You Against Me comes from the perspectives of Mikey and Ellie, brother of a rape victim and sister of the rapist respectively. It doesn't seem likely that the two of them could ever like each other, let alone like like each other, but it happens. It's a twist on the classic trope of guy-using-girl-for-some-ulterior-motive-but-then-actually-falling-in-love-with-her.
Jenny Downham's writing style is fluid and beautiful, so easy to read. I haven't read Before I Die, but I definitely plan to after this one. In You Against Me, like she does in Before I Die (so I hear), Downham tackles big issues unflinchingly. She doesn't shy away from the theme of rape, and makes for a thought-provoking and emotional read.
Ellie and Mikey are both dynamic and likable characters. They both have faults - that make them feel real - and hardships - Mikey's has the responsibility of taking care of his family singlehandedly, and Ellie has to choose whether to testify against her brother or not. I found myself genuinely caring about the characters.
Their relationship didn't feel rushed, even though they'd only known each other for around two months by the end of the book. Mikey and Ellie had a lot of chemistry, and looked forward to every scene where they were together.
I didn't find the ending entirely satisfying. It feels like I never finished reading it - there wasn't a conclusion to what I considered the main plot.
I give You Against Me a 4 out of 5.