Rage: A Love Story

Rage: A Love Story

by Julie Anne Peters


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A National Book Award Finalist offers an intense portrait of an abusive relationship.

Johanna is steadfast, patient, reliable; the go-to girl, the one everyone can count on. But always being there for others can’t give Johanna everything she needs—it can’t give her Reeve Hartt.

Reeve is fierce, beautiful, wounded, elusive; a flame that draws Johanna’s fluttering moth. Johanna is determined to get her, against all advice, and to help her, against all reason. But love isn’t always reasonable, right?

In the precarious place where attraction and need collide, a teenager experiences the dark side of a first love, and struggles to find her way into a new light.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375844119
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 12/28/2010
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

JULIE ANNE PETERS is the author of the National Book Award finalist Luna, as well as other acclaimed young adult novels that feature the universal truths and particular challenges of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender teens. The spark for Rage was ignited via a "why don't you write a story about . . ." request from a devoted teen reader struggling with an abusive relationship. After repeatedly turning down this inquiry, Julie Anne began to feel drawn to the challenge of portraying a relationship in which both parties contribute to the dysfunction, but where redemption could seem possible and authentic.

Julie Anne Peters lives with her partner, Sherri Leggett, in Lakewood, Colorado.  Visit her at JulieAnnePeters.com.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

I locate the room on the first floor where Mrs. Goins asked me to meet her. She was desperate, she said. So many seniors on the verge of not graduating, she said. Would I please tutor this one? A special one who needs special help with the senior project, she said.

I guess I'm meant to feel special, but I have my own stuff to finish—like that damn Film Studies class Novak talked me into.

I peek in. The classroom's empty. Did I get the room wrong? I've been losing whole blocks of time lately, spacing constantly. Where does life go when it's lost to you?
My backpack slips off my shoulder and a note falls out of the front pocket.
"I'm dropping Film Studies," Novak wrote.

An old note from the beginning of term. At the time I thought: Thanks. Abandon me, like everyone else has.

I hear Mrs. Goins coming before I see her. She's . . . rustling? Maybe her thighs are rubbing together or something. Since the first of the year, she's put on, like, twenty pounds. A lot of people call her Meaty Loins.

I would never do that.

The person behind Meaty Loins materializes.

"Johanna, this is Robbie Inouye. Robbie, Johanna Lynch."

Oh my God. Kill me now.

Robbie Inouye scares the hell out of me. He might be retarded, or challenged, or whatever terminology you use to dance around the truth. He's definitely messed. His eyes aren't symmetrical, or could it be his head's on crooked? The corners of his mouth are always caked with dried-up spittle and he lumbers, drags his feet like Frankenstein. He's not big. I'm five eight and he's shorter than me, but he seems huge.

Once upon a time, slow-moving Robbie would get jostled in the hall. I'd see people cut in front of him, making him stumble. Then came last November, right before Thanksgiving. I remember because Novak had been dumped by her boyfriend, Dante—again—and it was taking longer than usual to stanch the internal bleeding.

We were in the restroom by the cafeteria. I got her past the point of slitting her wrists by reassuring her that she was an idiot for staying with him. "If I wasn't so fucking irresistible," she hiccuped, swiping at her nose, "I wouldn't attract vermin." 

"Exactly," I replied. I was late; I couldn't stay to hold her hand. "I'm better off without the asshole." "Too true." I had a midterm in trig and I'd blown the last quiz.
"Thank you, sweetie." Novak hugged me. "What would I do without you?" She held me so hard I couldn't breathe.

So I'm charging out of the restroom, dodging bodies and wedging through the mob of people exiting the cafeteria. Late bell rings and my class is two flights up. Then I hear this cry, more of a keen or wail. I look over and see a blur of skin, bone, and loose spittle, bared teeth. It's Robbie.

Someone had taken the instrument case he carries around. A guy was swinging it over his head and Robbie was lying on the floor like he'd been jumped. His books and papers had spilled down the stairs and one of his shoes was off.

Without warning, he rose up like Atlantis emerging from the sea, like Goliath in a rage, fists flailing, screeching and bellowing so loud my ears squinched. The guy with the case passed it to another guy, then a girl, a guy, the girl again. Robbie went crazy. He started swinging in all directions, clawing to get that case. He let out this high-pitched hawk screech, along with foam and spit, then busted the girl right in the chops with his fist. I felt the impact as she screamed and dropped the case.

The first guy made the mistake of retaliating for his girlfriend, hooking Robbie's neck from behind. Robbie whirled and smacked the guy's head into a brick wall.

I heard—felt—the crunch of bone.

I don't know why I did it, but the case was only about two feet away and I bent to retrieve it. Robbie grabbed the case and swung it up. The corner smacked me in the chin and slammed me into the stair rail.

His face came inches from my face, then his eyes rolled back into his head and he hauled off and whacked me on the shoulder. I crashed, tumbling down the stairs, feeling vertebrae crush.

My shoulder was dislocated. This was before my sister, Tessa, moved back home, so Novak took me to the Urgent Care Center.

