You Against Me

You Against Me

by Jenny Downham


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If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge.
If your brother's accused of a 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 an unflinching novel from the bestselling author of Before I Die. It's about loyalty and the choices that come with it. Above all, it's a book about love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385752664
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 09/11/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 1,159,125
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.91(d)
Lexile: HL630L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

JENNY DOWNHAM was an actress for many years before concentrating on her writing full-time. She lives in London with her two sons.

Read an Excerpt

Mikey couldn’t believe his life. Here was the milk on the counter in front of him. Here was Ajay, hand out expectantly. And here was Mikey, scrabbling for coins among the old receipts and bits of tissue in his jacket pocket. A woman in the queue behind him shuffled her feet. Behind her, a bloke coughed impatiently.

Anger stirred Mikey’s gut. ‘Sorry,’ he mumbled. ‘I’ll have to leave it.’

Ajay shook his head. ‘Take the milk and pay me tomorrow, it’s all right. And here, take some chocolate for your sisters.’

‘No. You’re OK.’

‘Don’t be daft, take it.’ Ajay put a couple of Kit Kats in the carrier bag with the milk. ‘And have a good day, yeah?’

Mikey doubted it. He hadn’t had one of those for weeks. Still, he managed a quick nod of thanks, grabbed the bag and legged it.

Outside, the rain was still going, a fine mist falling into light from the fluorescent strip above the door. He breathed in deep, trying to smell the sea, but the air smelled of fridges – something to do with the fans blowing warm from the shop behind him. He yanked up his hood and crossed the road back to the estate.

When he got back to the flat, Holly was sitting on the carpet in front of the TV, eating Cookie Crisps from the packet. Karyn had stopped crying and was kneeling behind her, quietly brushing her sister’s hair.

Mikey looked her up and down. ‘You feeling better?’

‘A bit.’

‘So, you want to tell me what happened?’

Karyn shrugged. ‘I tried to go out. I got as far as the front door.’

‘Well, that’s something.’

She rolled her eyes. ‘Crack open the champagne.’

‘It’s a start.’

‘No, Mikey, it’s the end. Holly needed milk for cereal and I couldn’t even manage that.’
‘Well, I’ve got some now, so you want a cup of tea?’

He went to the kitchen and filled the kettle. He opened the curtains, then the window. The rain was slowing down and it smelled fresh out there now. He could hear a child crying. A woman shouting. A door slammed three times. Bang. Bang. Bang.

Holly came in and dumped the cereal box on the counter. Mikey waggled the collar of her pyjama top. ‘Why aren’t you dressed for school?’

‘Because I’m not going.’

‘Yeah, you are.’

She collapsed backwards against the fridge, her head flung up towards the ceiling. ‘I can’t go to school, it’s the bail hearing!’

He frowned at her. How the hell did she know about that? ‘Listen, Holly, if you promise to go and get dressed, I’ll give you a Kit Kat.’

‘Is it two or four sticks?’


He rummaged in the carrier bag, pulled out one of the bars and dangled it at her. ‘And can you wake Mum up?’

Holly looked up, surprised. ‘Really?’

‘Yeah.’ If this wasn’t an emergency, he didn’t know what was.

Holly shook her head as if the idea was crazy, grabbed the Kit Kat and ran away up the stairs.

Mum thought the police would help Karyn, that was the trouble. After taking Karyn to the station and reporting what had happened, Mum had stepped back, probably telling herself she’d done her bit. But the police were crap. They’d asked Karyn loads of personal questions, even though she was upset. Then the cop who brought her home frowned at the mess, like she was judging the whole family. Mum thought that was normal, but Mikey had bitten his tongue in frustration, tasted blood in his mouth, the rust and the thickness of it.

Later, when the cop went, Mikey got the address out of Karyn and told Jacko to bring the car. Jacko brought the lads with him too, but when they got to the bastard’s house they were too late – Tom Parker had been arrested hours ago and forensics were already scouring the place.

For nearly two weeks Mikey had tried to swallow the anger. But how did he stop his stomach tilting every time Karyn cried? How did he watch Holly stroking Karyn’s arm, squeezing her shoulder, giving little wet taps to her face, like she was a radio that needed tuning or a TV that had gone wrong?

