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You Will Know Me
     

You Will Know Me

3.8 16
by Megan Abbott
 

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One of the Best Books of 2016—NPR, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, Elle, Thrillist, Men's Journal, Publishers Weekly, Time Out New York, Self and Kirkus

The audacious new novel about family and ambition from "one of the best living mystery writers" (Grantland

Overview

One of the Best Books of 2016—NPR, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, Elle, Thrillist, Men's Journal, Publishers Weekly, Time Out New York, Self and Kirkus

The audacious new novel about family and ambition from "one of the best living mystery writers" (Grantland) and bestselling, award-winning author of The Fever, Megan Abbott.

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.

From a writer with "exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl" (Janet Maslin), You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of parental sacrifice, furtive desire, and the staggering force of ambition.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Jennifer Senior
What Megan Abbott knows, as so many maestros of the heebie-jeebies do, is that it's not strangers who are scary; it's the people you think you know and love…Abbott…is in top form in this novel. She resumes her customary role of black cat, opaque and unblinking, filling her readers with queasy suspicion at every turn…You Will Know Me revisits some of the author's favorite themes—community hysteria, the chaos of adolescent sexuality—but with a slight twist. Usually, teen-girl misanthropy and anxiety figure prominently into Ms. Abbott's novels. Here, the author is far more interested in the way adults recapitulate teenage behaviors, fretting and sniping and stirring the pot.
The New York Times Book Review - Sophie Hannah
…brilliant…The wrong kind of ambiguity in a crime novel can be fatal. Abbott judges it impeccably here. The murder mystery component of the story has all the essential ingredients: clues, red herrings, twists and an answer, in the end, that leaves no room for doubt about who did what and why. It's only every other element that grows increasingly bewildering as the narrative progresses. There's a stroke of genius in this: The reader appreciates the satisfaction of the solution, which is simple, shocking and perfect. At the same time, the purpose of solving the mystery is, arguably, to undermine the idea that mysteries can ever be solved in a meaningful way. When the murder is committed…it appears to take place in a familiar landscape populated by people we know. We imagine we have our bearings, and then the murder knocks us off course. Then with each new fact that emerges, a piece of what we thought we knew is dislodged, leaving in its place a mystifying blank patch. By the end of the novel, everything apart from the events specifically surrounding the killing is an unanswerable question. All of this Abbott pulls off with breathtaking skill.
From the Publisher
"If you think there's an American author writing about the thorny intricacies of female relationships with more smarts and verve than Megan Abbott, feel free to step forward and make your case."—Adam Sternbergh, Slate"

The book to beat...in the 'Is it the next Gone Girl?' sweepstakes."—Janet Maslin, New York Times"

The beauty of Abbott's writing, and the skilled way she weaves the men's lesser narratives into Deenie's story, make this a standout in contemporary crime fiction. Megan Abbott knows what girls are made of."—Clea Simon, The Boston Globe

