Tuesday, January 17, 2017

You Will Know Me Book Review

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

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How far will you go to achieve a dream? That's the question a celebrated coach poses to Katie and Eric Knox after he sees their daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful, compete. For the Knoxes there are no limits--until a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community and everything they have worked so hard for is suddenly at risk.

As rumors swirl among the other parents, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself irresistibly drawn to the crime itself. What she uncovers--about her daughter's fears, her own marriage, and herself--forces Katie to consider whether there's any price she isn't willing to pay to achieve Devon's dream.

Review by Brittany:

I wanted to read this novel because it fits in with my current obsession with suspense novels.

There is something about the way this one was written that really appealed to me. The sentences tended to be choppy and parts were sectioned, and books like that always keep me thinking, "I'll just read the next section". And before I know it, I've completed the book. Of course, this one also had the suspense of trying to figure out exactly what happened to the person who died in a hit and run. (Sorry to be vague, but I want to avoid spoilers!)

I also loved how the author told the story from Katie's point of view, but then gave Devon a much closer, intimate relationship with her dad than her mom. This meant that Katie was constantly piecing together parts of Devon's life that she had no clue about, only to find out that often her husband did. They had almost banded together against her, leaving her feeling left out and always a step behind.

The author dropped clues throughout the novel that helped me piece together Devon's life outside of gymnastics, often before Katie would make that leap. Abbott also used some misdirection, leaving me wondering whodunnit until the end of the book. Abbott also created an entire novel full of suspicious characters, people who are keeping pieces of themselves hidden on a daily basis. This feels so true to life to me, although of course it is exaggerated for the purpose of fictionalizing, but who truly knows anyone else? This is illustrated most clearly in Katie's relationships with both Devon and Eric, but it's also made obvious with the other gymnastics mothers and coaches.

Abbott also knew how to pull me into the world of gymnastics and care. I have never had a particular interest in gymnastics, but the way Abbott illustrated the grind these young girls undergo and the fierce desire they have for success kept me hooked. There were also many comments on the girls "stopping the clock", referring to them training so intensely that they are able to postpone their own puberty - the mark of a true, devoted gymnast. The idea of this was completely absurd to me, yet it's a struggle that is very real. It also added to Devon's story line, a gymnast star who is struggling with also being 16 and the difficulties that come with that.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend.

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