Mum’s solution was to hide herself away. But an eight-year-old comforting a fifteen-year-old meant the world was upside down. And something had to be done about it.
He made the tea and took it through, put it on the table in front of Karyn. She’d made a nest for herself on the sofa. She kept doing that – covering herself with cushions, blankets, jumpers.

Mikey went over and sat on the edge. ‘How you feeling now?’

With the light behind her she looked so sad.

‘He’s probably out already,’ she said. ‘Just walking about having a nice time.’

‘He won’t be allowed anywhere near you. He won’t be allowed to text you or talk to you or anything. He’ll probably be tagged, so he can’t go out after dark.’

She nodded, but she didn’t look sure. ‘There’s this girl at school,’ she said. ‘Last term she had seven boyfriends and everyone said she was a slag.’

This again. ‘You’re not a slag, Karyn.’

‘And there’s a boy in my tutor group and he had ten girlfriends. You know what they call him?’

Mikey shook his head.

‘A player.’

‘Well, they’re wrong.’

‘So what’s the word for someone like him?’

‘I don’t know.’

She sighed, lay back on the sofa and stared at the ceiling. ‘I watched this programme on TV,’ she said. ‘What happened to me happens to loads of girls. Loads and loads.’
Mikey looked at his nails. They were all ragged. Did he bite them? When did he start doing that?

‘Most girls don’t report it, because hardly any boys get done for it. Something like six in a hundred. That’s not very many, is it?’

Mikey shook his head again, bit his lip.

‘When I opened the door just now, there were some kids down in the courtyard and they all looked at me. If I go back to school, everyone will stare at me too.’ She lowered her eyes and he felt the shame wash off her in waves. ‘They’ll look at me as if I deserved it. Tom Parker invited me to his house and I went, so how can anything be his fault?’ She pushed a handful of hair from her face. ‘That doesn’t even make any sense.’

He wanted her to stop talking. He felt a rising panic that if she didn’t stop right now, she was going to go on and on for ever. Maybe she’d even talk about the night it happened. He couldn’t bear to listen to that again.

‘I’m going to get him for you,’ he said. It came out loud and sounded very certain.

‘You are?’


It was strange how words meant something when they came out of your mouth. Inside your head they were safe and silent, but once they were outside, people grabbed hold of them.

She sat up. ‘What are you going to do?’

‘I’m going to go to his house and smash his head in.’

Karyn pressed the flat of her hand against her forehead as if the thought of it gave her a headache. ‘You’ll never get away with it.’

But Mikey could tell by the sudden glow in her eyes that she wanted him to do this for her. He hadn’t done it and he should have done it. And if he did it, then she could stop hurting.

