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You Against Me Hardcover – Jan 12 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: David Flicking Books (Jan. 12 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385613504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385613507
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 15.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,339,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
"Blood is thicker than water" doesn't apply to Mikey, when he sets out to gain Ellie's trust and make her confess her brother is lying about having consensual sex with his sister. Ellie was in the house when it happened. She knows the truth. But will falling in love with Ellie force Mickey to desist the cause and put family second?

Jenny Downham concentrates on showing her story through dialogue, making it more personal and entertaining to read. If only both Mikey and Ellie weren't so confused. Same as Romeo and Juliet's relationship was overtaken by their family's hate, Mikey and Ellie aren't given enough time to fall in love "properly" with good flirting and laughs and all the closeness we are searching for in a couple.

You against me, is a realistic story, although the situation is nightmarish to the point where it doesn't feel like a romance story at all.
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Format: Hardcover
You Against Me was the first book by Jenny Downham that I had the pleasure of reading, but it certainly won't be the last one. In fact, the minute I put it down, I went to Amazon's website and ordered her previous YA novel, Before I Die. Yes, You Against Me was that wonderful. Gorgeously written, meaningful, moving and powerful, this book made a huge impression on me. It pulled on my heart strings and left me sobbing - and I'm not exaggerating when I say that this book is a masterpiece.

The plot of this novel centres around Mikey and Ellie, two teenagers who find themselves in the middle of a very difficult and disturbing situation. Mikey's sister claims to have been sexually assaulted at a party. Ellie's brother is the boy accused of the assault, and he swears his innocence. When these two meet, and start to talk, it becomes clear that one of their siblings is lying. The question is which one? And what will happen when they finally uncover the truth? Is their developing relationship strong enough to survive?

The characters in this book are ones that you'll immediately connect with. They'll quickly grow on you and you'll feel emotionally attached to them. All their problems, inner struggles, doubts, fears, hopes and dreams - they're all real. It's virtually impossible not to be affected by this book. Jenny Downham's prose is raw, infused with heartbreaking insight and absolute veracity. It flows effortlessly, weaving a magic spell around you, pulling you into a world of love, affection, loyalty, family bonds, trust and difficult choices. The tension is overwhelming at times, and it keeps you frantically turning pages. It's one of the most readable books I've read this year, totally captivating and addictive.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was crazy good. Kind of reminded me of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles but with a whole new twist. I loved the characters and fell absolutely head over heals with Mikey. So my favorite book boyfriend. What do they call it now a days? Team Mikey. Ok, I'm with HIS group but I'm not good with sharing. Anyhow, I read this book so quickly because it was soooo GOOD. I think I'll read it again but slowly. Thanks Jenny. Also I am now looking forward to her first book Before I Die. Happy Reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 72 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Good, but I expected more from it Aug. 21 2011
By YA book lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
"You Against Me" was one of my most anticipated books of 2011. So much so that I was 100% sure I would give it 5 stars. Jenny Downham's debut "Before I Die" left me a sobbing mess (I am in a minority here thought, most of my co-readers did not join the cryfest). I expected the same from her second novel. "You Against Me" was good, just not as good as it could have been.

Let me just say, the plot itself is fantastic. The two main characters in this love story - Mikey and Ellie - have a very complicated relationship. Mikey's 15-year old sister is a rape victim. Her alleged abuser is Ellie's older brother. Mikey is a protective brother and is determined to punish the rapist. Ellie loves her own brother and wants to believe in his innocent. The two teens first come together to get information out of each other, to help their families, but soon their loyalties and beliefs start shifting.

"You Against Me" portrays the issue of rape with care and sensitivity, in all its complexity. Downham shows that the families of both the victim and her assailant are affected by the crime as much as its participants. She writes about the denial and blind belief of the rapist's family and the exhaustion and even some blaming in the family of the victim. She shows how easy it is to discredit a rape victim by labeling her a slut - a short skirt, some drinking and any kind of dating history is all it takes. How hard it is to prove that she didn't "ask for it" in a drunken stupor. And that a victim's ordeal doesn't end with a filing of a police report.

As much as I appreciated all this in the novel, I wish it were more intense, tighter. It needed not to be so quiet, so subdued, it needed more outrage, more drama. It needed to push more boundaries. It needed to shear off 50 or so pages in the middle. It needed to make me care about the romance and characters more.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Disturbing, thought provoking but ultimately uplifting... Sept. 13 2011
By Karen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
You Against Me is a story told with so many layers that I really struggled to write this review.

First and foremost it is the story of two families torn apart by an accusation of date rape. Ellie's older brother Tom is accused of raping Mikey's sister Karyn. Of course your first instinct is to close ranks and protect your sibling from the accusation or from Mikey's side, seek revenge for his sister.

Told in the alternating POV's of Mikey who has to ask himself; how far will he go to seek revenge? Will he use an innocent person to achieve his goals? and Ellie who has to come to terms with the fact that her brother may be guilty and she may be the key to helping Karyn. The choices they make will have ripple effects that have the potential to destroy their families and their own futures.

