Johanna has always been the kind of girl who others count on. She's a good student and a great friend. She even volunteers her time at a nursing home. Underneath the surface, however, Johanna has problems like anyone else. Her parents have both passed away, forcing her sister Tessa and brother-in-law Martin to move home to take care of her. Her relationship with Tessa is complicated by the fact that she believes that her sister does not approve of her being a lesbian. Johanna has always taken care of her best friend Novak, but their friendship is troublesome due to Novak's on-again, off-again boyfriend and rocky relationship with her parents. She depends on Johanna to be there, but is not really a reliable friend herself.
What Johanna really wants is Reeve Hartt. Reeve is also a lesbian and seems comfortable in her own skin. She doesn't know Johanna is alive until Johanna starts tutoring Reeve's twin brother Robbie. While working with Robbie, Johanna begins to spend time with Reeve and a tenuous relationship develops. What Johanna could not have realized is that Reeve and Robbie lead a messy home life, one which ultimately leads to tragedy.
This is one of those books where I constantly yelled at the main character. I wanted her to understand the destructive nature of her relationship and to realize her own value. In the end, both Johanna and Reeve have to figure out what is best for each of them individually, which will resonate with teens who face decisions about their own relationships.
Rage: A Love Story by Julie Anne Peters was released September 8, 2009.