Give Me Your Hand

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

This is my first book by Megan Abbott, as I am relatively new to the mystery/suspense genre. While I found Give Me Your Hand to be a relatively fast paced read, I also found it took awhile to get to the reveal of Kit and Diane's back story. Sometimes this delay works well, as it keeps the reader engaged. This time, I found it felt as if there was a slow build to something that fell a little flat for me. I won't say too much more, as I don't want to give away that part of the story, though it did seem somewhat predictable. However, the last third of the book really moved along and I enjoyed some of the twists thrown into the story. I also appreciated the look into the world of science labs, post-docs, and women in science. I think those more immersed in the mystery/suspense world will enjoy this book more than I did. If you are into science, thrillers, and contentious female relationships give this book a try.

I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Give Me Your Hand is a dynamic psychological thriller with an original premise.  This book is a slow-burn which allows for character development as well as to draw you in to keep you wanting more.  Friends, Kit and Diane, are high school friends who share secrets while teenagers but lose track of one another after graduating from high school (and with good reason). Present day, both Kit and Diane are doctors competing against one another for a major research project. As the past catches up to them and secrets begin to unearth, life begins to turn deadly.

“You don’t have a self until you have a secret.” Well fortunately this book has many of those.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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i don’t feel like Megan Abbott gets the attention she deserves. She keeps putting out the best books and she has quickly become one of my favorite authors. This book was so good that I tried to read it slowly because I didn’t want it to end.
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While I finished this book two weeks ago, I didn't want to write my review because I had mixed emotions and wanted to sit with them for awhile.    I love Megan Abbott's books and her style but I had such a hard time with this one because I didn't like the people in the book and so had a hard time feeling empathy for them or even caring about what they were doing.  

However - I kept needing to read to find out what's next because of the plot.  The ending was unexpected and really made me stop and realize that I did like the book so thus a late review but a recommendation to check it out!!

Thanks Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review.
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This is an intense, slow-burning thriller about two women who are both each other's best friend and biggest rival. Megan Abbott weaves the tale together with a bit of scientific research peppered throughout the constant drama and secrets being revealed, which balanced it very nicely. The basic premise is that a person's secrets can (and often will) resurface eventually. Very compelling, although maybe slightly less so than some of her other books.
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Just like with Megan Abbott's last book, You Will Know Me, I was hooked from the beginning! The relationship between these two women was intense and left you dying to know more. The twist was unexpected and was worth the wait. I highly recommend this book!
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"Women have to live so much of their lives in the in-betweens."

Kit meets Diane at a summer camp when they are young teenagers, swapping secrets with the other girls in their cabin one night. All of the girls share secrets except for Diane, who in response to Kit's secret merely says "My mom always says you don't have a self until you have a secret."
A couple of years later, Diane transfers into Kit's high school and ends up telling Kit her biggest secret.

Megan Abbott is one of my favourite authors to read when I just need to get out of my head. The writing is fast-paced, there is almost always a twist, and I like that she writes about girls behaving badly and their complex relationships with one another. This one definitely did not disappoint, I didn't see the twist coming at the end at all.

Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown & Company for the ARC!
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Give Me Your Hand was both fascinating, mysterious and just a tad creepy.  Diane and Kit were sort of friends from high school.  When Diane shared a secret with Kit...Kit’s life was changed.  They don’t meet again until they are candidates for the same position in an experimental lab.  Through an accident of circumstances...they become connected again.  But Kit doesn’t want this connection.  Diane is strange, odd, and seemingly suffering from a major disconnect.  I started off by being really into this book but I ended it feeling uncomfortable and not enamored by any of these characters.
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Give Me Your Hand is a tale of a very dysfunctional friendship between two women, Kit and Diane. The relationship begins at cross country camp as teenagers and develops into a somewhat friendly rivalry of sports and academics and integrity. Until Kit finds out that Diana has a secret. A big secret. Kit wants to know what that secret is until Diane reveals it to her and their friendship is forever changed. 

Years later and long past the last time Kit had seen Diane,, Kit finds out that they are both up for the same research project. The dysfunction then spirals into toxic and twisted. It seems the secret that Diane told to Kit has taken on a life of it's own and is having a sort of snowball effect, even a decade later and Kit is right in the danger zone. 

