Home > Senior Fiction, Young Adult > You Against Me by Jenny Downham

You Against Me by Jenny Downham

You Against Me by Jenny Downham. Pub. David Fickling Books, 2010.

Once you start reading this book you will not want to put it down!

Karyn is 15 years old she is tall and beautiful and lives with her older brother Mikey, her 8 year old sister Holly and her mother who is lonely and wayward. One night she puts on her red dress has a few drinks and meets a rich boy, Tom. who is going to college, and things happen in his bedroom.

Tom calls it a sad little shag, Karyn says it is rape, takes to her bed and refuses to see anybody or to leave the house. Her family is devastated. Tom’s family see no fault in their son and even give him a party when he makes bail. Date rape is always an emotive issue and more common than people think.

This starts off an astonishing course of events involving all family members from both sides of the fence. Mikey seeks to give Tom a hiding and sets out to Tom’s luxury house to administer the beating . Tom is not home and Mikey meets his young sister Ellie, who knows Karyn and saw her with her brother on the night in question.

A relationship starts between Mikey and Ellie throwing the already chaotic situation into a catastrophic one. Ellie doesn’t know Mikey’s name or his relationship to Karyn. What will happen when she finds out? This is a tense novel by the writer of that outstanding book Before I Die.

Jenny Downham is  a brilliant writer who has great perception of pressures within families and of social pressures within society. The characters are real, the situation is real,  the story is well told in language that is easy and inviting and the dialogue is right on the money.

I can’t say more than that. A superb novel for teenagers that highlights many social issues involving teenage relationships. And more importantly love is at the heart of it all.

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