Wednesday, June 27, 2012

You Against Me by Jenny Downham (Review + Giveaway)

Genre:Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Publication.Date  September 13th 2011
Published By:  Doubleday Canada | 
WebsiteJenny Downham 

You Against Me - Goodreads
My review copy:Finished copy received from Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review
Where to get:

If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge.
If your brother's accused of a terrible crime but says he didn't do it, you defend him.

When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her, his world begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the offense, her world begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide.

This is a brave and unflinching novel from the bestselling author ofBefore I Die. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all, it's a book about love. (Goodreads)

“It was strange how words meant something when they came out of your mouth. Inside your head they were safe and silent, but once they were outside, people grabbed hold of them.”
“Sometimes if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen. If you miss someone so desperately that it wrecks your insides, you say their name over and over until you conjure then. It's called sympathetic magic and you just have to believe in it to make it work.”
“Statement: A girl and a boy jump into a river. The boy swims over to the girl and says, "God, it's cold."
Question: What's the probability they will kiss?”
“Is this how it is for everyone?' she whispered.
'How do you know?'
'I just do. I've never felt this with anyone before.'
'Serious. That isn't a line.'
'Kiss me,' she said.
He did. Everywhere.”

     You Against Me was the first book by Jenny Downham that I had the pleasure of reading, but it certainly won't be the last one. In fact, the minute I put it down, I went to Amazon's website and ordered her previous YA novel, Before I Die. Yes, You Against Me was that wonderful. Gorgeously written, meaningful, moving and powerful, this book made a huge impression on me. It pulled on my heart strings and left me sobbing - and I'm not exaggerating when I say that this book is a masterpiece

     The plot of this novel centres around Mikey and Ellie, two teenagers who find themselves in the middle of a very difficult and disturbing situation. Mikey's sister claims to have been sexually assaulted at a party. Ellie's brother is the boy accused of the assault, and he swears his innocence. When these two meet, and start to talk, it becomes clear that one of their siblings is lying. The question is which one? And what will happen when they finally uncover the truth? Is their developing relationship strong enough to survive? 

     The characters in this book are ones that you'll immediately connect with. They'll quickly grow on you and you'll feel emotionally attached to them. All their problems, inner struggles, doubts, fears, hopes and dreams - they're all real. It's virtually impossible not to be affected by this book. Jenny Downham's prose is raw, infused with heartbreaking insight and absolute veracity. It flows effortlessly, weaving a magic spell around you, pulling you into a world of love, affection, loyalty, family bonds, trust and difficult choices. The tension is overwhelming at times, and it keeps you frantically turning pages. It's one of the most readable books I've read this year, totally captivating and addictive. 

     What I found extremely unique about this book is that it does not focus on the victim and the accused - Karyn and Tom - but rather follows the stories of their siblings, offering a very interesting perspective on things, showing just how strong family bonds can be, and how deeply they affect our own decisions and the way we see things. To me, it was fascinating. 

     You Against Me is a serious and very meaningful book. The love story featured here is no fluffy, colourful romance. You won't see any bubbles nor butterflies. You'll see a lot of guilt, tears, doubts and internalized battles. Tackling difficult subjects such as rape and its aftermath, loyalty, lies and deception, this is a heavy and disturbing novel, but also one that makes us wonder what would we do in a similar situation. Would we do anything it takes to protect our loved ones? If they get hurt, would we go out there searching for revenge? How far would we go to punish those who hurt someone we love and care about? You Against Me is a thought-provoking read, and one executed with utter brilliance and skill. If you haven't read it yet, please get yourself a copy and read it as soon as possible. You're missing out! 


Random House Canada has generously offered to give away one gorgeous hardcover copy of You Against Me to a lucky Canadian winner!

Open to: CANADA only
Ends: July 12th
Enter through Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This review is posted as part of the Contemporary Fiction Month feature!

Click on the picture for full schedule.

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


martha campos said...

No bubbles no butterflies. Haven't read too many books that lack this and mixed in the emotions you felt makes this a book I have to read!