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You Against Me 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In this story, a girl by the name of Karyn (fifteen-years-old) says she was lured to Tom Parker's home and was "taken advantage of against her will." Tom Parker goes to court, and Karyn doesn't want to leave her house - simply because of the fact that society is what it is and somehow Tom is the stud and she is the harpy. But this book doesn't revolve around these two characters. The center of this tale belongs to Mikey and Ellie. Mikey is the brother of Karyn. This is a young man who takes care of his two sisters and his mother, working constantly to provide protection for his all-female family. Mikey is a good boy but extremely tired of his life, and the whole mess with Karyn has angered him beyond belief. His younger sister, Holley, is someone he wants to watch over so she's not involved in this trouble. Karyn is housebound and barely eats anymore, while his mother drinks and disappears a great deal. All he wants is to head to Tom Parker's house and make him pay. From keying Tom's fancy canary-yellow car to dreaming of beating him to death, Mikey has no idea the next steps to take. Tom Parker is a jerk. But his sister, Ellie, loves him. She is the girl who was in the house when this 'horrific moment' took place, and she is the only witness who can truly say how guilty or how innocent her brother may be. Her father is a die-hard, tough lawyer who knows he will get his son out of this mess. While her mother is basically a society woman who simply shrugs her shoulders when her friends ask about the incident, smiles, and throws a party. In fact, she throws a rather large one when Tom is released on bail. She even has caterers bring the right food so everyone can have a ball. What happens? Mikey and Ellie find themselves falling for each other in the middle of this whole mess, and romance and loyalty to one's own family meet head-to-head. The struggles, tension, and almost 'serene beauty' of watching two innocent people try to find a way to be together while staying true to their loved ones is traumatic, sad, and extraordinary. Mikey and Ellie are the center of the violent tornado as they are pitted against each other to try and deal with the harsh topic of sexual assault. This amazing writer has done it again by reaching into the YA world as deeply as she possibly can to focus on issues that are "too difficult" to even think about, not to mention see play out in the real world. Quill says: No reader will forget this story!
MarieRyan More than 1 year ago
It took me 4 hours to read this book!!! and I would re-read it :) usually the thought of reading a story I've already read isn't too appealing to me, but this book is amazing enough to be read multiple times!!
damarisc123 More than 1 year ago
You Against Me has to be one of the most touching stories I've read in a long time. It involves two families, both being torn apart by an irresponsible decision made by two immature teenagers, and two individuals who get ripped apart inside by love and doing what's right for their families. Mikey's sister says that a boy name Tom raped her. When all this comes out in the open, their lives completely take a turn for the worse. Karyn refuses to leave the house, their mother is slowly drowning herself in pain and guilt, and Mikey is killing his brain trying to figure out how to make things better for them all. He's angry and wants justice. Ellie's brother Tom says he is innocent. Ellie feels it's her job to protect her brother and believe in him. Her family is suffering because of Karyn's accusations. All she wants is for life to go back to the way it was before Karyn. It's killing her to watch her brother worrying all the time and always on edge. What they both need is a way to clear their heads. For something to distract them from everything that is going on. To feel alive and pretend for one second that their lives are completely different. They find this by being with each other knowing that any minute this can all blow over their heads. They begin sneaking around with each other and giving each comfort that they couldn't find anywhere else. Of course there are trust issues between the two, but they never once doubt how they feel for each other. Neither one of them expected to fall in love. The guilt of betraying their families was big on their heart. I was seriously at the edge of my seat with hundreds of butterflies in my stomach whenever they got together in the book. I was waiting for them to get caught, or for something crazy to happen. I felt so bad for them and their families, but I was rooting for them. They just needed to be together. Jenny Downham touches a very scary and intense subject that I believe can help victims who have or know someone who has gone through something like this. Not so much the romance part of it, but the issue of rape. Mikey and Ellie's world was so believable, that I felt like I was going through it all along with them. I don't know what I would do if I was torn between the truth and a lie. When the truth finally comes out, things just get even more extreme for Mikey and Ellie and they find themselves even more lost and confused than before. This story was just beautiful in every way. The outcome was heartbreaking, but a relief at the same time. I loved it! You Against Me is definitely for a much more mature audience. 5 out of 5 Stars!
Joceyxs More than 1 year ago
This book was just hard for me to put down. I couldn't stop reading this book. When I first read the first chapter I couldn't put the book down I wanted to continue to read what would happen next. In this book Karyn doesn't want to leave her home because she was "taken advantage"  by Tom Parker. She is afraid of what people/ society will think of her.
lovebooksMC More than 1 year ago
