Cover Image: Give Me Your Hand

Give Me Your Hand

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Member Reviews

I have very mixed feelings about this book.  I realize it’s labeled a psychological thriller but for some reason it wasn’t at all thrilling to me.  Then again, the author did a great job writing a book about someone who obviously suffered from a mental illness.  So, like I said, I’m in the middle somewhere when it comes to this review.

Although there are two strong female characters in this book they are great friends and enjoy competing academically.  They support each other in the beginning and share a lot of good times together.  However, that all of a sudden changes when one shares a terrible secret with the other.  After that, the two go their separate ways until they meet up again many years later, and end up working together.  This is where the story got a bit murky for me.  I get that one woman was a bit “off” and I expected things to blow up, which they did.  

This “secret” takes over the book for a large portion of it.  There is a lot of dwelling on what happened by Kit and it seemed to be just a bit obsessive to me.  Towards the end, I just didn’t “get” why Kit didn’t follow her gut rather than agree to being set up by Diane.  I understand that it had to happen in order to reach a specific conclusion but it literally made no sense to me.  Kit was a strong woman, why in the world would she follow Diane’s lead?  I think that’s what threw me the most and probably where I lost interest.  It seemed very out of character, but was necessary for the ending?  I don’t really know for sure, but it became too unbelievable for me.

I realize as a mental health provider that I may be jaded by the fact that I understand these situations all to well, so perhaps I caught on sooner than other readers might.  It’s probably my own personal experiences rather than anything specific about the book itself that caused me to lose interest at the very end.  I’m very glad I had the chance to read this book, however and I will for more by this author!  I received a copy of Give Me Your Hand through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  My thanks to Little Brown and Company and Megan Abbott for the opportunity.
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This was a very interesting and intense ride. I highly recommend it. Wonderful ending
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No one writes about female relationships like Megan Abbott. Admittedly, I was not initially as drawn to the world of these two female scientists as I have been to the worlds of Abbott's previous novels. However, it took only one chapter before any resistance gave way. Her writing alone is enough to make the novel worthwhile -- raw and edgy and lyrical all at once. But the plot proved to be twisty and delicious as well. And the whole story is underscored by a pervasive rumination on the science of femaleness, and what (if anything) biology has to do with female darkness and rage.

**Thank you to Little, Brown & Co., Netgalley, and Megan Abbott for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.**
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How well do you know your friends? What are the ties that bind? What can pull two friends apart?

Kit Owens and Diane Fleming met when they are teenagers at camp. Then one day the Diane appears in Kit's chemistry class. Their friendship is sealed, and they soon become inseparable. Both girls become driven to do well not only in school but in life. Both are very intelligent, and both seem to have similar interests in science. Then one day, Diane shares a secret with Kit, a secret which changes their friendship forever. Kit shared a secret she had at camp, but it wasn't as big as Diane's secret. The teens drift apart and both go their separate ways.

As both were intelligent and had interests in the scientific field, they soon cross paths once again when they are both making names for themselves in their chosen fields. Diane is hired to work in the same lab as Kit and they learn that they are up for the same position working under a brilliant scientist whom they both idolize.

This both is told through "Now" and "Then" chapters filling in the gaps of their friendship. The reader finally learns the "secret" and the impact it has on the women's lives. At the same time the reader watches as those in the lab vie for the coveted position and things take a turn and yet again their lives are changed.

Part of this book takes place in a lab, but I did not feel that any of the scientific language or experiments got in the way of the story. It would be strange if the object of their study was not discussed as most of the characters were scientists. Yes, there is discussion about experiments being done on animals, so be warned! Some may not like these sections. For me this book was good not great. It was a fast read and well written but at the same time it failed to really "wow" me. I didn't really care for any of the characters, I didn't find anything to be too shocking or overly interesting. This is a book which I think had a lot of potential and it just fell a little flat for me. I still enjoyed it but was just missing that spark which would have made the book better for me personally. 

Thank you to Little, Brown and Company and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I have to start by saying I am a fan of Megan Abbott. Her books are always a guilty pleasure that I know I am going to stay up late reading. She has a great way of drawing the reader in and wanting to know more about her stories and characters. This one was no different. The prologue immediately makes you wonder what that one important thing is that they know about each other. It will keep you turning the pages til the very end!
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This book was almost a struggle to get through towards the middle. I seemed like a lot of the climax action happened early. Coming from a lab background myself, some of the lab terminology was nice, but then it started to get excessive. I liked the way that the author cleaned everything up towards the end. And I enjoyed how the main character, Kit, was able to grow (especially in the epilogue). 

