Monday, April 2, 2012

You Against Me by Jenny Downham

You Against Me by Jenny Downham
David Fickling Books, 411 pages
Courtesy of Random Buzzers

"If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother's been accused of a terrible crime and you're the main witness, then you banish all doubt and defend him. Isn't that what families do? When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the crime, but says he didn't do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in at a new school begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and unflinching, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love - for one's family and for another."

When this book was in the Random Buzzer website store, all of my friends and myself jumped at the chance of owning this book, and all requested a copy. Once the books finally arrived in those beautiful orange packages, we were all so excited (Not to mention that it was a hardcover beauty!). Then senior year kicked in!

We were all so busy with AP and colleges classes, work, extra-curricular activities, college applications, and so on and so on. So, the copies of You Against Me went unread in our to-read piles. But about two weeks ago, it just so happened that I needed something to read and I also finally had the time. So, I went through my stack of unread books and You Against Me popped out at me. I thought to myself here is this book that I had so much interest in reading but for some reason hadn't yet. And so, I opened the neglected novel and finished it in a whopping five days (Ask anyone and they will say that is really quick for me!).

I absolutely loved this book!! Jenny Downham is a British novelist, which is very clear throughout the duration of this book. It was sort of confusing at first because they are constantly talking about how they eat crisps (which is a British slang word for potato chips), but I didn't know that until I looked it up. But in a way, once you get to know what the slang words mean in the context of the story, it really adds to Downham's overall style.

When I first read the synopsis for this story, I wasn't expecting there to such an emotional romantic thread between the two lead characters, Mikey and Ellie. But once I started getting into the book, I was so excited to realize that the love between the two characters was so authentic, realistic, and beautiful that at times I found myself on the verge of tears. I fell in love with these two. The situation that they have to go through in the book is also very relatable to people who have family issues that can effect everyone.

I would definitely recommend this book to people who like contemporary fiction or who just simply want to read something that is realistically beautiful. I was so happily surprised by this book and I hope that others will enjoy it, too.

Rating: 4 stars - I really liked it. Worth buying.

1 comment:

  1. You Against Me was the first book by Jenny Downham that I had the pleasure of reading, but it certainly won't be the last one. In fact, the minute I put it down, I went to Amazon's website and ordered her previous YA novel, Before I Die. Yes, You Against Me was that wonderful. Gorgeously written, meaningful, moving and powerful, this book made a huge impression on me. It pulled on my heart strings and left me sobbing - and I'm not exaggerating when I say that this book is a masterpiece.

    The plot of this novel centres around Mikey and Ellie, two teenagers who find themselves in the middle of a very difficult and disturbing situation. Mikey's sister claims to have been sexually assaulted at a party. Ellie's brother is the boy accused of the assault, and he swears his innocence. When these two meet, and start to talk, it becomes clear that one of their siblings is lying. The question is which one? And what will happen when they finally uncover the truth? Is their developing relationship strong enough to survive?