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You Against Me by Jenny Downham
David Fickling Books, September 13, 2011 (first published 2010)
Read for A-Z Reading Challenge
***This review contains spoliers!***Summary from Goodreads:
If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother's been accused of a terrible crime and you're the main witness, then you banish all doubt and defend him. Isn't that what families do? When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the crime, but says he didn't do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in at a new school begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and unflinching, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love - for one's family and for another.I'm not sure why, but this book has been on my radar forever, and I've been waiting to read it forever. Something about the plot line drew me in--this isn't the story of the girl who claims she was raped, nor is it the story about the boy who claims he had consensual sex with the girl who claimed rape. This is the story about the girl's brother and the boy's sister, and the relationship that develops between the two. It sounded so intriguing to me.
Unfortunately, it didn't live up to the hype. It took me forever to get through this novel, and by the end, I could not see why Mikey was so obsessed with Ellie. I get the she was conflicted, but jeez, ****SPOILER ALERT****
she freaking withheld and deleted evidence--knowingly. And that's supposed to be OK, because she wanted her brother to be innocent? Well, hell, I want to be a millionaire, but that won't hold up in court after I attempt to rob a bank!
I get it that she's in an uncomfortable spot, and seriously, her parents are complete tools. Mom comes around somewhat, but her dad clearly plays the "favorite child" game, and Ellie is not the winner. And really, the only people who think her brother, Tom, is such a hero are Ellie and her parents. Pretty much everyone else, Tom included, can see what a loser he is.
I wasn't that impressed with Mikey, either. I tell you, a relationship that starts out based on lies is pretty much doomed to fail. All we learned about Mikey was how much his life was changed as a result of his sister being raped. I get that he might question if she was, in fact, raped, but he doesn't really show her any kind of sympathy or support. A total louse. I'm so sorry that I didn't like this book, I really wanted to, especially because I enjoyed Jenny Downham's debut, Before I Die, so much.
Borrowed book from the library.
Enjoy your reading!