Book Review: You Against Me (Jenny Downham)


Publisher: Electric Monkey
Pages: 413
Release Date: December 2nd 2010
Summary (From Goodreads):

If someone hurts your sister and you’re any kind of man, you seek revenge, right?

If your brother’s accused of a terrible crime but says he didn’t do it, you defend him, don’t you?
When Mikey’s sister claims a boy assaulted 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.


I picked up this book in hardcover at Waterstones for £1, which is crazy as it’s such a good book!

It’s a really interesting concept and one I struggled to pick a side on at first. It really is impossible. 

We start off with Mikey and his family, where we see the effect the assault is having on all of them. My sympathies immediately went out to Karen and her family and I didn’t think that could change.

Switch sides to Ellie as her brother comes out on bail. Once on her side, I couldn’t bring myself to believe Tom was guilty. Ellie couldn’t match that crime to her brother – the one who saved her from a vicious dog and took and interest in her and her friends – and neither could I. I did feel less invested in the rest of her family though. Her father was distant and throughout the book seemed much more interested in his son than his daughter. I also felt awkward at the idea of them having a party for Tom’s bail: I understood them showing they had nothing to be ashamed of but it still felt insensitive.

I didn’t see how Ellie and Mikey’s relationship could ever really develop: it was very much a case of Romeo & Juliet, a situation with impossible opposition from the two families. But I liked how they ended up drawn to each other, despite everything.

I don’t want to say too much else because it’s hard without giving away the plot. So I’ll just end by wrapping up and saying that this is a tense, emotional read that works beautifully told from two opposing perspectives. Give it a read!

My Verdict:

Ahaha I love this book, you should totally read it!

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