It's an amazing story, one that shows growth in the characters and one that invokes emotion because of the topic being discussed. Throughout the book you will experience anger, frustration, sadness, and hope. It's a story worth reading, it's a story that tells both sides and in telling both sides, by the end of the book you are able to experience all characters and go through changes with the ones who change.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book soooo much! But i wish it wold have given a lil more at the end? What happens 2 Tom? Do Mickey and Ellie stay together??????:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This type of book isn't one I would usually read but if you're like me sometimes you read books from the library too fast and the books you have on hold are not available yet you have to pick something else from the shelf. Now I was not disappointed with the story, actually it was extremely interesting and seemed so believable. Rape is a serious issue and the way the writer delves into the characters' lives leaves you a little stunned. Not the most fast paced action packed book by far however the slower motions of the book are forgiven with the appeal of the intricate lives of these teens and their families.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dontlike this book it sucks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful book. With such amazing characters, they all felt real. Innocent or guilty, I felt for all of them. Highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great powerful plot, many girls can relate to the situation. Whether its through themselves or someone they know. Bad ending, you never find out what the verdict was on the boy charged with the assault!!
yabotd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'll state up front that You Against Me by Jenny Downham is not a book for everyone. As the summary suggests, it deals with content that will be difficult and inappropriate for some readers. However, if the content is not an issue, I strongly encourage you to pick up this book. It's no secret I'm into psychology. I love thinking about how people handle difficult situations or looking at a situation from an alternative perspective. You Against Me does that. At the heart of the book is an alleged sexual assault. The readers don't know exactly what happened in the beginning of the book and neither do the main characters. What Mikey and Ellie do know is that this event has completely altered their lives and the lives of their family. Each character struggles through a different side of the situation. Did Ellie's brother assault Mikey's sister? If so, how can Ellie live with that knowledge? Her brother would never do anything like that, right? Was Mikey's sister really assaulted or make poor decisions? Either way, she's closed herself off from the world. Can he help her open herself back up? How does he make sure Ellie's brother gets what he deserves?These are the types of questions that each character explores. On top of that, the two meet each other. Their interactions together are just as confusing as the situation with their siblings. What I loved about You Against Me is the exploration of all these questions in a realistic way. When people think of sexual assault, they often only think of the two people involved. However, there's a lot more than two people effected. This story explores the family of these characters and how people respond to each other. What would you do to protect your family? I think that's one of the main questions in this book and it is explored fully for both characters. Both Mikey and Ellie have many decisions to make and they have to decide what's right, what's wrong, what's in the best interest of their sibling, and what should they be doing for themselves. You Against Me is the perfect book for readers who like introspective reads with realistic characters. There is no happily ever after in this situation, but there is moving on and making the best possible decisions with what you've got to work with. The novel reflects this. Final thoughts: Borrow or buy.
Candacemom2two on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly this was one I selected by the description only. Somehow I hadn't heard anything about it before but once I got it I realized this was one book that had some rave reviews! And once I started reading it I realized why! I absolutely loved this book! It has an interesting story line with two characters that fall in love when they should be mortal enemies. They didn't mean to fall in love, it started out as a way to figure out revenge (secretly, of course) but then something happened, they really cared about each other.Both characters grow a lot in the story. Now, I had wrote up two long paragraphs about how they evolved, but it probably doesn't really matter. It just matters that they did. They became something more. And both of their families are messed up. Mikey's mom is a drunk, Ellie's father is a jerk and neither family is completely right about anything. I really liked that in the beginning we don't really know who is right and who is wrong and what was great is we got to kind of judge for ourselves, make our own decisions. And while we do get the whole story of what happened it's not until the end. And I thought it was planned out well and very well paced.I also liked that the book was British. It took place in the UK and had lots of awesome British slang. I kind of love that. It just gave it a different vibe, ya' know? But some things I don't know. Obviously their school system is different and some of the school talk didn't make sense to me, I don't understand what they meant. But that stuff wasn't really important and didn't take anything away from the story. I am curious now though... What the heck is revisions? I loved that the story is told in third person but both perspectives. I never felt confused about who's story was happening since it was in third person but I liked seeing every side of the story. It made it mess with your head a bit more, ya know? Like you see how sweet they can be, how could they do something bad? The romance was so sweet! SO sweet! It had obstacles, obviously, but yet it seemed somehow easy. I mean there wasn't too much of the complicated feelings of not wanting to like him/her, etc. Yeah, that happened, but somehow it seemed less complicated then I would have imagined. They