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You Against Me Hardcover


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You Against Me + Before I Die
Price for both: $23.00

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385751605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385751605
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #592,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, July 18, 2011:
"Well-drawn characters allow readers to sympathize with nearly everyone...With no tidy solutions, it's an unflinching portrayal of love under pressure."

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2011:
"A tender, complex character study...Crisp, revealing dialogue, measured pacing and candid, unaffected prose round out this illuminating novel in which any reader can find someone to root for or relate to. Unforgettable."

New York Times Book Review, August 21, 2011:
"As the story builds to its tumultuous conclusion, Mikey and Ellie have to make the inevitable choice between new love and old allegiances...The hard question at the heart of this book — what would you do? — doesn’t have a single answer. For her young readers, Downham frames it remarkably well.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal, November 1, 2011:
"Downham brilliantly captures the struggle of these two star-crossed lovers as they navigate the stormy waters of family loyalty, social workers and legal systems, job and school. With touching honesty, she brings her characters to life in this poignant story of love and choice. Mesmerizing."


About the Author

JENNY DOWNHAM was an actress for many years before concentrating on her writing full-time. She lives in London with her two sons.

More About the Author

Jenny Downham (born 1964) was an actress for many years before concentrating on her writing full-time. She lives in London with her two sons.

Her book Before I Die was critically 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.


Photography (c) Rolf Marriott, 2007

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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The love story featured here is no fluffy, colourful romance.
Evie Seo (Bookish blog)
Maybe Downham wanted to keep it from being a little too blatant, but in a case like this I think being blunt and blatant is a good thing to be.
Merle
This was a very well-written story, great characters, intense subject matter.
K. Kraus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By YA book lover on August 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"You Against Me" was one of my most anticipated books of 2011. So much so that I was 100% sure I would give it 5 stars. Jenny Downham's debut "Before I Die" left me a sobbing mess (I am in a minority here thought, most of my co-readers did not join the cryfest). I expected the same from her second novel. "You Against Me" was good, just not as good as it could have been.

Let me just say, the plot itself is fantastic. The two main characters in this love story - Mikey and Ellie - have a very complicated relationship. Mikey's 15-year old sister is a rape victim. Her alleged abuser is Ellie's older brother. Mikey is a protective brother and is determined to punish the rapist. Ellie loves her own brother and wants to believe in his innocent. The two teens first come together to get information out of each other, to help their families, but soon their loyalties and beliefs start shifting.

"You Against Me" portrays the issue of rape with care and sensitivity, in all its complexity. Downham shows that the families of both the victim and her assailant are affected by the crime as much as its participants. She writes about the denial and blind belief of the rapist's family and the exhaustion and even some blaming in the family of the victim. She shows how easy it is to discredit a rape victim by labeling her a slut - a short skirt, some drinking and any kind of dating history is all it takes. How hard it is to prove that she didn't "ask for it" in a drunken stupor. And that a victim's ordeal doesn't end with a filing of a police report.

As much as I appreciated all this in the novel, I wish it were more intense, tighter. It needed not to be so quiet, so subdued, it needed more outrage, more drama. It needed to push more boundaries. It needed to shear off 50 or so pages in the middle. It needed to make me care about the romance and characters more.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Karen VINE VOICE on September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
You Against Me is a story told with so many layers that I really struggled to write this review.

First and foremost it is the story of two families torn apart by an accusation of date rape. Ellie's older brother Tom is accused of raping Mikey's sister Karyn. Of course your first instinct is to close ranks and protect your sibling from the accusation or from Mikey's side, seek revenge for his sister.

Told in the alternating POV's of Mikey who has to ask himself; how far will he go to seek revenge? Will he use an innocent person to achieve his goals? and Ellie who has to come to terms with the fact that her brother may be guilty and she may be the key to helping Karyn. The choices they make will have ripple effects that have the potential to destroy their families and their own futures.

As if that isn't heartbreaking enough, Mikey & Ellie fall in love. This is what I mean by layers. Not only is You Against Me about the impossible choices they must make, it's also about a boy & girl and their struggle to be together. Not just with the rape hanging over their heads either. They come from very different socio-economic backgrounds. Mikey is the glue holding his very poor and dysfunctional family together. His mom is an alcoholic, his sister is barely functional after the rape and he is trying to make his youngest sister's life as normal as possible. All while holding down a job and keeping the social workers from ripping his family apart. His dreams don't really matter anymore. Ellie is from a wealthy, yet controlling family where appearances are everything. She is often left in the shadow of her brother and ignored by her demanding father.

In Mikey, Ellie finds someone who cares about how she feels and appreciates her on her own merits.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cathe Fein Olson VINE VOICE on September 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When Mikey's sister Karyn is raped, he goes to her assaulter's home with a plan to to "smash his head in." Maybe that would help his sister get over the trauma, be able to leave the house and talk to her friends again. But when he gets to the rich college student Tom's house, he meets his sister Ellie instead--and something sparks between the two. And though Mikey starts up with her to get information he can use to get Tom prosecuted . . . is that really the reason he wants to see Ellie -- and what are Ellie's reasons for going out with Mikey?

I just loved this book. Great characters, compelling situation, excellent writing. This book has it all. Great read for teens and adults.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Yolanda S. Bean VINE VOICE on September 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I must say that I did not expect to enjoy this book nearly as much as I did! Its premise was particularly dark for a teen romance, and while on the surface it was rather unbelievable, Downham completely made it work. The characters came across as not only fully-fleshed out, but utterly real. The P.O.V. as it shifted from male to female perspective was flawlessly done! The story was completely engrossing and honestly, when I came to the last page, I was hoping for more to their story. There was more story there (in fact some may be disappointed that the ending doesn't go further), but at the same time I was utterly satisfied with the ending.
It is a YA book, and the major issue (sexual assault) is not a light subject, so it is definitely targeted to a more mature teen audience. There was some foul language, too, but since the book is set in the UK, American audiences wouldn't be very shocked by the language. The drug use, drinking and sex do target this more to older teens, but none of it is glamorized or graphically described. If it was a movie, it would be rated PG-13, I think.
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