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RAGE by Julie Anne Peters

RAGE

A Love Story

By Julie Anne Peters

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-85209-1
Publisher: Knopf

Love hurts. Dependable Johanna is drawn to mercurial Reeve, whose anger-management issues stem from her abusive home life. To express herself, Reeve hits. Johanna is thrilled just to be near Reeve in all her temperamental glory, even if it means alienating her best friend in the process. Reeve eventually turns her fists on Johanna, who remains loyal, lying and cheating to protect Reeve and her brother. Their relationship falters after Reeve’s stepfather kills her mother and brother. From there, Peters rebuilds Johanna’s and Reeve’s lives as they explore their diverging goals for the future and confrontation of their individual losses of family. With very little back story to help them, readers may find it difficult to establish characters’ relationships and histories right at the beginning. Any reader who’s ever had a crush, however, will understand Johanna’s head-over-heels feelings for Reeve. The subjects of sexuality, abuse and loss are difficult, but the author knows exactly how to move teen characters through them and toward a hopeful ending. The look at dating violence in same-sex relationships makes this book one that meets a need. (Fiction. YA)