knew what they felt and for the most part they let it happen. Although I LOVED this book I do have a minor complaint. In the very beginning I felt like I was thrown into something that I should know more about. It was just a bit much because I had no clue what was going on. It cleared up quickly but then later in the story it was odd how things went from being so fast to kind of jumping around. I think it was saving us from tediousness, but I had a difficult time knowing how much time had passed. And while it's revealed in the chapter, it's not there when you start. So I'd start the chapter thinking it was immediately after the end of the previous chapter and really it was weeks later. Now, it's really a minor issue for me because I liked the book so much, but some won't be caring for that.This book is for the older young adult crowd. There's sex (not descriptive, but it does happen) and there's a bit of bad language. Mikey is 18 or 19, so that gives you a bit of an idea that there's some mature things.I highly recommend this book if it sounds like your thing. Although it's fairly large at over 400 pages, I read it in a day. I had a very difficult time putting it down! I'm definitely going to be checking out the authors previous book, Before I Die.
smileydq on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This well-written novel addresses the very real issue of sexual assault in high school. I believe it was an accurate representation of what it would be like for a high school girl who got drunk at a party and was taken advantage of, only to face people who either don't believe her or believe she invited the assault because of the way she chose to act and dress. One surprising element to me was that it seemed all the high school kids were on her side, and against the accused assailant; I would think it would be more split and he would have people in his camp as well. The writing here is casual and easy to read even if the subject matter is not; the author definitely invited you to be an up-close observer of the action. The novel featured well-flushed-out main characters that were distinct and had a clearly defined role in the plot. The best character by far was Ellie, the sister of the alleged assailant (Tom); her being torn between what she knows she saw and the story her brother and parents have told her to tell is very real and a bit heart-wrenching -- she's only a kid, and has to decide between telling the truth and saving her beloved older brother. I was disappointed by how the parents of the accused rapist are portrayed - never once do they ever act as though their son did anything wrong, they never ask him if he actually did it, they never seem upset - only angry at their daughter for not being willing to blindly follow the family's story. They were infuriating (presumably by design) and I found it very difficult to relate to them as characters. A good read about an intense subject - I give it 4 stars.
silenceiseverything on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVED the premise of You Against Me. It just seemed so angsty and so "Oh NO they DIDN'T", you know, start dating. But, oh, they DID! You Against Me just had the potential to have those wonderful "that just blew up in your face, didn't it?" moments. And it did. Very unique premise that hasn't ever been done before, I think. We usually get a persepective from the alleged victim when there's a book about rape. But You Against Me gives you the persepctive from the alleged victim's brother and the alleged rapist's sister. And they decide to date to get information from the enemy's lair. Now do you understand how this can blow up in every character's face? Especially when they truly start falling for each other?I liked You Against Me because we're showed the other side of the spectrum, so to speak. Everyone tends to know that rape affects the victim and her family in atrocious ways, but we sometimes overlook the impact in can have on the alleged rapist's family. Most of the time, these people believe with all their hearts that their son, brother, grandson, etc., would never do something like what they're accused of doing. Meanwhile, most of us think that they must have known and don't understand why they're still standing behind the alleged rapist. And we tend to persecute the family just because they're realted to the alleged rapist even if it does seem a bit unfair.Intriguing Premise? Check. Now, I liked most of the characters. Sure, Mikey was clueless more often than not, but he does seem to want to do the right thing. Ellie, on the other hand, I could never warm to. She just did things that I would NEVER agree with, brother or no brother. So, I just couldn't like her. Another thing that I didn't like is that we're never shown more than a few glimpses of Mikey's sister, the rape victim. I understand that You Against Me was supposed to showcase the siblings feelings, but I feel that so much of the story was based on Karyn yet we never get insight into her feelings. We get more insight into Tom's, the alleged rapist, feeligns.So, I found You Against Me to be a pretty good novel. It was intriguing and it was a page-turner. Read it in about a day while my power was out due to Hurricane Irene. It's good enough for me to want to check out Before I Die, which people seem to prefer to You Against Me.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Let me just say that I'm really enjoying books with real life issues. I love these books because its real. It's something that happens in life everyday and something you can relate to if you have gone through it. These books aren't about powers and superheros. Its about someone having the courage to stand up and do whats right.What would you do if you someone hurt your sibling? You stand up for them right. In this book, the reader see's from both families point of view of whats goes on with the accused and the victim. The bother and sister each experience the after math of the incident hurting them as well. Mikey, I admit, I dislike from the very beginning. Why? I dislike the way he approach things with Ellie. Here his sister get raped and he is just as low as Elli's brother. I did warmed up to him after his real feelings started to show. I just dislike his way of doing things.Ellie, I admire you. Her willingness to stay by her brother is touching. But what touched me more, was her strength to tell the truth. It takes a lot to stand up for your family, but it take a great deal more to stand against them when their wrong. Her courage, her strength I loved. I loved the plot and the way it flowed. There was so much to the story and each piece of it was revealed at a right time. The reader get to see all of the characters emotions and turmoil. Simply a wonderful read.
