15 March 2011

Post 353: Rage

Rage by Jackie Kessler. ISBN: 9780547445281 (advanced reader copy - publishes April 8, 2011).

When I was about Missy's age (16) and a little bit younger I had some major anger issues. I was pretty much a bottle of anger waiting to explode and I pretty much had no outlet to get rid of it. At school I wasn't allowed to get up and leave when these fits of anger surged through me and when I was at home I wasn't really allowed to do much of anything while my brother was around.

Unfortunately, I never knew when my anger would surge, which was when it usually got me into trouble. Most of the time it would hit me during class when I would have the overwhelming need to hit someone, something, anything. These urges were often inexplicable. I would just have the urge to be violent and I wanted to yell and scream until it passed. It usually did after a few minutes regardless of whether or not I actually screamed or hit anything, but for those moments I was unable to concentrate on anything else. My breathing increased, my heart rate increased, and I had to literally grip my seat or desk in order not to reach out and punch my closest classmate.

At home this got me into more trouble. At the time my brother was still living with us, so he would actually provoke me into these fits of rage. He seemed to know exactly how and when he could do it, and I would completely lose my shit. All higher brain functions just completely shut off and there was nothing to stop me from yelling and screaming, and there were occasions when I had no choice but to hit him back when he was physically provoking me.

I'm no longer quite that angry, and in fact the rages that came over me faded almost as soon as I got out of the public school and my brother was sent to live with my father. It came back as passive-aggression when my mother and I moved from Alabama to Mississippi and I was once again in with the general population, but I no longer had quite the same reaction. I don't know if other people had these super aggressive urges when they were going through puberty, but I like to think that at least a large enough population does that we ought to be worried about it. If I had had even a sliver less of self control, someone could very easily have been hurt.

I think we especially need to see if other girls are feeling this way, because we aren't encouraged to be angry or aggressive. The fact that I was having these feelings was very confusing for me because I hadn't been taught how to cope with them. It really felt like someone or something else was taking over my body and I had absolutely no control. I wonder how many other teenagers are going through this right now and don't know how to talk about the subject. I know it was probably the number one reason I yelled at my mother that she didn't understand me when I was growing up. And maybe she wouldn't have. I have absolutely no idea if she had these rages hit her or not, I don't even know if my friends had them. For all I know I was just completely psycho when I was 14-17.

But yeah, I definitely would have gotten behind the role of War at that age if I had been tapped to be a rider of the Apocalypse.

My review can be found on Goodreads.
LibsNote: Free ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley.


  1. I, for one am glad that you are no longer prone to such anger.

  2. Well, you do sometimes bring out the worst in me.

  3. apparently this is a really good book on the subject http://www.amazon.com/Odd-Girl-Out-Culture-Aggression/dp/B0013L2DZ0/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1300216299&sr=1-1

  4. Thanks Dayna,
    I'll have to take a look at that.


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