Jun 04, 2017susan_findlay rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
This was my other book club selection for the month (alongside Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson). While I appreciated and respected what the author was doing with Speak, All the Rage was a much more enjoyable read for me,* and I found Romy much easier to relate to than Melinda. (That's more a reflection on me than on the characters; both books were very well written.)
Whereas Speak is a character piece that has a tiny bit of plot woven through it so that the main character has something to react to, All the Rage is a mystery novel with a well-developed and interesting main character. Unusually for this genre, she is neither a detective nor the victim nor the perpetrator (of the mystery in question; the book is clear from page one that she is the victim of a related crime).
The strongest theme in the book is a commentary on how differently (and usually unfairly) people are treated based on their social class. Many reviews and summaries comment on the most obvious case: the sheriff's son getting away with raping the main character (one year prior; that's not a spoiler) and the town blaming her for "falsely accusing" him and "trying to ruin his life". But there many more subtle cases throughout the book. Despite this, it doesn't feel at all preachy.
I read this book in one sitting. I should have put it down to go to sleep with about 50 pages left. I didn't. That's what bumps it from 4 stars to 5 stars.
*I enjoy true crime books and have read a lot of Ann Rule's work. Substitute "fascinating" for "enjoyable" if you find the idea of enjoying that type of story creepy.