05 September 2011

Review: You Against Me

You Against Me by Jenny Downham is a young adult novel that was previously printed in the UK and is being released (finally!) in the US next week.

The story goes like this: When Mikey's sister claims a boy assulted 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.

No credit can go to me, that amazing synopsis is straight from the back of the book and is what made me pick it up. Hopefully, it makes you do the same.

You Against Me is an emotional and very raw novel. I had to put it down and stop reading it at one point because it was becoming too much for me (I re-read Howl's Moving Castle before picking it up again). If you're looking for a happy romantic story (like Howl's Moving Castle!), then this isn't for you. If you're looking for a book that deals with tragedy, family, and love in a real-life way, then pick this up.

Mikey and Ellie are a part of two families who are experiencing different sides of one crime and I love that Downham chose to tell the story from the point of view of the siblings. She wrote a book about family loyalties and how they can change in stressful situations, e.g. when Mikey and Ellie begin to feel an attraction for each other. I loved the two main characters and found their reactions to the environment around them to be true. Ultimately, this is a book about love, but not just romantic love. It is also about the love that one feels for, and receives from, family and friends. You Against Me is in-depth, real storytelling at its best.

It can be a difficult novel to get through, if you're overly sensitive like me, but it's worth it and I'm so glad I was able to finish it. If, while reading, you begin to become too emotional, just remember that the wizard Howl and Sophie can be there to help you get through it.

P.S. A spanner is English for a wrench. You're welcome.

P.P.S. Now you have to read the book to understand the P.S.

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