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Rage: A Love Story Paperback – December 28, 2010

32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Johanna, 17, watched her mother die while her older sister escaped to college, and she fantasizes about a relationship with Reeve Hartt. Reeve's mother is a junkie prostitute, and her mother's boyfriend, no surprise, physically and sexually abuses Reeve. Reeve is hypersexual and violently angry, and she beats Johanna. The abuse in the Hartt house is so public and over-the-top that real-world children's services would have removed her long before the novel takes place. Everything happens too fast here, with YA tropes—battering, drug abuse, sexual confusion, abandonment—in place of deep character development. Both the plot and pace of Rage are so frenetic that there's no time to feel anything for the characters. The only vivid character is Robbie, Reeve's intelligent, deranged brother. Teens may feel set up, though, when Peters martyrs him. Johanna's fantasy segments are forced instead of sexy, intrusive instead of illuminating. Though Peters exposes girl-on-girl abuse, Janet Tashjian's Fault Line (Holt, 2003) and Chris Lynch's Inexcusable (S & S, 2005) remain better choices.—Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Peters (Far from Xanadu, 2005; Luna, 2004) continues to hew to the lines of realistic contemporary stories in which teens confident in their gay or lesbian orientation work through serious issues that aren’t necessarily related to their sexuality. In this story, graduating high-schooler Johanna has proved her maturity and reliability even before the story opens: she cared for her dying and widowed mother on her own during her junior year of high school. That doesn’t mean she is without serious lessons to learn and she—and the reader—live through the compelling, compulsive love she has for Reeve, an abused peer who has herself become abusive. Peters’ descriptions of events, emotions, and points of view are vivid and her plotting, which here includes dramatic violence that kills off one of the central characters, is airtight. Definitely for readers who already appreciate Peters’ straight-on takes of gay teen life, this book may feature her best writing yet and will make her many new fans. Grades 9-12. --Francisca Goldsmith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375844112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375844119
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #962,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For the last 20+ years, I've been writing books for young readers. My YA novel, Luna, the story of a transgender teen beginning her transition from male to female, was a National Book Award finalist and an American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults. (Thank you award committee members.) My other books about gender queer youth include Keeping You a Secret, Far from Xanadu (retitled, Pretend You Love Me), Between Mom and Jo, grl2grl: short fictions, Rage: A Love Story, She Loves You, She Loves You Not..., It's Our Prom (So Deal With It), and my newest book scheduled for 2014, The Double Life of Swanee Durbin. Also check out my book about bullycide, By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead.

I'm a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, PEN America, the Authors Guild, and the Colorado Authors' League. I live with my partner, Sherri Leggett, in Lakewood, Colorado. (We're celebrating our 38th anniversary this year.

More information about me and my books can be found on my Web site: www.JulieAnnePeters.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Darcy Wishard on September 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Wow, this book knocked my socks off...and I bet it is a topic that most of us don't really think about. I mean we all know about and have learned about domestic violence in heterosexual relationships but what about gay couples, specifically lesbian couples? Face it, this just isn't something most of us think about or even consider...I know I didn't!

Johanna has had some horrible tragedies in her life, but shes that girl that we look at and say "I don't know how she does it!" She picks herself up and moves on despite the obstacles life has thrown at her. But is she really that tough? Like a lot of teens who think they can handle anything and everything on their own, shes not quite as tough or together as she seems...

When Johanna meets Reeve she falls for her hard and fast. Reeve's life has been the stuff nightmares are made of...and she has the scars to prove it. Johanna is on a mission to save her. When she lashes out physically its not really her fault is it? That's what Johanna believes and she'll risk almost anything to prove her love to Reeve.

This is a wonderfully written book. The vivid prose is true to each character and the author is brutally honest in describing the world of physical violence, drug use and poverty. Nothing is sugar coated here but it only serves to make the story that much better.

Best suite for 14 years and up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on September 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Johanna dreams of finding love like her sister and her husband, or her friend Novak with her guy of the week. Unfortunately, she thinks that the girl she fantasizes about doesn't know she's alive. But then Reeve does notice her and things go really wrong. Author Julie Anne Peters garnered a National Book Award nomination for LUNA, her novel about a transgender character, and she tackles another tough subject here: dating abuse. Suspenseful and intense, RAGE will bring older teen readers right into the mind of a girl abused by her partner to find out how and why she gets out of a harmful relationship.