Give Me Your Hand was my first experience with Megan Abbott. I was intrigued by the academic and scientific aspect of the book as well as by the expectant thrill ride. I enjoyed the book and very much like Ms. Abbott's writing style. I found myself not wanting to put the book down and eagerly awaiting the answers to all of my questions! I do feel that the book lacked a 'wow' factor in the twist and felt a little let down by that but taking the whole of the book into consideration and how much I enjoyed it, I would definitely recommend this book!

Special thanks to Netgalley and Little Brown and Company for the opportunity to read and review Give Me Your Hand.
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I receive this for honest review. 
What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. What a Rollercoaster! The sitting, theme, and the Characters had me pulled so in. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. This novel would have you guess and thinking all the way to the end. What a great thrill and suspense. I love a great suspense that would have me think and guessing. This novel did just that to me. To the point that am wrong. When the ending comes am on shock. I wouldn't of never believe or guess. Like OMG! 
Highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. Its so good! 
Can't wait for his next book.
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I just finished this book and all I can say is Wow!!   The format of then / now writing was great for this book.  Character development was amazing.  Diane had it all...until she didn’t.    Fav quote of book was “You don’t have a self if you don’t have a secret”
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Give Me Your Hand is a highly anticipated novel by Megan Abbott. Alternating between then and now, we follow Kit & Diane from high school, where they have confessed secrets to each other that will bind them, to current day where they both end up working on the same project. 
This book really fell flat for me. I had trouble connecting with most of the characters and there was just an odd abundance of weird looks and feelings, and some kind of indecipherable meaning behind a lot of the conversations that I just couldn’t grasp.
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Megan Abbott continues to write some of the best, darkest female characters I've ever read. I loved the themes of female friendship and competition that drove the plot. 

Loved this one so much and can't wait for her next work.
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Megan Abbott has done it again! GIVE ME YOUR HAND is cutting, brisk, and terrifying. In this highly anticipated release, Abbott explores the ins and outs of female friendship, psychopathy, ambition, love --- and where all of these interact. Although there is no masked murderer or haunting ghost, GIVE ME YOUR HAND will positively chill you. Abbott also layers in the discussion of PMDD, and what it means to be a woman who is full of emotion in a misogynistic world.
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I enjoyed Give Me Your Hand, but I didn't get blown away by it. The story was ok and the characters were fine. Something just didn't click for me.
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I really enjoyed how this book went back and forth in time in a smart way and dropped clues that didn't hit me over the head. The last third of the book was a page turner and I admit I stayed up late reading it because I couldn't put it down. Highly recommend. Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read and review.
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I loved Megan Abbott's previous novel, You Will Know Me, so I was excited to pick up her latest. Give Me Your Hand is delectably dark and full of the "purple marrow of female rage," but also suspenseful and unexpectedly moving. I actually gasped aloud at several plot turns that I didn't see coming. This is a great book for anyone who loves reading about teenage secrets that resurface when you least expect it, the power of female friendship infused with a razor-sharp competitive edge, and suspense fiction with a literary bent. This is a book that I will recommend to friends, colleagues, and mature teen readers who are looking for something that will hold their attention on every page. I'm already looking forward to Megan Abbott's next novel!
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Has someone ever told you a story that makes you think, "I sure wish I didn't know that?" This book takes that situation to the extreme. Kit loves science and running and her home life leaves something to be desired. When Diane moves to town at the end of high school, her common interests and issues bring them together. They're friends, but Kit always feels there's something just a little different about Diane. When she reveals a secret that Kit wishes she didn't know, their friendship falters. Kit never tells, but the relationship is over. Years later, Kit works in a lab and is vying for one of two spots in a prestigious research study. When Diane comes out of the woodwork as a candidate, Kit is both terrified and intrigued. Lots of twists and turns, some more plausible than others, make this a fast and entertaining read. Kit is a frustrating character--her decision-making skills are pretty terrible, and some of the twists are just downright ridiculous. Fun, but not memorable.
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I can't believe I wasted my time finishing this book, I suppose just to see if the ending might salvage the plot.  It didn't.  The characters were utterly ridiculous, the plot inane, and the author's writing style one of the worst I've ever seen,  I can't understand how some books make it into print.  This one should have been left on the hard drive.  Such drivel!  Zero stars if it was  a choice!
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Note: What follows may contain a lot of gushing. Continue at your own risk.

