Warning: this book/review contains reference to rape, sexual assault and assault that some may find distressing.
Title: You Against Me
Author: Jenny Downham
Published by: David Fickling Books
Publication date: 2nd December 2010
Pages: 413, hardcover
Genres: Young Adult
‘If someone hurts your sister and you’re any kind of man, you seek revenge, right?
If your brother’s accused of a terrible crime but says he didn’t do it, you defend him, don’t you?’
When Mikey’s sister claims a boy assaulted her, his world begins to fall apart.
When Ellie’s brother is charged with the offence, 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.
I’m standing in Waterstones, eyeing up the beautiful rows of teen fiction novels (I’m sure you can all relate). And yes (regrettably) I am the kind of person who will pick up a book if it has a nice cover. So I see a book that has the black-and-red-and-hearts aesthetic going on, think oh that’s cute, and pick it up. Then, I see that it was written by Jenny Downham, author of Before I Die, and that’s another tick in the box for me, because I really enjoyed that book when I read it a few years ago. Reading the blurb, I deliberated about buying it: it looked like a story that had some underlying important themes, but was mainly a cute romance. Staring down into my pityingly empty purse (cleaned out by other trips to Waterstones), I made my decision.
On my way home, with a copy of You Against Me tucked away in my bag, I thought to myself: I’m looking forward to reading this – it looks like a cute, relatively relaxing read.
I was wrong.
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