The guy Robbie clobbered had a concussion, and his girl a fat lip, but none of us pressed charges. Unhappily ever after, Robbie plodded the halls and people steered clear. Especially me.

"Robbie, why don't you find a seat?" Mrs. Goins says.

Franken Psycho's case brushes my leg and I jump back.

Before I can get a squeak out, Mrs. Goins lowers her voice and goes, "Thank you for doing this, Johanna. He needs to graduate."

So do I. "Mrs. Goins, my work schedule changed. I just found out today, and now I have to go in at two. Um, every day, I think." My eyes shift to Robbie and I see he's helped himself to the teacher's desk and is rolling in the office chair. He pulls open the top drawer and removes a stapler.

Mrs. Goins looks at me over her granny glasses. "I thought I could count on you."
My face flares. She sponsored the Youth Service Club when I was in it, before Mom got sick._._._._

"You're the first person I thought of." The pleading in her eyes. Or is it desperation?
"I-I guess I can change my schedule back."

She rests her hand on my forearm. "Thank you, Johanna."

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Rage 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 75 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Don't let the hot pink cover and the label A Love Story deceive you. RAGE is Julie Anne Peters's most powerful book yet. The focus is on an abusive dating relationship and the toll it takes on victim and villain alike. Two girls with their own personal dysfunctional family issues are drawn together by mutual feelings of love and lust. Johanna has survived the death of both her parents and feels abandoned by her sister, whose choice was to remain at college when Johanna needed her most. Reeve and her twin brother, Robbie, live with daily abuse from a drug addicted mother and her controlling boyfriend. She only knows one way to express her feelings, and Johanna becomes the recipient of a twisted kind of love. Ever since Johanna laid eyes on Reeve, she has had fantasies about how things could be between them. It doesn't matter that Reeve practices a sort of tough love with everyone she meets. Reeve punching her brother and giving Johanna bruising kisses is just part of loving someone like her. Johanna knows Reeve suffers at home and is sure that loving her unconditionally is a way to protect her and fix whatever is wrong. Despite warnings from her sister, her friend, and Reeve's old flames, Johanna continues the relationship even as she loses important pieces of her own life. As long as Reeve returns after each incident, Johanna believes that love will hold the answers. Julie Anne Peters has created a relationship that will leave readers with mixed emotions. While trying to understand the power of love, they will be shaking their heads at the same time they are shaking their fists at the actions of characters on both sides of this tumultuous relationship. RAGE provides an inside look at what might drive us to give up parts of ourselves for the sake of love.
bookworm73MC More than 1 year ago
an excellent book!!! i love this book, it made me laugh,cry, cringe and fell pity for the main character. a definite must read to people who dont mind homosexuals. Its about a lesbian fantising about another girl. But when she has to tutor a "speacial" kid in order for him to graduate Johannna(main charater) finds out that Robbie(specail kid) is Reeve's(Johanna's love interest) brother. but when she starts to get to know Reeve, things get complicated. please read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book, and i love it. I feel like im going through the same thing. This book makes youe see the love and hurt that the girl went through and makes you realize things. I think this is a book you can read again and again and you wont be able to not stop reading this. I think you can learn alot from this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rage, well what can I say, this book was a great read. It had me turning pages every minute. What caught me into the story was the tension and drama that increased between the main characters, Johanna and Reeve. Johanna, being the compassionate and caring girl she is, dedicates her time talking and taking care of others. After both her parents pass away, she depends on her sister and her girlfriend Reeve to provide the love and care she lacks in her life. Reeve on the other hand, is a rebellious and independent girl who doesn’t let people get in her way. Behind her attitude, there is a problem causing her to act abusive towards others. Her mother and her mother’s boyfriend both abuse Reeve and her twin brother, Robbie, which led to Reeve’s anger. Once both Reeve and Johanna are put together, they create a story filled with many mixed emotions. Johanna, after having fantasies about Reeve, decides to take a step and start something that could last. She understands how Reeve is being treated at home, so she tries to provide Reeve’s needs.  With this love comes pain, heartache, beauty, and even death. This book has more to offer than a short and simple love story, but more of a story about a strong and powerful love between 2 completely different girls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started reading this at 10pm last night, just finished it at 4:51am the next day! Couldnt put it down. An awesome read, it had me crying by the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is by far, one of the top ten fav books ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
mesmericrevelation on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. It was amazing. The story was incredible well written and I was so pulled into it that I didn't even notice that it got dark outside. I put off eating and sleeping to finish it because I just had to know what would happen next. This is another must read. Julie Anne Peters is officially one of my favorite authors.
