Monday, 4 July 2011

You Against Me - Jenny Downham (2010)

I bought this because I won a gift voucher and I thought it looked like a good read. It was put on display at the store and after reading the blurb its purchase was an easy decision. Jenny Downham previously wrote another novel - Before I Die - which received considerable acclaim. After reading You Against Me I'm going to be on the lookout for a copy of Before I Die.

I really like this book. It presents a choice that anyone would struggle with, and makes the reader question what they would do in the same situation. 

The two main characters are Ellie, a girl whose brother is charged with rape and Mikey, a boy whose sister claims she was raped. Ellie was the only other person around when her brother Tom allegedly rapes Mikey's sister Karyn. Mikey and Karyn live in a housing estate and their mother is an alcoholic whereas Ellie and Tom are quite well-off. Ellie is plagued  with guilt as she tells the police she was asleep that night, when actually she has a very good idea of what occurred. Mikey wants revenge on the boy who has left his sister unable to leave the house. At Tom's bail party, Mikey and his friends gatecrash with the plan to gather information about Tom to get to him. The problem is, Mikey mets and likes Ellie and messes up the plan. Mikey and Ellie begin a relationship, but then Ellie finds out who he really is. She is under a lot of pressure from her parents to make sure that Tom gets off. Then she confesses to Mikey that she thinks Tom did rape Ellie and changes her statement but in doing so is alienated from her father and betrays her brother. This brings a lot of closure for Karyn and peace for Mikey and Ellie. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so cut you didnt mention me buying it for you, then returning it. Also, Lend it to me?