sch_94 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My Summary: Ellie and Mikey are two people who shouldn't be friends. Living on opposite ends of the socio-economic ladder, Ellie's high up family would never be caught dead with someone from Mikey's part of town. It's unlikely that the two would ever meet under normal circumstances...But then Ellie's brother is accused of raping Mikey's sister, and Ellie and Mikey's lives are thrown into turmoil. While both sides are still awaiting a trial, Ellie's brother Tom is out on bail while he awaits his hearing - because of this, Mikey's sister Karyn refuses to leave their tiny apartment. And both sides are certain that they're the victims in the situation.So Mikey hatches a plan: get little Ms. Perfect to fall for him and convince her to spill her guts about her brother, incriminating him instead of testifying that he's innocent - after all, Ellie is the only other witness to what happened on the night Karyn was over...But then Mickey starts to forget the plan - starts to forget that he's supposed to make her fall in love with him, instead of the other way around... My Thoughts: Let me just start off by saying that I absolutely adore books written by YA authors in the UK - I love the language and the glimpse into what life is like across the ocean for teens like myself. Anyway, I chose this book because I was hearing wonderful things about it from my friends who enjoy contemporary literature, and I was in the mood for a book that really hit home. So I picked it up and starting reading. After about 50 pages, I started to realize just how awesome the writing was: Jenny Downham's writing is probably the most realistic and age-appropriate I've ever read. She manages to pull you into the novel and allows the characters to subtely describe the setting for you, so you never feel overwhelmed by information. I found myself picturing Ellie's Gran's cottage, Mikey's apartment, and Dex's pub with such clarity that I couldn't believe they were fictional places. My favourite part of the book was probably the characters, because they were so realistic that you begin to feel like you know them. My heart ached for Ellie and everything she was going through, and there were times when you just wanted to slap her father for mistreating her the way he does.Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend this book to older, more mature YA reader (I'd say over 16 would be alright). There are a lot of mentions of tobacco and other mature themes, but it is definitely worth it and really helps you learn to take a walk in other people's shoes.
BooksforCompany on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For me when l started this book it was important Jenny explored the characters as much as she did in her previous book 'Before l die', even the characters which weren't in 'Before l die' much were explored and you felt like you knew them. This book is exactly the same, every character has their own personality and feelings which makes you feel like you are getting to know people as you read this book. l fell in love with Mikey who just wanted to do the best he could. Jenny's writing style is very unique and this writing style continues into 'You Against Me', some sentences are written in a very relaxed, simple way but this seem to suit the book. It's hard to explain unless you have read it yourself!The ending is left quite open l guess but l think this was actually very clever as the main storyline within this book changes as the book gets further in and l felt as a reader the end included the most important part for me.I loved how the relationships changed as the book went on and the choices which the different characters had to make. l felt it was all very 'real' and never did l feel 'That's unrealistic and wouldn't happen at all'. Jenny dealt with very intense situations in this book but because of how they were written l felt this book was suitable for younger readers such as 12/13 even though the topic which is wrote about.
CatheOlson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Mikey's sister Karyn is raped, he goes to her assaulter's home with a plan to to "smash his head in." Maybe that would help his sister get over the trauma, be able to leave the house and talk to her friends again. But when he gets to the rich college student Tom's house, he meets his sister Ellie instead--and something sparks between the two. And though Mikey starts up with her to get information he can use to get Tom prosecuted . . . is that really the reason he wants to see Ellie -- and what are Ellie's reasons for going out with Mikey?I just loved this book. Great characters, compelling situation, excellent writing. This book has it all. Great read for teens and adults.
