Wow, I’m doing it again! While sleep evades me at night, my interest in flipping book pages keeps me sane. I am now on my thirtieth book, and I should say that Rage, is one helluva read. Books about domestic violence, abuse, even LGBT are old news to me, but this is the first time I’ve encountered something about dating violence. I ran through some Goodreads reviews about this book, and the reviewers described bothersome heavy violence so I took my chances. After all, it’s Julie Anne Peters.
Overview. Johanna dreams of being with Reeve. She’s in love with her, like, big time. As she figures out a way to be with Reeve, one of her teachers asks her to tutor a senior with special case, Robbie who happens to be Reeve’s twin brother. As she spends time with the twins, Johanna discovers that Reeve and Robbie are both involved in domestic violence. As much as she wants to help, Reeve pushes her away, after taking from her the things that mattered.
If this isn’t love… It’s evident that Johanna loves Reeve – bigger than the universe and beyond. There are a lot of important things that Johanna chose to let go for Reeve’s sake. Tessa, her only sister whom she thought left her and did not care in the slightest about her coming out as gay. Novak, the only friend she had when her Mom died, the only person who was there when she decided to come out, and when no one was there for her. Her job at Bling’s, the one she needed the most being her only source of income. Even her permission to volunteer at the hospice where her Mom died, where she always go when she wants to find hope. One by one, she lost grip of all the things that seem to keep her life on track and make her stable the moment Reeve entered her life. Was that Reeve’s fault? Or was Johanna just head over heels with this violent person? I personally think no one is to blame when someone’s in love. However, if it already hurts to the point of being destructive, then one should listen to one’s mind over one’s heart.
How does it feel to live in violence? I don’t think Reeve is violent by choice. She lived in a world where violence was a part of her everyday life, it could even be considered a routine. Her mom was a drug addict, her uncle who lived with them was abusive, and her dad, molested her and her brother when he was living with them. By the way Reeve’s life was decribed in the book, it’s fair to say that she’s damaged. Could she still be fixed? Time can heal all sorts of wounds, but the moment she met Johanna, it was clear that nothing good could be gained in that relationship. She was too broken to handle her own issues, let alone open it up with someone else.
In conclusion. The story isn’t as riveting as it should be, for there are chunks where Johanna is just this lovesick little puppy dog who loves to beg for Reeve’s violent attention, the parts I liked the least, especially after she was physically hurt. But Julie Anne Peters writes in a way that connects to the reader, to me, and I felt Johanna’s ache of longing for Reeve that I couldn’t put the book down so to find out if Johanna somehow gets the chance to be with the love of her life. What I love the most, though, is the ending. And it’s what I like about all of Julie Anne Peters’ books. There is always hope and redemption in the end. Johanna was able to think about which things are more significant to her, and the things that will be good for her, and also for Reeve. It’s a big decision that’s hard to make, one that needs all her strength to do so. But then, after all, love is all about sacrifices.
Just like I said in my last book review, I’m gonna start giving out Likes (or thumbs-up or hearts or whatever) for my book reviews. Since there are parts which I’m not exactly fond of, I’ll give this four out of five.
Recommendation: LGBT community would, of course, appreciate this book. If you know people who are involved in domestic abuse, especially dating violence, then you can have them read this or read it yourself and get some insights on how to help.