Even though I thought Ms. Abbott's previous novels were excellent, she completely outdid herself with Give Me Your Hand. Not only is it a creepy cat-and-mouse game wherein ambition and desire collide with ethics, it is a feminist novel that moves to eviscerate medical research and its utter lack of studies devoted to women's issues. It is at once informative as well as enthralling, and you immediately want to share it with your best girlfriends so that you can settle into a nice long discussion with them about Kit and Diane, their actions, their secrets, the state of medical research as it pertains to women, and the games women have to play to get an advantage in almost any situation.

From a feminist perspective, there is so much to love about Give Me Your Hand. The fact that the novel revolves around three very successful female medical scientists is mind-boggling. This is not because of the idea that women can have any career they so desire, but the fact that I cannot remember another novel in which the head researcher and her assistants are all women. This is not a situation wherein an author adds a token person of color or woman to a team in order to establish so-called diversity. This is true diversity wherein women in the field of science hold more power than the men. That these are successful women in their field - one predominantly male in nature - is another first. We can tout the need for young women to enter into the STEM fields in college, but until these same women see other women succeeding, there will always be a hesitancy to break that gender barrier. Through Kit and Diane's successes, as well as that of their mentor, this shift in the gender dynamics of such a story is empowering and inspirational, and it makes you want to shout "About damn time!" from the rooftops.

As innovative as Give Me Your Hand is regarding women in the field of science, Ms. Abbott is a wise woman. She understands female dynamics. She knows that all too often, women are their own worst enemy when it comes to female coworkers. Instead of standing together against the men, who usually outnumber women in any boardroom or laboratory, women will fight each other and manipulate situations and other coworkers as the means of seeking any iota of advantage over a female coworker. We see this most specifically in the unusual relationship Kit and Diane has. From the very beginning, there is a competitiveness to their interactions - running stride for stride together in order not to be last or first, studying together so that one will not study more than the other. This carries over into their professional lives as Kit aims to be the first one into the lab and the last one to leave each day, the one with the cleanest workspace, the one with the most diligent techniques. Even when working together, there is a level of mistrust between them that goes beyond the secret that tore them apart all those years ago. The mistrust is more a battle of advantages, trying to balance the importance and integrity of the study without conceding any advantages to the other. Any woman who has worked with another woman will have similar stories of female coworkers backstabbing each other, exercising political maneuvering, and generally shoddy treatment of each other all in the name of getting ahead. It is a game women have been forced to play for over a century as there continue to be a limited availability of adequate promotional roles for women; hence we see all women as competition in the work environment. It is something Ms. Abbott captures quite well, establishing the nuanced ways in which this occurs and by which men encourage such competition.

The other exciting aspect of the story is the research study itself. All women know that there has been little to no research devoted solely to female hormones and issues related to them. We can all relate stories about trying to find a doctor to believe us when we say something isn't right. Hysteria may no longer be an official diagnosis, but the number of male doctors who scoff at women and their complaints is still, albeit anecdotally, way too high in this day and age, so much so that they might as well continue to diagnose hysteria as a medical complaint. So when I saw that Kit was hoping to work on a groundbreaking study of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, I all but squealed in delight and wished the book were nonfiction. While the story is indeed fiction, I assure you PMDD is not, and Ms. Abbott makes sure to inform all of her readers of this fact. Throughout the novel, she intersperses facts about PMDD, what it is, how it affects women, and how no one really understands why it occurs. For those of us who suffer from it, she vindicates us and our suffering. She gives attention to our monthly plight and makes us feel seen at a time when most doctors won't even diagnose it as an official illness (my doctor will not). It is such a liberating feeling.

There may indeed have been some negative elements to Give Me Your Hand, aspects that don't quite work, or plot points that are a mite too predictable. However, I did not notice them because I was too caught up in this feminist marvel of a novel that celebrates female intelligence, success, and health while cautioning against the more toxic elements of female professional relationships. It was such a refreshing reading experience not only because of the topics discussed but also because the drama involved the two women only; there is no male love interest, no male father figure, nor a male mentor. Thank you, Ms. Abbott, for representing women so thoroughly in Give Me Your Hand. Now, let us work on having every one of every race, religion, gender identification, sexual preference, and socioeconomic level experience similar reading delight through their own representation within quality novels meant to empower as well as entertain.
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