You Against Me:
If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother's been accused of a terrible crime and you're the main witness, then you banish all doubt and defend him. Isn't that what families do? When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the crime, but says he didn't do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in at a new school begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and unflinching, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love - for one's family and for another.
Jenny Downham wrote an intense book, but unfortunately it was a little too slow paced for me. What really intrigued me though, is that this story revolved around the aftermath that involves the siblings rather than the victim and the perpetrator. There are two sides to every story and Jenny captured that with her emotional and realistic characters. Her writing style is gritty and honest which really kept me reading, with every page I kept wondering "How is this going to work?" and "How can this be fixed?" There was no easy road for these characters. Their relationship begins with a lie, they are under the pressure of their families to make everything "right". And when Mikey and Ellie's relationship begins to turn honest and they finally begin to trust one another, their worlds begin to crumble around them. Jenny did an amazing job staying true to her characters; this wasn't a light and fluffy romance, this was a harsh story of two people falling for each other under incredibly difficult circumstances.