Thursday, 2 December 2010

You Against Me by Jenny Downham

For Review: David Fickling Books.  Published 2 December 2010
From Goodreads: 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.

I couldn't wait to read this one. I absolutely adored Before I Die and as soon as I found out what this one was going to be about I couldn't wait to get my hands on it! All I can say is WOW!  It completely blew me away and is one of those books that I just can't stop thinking about.

The story follows two main characters, Mikey and Ellie.  When Mikey's sister claims she has been assaulted at a party he finds his life turned upside down.  Ellie's world also crumbles as it's her brother charged with the assault.   When the two meet it forces them to try and make sense of what is happening...and to do what's right...

I am completely in awe of Jenny Downham's writing.  There is something about it that is so real and honest that at times it feels as if I am witnessing something I shouldn't.  It is also completely assessable - it just flows to the point I completely forgot I was reading. It's one of those books where I was surprised to find I had come to the end of the book and not even realised it!

I absolutely adored Mikey.  He is the heart of the book for me.  Although I had to question some of his actions there is just something so good about him, something kind that makes him someone you really want to get to know better.  Ellie too is easy to like and to relate to.  She also has a strength about her that is interesting to watch.   Both narratives completely held my interest - the two characters had great chemistry and I loved their scenes together.  Both became completely and utterly real.  But it's not just Mikey and Ellie you get to know - through them you also get to see the people in their lives - and the relationships they have with them.

The story works on so many levels.  It's a story about Mikey, his life with his family and the role he plays.  It's about him working out the right way to be there for his family and to be his own person.  For Ellie, it's also about family but it's much more complicated.  She has to decide what the right choice is and have the strength to stand by it despite the consequences.  And, of course it's a love story -  a very sweet, and convincing story of two people genuinely connecting with each other.  It excels on all these different levels.  I can't decide which aspect I loved the most because they are all so interlinked it creates something that is just so unbelievable good - I want to go back to the beginning and experience it all over again.

There is so much I'd love to talk about!  So many things about the story I'd love to discuss, specific scenes I loved that I want to share  - but I also don't want to give too much away.  I want you to experience the book yourselves.  I really hope you love it as much as I do. 

6 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Sounds phenomenal :)

Becky said...

I lost myself in this one too. It just pulls you in and you need to know what happens next. Blew me away. Love the enthusiasm in this review.

Small Review said...

I've had my eye on this one, but your review has sold me. Going on the TBR. Thanks!

Sarah said...

Great review Sammee, I'm glad you enjoyed this one as much as I did :o)

Michelle said...

The more reviews I read for this one, the more I want to read it. It sounds like a book I'd really enjoy. :)

mr_charmed said...

Reading this at the moment, loved Before I Die and have high hopes for this too! From your account its exactly what im looking for! :D

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