As if that isn't heartbreaking enough, Mikey & Ellie fall in love. This is what I mean by layers. Not only is You Against Me about the impossible choices they must make, it's also about a boy & girl and their struggle to be together. Not just with the rape hanging over their heads either. They come from very different socio-economic backgrounds. Mikey is the glue holding his very poor and dysfunctional family together. His mom is an alcoholic, his sister is barely functional after the rape and he is trying to make his youngest sister's life as normal as possible. All while holding down a job and keeping the social workers from ripping his family apart. His dreams don't really matter anymore. Ellie is from a wealthy, yet controlling family where appearances are everything. She is often left in the shadow of her brother and ignored by her demanding father.

In Mikey, Ellie finds someone who cares about how she feels and appreciates her on her own merits. Mikey finds a girl who he can be himself with. He starts to appreciate the quiet moments and believe in the future.

I may be reading too much into this novel but I thought Downham was trying to express different views about sexuality, relationships and consent. The Tom/Karyn dynamic takes on the issue of what constitutes consent. Downham keeps the facts vague right until the end so you really have to look at the whole picture and not make snap judgements.

I found Mikey's growth to be the most fascinating aspect of the book. Mikey is by no means a rapist but he doesn't have much respect for women either. Two weeks is a long term relationship in his eyes and he doesn't always even get the girls clothes off before he's having sex. After his sister is raped he starts to view sex & women through this new prism. His relationship and feelings towards Ellie are so touching and beautiful. I see Ellie as controlled, or at the very least submissive and second to the men in her life. Her relationship with Mikey, although a little Edward/Bella "I'm so in love with you/I can't live without you" to me, allows her to see her self worth and gives her the strength to start standing up for herself.

Almost every character in this book has to face some sort of demon and choose between self preservation or self sacrifice.

The ending is a very good one but without everything tied up in a neat little bow which was fitting. There are a few lose threads but I think it will still leave you happy.

This is a surprisingly complex story. No one is cookie cutter perfect and even Tom, the accused rapist, isn't written as one dimensional. It's a story of impossible choices, family loyalty and forbidden love. You Against Me made me squirm, made me think and made me smile.

Bonus: You Against Me takes place in the UK. I didn't always understand what everyone was saying... Had to ask my friend across the pond a few questions lol but the setting really worked for this story.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Very compelling and original Sept. 15 2011
By Cathe Fein Olson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Surprise! Sept. 12 2011
By Yolanda S. Bean - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I must say that I did not expect to enjoy this book nearly as much as I did! Its premise was particularly dark for a teen romance, and while on the surface it was rather unbelievable, Downham completely made it work. The characters came across as not only fully-fleshed out, but utterly real. The P.O.V. as it shifted from male to female perspective was flawlessly done! The story was completely engrossing and honestly, when I came to the last page, I was hoping for more to their story. There was more story there (in fact some may be disappointed that the ending doesn't go further), but at the same time I was utterly satisfied with the ending.
It is a YA book, and the major issue (sexual assault) is not a light subject, so it is definitely targeted to a more mature teen audience. There was some foul language, too, but since the book is set in the UK, American audiences wouldn't be very shocked by the language. The drug use, drinking and sex do target this more to older teens, but none of it is glamorized or graphically described. If it was a movie, it would be rated PG-13, I think.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Gorgeously heartbreaking June 27 2012
By Evie Seo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
You Against Me was the first book by Jenny Downham that I had the pleasure of reading, but it certainly won't be the last one. In fact, the minute I put it down, I went to Amazon's website and ordered her previous YA novel, Before I Die. Yes, You Against Me was that wonderful. Gorgeously written, meaningful, moving and powerful, this book made a huge impression on me. It pulled on my heart strings and left me sobbing - and I'm not exaggerating when I say that this book is a masterpiece.

The plot of this novel centres around Mikey and Ellie, two teenagers who find themselves in the middle of a very difficult and disturbing situation. Mikey's sister claims to have been sexually assaulted at a party. Ellie's brother is the boy accused of the assault, and he swears his innocence. When these two meet, and start to talk, it becomes clear that one of their siblings is lying. The question is which one? And what will happen when they finally uncover the truth? Is their developing relationship strong enough to survive?

The characters in this book are ones that you'll immediately connect with. They'll quickly grow on you and you'll feel emotionally attached to them. All their problems, inner struggles, doubts, fears, hopes and dreams - they're all real. It's virtually impossible not to be affected by this book. Jenny Downham's prose is raw, infused with heartbreaking insight and absolute veracity. It flows effortlessly, weaving a magic spell around you, pulling you into a world of love, affection, loyalty, family bonds, trust and difficult choices. The tension is overwhelming at times, and it keeps you frantically turning pages. It's one of the most readable books I've read this year, totally captivating and addictive.

What I found extremely unique about this book is that it does not focus on the victim and the accused - Karyn and Tom - but rather follows the stories of their siblings, offering a very interesting perspective on things, showing just how strong family bonds can be, and how deeply they affect our own decisions and the way we see things. To me, it was fascinating.

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. You're missing out!

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