Monday, May 7, 2012

You Against Me Book 9

Jenny Downham's You Against Me is an interesting love story as well as just an interesting story.

Mikey's sister was raped by Elley's brother. All Mikey wants to do is bash the guy's head in, because he's a rich kid and is probably going to walk. Elley was the only person in the house when it happened. She knows something was off about that night, but she wants desperately to believe her brother's innocence. Their lives intertwine when Mikey goes on a revenge mission and finds Elley at home but not her brother.

There were times when it could have had more romance for me, but that probably would have been hard given the situation. Elley learns who Mikey is fairly quickly and he knows that she knows. They both feel they shouldn't be seeing each other given the situation with their families, but they both want to see each other. I think that's played well. One of the things I liked most about this book was the character growth. Elley allows herself to explore the truth and see her brother for who he really is, which isn't the hero of a big brother she thought he was. And she grows enough to be able to stand up against her whole family and tell the truth. Mikey realizes that he can't solve everything with his fist and that his desire to seek revenge for his sister was more about himself. He didn't want to feel helpless, and he thought he could be the hero.

The British English was hard to get past for this American girl. The hardest part was the British slang which I have no familiarity with, although my husband who speaks Indian English (closer to British English than American English) immediately understood the slang. The other thing I didn't like was the loads of detail. Don't get me wrong, I love detail. It brings characters to life and makes worlds real, but lots of things the author described I found unnecessary, like Mikey sitting on the pot. I don't need to know!

All in all I give this book a 3 star rating.


  1. Your review made me laugh. Keep up the feisty humor! This novel sounds good-quite the dilemma, and I'm sure the clash of social groups is a compelling element.

  2. Good review! I was interested by your comments about the British English in the story as we always have to translate the American English in novels as it never gets changed for us.
    I am intrigued by your comment about detail. It sounds as though it was just filling rather than important to the plot. I love description, but hate it when it just rambles on for no good reason. I am intrigued now by this book.

    1. Madeleine are American novels popular in the UK?

      Also, I'm interested in your comments about the extraneous details. I read that British novels tend to have more details than American novels, and I wondered if I was being unfair because I didn't understand the original market. But it sounds like I was right.

  3. Ugh I know what you mean. I HATE too much information moments.

    I don't struggle with British English, luckily, since I live in a country that used to be a colony. :-)

  4. Or rather.... a colony much more recently than the US. ;-)