Knopf – September 8, 2009
Johanna, a responsible and friendly girl, has admired the wild and dangerous Reeve from afar for a while. She spends a lot of her time daydreaming about her and Reeve in romantic situations in Joyland, a place that only exists in Johanna’s mind. Reeve doesn’t appear to know Johanna exists and one thing holding Johanna back from revealing her feelings for Reeve is the fact that she hasn’t “come out.”
Johanna doesn’t know when she agrees to tutor Robbie, a troubled and strange boy, that her world is about the enter Reeve’s atmosphere. Robbie is Reeve’s brother. She picks him up after the tutoring sessions so they can ride home together on the bus. Johanna attempts to get Reeve’s attention and slowly, but surely, Reeve begins to pay attention.
Johanna makes it clear she wants a relationship with Reeve and Reeve attempts to warn her away. Reeve’s life is dark and dangerous compared to what Johanna is used to, but her desire to be with Reeve borders on obsession. She is willing to do anything. No matter how many times Reeve pulls away, Johanna always goes after her.
Johanna’s life changes dramatically and she loses a lot in her attempt to be with Reeve. Why does she do it?
RAGE, a story of love, is also a story of abuse. Johanna displays the typical signs of a victim, “she didn’t mean to do it,” “it was my fault,” and must come to understand her own self worth in order to find a place where she can be both happy and healthy. While Joyland is a great place to visit, does she really want to live there forever?