Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review: You Against Me by Jenny Downham

Title: You Against Me
Author: Jenny Downham
Pages: 416
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Release Date: December 2, 2010
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: I had high expectations before I started this book. I can safely say my expectations were pretty much met. The book didn't blow my mind or leave me emotional. (Not to say the book didn't make me feel anything. There were times I was happy and angry and worried.) But for the most part, I had a calm feeling. The setting even felt calming. I liked that.

I thought the author did great with the characters and relationships. They felt realistic and believable. There were times when some of the characters would say or do something that pissed me off. I thought they were being unfair, selfish, or stupid. But then later on, those same characters would say something that made me completely understand why they said what they said or why they did what they did. I'm glad for that. I never like going through books hating characters.

As for the main characters, Mikey and Ellie, I really liked them. I thought their relationship was done well. My favorite line in the book was from Ellie's brother Tom, the one being accused of the crime. He said this: "You want this to be a love story?" Well, I know I wanted it to be, between Mikey and Ellie. And after reading it, I think it is and more. The book's summary states it perfectly: '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.'

Not everything is resolved by the end of the book. We don't exactly know what will happen to the characters, but it's not that hard to imagine. I don't believe the author left us hanging, which I'm grateful for. And like I mentioned before, the ending even left me with a calm feeling. So for me, it was a satisfying read, and I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


  1. Wow, this sounds like a great book. Love your review. Definitely gonna give it a try.

  2. Great review Alexa. I am desperate for this book as I love character driven novels :)

  3. Thanks for the review! This is one I am really interested in reading and I'm glad to read it was a good one. It's really interesting that it left you calm afterwards.

  4. Thanks for the review! I can't wait to read this book.

  5. Wow -- this sounds like a really interesting and surprising book. Thanks for the great review! I'll have to check this one out.