Release Date: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Age Group: Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon
If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge.If your brother's accused of a terrible crime but says he didn't do it, you defend him.
When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her, his world begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the offense, her world begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide.
This is a brave and unflinching novel from the bestselling author ofBefore I Die. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all, it's a book about love.
Summary taken from Goodreads.My Review:
Wow, now that was an epic ride! So I read Jenny Downham's debut novel, Before I Die about three years ago and I was stunned. It was so raw with emotions and feelings, I found it completely amazing. Therefore I was obviously super excited to get my hands on this book. There are so many reason why I have been waiting to read this book so impatiently. One of which is the super hype around it! I watched and read many reviews by European based bloggers and vloggers and they just gushed about it! Also the summary is quiet intriguing.
Alright so lets talk about the story. As you may know, You Against Me is set in Britain and it surrounds the lives of Mickey and Ellie and their two families, who are from completely different classes of the British society. There is the Mackenzie family, they are lower class. The mother is on social assistance and she is an alcoholic. This means that Mickey our male lead is playing the adults role for his two sisters and mother. Then there is the Parker family. They are a more privileged family and stable family.
But after a night of partying gone wrong. Mickey's younger sister, Karyn claims that Ellie's 18 year old brother, Tom Parker has raped her. But the only witness that night was Ellie and she says that she was asleep and didn't see anything. The book starts out with Tom being let out of jail on bail and a very angry Mickey. Mickey feels that it is his responsibility as the brother of Karyn to get Tom back for what he did to his sister. So with this in mind, Mickey decides to go over to Tom's house and basically beat him up. But what Mickey finds at the Parker home is not Tom but his sister Ellie.
Lets talk about the characters. I found that the character in this novel were fantastic! Jenny Downham created such realistic and strong characters. I really loved Ellie. She was so smart yet sweet and innocent. All she really wanted was her older brother back. She also has many moments where she was really daring, spunky and out there. I found her to be really relatable aswell. I understood why she did what she did. Her character really made me question myself and ask myself what I would do if I were put in her situation. Then there is Mickey. I truly loved Mickey, he is that wonderful older brother that I never had. Mickey loves his family, even if his mother is always drunk and he has to be the adult. I think he is the link that really keeps his family afloat. Mickey is an aspiring chef. I really enjoyed the little scenes with him at the pub, cooking. I found it really interesting as I myself am quiet hopeless when it comes to cooking! Overall I found the two main characters to be completely amazing!
There are also many side characters and minor characters in this novel. There is Tom, Karyn, Mickey's best friend Jacko. I thought they were all great characters. Realistic and understandable in their own ways. Non of them struck me as stereotypical. Jenny Downham made sure that all of her characters were very well developed. I couldn't hate any of them despite some of their actions. Tom, I thought was a confused and misunderstood character. While Karyn ended up being stronger than everyone gave her credit for. I really loved Jacko too. He was a very loyal best friend not just to Mickey but to his whole family.
The plot in this story I thought was fast paced and full of action. There were revelations at every twist and turn which really keeps a reader guessing and wanting more. Just like in her first novel, I devoured Jenny's writing. She has such a simple yet beautiful writing style. I think it really made the book even more enjoyable!
In conclusion, You Against me was a phenomenal book. I loved everything about it from the plot to the characters and everything else in between. The cover is amazing I think that it actually represents the book very well. The scratches add to the mystery. There isn't much else I could say about this book. You really have to read it to see how exceptional it really is!
More on Jenny Downhams debut novel, Before I Die:
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Age Group: Young Adult
This beautifully crafted, eloquent novel transforms what at first seems a depressing topic (a teenager dying from leukemia) into a life-affirming, uplifting portrait of a young woman determined to live her life as fully as she can in the short time that she has left. As the heroine, 16-year-old Tessa, sets out to complete a list of things she yearns to experience before dying, her actions are genuine, her emotions raw and powerful. She's a character teens can relate to, though her situation is one most of us can't fathom. This novel brilliantly addresses the subject of death with love, anger, humor, and honesty, and, through the experiences of its brave heroine, relates a powerful message that will resonate with readers.
Summary taken from Goodreads.