Hi there! Welcome to the blog tour for All the Rage by Courtney Summers. :) You need to read this book. I know, it's harsh, it's hard, it's sad, it reeks of disbelief and hopelessness and adults dismissing the anger and sorrow of a teen girl, but it's a book that needs to be out there for everyone to read.
What intrigued me right from page one of All the Rage was the nail polish, was Romy's in-depth application process of it and the lipstick. In her own words, it's a form of armour. It builds her up, it makes her feel stronger. She relies on it to get through each day. But it's also rather flimsy. It takes nothing to wipe off lipstick, to pick at nail polish. Why the nail polish and lipstick? As armour, like mentioned before? As a coping mechanism? As a clear message to others that she wasn't going to take their crap, their dismissive attitude, their slurs, anymore?
Romy primarily thinks of her lipstick and nail polish as armour, but it's more than that. It's also a way she reclaims herself, little by little. She's unable to process her rape, and putting on her lipstick and nail polish helps her to compartmentalize the girl the rape happened to, until she's ready, emotionally, to come to terms with it. This is why she panics when her make-up is compromised; she's afraid it makes her trauma more visible to others. It's also a visual representation of her anger over what happened to her, as red is often a colour we associate with rage.
And finally, it's an element of control she has over her peers. By wearing bright red nail polish and lipstick, Romy is directing focus in a way she control--she is essentially telling people who they are looking at, so she can survive the way they're looking at her. It's fragile, but it's the only thing she feels she has. The lipstick and nail polish are all about emotional survival.
Romy's nail polish, her lipstick, the vivid colour. I couldn't escape it as I read All the Rage. It was always there, just Romy was, just like her rape was, just like the town's indifference and disdain was. For those who've read it, what did you think of Romy's routine, her attempt at armour? For those who haven't, what are you expecting to discover when you finally read it?
Thanks so much to Courtney for the guest post, and to Raincoast Books for the blog tour. Make sure you check out All the Rage when it comes out on April 14th! And check out the other stops on the tour! :)