Thanks to NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
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Megan Abbott stories are always quite a ride. You think you know how you're supposed to feel, what you're supposed to think.  Just when you think you have it all figured out, though, she flips the script.
Kit and Diane bring out the best, and worst, in each other. Unlikely friends since high school, they went their separate ways. But fate throws them back together. Kit knows something about Diane, and that something haunts her every thought. Diane is mysterious and smart, cunning and deceptive. And Kit can't seem to get away from her. This time around the stakes are much higher.
This story has it all. Murder, deceit, coverups, secrets, you name it. A bit rushed at the end to tie up loose ends, but still very good.
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This book definitely required a bit of suspension of disbelief, but I did enjoy it a lot.  Great character development, identifiable flawed characters, especially the narrator.  If you've liked Abbot's other books, you'll enjoy this one too.
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I’ve seen Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott on so many of my friends Goodreads lists. This tells me that people are hungry for tightly written thrillers with the ability to make you lose a sense of time.  Sometimes I wish I could take a sick day and just clock out for the day and lie around, reading and drinking coffee while lounging on the couch with my dogs. Reading all day? That is a fantasy!

Kit Owens harbored only modest ambitions for herself when the mysterious Diane Fleming appeared in her high school chemistry class. But Diane’s academic brilliance lit a fire in Kit, and the two developed an unlikely friendship. Until Diane shared a secret that changed everything between them.

More than a decade later, Kit thinks she’s put Diane behind her forever and she’s begun to fulfill the scientific dreams Diane awakened in her. But the past comes roaring back when she discovers that Diane is her competition for a position both women covet, taking part in groundbreaking new research led by their idol. Soon enough, the two former friends find themselves locked in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to destroy them both.

Megan Abbott is one of the authors whose books all book lovers anxiously await! As I’ve mentioned before, there are some writers who turn out amazing books almost every year and she is definitely one of them!
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I love a good Megan Abbott thriller and hate that I read this in February instead of during the summer on a beach. 
Diane and Kit meet in high school where they both compete in track. They quickly begin competing academically as they race to finish high school and win a prestigious scholarship to the state university. The story is told in alternating fashion - now vs. then. We see that they are brought back together in adulthood, but now competing for a grant in a lab where they both work. Lots of bad things happen that are reminiscent of high school.
This is creepy, in a Single White Female kind of way and for some reason, I kept imaging Diane as looking like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. 
Megan Abbott never disappoints and this was a fun read that I finished in a day. Thank you to NetGalley for the Advanced Copy!
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STORY - 3.5/5 (I thought the tone was awesome. Very tense and I could feel the anxiety of the characters. Unfortunately the ending let me down and the scientific stuff went over my head sometimes.)

CHARACTERS - 4/5 (I really enjoyed the characters. We all know have trouble remembering them sometimes but they were all very distinct in this book. I especially liked the main character. She was pretty great.)

WRITING - 4/5 (it was good but like I said the scientific part was pretty dry and hard to get through.)

UNIQUENESS - 4/5 (this book was super unique. I can't really recall any story me of but it did follow the traditional thriller format.)

ENJOYMENT - 3.5/5 (This book had great potential but the ending really let me down and it sometimes felt overlong.)
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Give Me Your Hand was my first Megan Abbott book. I didn’t expect to like Give Me Your Hand as much as I did. I enjoyed the way the story was told – jumping between past and present. Abbott did an amazing job of bringing everything full circle in the last few pages leaving you satisfied. 

Pleasantly surprised by Megan Abbott and plan on picking up some of her others soon (and you should, too!)
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I’m always excited to read a new Megan Abbott book.....I’ve read them all!!!
This one did not disappoint!
This was a great story, great ending!!!
No surprise it’s on the best of 2018!!!!
Can’t wait for her next book!!!
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Inspired by actual events, Megan Abbott's "Give Me Your Hand" is an entertaining and solidly-crafted thriller about friendship, professional ambition, and the cost of keeping a deadly secret.

