Review: You Against Me by Jenny Downham

you against me

You Against Me by Jenny Downham

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Publish Date: December 2nd 2010

Publisher: David Fickling

Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance

Source: Bought it!

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

Book Description:

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.


I bought this from a charity shop, (in the children’s section. It annoys me so much! People, it’s YA. Or Teenager, or whatever! But I did get it slightly cheaper in the children’s section, so…yay…?).

I’m SO glad that I picked this up! I’d, quite frankly, had enough of typical YA romances so this was perfect for me. There are real problems in this novel that the characters have to go through. Not stupid problems like; “Does this nail polish go with my underwear?” kind of thing.

I would liken You Against Me, to a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. And I know that may be a turn-off for some people, but I don’t think it should be! I think that because it’s about forbidden love, people assume it’s going to be cliché and cheesy. It’s NOT! It really isn’t!

It kind of reminds me of Noughts and Crosses too. Because it’s two people from VERY different families who find something within each other that makes them want to break the rules!

Mickey’s sister, Karyn, claims to have been raped by Tom, Ellie’s brother. Mickey wants to go and beat him up, but instead meets his sister Ellie. He plans to get close to her and use her against her brother, but instead starts to fall in love with her. Ellie has no idea who he is, until someone let’s it slip out. She distrusts him, but knows that she is in love too.

There is an instant connection between Ellie and Mickey. It’s not insta-love as such, but it’s only after meeting up a few times that they realise what’s going on between the two of them.

Sexual abuse is a tricky subject to write about, but I think Downham handled it brilliantly. There weren’t any explicit scenes, only when a witness was being questioned and that was kinda vague. I mean, I think we all get the idea, right?

You Against Me makes you question the trust you have in your family and believe in impossible love.

I just wish that it had ended. The story stops before you know the outcome of the trial. Does Tom get free? Is Karyn branded a liar?

I like to think that Tom pleaded guilty and sorted his own mess out.

Overall, I loved it and will be adding it to my physical bookshelf! I would recommend it if you enjoyed Before I Die, and if you like Romeo and Juliette and possibly if Noughts and Crosses is your kinda book. Even if you don’t like that mixture, what’s wrong in taking it out from your library and giving it a read?

About Author:


Goodreads | Shelfari | Random House

Jenny Downham (born 1964) is a British novelist and an ex-actor. In her first book, Before I Die, the fictional account of the last few months of a sixteen-year-old girl who has been dying of leukemia for 4 years. The book is told in the first person. The book was acclaimed and was short-listed for the 2007 Guardian Award and the 2008 Lancashire Children’s Book of the Year, nominated for the 2008 Carnegie Medal and the 2008 Booktrust Teenage Prize, and won the 2008 Branford Boase Award.


2 thoughts on “Review: You Against Me by Jenny Downham

  1. This sounds like a really interesting book! The cover is really cool with that splotch of yellow on it! I think that my library has this book…. I might just have to go check it out! Great review!!

Thanks for commenting! It means a lot :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s