Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

You Against Me - Jenny Downham

Mikey is eighteen and working at a local pub, whilst trying to look after his two younger sisters and his Mum, and hanging out with his mates or girls. He has aspirations to move to London one day and become a chef but is weighed down by whats happening around him, and by lack of money. His mother struggles and has good days and bad days and drinks, and Mikey is looking after his youngest sister Holly and trying to make sure she gets to school and has some happiness and routine in her life. His other sister Karyn is scared to leave their flat after claiming to have been sexually assaulted by a boy she met and went home with one night, Tom Parker. This occurrence is the main topic running through the novel, and the thread that links Mikey to the other main character Ellie, who is Tom’s younger sister.

Ellie comes from a well-to-do family and has a key part to play in the story, as she was also at home on the night of the alleged assault, when Karyn and Tom and friends came back to their house whilst their parents were away. Mikey and Ellie end up meeting, at first accidently, and pursuing a tangled relationship, with both of them experiencing the first real deep attraction for someone else in their lives, but this being overshadowed and all mixed-up with the impending court case between Karyn and Tom. Ellie’s parents are adamant that Tom is not guilty and must not go to prison, but what does Ellie know and has she told the whole truth about what she saw and what she remembers about that evening? The love and happiness and attraction between lovely Mikey and Ellie is threatened to breaking point by the demands placed on them by everyone around them, the desire for revenge and the pressures to live up to parental expectations.

This is a gripping, compelling story for a young adult read, equally enjoyed by this adult! Terrific storytelling and character development, with two convincing lead characters in Mikey and Ellie, I couldn’t wait to finish this novel and see how it would end. I will definitely watch out for this author in future. 



  1. Now I want to know how it ends. One more for the TBR list. Great review.

  2. Thanks Dana that's kind of you. It really is a good read, easy to read but a gripping story.

  3. i want to read this sound so good:)

  4. I just got a copy recently but haven't touched the book yet. After reading so many great reviews, I'm afraid my expectations may not be met. I do plan on reading it soon, though:)

    Sarah Bibi Setar


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