All the Rage is constantly being compared to Speak and here's what I have to say about that... The two books both about the effects and aftermath of rape and this is where the similarities stop. Speak is a book I personally think should be required high school reading while ATR is a novel I could have gone without reading. It didn't pack the punch or have the impact on me that Speak did.
The first thing I want to mention right away is that the summary for ATR is a bold face lie! "Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is..." Kellan isn't even in the story! He's not even a character in the book!!! He is barely even talked about... Second "Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town"; she's branded a liar because she is a liar. No, she didn't lie about being raped, but that's basically the only thing she doesn't lie about. Third I'm pretty sure the place she works is still in town! Whoosh, sorry had to get that off my chest. I'll actually talk about Romy now. I hated her! Hated everything about her. Romy is kind of a dick. She is a loner because most of the school hates/bullies her. I completely get that that at school she might need that Super B front put up, but Romy was a dick to people she even liked. Her mom, her kind of boyfriend, coworkers, you name them she was a jerk to them. She has no personality and I felt it very hard to relate to her as a character. She is also one of the most bland characters I've ever read. Even moments when she could have shed even the lightest bit of personality she doesn't. I know she's suppose to be angry, sad, and depressed but come on she doesn't have to be boring too. I think her biggest problem is that she has no development. Also I know her name is Romy, but I kept calling her Romney... which made me think of that episode of New Girl where Schmidt pretends to be related to Mitt Romney, so I had a hard time saying her name or taking it seriously throughout the book.
ATR has no real plot. The plot it does have is all over the place. Summer's writing style is both choppy and confusing. The story starts with the "Now"-which turns about not really to be the now-then goes to two weeks earlier, which doesn't read as if it's two weeks earlier. I had to actually re-read the first three chapters because I was so confused about the timeline. Then closer to the end goes back to the now-which is actually now the now (lol). It just doesn't read well what so ever. I think the story would have read better if the events just went in order and didn't flip flop back and forth. ATR is suppose to be a story about a girl who is raped and how life is for her after, but it's more like a story about a girl just going about her day(s). No seriously, it's just a book about Romy sometimes going to school, sometimes going to work, and most the time just being rude. It just doesn't really go into details and the emotional level and depth just isn't reached. People warned me about the mature themes and language... Yes, there is some profanity but nothing over the top, and the mature themes are nothing we haven't read before. Trust me when I say this wont be why it's hard to read.
Besides the huge problems with the characters and plot I also had a huge problem with the moments that should of had big reveals... Romney is bullied at school-plot builds builds builds- then falls flat. She gets super smashed at a party- plot builds builds builds-nothing happens. Girl goes missing- plot build builds builds- no surprise happens. It's just all these random things thrown together that you expect to come together at the end and they just don't. All the Rage is a book I feel is way to overhyped. It's choppy, confusing, dull, and will give you nothing but dead ends. "With a shocking conclusion" that will leave you very disappointed. Your best bet is to go into this book with no expectations that way you wont be letdown.