Library Journal
★ 05/01/2016
This latest novel from Abbott (after The Fever) centers on a young man's hit-and-run death shortly before a major gymnastics competition, ripping apart that sport's close-knit community. Immersed in her life as an Olympic hopeful, 15-year-old Devon Knox is in a tailspin. Her mother, Katie, goes into protective mode and attempts to salvage her family from ugly rumors involving her husband and questions about the boy's tragic end. Trying to keep her daughter's dream alive at any cost, Katie is as much a focus of this story as Devon. In true Abbott style, nothing is predictable here; the plot consistently confounds expectations with its clever twists and turns. VERDICT Admirers of Patricia Highsmith, Laura Lippman, and Kimberly Pauley (Ask Me) are in for a treat. New readers have a backlist to explore! [See Prepub Alert, 1/26/16; see also profile of Abbott, p. 65.—Ed.]—Frances Thorsen, Chronicles of Crime Bookshop, Victoria, BC
School Library Journal
11/01/2016
Devon Knox, 15, is a brilliant gymnast and far more talented than the other girls training at BelStars gym. Her path to success could lead to the Olympics. Everyone knows it—all the other gymnasts, all the coaches, all the booster parents, and, most especially, Devon's parents. Her mother, Katie, dedicates her afternoons to sitting in the stands at BelStars, soaking up the envy of the other mothers as Devon flies over the vault. It's Katie who shows how secrets, betrayal, and murder can shatter the tight-knit group of girls and parents. At first, Katie seems like a well-balanced narrator, fair-minded in her attitude toward those with less amazing daughters, tenderly caring for Devon's little brother when he becomes ill. But readers notice that Katie seems to be missing some obvious signs of trouble. Katie discovers Devon, remote and self-contained by nature, in a cat fight with another girl in the locker room. Katie's husband, Eric, spends way too much time with Gwen, a wealthy booster mom. Even as the narrator increasingly suspects disturbing secrets, readers increasingly wonder how much to trust her. Abbott, who put a menacing spin on the world of cheerleading in Dare Me, amplifies the sense of danger implicit in high-stakes gymnastics, as well as the competition among the highly invested parents. Think Dance Moms, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. VERDICT Teens will get a hard-hitting look at competitive gymnastics, framed in a tale of gripping psychological suspense.—Diane Colson, Gainesville City College, FL
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-05-05
Abbott's latest thriller (The Fever, 2014, etc.) about everyday lives changed forever by an exceptional individual—in this case an Olympic gymnastics hopeful. "So many things you never think you'll do until you do them." This speaks volumes of truth for Devon Knox, who forces her body to pick fights with gravity for hours every day. To her mother, Katie, watching from the bleachers, it seems impossible that her daughter will land on her feet, until she does. Devon is extraordinary, and the normal-on-the-surface Knox family can't help but fly toward this one extra-bright light. Devon's dad, Eric, is obsessively devoted to the cause, fundraising constantly for gym BelStars and heading up the booster club. Gregarious Coach T. relies on his star gymnast to attract business; nothing is shinier than having an Olympic hopeful under his wing. But when tragedy strikes and Coach T.'s tumbling-coach niece, Hailey, learns her much-loved boyfriend, Ryan, is dead in a hit-and-run—only a couple of months before Elite Qualifiers—the gym begins to unravel. Devon, especially, can't afford any missteps. Her success relies on structure, and Eric promises he'll do anything to keep Devon on that golden track. When Hailey starts threatening Devon and the Knoxes' painfully sweet and observant son, Drew, starts talking about things he hears in the night, the whole gym family, Katie especially, begins to wonder just who might've had it in them to mow Ryan down. After all, you never know what you're capable of until you test your limits. With Elite Qualifiers looming, readers will begin to question what they think to be true right alongside the characters. Getting picky, readers will also catch on to one major plot element well before it's revealed, but Abbott makes the blindness of parents relatable; they come close to collapse on a regular basis from the pressures of their demanding schedules. Being a parent is hard. Being a parent to an anomaly is something else entirely. Abbott proves herself a master of fingernails-digging-into-your-palms suspense.
Publishers Weekly
★ 05/02/2016
Thriller Award–winner Abbott (The Fever) takes a piercing look at what one family will sacrifice in the name of making their daughter a champion. For Katie and Eric Knox, nothing is more important than ensuring that their 16-year-old daughter, Devon, has everything she needs to pursue a possible Olympic berth in gymnastics, from round-the-clock training with coach Teddy Belfour at BelStars Gym to a plethora of high-performance leotards and hand grips. Despite a childhood foot injury, Devon is the obvious star of the gym, something the other parents both appreciate (because it raises BelStars’s profile) and quietly resent (because it makes their own daughters look second-rate). When an unexpected death rocks the gym community, Katie is determined not only to shield her daughter from the fallout but also to make sure that Devon’s elite trajectory doesn’t falter. But she can’t help being inexorably drawn to the tragedy and the young man who died, and in the process Katie learns that what she thought she knew about Devon only scratches the surface. Abbott keenly examines the pressures put on girls’ bodies and the fierce, often misguided love parents have for their children. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (July)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316231077
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
07/26/2016
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
20,828
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Megan Abbott is the award-winning author of eight novels, including The Fever and Dare Me. She received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian. Megan is currently a staff writer on HBO's forthcoming David Simon show, The Deuce. She lives in New York City.

