Sunday, May 3, 2015

Blog Tour & Interview: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Today on WinterHaven Books I am participating on the blog tour for All the Rage by Courtney Summers. This book blew my mind away and really made me think and I am so happy to have a chance to share with you the answers Courtney provided to a couple of questions I presented for her.

1. I was completely blown away by the honesty and the prose of All the Rage. How did you come up with Romy's story and in what ways did the writing process differ from your previous novels?
Thank you so much. Romy's story is a response to rape culture and victim-blaming. We live in a world that often fails victims and survivors of sexual violence and it's important we talk about that. I've been working on All the Rage since around 2009 and 2010 and that in itself is not my usual writing process. All the Rage wasn't so straightforward. It took a long time for me to figure out how I wanted to tell it, and every time I thought I had it - I was wrong! After it was acquired by St. Martin's Press, it took two more years and about six drafts. But it was worth it. I'm really proud of it. 

2. All the Rage focuses on a number of important issues from bullying to indiscrimination of girls in contemporary society. With what kind of mindset do you hope your readers will leave your novel with?

Reader response is out of my hands - but I do hope it will make them angry about rape culture. I hope they'll keep the discussion going.

3. Can you tell us something about your #ToTheGirls campaign?

#ToTheGirls is a hashtag campaign that will happen (or may have already happened by the time this post goes up!) on April 14th. People are invited to share a message of encouragement and positivity to girls everywhere using the hashtag #ToTheGirls. I think we should make and take every opportunity we can to empower girls and this is one way I've chosen to do that. I'm really excited to see how it turns out!

Wow. Just wow. I knew going into this that I would be faced with incredible prose and an engaging story, but I definitely did not expect this much.

Romy Grey feels like she would be better of if she were dead. She feels like inside her body, there are two girls – the girl before and the girl after. She wishes she would just be able to get rid of her body, get rid of everything that reminds her of what happened with Kellan Turner, the son of the town sheriff. Every fibre of her being reminds her of what happened and her body and her mind do not let her to forget. But though Romy remembers it all, vividly, to the last detail, the group of kids she used to call her friends how torment her, bully her, call her a liar. How dare she blame the golden boy of the town? Who does she think she is?

After a yearly party, a tradition of the graduating high school class, a girl goes missing. Romy has an idea of what might have happened to her, but she knows that if she goes out now and tells what she knows, no one will believe her. Everyone thinks she is a liar already, and the information she would just add fuel to the bullies, to the people who think that she's to blame.

I cannot over-emphasize the importance of a book such as this. All the Rage is not the first book I have read about sexual violence, but it certainly is the most honest, harrowing account of the topic I've come across to. The way Summers writes about Romy and the people around her made me really think about the way our culture often deals with sexual violence and the things especially girls have to deal with. Yes, there is sexual violence towards boys and men as well, but too often, it seems like girls are the victims. And unfortunately in many cases the people who hurt them are not punished. In too many cases, our society blames the girls, tells people that they were asking for it, tells the girls that the way they dress or the way they act around men justifies such actions. Way too often, there are situations in which young men go on with their lives without consequences despite their actions, just because they seem like “such promising boys” with great futures ahead of them. Our society blames the communities in which such things happen, they blame alcohol, they blame the girl. Why is it that the blame is not placed on the violent individual? Why does the society still often protect the one who has been violent, arguing that what has happened was just a fluke, caused by some exterior force and forget the one who has been hurt, the one who is supposed to keep going with her life despite the scars, both physical and mental?

The suffering and torment Romy goes through feels so real and so wrong. Summers's prose, beautiful, honest and lyrical, engaged with me from page one and it was impossible to put this book down. This book made me feel angry, sad, hopeful, hurt, indiscriminated. It made me re-realize all the difficulties girls and women might have to face. It made me angry about the fact that our society still does not seem to know how to protect girls, how to make them feel safe. But it also made me feel hopeful about the fact that there are good people out there, good guys who are not in this world just to hurt us, guys who want to protect us and make us feel like we are worth it as individuals. Romy and her story will stay with me, in my mind, for a long time.

About the author:  

Courtney Summers lives and writes in Canada, where she divides most of her time between a camera, a piano and a word processing program. She is also the author of What Goes Around, This is Not a Test, Fall for Anything, Some Girls Are, Cracked Up to Be, and Please Remain Calm.

Social Media Links:

Website - Tumblr - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram

All the Rage by Courtney Summers 
Published on April 14th, 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin


  1. Replies
    1. It is amazing! I hope you get to read it soon :)
      Thanks for stopping by Jill!

  2. One of my wish list books, that I can't wait to read! Nice review and interview!

    1. I hope you get to read it soon - it really had an impact on me.
      Thanks for stopping by Lekeisha :)

  3. I already wanted to read All the Rage, and prose you say? All the better. I always appreciate an author who will tackle tough subject matter. I look forward to reading it. Thank you for your interview and review.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Glamma! :)
      I hope you get to read this one soon and that it manages to both entertain you and make you think!