Saturday, 8 December 2012

A Review for You Against Me by Jenny Downham

You Against Me
Posted by Donna
Release Date: December 2nd, 2010
Finished Date: November 27th, 2012
Publishers: David Fickling
Source: For Review 
Format: Hardback
Pages: 413
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

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.

The Review: “When I first saw Ellie, I knew it was her-- she was my fantasy. I didn't want it to be true, but every time I met her it was obvious, and the funny thing was that she was better than the fantasy, like I got more stuff than I'd imagined.”

 had You Against Me sitting on my shelf for a well over a year now and the reason I’ve never read it was because I've just never been  in the mood – until now. I knew it would be a book that would play with my emotions and sometimes I have to prepare myself for a book like that. But after reading it, I’m glad I did because not only was it my first book by this author but You Against Me was quite an emotional read – one that stuck with me for a few days after too. 

With alternative narratives from Ellie and Mickey who will be forever connected. Ellie’s brother is accused of raping Mickey’s younger sister and of course, both families suffer from this story. Ellie gets bullied at school for supporting her brother, while Mickey is looking for revenge. It’s not until Ellie and Mickey accidentally meet one night that things start to unravel. 

I did enjoy this book. What’s so moving about it is, not only do we get the victims story but we get the accused story too. I was intrigued from the start to find out which family was telling the truth and it’s one of them stories that leave you guessing all the way through. It wasn't predictable at all.  Even when the truth is revealed, I found myself sympathising to the other person. It’s a story that tugs on your heart because it’s such a hard subject to deal with but unfortunately for us, it’s a common problem that happens throughout the world – daily. There needs to be more books out there like this because I believe it brings self-awareness to the both parties. 

Ellie and Mickey both suffer a lot but together they bring happiness to each other’s lives. Who would have thought they could make a relationship work, but they do try – even when they think they can’t possibly be together. 

I would have liked to have rated this book more than 3 stars because while I did enjoy it, I just thought the story was a little too long. I found myself losing interest in parts but still, I carried on because I was enjoying the story. I also wasn’t too fond of the ending. I didn’t think the story was resolved in any way, I just wanted everything finalised. Or maybe an epilogue set after the court hearing or 5 years later. But still, despite my 3 star rating it was definitely worth a read. 

Thank you to David Fickling for giving me the opportunity to review this book. 

6 comments:

Aa'Ishah Hawton said...

This definitely sounds emotional, so I can see why you might have to prepare yourself. I'm glad you enjoyed this overall. Lovely review, Donna! :)

zoe crook said...

I really need to read this book, everyone seems to have read it but me;) It is a shame that is was too long but I'm glad you liked it overall. Thanks for posting!
Zoe @ Bookhi
www.bookhi.blogspot.com

♥Rachel♥ said...

I think I enjoyed this a little more than you, Donna but I love your idea of an epilogue. That would've been great. I have to believe Ellie and Mickey had a future together. Great review. :)

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

I'm glad you thought this was worth a read overall, despite losing interest here and there. I'll have to give it a shot, though maybe as a library read. Great review!

Jasprit said...

I know what you mean abut preparing yourself for a tough read, and I agree this was one heck of a roller coaster ride to stomach. Sorry that you had some issues with it, but at least it's still left you wanting to read more by this author! Lovely review hun! :)

Andrea Modolo said...

This one sounds interesting, I`ve had it sitting on my shelf for quite some time and like you really haven`t been in the mood to pick it up, I think I`m going to have to get to it soon though, sounds really great.