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You Will Know Me: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Megan has done it again! Quirky and smart. Really enjoyed this book. I had been looking forward to reading it and it delivered. I'm exhausted! ;-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading this book. Interesting insights into the grueling sport of gymnastics, especially for those rare gymnasts with the talent to take it all the way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book and I know nothing about gymnasts.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Extremely well written, I could not put this book down!
SuseNJ More than 1 year ago
Almost boring, major suspense unresolved. I barely hung on to reading this book, as almost nothing happened throughout. I kept reading to see how the main character performed at the end, but maddeningly the book stopped without telling us. You can get most of the value of this book from reading the reviews! Maybe good as a discussion of how an Olympic hopeful impacts her community, but not as a thriller.
Kinseylb More than 1 year ago
Very good...hard to put down. Disappointed in the ending.
Holly More than 1 year ago
You Will Know Me is the story of what happens when a family dedicates everything to their child to only have a scandal rock their world. Katie and Eric Knox seem to have the perfect family with a daughter, Devon, who is a gymnastics prodigy and a young son named Drew who seems to be in the background more but tends to notice everything around him. It takes one night for a death close to the family to shake everyone up in the town that leads to who did it and why. As Katie puts the pieces together of what has been really going on behind her back, Drew fills in the missing pieces in a shocking conclusion to how far will you go to protect your family. This book had me intrigued from the first page but I have to admit that I really got into this book, I didn't really like the characters but it kept me interested enough to see how it all ends. I felt that Katie and Eric are a little too pushy and just stayed together for the sake of Devon when they should have called it quits a long time ago. I could see why Devon did what she did and you could feel for her a little bit. I never knew who Megan Abbott was before this book but her writing is something I kinda like and I do think I'm gonna be reading more books by her in the future!! Thank You to Megan Abbott for having this book come out just in time for the Olympics and for making me become a fan of yours!! I received this book from the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2016 in exchange for a honest review.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I don't read a lot of "adult" books right now, but every once in a while, I'll find one that really intrigues me. Katie seems like a decent MC. She loves her family and will do anything for her kids...at least it seems that way. There were definitely some scenes where I was shocked at her actions and it certainly felt like there was some serious neglect of the youngest son. But at the same time, maybe that's what it's really like when you have an Olympic hopeful. I loved the premise of this. The main idea of the story and the revelations were awesome. The only reason I kept reading is because I skipped to the end and HAD to know how it got there. The narrative was a bit strange and I never really settled into the rhythm, but even as I was mentally protesting the characters and struggling with things, I couldn't tear my eyes off of the page. **Huge thanks to Little Brown and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Anonymous 29 days ago
Ok baby
Sandy5 6 months ago
This was one of those novels where I thought I knew what had actually happened before the end of the novel but the details weren’t clear-cut. I was missing the actually story, how it all went down and no one was willing to tell the truth, their lips were sealed for now yet somehow before it was all over, someone needed to get them to talk. I liked the way the author strung me along, making me a part of this group, for that was what they were, these girls and their families who belonged to Coach T as he tried to make them into gymnastic stars. They were all one big family and as I read, all their dreams drifted towards Devon who was the shining star, the girl who had the most potential, the girl who could take it all the way. I think anyone who has ever played a sport knows of such an individual, the person on the team who gets the most attention, who seems to shine no matter what they do and in this novel, it was Devon. Having such an individual on the team does not always settle well with others, for jealousy, anger and sometimes violence can creep into the picture and it certainly creeps into this novel. Devon, herself was a machine. She thought and breathed gymnastics. I felt for her, because her mentality was if she was not successful as an athletic she was nothing. I was drawn to her brother Drew, I felt as if he sensed something yet he didn’t know what it was. As he spoke in the novel, sometimes his words were not coherent and didn’t make sense but to me, I listened intensely to every word that he spoke for I felt he knew something and his words just needed to be deciphered. I enjoyed being a part of this novel, I remember being an athlete and feeling the emotions that Devon’s teammates felt, I also could relate to being one of the parents, I felt that the author did an outstanding job and highly recommend this novel.
