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You Against Me by Jenny Downham

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Teenage Book of the Month

You Against Me by Jenny Downham
Published by David Fickling Books, 2010

Jenny Downham’s debut novel the award-winning and bestselling Before I Die was one of the most talked about teenage reads of recent years. In her follow-up title You Against Me she again shows her ability to describe the lives of teenagers in a realistic but thought provoking way. With a combination of simple narrative and subject material that will appeal to her target audience the book is both relevant and accessible to teenagers.

In what is first and foremost a coming of age story of young love the author broaches the contentious issue of rape in a clever plot involving the two main characters, Ellie and Mikey. Ellie’s family appears to be perfect but is the outward image a front for what lies beneath the surface? Mikey’s family on the other hand is a visible mess. Having fallen in love, both are suddenly embroiled in family crises forcing them to decide where their loyalties lie.

Marketed as young adult book, this is an excellent novel for older teens and adults who appreciate a good book.