Kit, a research scientist, worked her way from humble beginnings into a prestigious laboratory appoinment. New team member Diane is not only professional competition, but Kit's former high school lab partner and one-time close friend. Years ago, Diane shared a shocking secret that continues to haunt Kit. In the wake of Diane's reappearance, Kit is faced with new and dangerous consequences.

Nicely paced and engrossing, "Give Me Your Hand" is an enjoyable summer read worth sharing with a friend.
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Thank you goes to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book before it releases in July. Megan Abbott is one of my favorite authors. 

Kit Owens and Diane Fleming met in high school and ended up pursuing the same career track. Once Diane revealed her biggest secret Kit dropped the friendship. Fast forward to the peak of their career when they wind up working for the same scientist and trying out for the same key position. 

I liked the unique setting of the laboratory and that females were the minority, yet the smartest of their colleagues. This captivating psychological thriller turned out to be a little dark for me, hence 4 stars. It really is 4.5 stars though. I almost guarantee you won’t predict any of the twists or turns the plot takes. Definitely put this on your to-read list. It’s a winner.
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An in-your-head thriller, never knowing who to trust, especially the narrator. Well written and fast paced with just the right balance between flashbacks and the ongoing action.
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The Dark Red Heart of a Killer

Abbott’s latest dark thriller is about two young brilliant female scientists vying for a spot on a prestigious PMDD study.

Kit and Diane are inexplicably bound by a secret that Diane shares with Kit while both girls are still in high school. It’s a secret that threatens both of them and one that follows each girl as they make their way through school and college into the University funded labs in which they choose to work.

Diane and Kit are reunited after their schooling when they both go to work for a regaled female scientist. The connections between certain characters extend back through time and serve to heighten the suspense as we are steered toward an inevitable end.

Abbott probes the underbelly of complex female emotions, the acts that follow them and the misunderstandings of the female-male relationships.  

BRB Rating: Read It
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I wanted to like this book, I really did.  I normally like everything Abbott writes.  But this...this was a train wreck to me.  I didn't like ANY of the characters.  I found myself speed reading so I could get to the end.  This just didn't do it for me at all.  I wish it had.
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If you like a book about deep dark secrets than this is the book for you. For me this book had a very slow start. There were times that I was thinking about bailing on it but I wanted to know what the secret was. When I found out what the secret was I wanted to keep reading and see if there were anymore secrets between the two main characters. In the end I felt like something was missing. 
Thank you Netgalley and Little, Brown and Company a chance to review this book!
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As teens, Kit and Diane were bonded by ambition; working hard to attain a scholarship offered by a renowned scientist. Just as they’re about to reach the pinnacle of academic success, Diane spills a secret that tears Kit’s life apart.

Years pass and Kit has worked hard to put the past behind her and create the life she’s always dreamed of. But all that changes when Diane weaves herself into Kit’s life once more. Knowing their past, can Kit and Diane co-exist or is the damage of the past truly irreparable?

It’s no secret around these parts that I’m a big fan of Mighty Megan. She truly has some of the more memorable and beautifully tragic prose around – some of the best I’ve read since Chandler, which makes each new release a cause for celebration. Taking nothing away from her prior novels, I think Give Me Your Hand is her best work to date.

What I value the most as a reader above all else is pacing. With Give Me Your Hand, Megan makes it clear from the outset that she’s going to make you wait. By jumping backward and forward in time through alternating chapters, Megan is able to develop her characters both before and after the secret is revealed, which heightened the anticipation. This drove me crazy (in a good way)!. I had a very hard time putting it down through its brisk three hundred and fifty pages.

Megan has shown in the past through her novels Dare Me, You Will Know Me, The End of Everything and The Fever, that she excels by taking the captivating elements of noir and injecting them into an unfamiliar setting – adolescent girls in suburbia. Give Me Your Hand is no exception. While she still lingers around the halls of a high school in the earlier years of Kit & Diane’s friendship, she then shifts the setting to a research lab in the present day giving her ample room to expand Kit & Diane’s world as well as showcasing a unique backdrop for a white-knuckle thriller.

Give Me Your Hand is an absolutely enthralling read that gripped me from beginning to end. If I read a more riveting novel in 2018, I would be shocked. It’s that good.
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