Friday, January 27, 2012
You Against Me, by Jenny Downham
Release date: September 13th 2011
Published by: David Fickling Books
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge.
If your brother's accused of a terrible 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 a brave and unflinching novel from the bestselling author of Before I Die. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all, it's a book about love.
Jenny Downham is brave, I have to admit that. The plot of You Against Me is so full of tension and hurt that's impossible not to be drawn by it when you start reading it. To talk about rape in your book requires sensibility and a big amount of realism, otherwise the whole thing will just sound fake. In that point, the author made an excellent work. It's obvious since the begginning how both families are suffering from what happened.
But the mystery of it all is, what happened? Mikey's sister seemed broken, fragile, and Ellie's brother was resentful and appeared to be innocent. So who's telling the truth, and who's lying? That's the core of this book. In this family drama, Ellie and Mikey met, and a relationship started to develop, despise the circumstances. I find a complicated love story very interesting, both characters struggling to be together against all the difficulties.
My problem with You Against Me, however, is not the romance. Both Ellie and Will were fantastic characters,and their relationship was adorable since the first time they met. The world "love" is not thrown around them like most YA love stories, and to say that pleased me is an understatement. They liked each other a lot, and that's it. Some might think that's not enough, but it was, and it fit the situation perfectly.
What really bothered me, though, is how everything is so rushly tied up at the end. A lot of answers are provided all of a sudden, and that just seemed convenient. To top it all off, we get to know what happened and who's guilty, and that's it, the book ends. Seriously, I wanted more. The author built all this tension up as the story went on, and at the end, she just cut it short, wrote a cliffhanger (kind of) and finished her book. I was left in the dark even with all those answers.
You Against Me would've been perfect, but the ending just blew it for me. If there was a sequel, I'd definitely read it, because there are so many loose ends that another book would be great. However, in general, this was a good story. If you want some tension and family issues with a bit of romance in it all, this is the right choice.