it, I think All the Rage is her darkest novel yet. It turns out I had good reasons all along by trying to avoid this book the longest time possible because (damn!), that was a seriously heavy read. I know I vowed to keep myself away from cheesy romances with happy endings but after reading this book, I think I’d gladly go back to those comfort books.
I emotionally and physically suffered through the story, at the sadness and grimness of the tone and the unkindness of the people. I don’t understand why people would commune to aim for something really bad but it is a really sad and ugly fact that it does happen. People could do really ugly things. The entire narrative wasn’t easy to read either because it seems a bit disjointed at times and there were certain places I’m not sure I’m reading a present event or a past.
And yet despite the challenges I went through during the entire reading experience, I am once again thankful for yet another eye-opening novel that courageously takes on an issue most of us would rather avoid and develops it into a believable story, perhaps not that of a hero’s or a survivor’s story but of someone broken and lifeless and how she in spite of it all tries to keep moving on, how she could still have the strength to simply breathe and do the usual things she was supposed to do even after losing herself.
In retrospect, she IS a survivor and even though there weren’t real resolutions to the conflicts in the story like most Summers books, it ends with a tiny sliver of hope to the characters and to the reader and that little hope is all it really takes to make us believe that the good could still prevail.