shiirleyyyxxx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book had been on my TBR shelf for a while and wow, it was an amazing read! This book left me with conflicting emotions and on more than one occasion I was left to ponder what I would have done had I been the character. A book that leaves one with lingering thoughts is always a fantastic read!The book revolves around Ellie Parker and Mikey McKenzie whose families are both experiencing very heartbreaking ordeals. Ellie's brother Tom has been charged with sexual assult and their family must do everything possible to prove his innocence and prevent him from going to prison. Meanwhile, Mikey's sister claims that a boy has assulted her and Mikey has vowed to seek revenge for his sister's sake. Yet, what will happen when Ellie and Mikey meet?Throughout the entire novel, I could not help but ask myself :"What would I do If I was in her situation?" Would I defend my brother and save the family or would I tell the truth and watch as my family falls apart bit by bit. Those are the challenging and conflicting thoughts that will spin through your mind when you read this novel. Downham has truly captured the sense of loyalty one feels towards one's family and the mixed feelings of love and betrayal one might under such distressing circumstances. Downham has written a marvelous book showing the mind of a typical teenager and the consequences involved after a night of drinking and flirting. She has shown how the society reacts to a situation where the victim clearly liked the guy she claims to have raped her. She writes about denial, the refusal to believe the truth and how lying and making up excuses for oneself may provide answers but at the end of the day, can one really keep a secret of that extent? My only complaint is that the book could have been more intense with more underlying issues involved. But overall, Jenny Downham's second novel is a very strong and powerful read and I definitely recommend reading it!
elaine-pearson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent story, lots of layers. makes you think. Y10+
RamonaWray on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The writing didn't disappoint. Jenny Downham writes like nobody else. But You Against Me was no Before I Die. This is a book very focused on the subject matter - rape. This was about the social issue of young girls being assaulted, choosing or not to talk about it, dealing with what comes after. It was brilliant because the perspective shifted between the the families, the assaulter's and the victim's, and the story was told not from their perspective but from that of those closest to them. The story came from the people who loved them.I don't know, I want to believe that a sister would do the right thing, like Ellie did in the book, but would she really?There was a love story too, but within this frame, so nothing like Before I Die had to offer. The romantic scenes were perhaps the best in the book. Clean and desperate and written with that bare honesty that I haven't found in any other's writer style. I think Jenny Downham has an amazing talent when it comes to that.Before I Die was dark too, but it was a different shade of dark. You Against Me was cut was another cloth altogether. They're both extraordinary books but, personally, I will always prefer the first one.
kiwifortyniner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I did not realise when I started reading this book that it had been classified as a teen read in our library, but what a great read. Take two families, one well to do living in a good area with all the advantages that that brings, and then another family, the children of a solo mother with a drinking problem from a poor area- two very different families. The book begins when the son of the well to do family, Tom, is accused of raping the daughter of the other family Karyn. Karyn's brother Mikey is determined to get revenge and befriends Ellie, Tom's sister with the aim of getting back at Tom. But the story tells what happens when he actually gets to like Ellie and enjoy her company. And then Ellie tells Mikey that she believes that Tom is guilty even though in her first statement she supported him. What a dilemma for her to be in, and how hard for her to try and do the right thing when it will send her brother to jail possibly (he is pleading ot guilty) and turn her family against her. I could not help wondering what I would do if faced with that situation. This was a book I could not put down. I really enjoyed it and wondered how a situation like that would play out - what would happen after the story ended. Now I shall read her first book Before I die.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Detail the real world struggles... loyalty, responsibility and respect
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the plot and the characters.i was disappointed the ending left me hanging as to what the outcome of plot was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The name of this book is “You Against Me”. The author of the book would be Jenny Downham. Jenny Downham is a bestselling author; who has won the Brandford Boase Award in the UK. She is a trained as an actor, and before writing she worked in alternative theater. Today Jenny Downham resides in London.   Mikey McKenzie try’s to be the man of the house living with his mom and two younger sisters. He does whatever he can to try to protect them, but when his fifteen year old sister Karyn gets hurt by an older boy; Mikey takes things into his own hands. While trying to get revenge, he falls in love with the enemy’s sister Eleanor Parker while tearing two families’ apart. The point of the book is, the truth is always going to come out, and your feelings for somebody are always going to get away and miss things up.  Jenny D. the author was trying to say when writing this book, stick by those who are going to tell the truth and that are going to be there for you. So many people tell lies thinking it is going to help them, but in reality it just hurts them because the truth just eats them you up inside.  Coming from a reader who reads many romantic books this is a good book to read and like. This book gave a lot of emotions and always had more exciting “nail biting” events coming up. The book went in order of events that happened; more than two people in the book gave opinions, and it shown a bond of two people that couldn’t be broken. When things in your family between a brother and sister get hard always know there is someone always there looking out for you. Someone you could recommend this book to would be teenage girls around 16 to 18 year olds that like the feelings of wanting to know what is going to happen next, and romantic setting. The only downfall about this book at the end it leaves you with a cliffhanger. Over all this book was very enjoyable.