Book Review: Rage: A Love Story

Rage: A Love Story by Julie Anne Peters
Release Date: Sept. 2009 
Publisher:Random House Children’s Books
Pages: 304 

Johanna has been attracted  to Reeve for sometime now. She daydreams about their first touch, their first kiss, and eventually becoming a couple. The only problem? They’ve never even spoken and it’s unlikely that Reeve knows she exists. The next problem? There is only a couple days left until High School graduation. With a lot of determination and a little bit of luck, Johanna manages to push her way into Reeve’s life. But she’s soon discovering that love is not all paradise; in fact, there’s a much darker side filled with trouble and abuse. And the tighter Johanna holds on, the further into darkness she is pulled. In a story of first love, Johanna must decide if holding onto a fantasy is worth losing everything else.

This has got to be one of the hardest reviews for me to write. I’ve been looking forward to Rage: A Love Story for months, only to find it didn’t live up to my expectations. I went into it longing for a good lesbian love story, but that was certainly not what I got. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still ADORE Julie Anne Peters. She is a brilliant writer and Rage does not fail in that department. She does a beautiful job at bringing a story to life. The characters were quite realistic and I have no doubt that this situation could/does happen.

Yet, for some reason the plot didn’t sit well with me. There were moments that I cringed and wanted to shake some sense into Johanna, especially when she talked about wearing her bruises as badges of her love. I couldn’t understand how this girl she barely knew meant so much to her. How after only a week or so, she was allowing Reeve to abuse her. Why did she continue to cling to this girl instead of walking away? I can understand how hard it would be if they had been dating months or years, but weeks? The love aspect just seemed to happen much, much too fast for my liking. I do understand that all of Johanna’s fantasies may have given her the illusion of a deeper attachment, but I don’t know.

Now, before I end this review, I have to say that Julie Anne Peters ends the story well. There is a sense of healing that has and will continue to happen on both sides. I was left with the hope that both girls would see happier times ahead. I’m still a little sad that I didn’t get the good, romantic love story I had hoped for, but that’s okay. It will be a hard one to recommend to my teens, though, if only because I don’t know how to sell it. It’s not really one I can add onto a love or LGBT list, however, I can see it being received well by those who thrive on the “issue” novels.

Have you read Rage: A Love Story? If so, let me know what you think!

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Rage: A Love Story

  1. I haven’t read it, but based on the description it sounds like Johanna allows the abuse for someone she just started dating since she has fantasized about Reeve for a long time. Maybe getting the girl justifies the abuse in Johanna’s mind? Just guessing.


  2. Its a shame you felt the relationship was rushed. I think teenagers do rush into these situations though part of it is in their longing to belong to something (or someone) bigger than themselves.

    I wonder if the abuse was allowed because she wanted to feel the pain? Having not read the book I obviously couldn’t say if there are any underlying factors but I think in general that when people allow this type of behavior it is less about the other person than themselves.

    Great honest review!


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