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You Against Me by Jenny Downham

4.5 stars JennyDownhamYouAgainstMe


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.

This is a brave and unflinching novel from the bestselling author of Before I Die. It’s a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it’s a book about love.


My thoughts

This is a book about love alright. Yet you can wonder how? Love comes in many forms; the love between lovers, the love between siblings, the love between a parent and her or his child. This was definitely something different. The refreshing concept certainly was one of the things that drew me in and caught my attention.

We dive into the unfolding lives of Mikey and Ellie, both of their siblings connected by one fateful night. There’s one victim and one assaulter, yet there are two stories. Mikey and Ellie stand by their sister’s and brother’s innocence, but what happens then the two of them meet? Who’s sibling is the one to blame and what truly happened that night?

This is a beautiful, sad story about love, loyalty, courage and family. Mikey sees how the assault affected his sister and he won’t just stand by and watch. Ellie believes her brother when he says he didn’t do it. These two young people are both good at heart, yet their decisions might only make things worse.

What made me sad is how all they really wanted to do was help, but it kept blowing up in their faces. They tried so hard, but it was like something was always working against them. Except when, well… you’re gonna have to see that for yourself. 😉

In the beginning I wasn’t sure how to place Ellie, but she’s so brave. I love her witty, down-to-earth comments and her attitude. There were many times I was thinking, ‘you go, girl!’

And Mikey, Mikey just wanted to make things right. He’s considerate and sweet inside, but often misunderstood. He took responsibility when it was needed, and he stayed strong when everything was falling apart.

I admire these two so much. They’re stronger and braver than they realize themselves. I got their feelings on many accounts. And to find out the truth about that night? Well, you’ll have to read that for yourself. 😉


****************WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD ****************



Okay, there’s one thing I really didn’t like about this book, but I have to say it.

An open end?

Like seriously?

Okay, maybe it wasn’t the most open, open end ever, but it was definitely more than half open and that’s way to open for me. I get that it’s not about the outcome of the court case. This is Mikey’s and Ellie’s story, not their siblings, but I would have really liked to know if Mikey had been accepted to that school and how he and Ellie fixed things together. Just one tiny-piny epilogue of a few months later is all I’m asking for. I want happiness for these two, because they deserve it. And they make each other happy.


* I used the cover from Goodreads.