You Against Me by Jenny DownhamPublisher-David Fickling
Release date-Dec 2nd 2010
Purchase-Amazon / B & N
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.My Thoughts
This issue alone would usually have me steer clear of a book like this. I'm a paranormal junkie and the occasional contemporary romance YA reader, but when it comes to serious issues I tend to stay away...I guess I like reading escape more then reality, but once in awhile a book comes along and you read the reviews and my curiosity seems to get the better of me. You Against Me is one of those books and I'm so glad I took the chance on this one since I would have missed out on a really great read.
You Against Me is a story of pure complications. It's about a girl named Karyn who went to a party and is a victim of rape. Her brother Mikey, the has-to-be-responsible one in the family wants revenge on Tom, the one who did this to Karyn. But somewhere along the way Mikey falls for Tom's sister, Ellie. Someone who knows what actually happened...
That's a pretty messy situation huh?
Jenny Downham did an amazing job of tackling this kind of issue. It's true that a lot of the time rape is a very hard to prove and there is a lot of he said/she said with dangling doubts in the background. But there is more to this story. We get to see what it's like for the other people involved, the families and how it effects their lives and the choices they make. It's about loyalty and right and wrong no matter how much you hate it. But it's also a story about finding love where you least expect it.
I didn't think a romance would be something that would fit in a story like this. It's so unlikely that the brother of the victim and the sister of the assaulter would come together like they did, but you know, it worked. I really enjoyed Mikey and Ellie. They are both going through their own personal hell, and yet, they don't want the other going through this pain, but by all rights, should want exactly that. They understand one another and no matter how problematic their relationship or involvement may seem, it makes more sense for them to be together then apart. It's not something easily conveyed, but Downham did a very convincing job by combining an intricate issue with heartfelt hope.
Overall, I was very impress with this book. We don't get all the answers in the end, but in a way I'm glad. I don't really know how I'd feel one way or the other regarding Tom but I think everything will be alright for the rest of the characters and that's good enough for me.
Thought provoking, intriguing and tugs at the heart.
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