Girl trouble

All the Rage

Acclaimed young adult author Courtney Summers excels at crafting what she calls “difficult girls.” The protagonists in books such 2012's This is Not a Test are deeply flawed and intense. In All the Rage (St. Martin's Griffin; $18.99) Romy Grey carries on the lineage, but to mixed effect. Raped at a party by a popular classmate (and the son of the town's sheriff) Romy is bullied by peers who don't—or simply don't want to—believeher. Later, another awful night and a missing classmate elevates the stakes. Summers has a deft touch with language, characterization and themes that explore teenage isolation and slut-shaming. Rage's timeline and structure, however, ultimately prove confusing—too often jumbled and “edgy” at the expense of solid storytelling. Then again, that's not much different than the state of being a teenage girl, so perhaps she's onto something here.