Book Title: You Will Know Me
Author: Megan Abbott
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Date Read: 09/17/16
Pub Date: 07/26/16
Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate.
Ok, so Megan Abbott and I have a bit of history. I’ve not read her noir books, so my first read of hers was The End of Everything. I was so blown away by that one that I couldn’t wait to pick up Dare Me; I’m not sure if it was just me or the book, but I was so disappointed in myself for not loving it. I moved along to reading The Fever next, but didn’t rush out for it immediately; thankfully I enjoyed that one more than the previous but it still didn’t live up to TEOE for me. Needless to say, I was a teensy bit afraid of picking up You Will Know Me. What if I continued to be in the minority that wasn’t blown away by every book she wrote? Lucky for me, I not only picked this one up but enjoyed it so thoroughly that I’m convinced it’s her best book yet!
For some reason the cliquish world of gymnastics has always fascinated me; maybe because I was told at the age of 5 that I’d never be a gymnast due to my height and was an unattainable goal for myself. It has always been my favorite sport in the Olympics to watch, so much so that I used to make a balance beam out of pillows to walk along while watching. Take that dream crushing gymnastic instructors! Whatever the case, this book had me hooked from the very beginning, and it wasn’t just the suspense behind the mystery, but the development of the characters. Abbott does a fantastic job of giving you the willies in the simplest of ways; it’s like creeping unease is her second language and I want more. This story was so perfectly written that I feel like the mystery actually takes a backseat to more important themes, like the financial hardships of parents that give everything to support such a fragile dream, or the dynamics of how one child can become front and center while another suffers the consequences of neglect and disappointment. I was truly moved by how real and relatable Meg’s writing is; she had me on a roller coaster of emotions from beginning to end.
I really loved how simple this cover is; there is nothing distracting or attention seeking about it, yet your eye is slowly drawn in to explore what might be going through that young girl’s mind. Clearly there is a similar theme in Abbott’s books which revolve around teenage girl’s and their antics, but as many other reviewers have stated, this one is from a new perspective-the mother of a teenage girl. As the mother of two young girls, I appreciated (and was slightly terrified of) the insights of what is to come for myself in the somewhat near future; I found myself going off on tangents wondering what I would do in these situations if one of my daughters were in a position of such pressure during such a crucial time in a girl’s life. Megan Abbott has created something really special in this book, and I think she’s completely won me over with her charm and suspense. Worth the time and energy spent reading it, I’d recommend to fans who like a novel of suspense with much deeper subject matter than your everyday thriller.
*I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing my copy and it was my pleasure to return an honest review.