Kristie Matheson said...

I love books that aren't always about romance. The emotion that will come from this book is exciting to feel. Need to get my hands on it!

Mar said...

I have read Before I die just 1 week ago -It was an amazing book- and I want to read You Agains Me right now. I really need to buy You Against Me soon! Too bad I'm not Canadian...

Thanks for the review!
xo Mar

roro said...

i've been longing to read iut since last year
gr8 review evie and good luck to all

Sana said...

Wow, I'd have read this book reading the first quote you shared alone! God, I just love books that wrecks your insides and You Against Me totally sounds like a book that will do that to me. No wonder I love reading books.

Great review, Evie! You have me convinced that I need to read this book in order to survive better.

Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

ShadyLane said...

Sounds like a good read!
Your newest folllower!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a heavy read! But sometimes an emotional, thought-provoking read is necessary ... Great review!

Thanks for the giveaway. :)

Vidisha said...

Wow sounds really good...would love to read it

Na said...

There are some series issues in this story and I know it would tug at my heart to to read it. I would hope whatever the characters learn and deal with the issues.

Tanja - Tanychy said...

Unfortunately I can't enter the giveaway but I can't wait to read this book. Great review! :)

Sarika said...

This book was a choice on a reading list for school, but I didn't end up reading it :( Looks interesting!

Anonymous said...

I think I have this book somewhere around my house. :P
I need to get to it. I like the whole idea of seeing the victim and aggressor's siblings side of the story. It seems very touching and at the same time heart-breaking. I need go check it out as soon as you can.
Lovely review, Evie.

Amy said...

This sounds like a very good book. Months ago I wouldn't have been interested in reading books like these, but recently I have discovered my love for contemporaries. Beautiful review Evie!!

FireStarBooks said...

I am speechless. I am just in love with this book. Cannot wait to read it. The story sounds so fascinating (like you said it follows the siblings as well). The book is just going to impact me so much. Thank you Evie!

Hushed Paradox said...

I love the cover of this book! The hint of green is so mesmerizing.

Rebecca said...

I've heard mixed things about this but...oh my! I am completely looking forward to reading this one now! Thanks for the review, Evie! :) This sounds AMAZING.

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

I REALLLLLLY want to read this one. I adore YA contemporary (obviously, since I'm stalking your blog, lol.) I find it interesting that this book focuses on not the accused/victim but their family members. It seems like it has the potential to be SUPER powerful.

And anything that makes you go and pre-order something else by that same author, well it HAS to be good!

Keisha Martin said...

I have been stuck in paranormal reads for a while now so it would feel refreshing to cleanse the palette so to speak and read a contemporary novel, great contest and I am also a proud citizen of Toronto.=o)

Rachelia (Bookish Comforts) said...

Wow, I think this is one that I really need to read. Like you said, it is heavy, but sometimes we need those books! I'm also interested in how it doesn't focus on the victims or event but aftermath and the parties affected on both sides - that is pretty unique!

Great review :)

Nixie Cee said...

This seems like a very deep book considering the fact it revolves around being 'assaulted'.

.papergirl said...

No butterflies..this sounds like a book that I would be interested in reading..thank you for the entry!

amy said...

Sounds like a great book. My daughter and I would both enjoy.

Cari-Bella Creations said...

I can't wait to read this after reading your review!

Aline Tobing said...

I'm so intrigue with the blurb of this book and decided to give it a try. It's a thought-provoking book, but somehow, it lacks something for me. I can't enjoy it as much as I thought I will. Too bad :( But I'm glad you enjoy it immensely, Evie. Maybe I should reread it someday, see if I change my mind.

Hayley said...

Great review! This looks like a book I would really enjoy and your review makes me want to read it more :)

Thanks for the Giveaway, Evie!

Emilie said...

I always see this book when I go the the bookstore but never actually pick it up. Now that I've read your review, you are seriously making me reconsider not picking up.

miscellaneous said...

this book is awesome. i should get this one. thanks for the review


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