EdGoldberg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Johanna is in love with Reeve from afar and has been since she first saw her. But Reeve has never taken notice. Reeve hangs with the LBD (LesBo Dykes) crowd and Johanna is more of a loner, hanging mostly with Novak who also uses Johanna¿s apartment as a rendezvous with her boyfriend. A request by a teacher that Johanna help Robbie with his senior essay, sets the stage for Johanna and Reeve to meet. Robbie is Johanna¿s brother.Johanna¿s wish is finally granted and before you know it, Reeve and Johanna are girlfriends, or are they really? Do either of them really know what love is? Johanna drives by Reeve¿s house one day only to get a view of what Reeve¿s life is really like. She encounters Reeve¿s uncle Anthony dragging her addict mother out of the car by her hair, a stream of foul language coming out of his mouth. As the days pass, Reeve¿s story of abuse by both her uncle and her father unfolds and the by products of that become all too evident: Reeve has an abusive streak of her own.Johanna¿s history: Her father died of Parkinson¿s disease and her mother of cancer. She took care of her mother during those last months, her sister Tessa being away at college. Now Tessa is back home with her husband Martin. Once close, Tessa and Johanna rarely speak, and certainly not about important things. As a result, Johanna is going through this `love affair¿ on her own, having abandoned Novak because of Reeve¿s jealous streak.Abusive families breed abusive children. Isolated children seek love, in whatever form it comes. The combination of the two can be horrendous, as in the case of Johanna. She will take the physical abuse, `knowing¿ that Reeve really loves her and doesn¿t mean to hurt her. She is willing to lose so much for the sake of love¿including her self respect. Peters¿ writing in Rage: A Love Story, true to form, has produced an engrossing look at Johanna¿s dreams and her reality. Johanna and Reeve and Novak are real characters that readers will relate to, care about, sympathize with, and like or dislike intensely. As with many books on this topic, readers will want to figuratively bang Johanna¿s head against the wall (Reeve does it literally) and tell her to wake up and smell the roses. While the conclusion is bittersweet, it is a viable ending that readers will accept. Fans of Julie Anne Peters will devour Rage and non-fans will become fans after reading the book.For other versions of this story, read Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn or Dreamland by Sarah Dessen.
ReadingisNOTlame on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down, it was exciting, ravishing, enthusiastic. The perfect book about family issues and how they can bleed into your personal life. I honestly enjoyed it and recommened it to many of my friends. I
kivarson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Am a fan of Peters' other books, but didn't like this one as much. Perhaps it's because I couldn't suspend disbelief in some crucial plot elements, such as a teacher asking one student to tutor another after school without making sure that it happened in her classroom, the library, or any other place it would be supervised. Tut, tut.
ciara96 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The novel, Rage by Julie Ann Peters encompasses love hurts. In the beginning, johanna, struggles with her sexuality and coming out to her sister. Throughout the middle she perseveres through loving a girl who has a heart filled with pain. By the end she has learned that sometimes love does not have to be painfull in a physical way. (293/293).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well-defined personalities, but if e could see some more older cats... The clan seems half-kit right now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(This is to the mokingjay review person, not to the story! Dawn, the story is awesome!!) Hmmm..... your writing is sloppy and has MANY spelling errors. Stop acting like an expert. I highly reccomend checking your review after you write it. Rate: &starf
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Better! I love it! (Flightpaw)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is comming along nicely i do appreiate that you added more descriptive wording and veiws. Ithink it may still be a littke slow but i warn you (DO NOT HAVE ACTION IN EVERY PART) it gets annoying. So, you need need neeeed ti work on texture and looks. Vary nice that you have cat that same age as you cat. But make sure. To have something good for adience. Rate: &star &star and a half of a star. - MockingJay Reviews
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like t! Nice detail and adjective use. I higly recommend that yu continue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Chillkit! Get in here!" Chillkit snapped back to the world. She was a member of RiverClan. She was odd. She absolutely hated fish. Swimming was fine, though. Her icy blue eyes shone with mischeif. Tomorrow she would become an apprentice. Tommorow she could get away from her stepmother-Reedstem. Her father, Craneflight was her only family. She sighed and padded back to the nursery. "Yes, Reedstab-umm-Reedstem." She said, the other kits snickering. Four were to young to play-Riverkit, Stormkit, Tawnkit, and Ratkit. The other three kits were her age. Rapidkit, Currentkit, and Greenkit. Reedstem glared at her. The muddy brown eyes would not be very impressive, but her size made it very-intreresting. "Chillkit, I will tell you again, you are still a kit-" Chillkit tuned out Reedstem and went to go talk with the kits her age. Greenkit, a tan she with green eyes noticed her padding over first. "Hey Chillkit, come and talk with us." She said. Chillkit sat down between Greenkit and Currentkit, the blue-gray tom. Rapidkit, the strong gray and silver tom sat across from her. His blue eyes stood out against his gray pelt. "You excited? I mean-to become an apprentice?" Currentkit asked. His mom, Fishtail had taught him to clarify each sentance. It got a little anoying. Greenkit and Rapidkit were both Troutstar's kits. "Well, I am really excited. The only thing I will hate is the clean-up." Chillkit replied. "Thats exactly what I feel like." Rapidkit. The four kits talked untill sundown. Chillkit sighed. "Why don't we all sleep in that empty area?" She said, flicking her tail towards the spot. "Okay." Greenkit said, then folowed Chillkit. Rapidkit and Currentkit folloed after that. They made four nests and settled down to sleep. <br> <p> ~Thanks for reading. Don't forget to comment! ;-D Anyways, I will post part 2 soon. There will be more action in the next part. I just had to explain a ton of stuff.~ <br> <p> ~Dawn
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book.
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