Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A New Point of View

Yes, I am almost done with Water for Elephants. However, I read another book in-between the last one and that one, called You Against Me by Jenny Downham. Now, this book actually doesn't come out until September, but I got to read it because in high school I was involved in this club called Best Books for Young Adults (BBYA). Our middle school librarians get sent books ahead of their publishing date so they can review them for committees and such, and they shared the books with us so they could get the teens input on them. I absolutely loved this club, since I am an avid reader and I got to get books before they were published. They're advanced uncorrected proofs (or galleys, as we call them), but I think it's cool to see the books like that, since I want to go into book publishing. And the reason I still get the books even though I'm in college is they still have meetings in the summer, so I'll still able to get my fill on BBYA. I think that was one of my favorite things about high school. I even got to meet John Green through it :)

So You Against Me. This book has an interesting concept. There's a girl, Karyn, who was just recently sexually assaulted by a guy named Tom. Now you may think this will be a typical sexual assault story, about the girl finally getting over it and the guy getting punished, blah, blah, blah. But there is an interesting twist, one I've never seen done before. Instead of the story being told by the victim and the criminal, it is told by the victim's brother and the criminal's sister. And this is how the story gets interesting. Mikey (Karyn's brother) really wants to get revenge on Tom, for obvious reasons. He hurt his little sister. Ellie (Tom's sister) just wants to protect her brother, and to keep her family from falling apart. Mikey comes up with a plan to get back at Tom, and it involves getting closer to Ellie. Little did he know he'd end up falling for her during her plan (as a reader, you can tell it's going to happen, but as usual the characters are completely oblivious). So this book tells what happens between the two of them and how it effects the relationship with their siblings and their families. Overall, I thought it was a good story.

This book was told with alternating narrators, switching from Mikey to Ellie. The one thing that really irritated me was you couldn't tell when they were switching. There was no font shift, no names at the beginning of chapters, no nothing. And sometimes I'd get confused as to who was talking, especially at the times where Mikey and Ellie were together. Which was a lot. So I guess that's one thing that I hope they fix before it gets published for real. Please change the font if you're going to switch characters! Thanks! :) Anyway, I honestly did like this book. I thought it was interesting to see how sexual assault affected the siblings of those involved. And the whole family for that matter, especially when two completely different families are represented. Ellie is from a very privileged family, and Mikey is from a single-mom family that is barely scraping by. Jenny Downham really does a good job of showing how sexual assault doesn't just affect those involved, it affects everyone around them as well. That was my favorite thing about this book.

If this book sounds interesting to you and you'd like to read something else by Jenny Downham, the only other book of hers that I've read (and it might be the only other book she's written...I'm not sure) is Before I Die. Another great book that deals with the difficult issue of a girl with a terminal illness. Lovely book.

So next I will be finished Water for Elephants, I promise! I'm actually almost done with it now, got about 60 pages left. Until next time!

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