Wednesday, August 3, 2011

You Against Me by Jenny Downham

I seem to be incapable of doing much lately. Maybe it is the record breaking heatwave that Austin is having. It was 107 yesterday people! Insanity! My energy levels seem to be particularly low probably because my body is smart and is trying to keep me from collapsing and withering away in 2.1 seconds.

Anyhoo! All this heat does give a girl some time to hide inside and read.

Joanna reviewed Before I Die way back when. It was such a tear jerker and I quite frankly, loved it. So I've been looking forward to her next book pretty much ever since. You Against Me was worth the wait. This book deals with a rape and its consequences on the two families involved: the victim's and the perpetrator's. In fact, the central storyline is very much more concerned with the people around the crime rather than those who were involved. Early on the brother of the victim (Mikey) crashes a party and meets the sister of the accused (Ellie). There are false pretenses, secret plots, and general emotional confusion as the two teens get to know each other.

I have to say that I really liked how the author approached this story and took it beyond the story of how a victim moves past and heals. Because how exactly does the family of the accused deal with the fact that the son/brother/cousin they know and love is not the person they thought he was? How far would a family go to protect someone who most likely is guilty? I imagine it could be almost as world-shattering as having someone you love attacked. Ellie and her parents react to the situation very differently and you can see how it strains and tears at the fabric of their family.

A serious book that deals with family, forgiveness, and healing, and two teens who learn what it really means to love. Not a tear jerker like Before I Die, but I bet you'll shed a tear or two as you read. Great book.


Book Source = ALA Exhibit Hall


Laura Lutz said...

I LOOOOVED this one. True, it's not the tearjerker that BEFORE I DIE (which I adored) was but it still has the same exceptional pacing and craftsmanship. I'm officially a *huge* fan of Jenny Downham!

(I have to say that I don't think I like the cover. I mean, I get what they were going for but it just doesn't do much for me...)

joanna said...

I want I want I want.

Patti said...

I especially love her dialogue. So good.