Love is exhilarating for Johanna when she realizes that she and Reeve are falling for each other. Previously her life had consisted of hanging in her garage apartment. Her parents are dead, and her sister and husband live in the house. Johanna's best friend Novak loves to borrow the apartment for hookups with her scummy boyfriend, but they've been friends for years, so she lets her. One consistent high point in her life is volunteering at a hospice center, offering comfort to those near death. She had done this for her cancer-stricken mother and continues to help out there. Her job at the mall is lame but pays for the car insurance.

Another highlight is that graduation is coming in a few weeks. Johanna is surprised when a favorite teacher asks her to help challenged student Robbie finish his senior essay so he can graduate, but she is thrilled when she realizes Robbie is Reeve's brother. Soon Johanna is turning chance encounters into more and begins following the siblings home. But Reeve and Robbie's home life is horrific, with violence, drugs and a scary stepfather.

Johanna tells Reeve she can take her away from all that, if Reeve will just love her.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brittany Moore VINE VOICE on November 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Johanna is a good girl, who wants a bad thing. That bad thing is Reeve. Johanna's dad died in an accident and soon after her mom slowly fades away. Her sister isn't really there for her emotionally, especially after having a miscarriages. Johanna volunteers at a hospice and holds peoples hands to comfort them as they pass on. This is the one thing Johanna wants for herself, the one thing she craves. Everyday she seems to venture off into "Joyland", the place where her and Reeve are together, even if it's only in her head. Everyone, including Reeve herself tells Johanna she's trouble. Johanna thinks Reeve is just misunderstood. When Johanna ends up tutoring Robbie, Reeve's brother, she ends up getting further involved in Reeve's life then Reeve would like. Can a love push through all the obstacles they both must face? Can Johanna be the one to save Reeve?

This was a good story about abuse relationships, where everyone is a victim and an abuser. Johanna abuses her friend Novak, Novak's boyfriend abuses her, Reeve abuses people, people abuse Robbie... it's on and on. This isn't just a book about physical violence though, it is emotional and mental violence too. This book doesn't put a glamor on abuse it simply paints it how it really is. I think this is an important novel for teens to read, it could help them see things in a different light. Maybe, make them realize that they are being abused in someone if they are in a bad relationship like those in the book. I liked the scenes of "Joyland" and how they progressed as Johanna did throughout the book. It seemed a little bit unrealistic how much confidence Johanna got after talking to Reeve for awhile, but I guess it can happen if you really want something bad enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Laybhen on February 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't lie. Rage is a very difficult book to read. It would be difficult for anyone to read even if they haven't been in any sort of an abusive relationship. But for someone who has been in an abusive relationship, it's extremely difficult. However, Julie Anne Peters writes with such a poetic grace that you cannot help but be sucked in.

Reeve is probably the most realistic character of the book. Her pain is real and obvious. She hates what she does to Johanna and yet, she doesn't know how to control herself. She very much loves her twin brother Reeve and protects him as much as she possibly can. She can be selfish and yet at the same time she can be extremely unselfish. And that shows in every scene that she's in with her brother.

Johanna has had an extremely difficult life. From the loss of both parents to the fact that her older sister (whom she adores) appears to have not been able to accept her sexuality to her relationship with Reeve. As much as I wanted to like her, I had a really hard time doing so. Johanna is basically a doormat. She pretty much lets everyone walk all over her. For most of the book, I found myself wishing that she would finally grow a backbone and tell everyone off.

That was my one major issue with this book, and with abuse books in general. Just because someone has become a victim of abuse does not mean that they have to stay a victim. Just once, I'd love to read a book where the victim fights back and does not succumb to the victim syndrome. It is in fact possible to remain strong after being a victim and that is also important. And personally, I think if Johanna hadn't been such a victim, the book would have ended better. All in all though, Johanna is still a very believable character. Her reactions and fears are very common.
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