Sunday, February 5, 2012

Review: You Against Me by Jenny Downham

Title: You Against Me
Author: Jenny Downham
Published/Publisher: 2010 by David Ficling
Read Synopsis: Goodreads

Rating: 3.75 of 5 stars


Actually, I really don't know what to say. *sigh* This was a compelling and powerful read but after I finished the book, for some unknown reason I don't know what to feel. Actually, I still haven't figured out my overall and final say about this book but I'll give you my initial thoughts while I was reading it.

You Against Me was a novel that discussed a delicate and tricky issue. I may have steered clear of this book after seeing the blurb since it sounds a little dramatic and complicated. But as I read it, it wasn't really at all like that and I did like the plot and characters. The book tells the story of Mikey, brother of the accuser of being raped and Ellie sister of the accused. And as you may have guessed, yes, they fell in love with each other. 

The story was told in multiple POVs, both of Ellie and Mikey but in a third person. I liked both characters but between the two I find it easier to read and connect with Mickey. I understand that he was always really trying to help his sister and her family but made it in a lot of wrong ways. And I was glad that by the end of the book he completely realized it. I loved it that between him and Ellie he was the one thinking more positive that their relationship has a chance and that he was the one fighting more. Ellie, on the other hand seems to be a little unpredictable. Though it was pretty understandable since she's torn between the choices of protecting her brother or telling the truth. In the end though, she was able to pick the right choice and stick to it. The romance between the two was moving and I adored it though I wished it have been discussed more deeper.

I really admire Jenny Downham for being able to discuss the issues of rape well, especially how she confer the effects of it for the families of both sides. As I was reading this I find myself a little torn between the two families. I saw the struggles of each family to protect their loved ones. I actually felt pity over Ellie's family since I saw how desperate they were trying to keep their family together and for some reasons I admired Ellie's relationship with his brother. I know Tom's guilty but I saw that he was having regrets over it and despite Ellie's choice of telling the truth he cared for her more. I was actually really touched by it.

I had a lot of understanding about the issue after reading this. However there were really a lot of loose ends, I even thought maybe there is a sequel. Maybe that's why I still can't think of my final thought of this book.

Alright, this is really a messy review! Maybe I'll update this soon once I finally gathered my final thoughts.


  1. Great review, it wasn't messy at all - just really honest and fantastic!

    Jessica from Booked Up!


  2. You Against Me is a serious and very meaningful book. The love story featured here is no fluffy, colourful romance. You won't see any bubbles nor butterflies. You'll see a lot of guilt, tears, doubts and internalized battles. Tackling difficult subjects such as rape and its aftermath, loyalty, lies and deception, this is a heavy and disturbing novel, but also one that makes us wonder what would we do in a similar situation. Would we do anything it takes to protect our loved ones? If they get hurt, would we go out there searching for revenge? How far would we go to punish those who hurt someone we love and care about? You Against Me is a thought-provoking read, and one executed with utter brilliance and skill. If you haven't read it yet, please get yourself a copy and read it as soon as possible.


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