Saturday, 1 December 2012

Book Review - You Against Me

You Against Me
Author: Jenny Downham
Genres: Contemporary, Romance | Young Adult
Release Date: December 2nd 2010
No. Pages: 413
Source: Borrowed
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right?
If your brother's accused of a terrible crime but says he didn't do it, you defend him, don't you?
When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her, his world begins to fall apart.
When Ellie's brother is charged with the offence, her world begins to unravel.
When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide.

Let me first start of by saying that I had been waiting to read this book for what seems like years, even though in reality its only been 2. I remember first reading Before I Die by Jenny and being moved to tears while on the bus to work. Everything about that book touched me, and when I heard about You Against Me I couldn't wait to read it. Unfortunately it came out the year my little girl was born so I didn't have much time to haha. But while reading it, my partner asked me while I was smiling from ear to to ear, to which I told him - 'You know when you've been waiting for something for so long, be it a game or a book or a TV program, and when you eventually get to read/watch/play it you hope and pray before that its as good as you wanted it to be? Then you read/play/watch it and all the fears you had before vanish because not only is it as good as you thought it would be, but better? Well that's how I feel right now'.

Yeah...that says it all.

This books is from two different perspective's. Mikey, older brother to 15 year old Karyn who claims she was raped at a party by an older boy and Ellie, the younger sister of Tom, the boy accused of the crime, and the only person in the house when the 'crime took place'. Ellie is adamant that she didn't hear, or see anything as she was asleep at the time. Mikey, Karyn, their mum (a drunk) and younger sister live in a flat on an estate. They claim benefits and Mikey, who is training to be a chef at the pub he works, is the only one keeping them a float. Ellie's family couldn't be more different. They live in a big house, with electric gates at the opening, and don't know what its like to struggle.

Mikey being the only man of the house takes hit upon himself to exact revenge on the boy responsible for hurting his little sister, who now has become so terrified she wont leave the house, but when he and his friend Jacko gate crash Tom's welcome home party things don't go to plan.

Mikey meets Ellie, and even though he knows she's Tom's sister he is drawn to her. Later when he wants to justify why he wants to see her, he pulls her into part of his plan to get justice for Karyn. He begins to see her on a regular basis, telling himself that he's using her to get information about Tom, until one day when Ellie decided to skip school and ends up in Mikey's work place. There she finds out who Mikey really is, and decides to do the same thing. But even after Ellie's plan goes horribly wrong, and Tom and Mikey end up fighting, and their true identity's are revealed they still cant seem to stay away from each other, knowing full well who what it could do to their family when and if they found out. They begin to fall in love, even though they know they should hate each other. And through loving Mikey, Ellie questions her brother and what really happened that night, remembering more and more till she's not sure if she can keep it in or not, and having no one else but Mikey to talk to about it as her family are all team Tom and wont even entertain the thought that maybe, just maybe, he's not as innocent as he's making out.

This book book was heart wrenching, well thought out and clever. The characters we well done and the only thing I would have liked more is if Karyn was more of a character in it, as it was mainly about her. Other than that I'm so happy I finally got to read it, because its no up there with my favourites.

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