You Against Me
By Jenny Downham
David Fickling Books, 2011. 412 pgs. Teen fiction
When Karyn McKenzie says that Tom Parker sexually assaulted her, naturally her older brother Mikey believes her and will do anything he can to help her. And when Tom Parker denies it, naturally his younger sister Ellie believes him and is even prepared to be the key witness in his defense. However, when Mikey sets out to get revenge, he isn't quite prepared for what happens: he meets Ellie, and as much as he hates her brother, he is drawn to her and finds himself torn between wanting to help his sister and wanting to have a relationship with Ellie.
Downham has done a great job capturing the complexities of the human heart. Ellie and Mikey's struggle to remain loyal to their own family while figuring out if the other is trustworthy is an engaging plot line, and the relationships between the various characters are spot on. Both Ellie and Mikey are flawed, totally realistic characters, and their forbidden romance is delightfully written. Most readers who pick this one up won't want to put it down.
4 stars. Language and some sexual situations.