dutcheja 6 months ago
This book is very well written and keeps you on the edge of your seat until almost the very end. not sure who did it... The characters are all well developed and you see the story perspective of many different people. It is a coming of age story in the life of an elite gymnast. The way people treat you when you are the best, the expectations. STOP HERE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ A SPOILER!!!! What a tragic story!!! This is the story of a young gymnast on the cusp of being the best!! It's isolating, and overwhelming for a young girl. The gossip, jealousy, bullying. Not sure who wants it more you or your coach or your parents... Loss of innocence and situations that you are too young to fully comprehend. And in the end so tragic, so many people affected, who's lives will never be the same.
mdemanatee More than 1 year ago
I love Megan Abbott's ability to explore the scariest crevices of human nature. Her characters are never people I really want to know in real life, but they are always compelling character studies written beautifully and with terrifying, blunt truth. She is really just amazing at what she does.
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott is a highly recommended thriller set in the competitive world of young gymnasts. Devon Knox is exceptional. Everyone knows it. Despite a childhood injury to her foot, Devon, daughter of Eric and Katie Knox, is on the Elite training path at the BelStars gym to, hopefully, be an Olympic gymnast. Devon is the star of the gym; her innate talent is both revered and resented by the other parents. The family, including her younger brother, Drew, has sacrificed a lot for Devon's dream. Eric is obsessively involved with the boosters and fundraising efforts to help the gym and he and Katie have a second mortgage on their home just to keep Devon's dream alive. It is, of course, the whole family's dream (except for poor neglected Drew) but one that can only be fulfilled by Devon. When a young man, Ryan, is tragically killed it sends ripples of gossip and rumors through the close-knit group of parents. Coach Teddy Belfour hasn't been to practices because Hailey, his niece and the tumbling coach at the gym, was dating Ryan and is devastated. There is gossip that he was going to propose to her, but who knows if that is true. The answers to all their questions aren't that simple. Now, while the police are trying to determine what happened to Ryan and who is responsible, Katie needs to find out some answers on her own and protect her daughter. Even if you know little or nothing about gymnasts, you will recognize the overly involved parents who are obsessed with their children's activities. These parents feel the success of their children reflect upon them, which goes hand-in-hand with the belief that the abilities of their children are greater than they are in reality. (Sports, academics, etc., oh, the real life stories I could tell about others of their ilk!) These misguided parents are determined that their children will succeed - if they have any say on the matter - and most of them are overly optimistic about their true abilities of their children. Honestly, the parents are mainly annoying sheeple or, in the case of one obviously reprobate financier, controlling and overbearing. You Will Know Me is an unsettling, compulsively readable family drama. It is very well written and had me hooked from the beginning, when you know that a young man will die, but don't have all the information or the back story yet. Abbott does an excellent job setting up the story and allowing the truth to slowly unfold and reveal itself. I found it thoroughly enjoyable even though I did figure out the direction the story was going to take long before it went down that path. My heart broke for young Drew, who has his own interests and gifts that are neglected in favor of Devon's goals. What would you sacrifice to support your child's endeavors and dreams? Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
Not only is this book about Devon and her goal to become an Olympic champion, its about teenagers and a murder. While you may think these gymnastic moms are petty and nerve wracking, believe me, they are nothing like competition cheerleading moms. Believe me, I know. I really liked this story. However, there were times that it seemed kind of slow and uninteresting. I really like Megan Abbott books a lot, but for me, this was not her best one. I enjoyed reading it, especially right after the Olympics and it gave me a better appreciation for what those girls have to go through. As for the book, she has written a lot better. For me, all the relationships seemed forced and empty. As I said, the author has written much better books and this one is not one of them. Thanks to Little, Brown and Company and Net Galley for approving my request and providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous 28 days ago
"Hello." She brushes her long blue hair out of her doe-like eyes.