Give Me Your Hand

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

Megan Abbott, without fail, writes words that keep readers on the edge of their chair while reading.  She is a master at psychological suspense, and just keeps getting better and better.  And once again, she proves that secrets are dangerous.
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Diane and Kit are bound  together beginning in  high school - each with a secret - one horrifying and the other detrimental to a relationship. Who has the worst secret and how do they deal with it when they meet up again as professionals working together? This book will keep you guessing til the end.
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I was beyond excited when I saw that Megan Abbott's new novel Give Me Your Hand was available on Netgalley. I was in the middle of two other books when I was received this book. I had to show restraint and finish those other books first. Give Me Your Hand kept calling me to read it.  I knew it was there waiting for me. I raced through the others so that I could delve into this as soon as possible. Now, I have finished the book and I'm sad it's over. I don't get this feeling very often about a book. This "damn, it's over and I wish I could read it again with the same fever that I did the first time."  

I am a big fan of Megan Abbott. Her ability to portray strong, but greatly flawed women is stellar. Her characters are frequently driven perfectionists who won't let anything or anyone stand in their way of success.  Nothing. Her female characters are so creepy, yet so believable. She develops women who all of may have known or could encounter in our lives:  that coworker that undermines us, that high school friend who we were equally drawn to and a little scared of, that boss who was wound just a little too tight.    

Give Me Your Hand is no exception.  Kit is drawn to the seemingly flawless Diane at cross country camp. They become friends, or as close as Diane can get to having a friend. Kit does not expect to see Diane again, being that Diane goes to a parochial school and Kit attends public school. As it turns out, Kit will encounter Diane again. And then again. Each time, Diane becomes more difficult to read, more driven, and just out of reach of any true kind of reciprocal female relationship.  Kit and Diane become closest as high school lab partners, where their love of chemistry and desire to win a college scholarship to study under a renowned female researcher bonds them together.  Secrets are shared.  

The two become research scientists in a field dominated by men. They work hard, they isolate themselves from coworkers who might distract them from their goal of becoming even more accomplished; who may compete with all they've done to get to where they are. Cue past secrets shared and cue the competition between the once-friends.   

I can already know that this is going to be one of my favorites, if not THE favorite book of mine of 2018. It is that good. It is as compelling a novel as one could be. I completely engrossed myself in it, read it all day when I could. I rolled over in bed, groggy, at 2 a.m. and decided that I was alert enough to pick it up and start reading again. I wanted to know what was going to happen. What would this relationship make these two do? What would be the culmination of these secrets? Who's lives would be affected? Needless to say, I finished the book rather than sleep.  

Whew! What a ride.  Don't read this book if you want to be productive or have a lot on your agenda. You will not want to set it aside to take care of business. And you can't read and drive. It's very dangerous.
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This is a great suspenseful story with a unique setting in the world of laboratory science. I enjoyed that it was so different and thankful for the satisfying ending.
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Give Me Your Hand is a fantastically written page turner that will keep readers gripping the pages for hours. I simply could not get enough of this book and I know many readers are going to feel the exact same way as I did. I highly recommend it.

4.5 stars

** Full review to come on release **
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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to preview Give me your Hand by Megan Abbott.
Abbott is one of the most influential writers for young women at this time. She brings fresh and interesting characters to life and puts them in the most unpredicable circumstances. 
Two young women become unlikely friends during high school.  They are both bright and love science. But their friendship ends abruptly until they meet again many years later.
But this friendship is over and they are in for the fight of their lives that may just wind up killing them both.
I think Abbott fans will like this one. For me, it is a YA book and not my genre but must say it is written well and as usual, Abbott is very clever with her writing style.
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Megan Abbott delivers a fresh, powerful and intriguing novel with richly developed characters and tons of twists.  An irresistible read.
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Astoundingly good. Megan Abbott is the type of writer that when done with her books I cry a little bit and go "dang, I am glad I coincidentally am on the planet on the same time as her." Few contemporary authors can navigate the hormonal roller coaster of adolescence and subsequent relief yet bittersweet nostalgia that comes with that ending.
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A tale of two women and plenty of secrets that are dark, mysterious, earth shattering, mind altering ( no pun intended). Secrets that set the stage for MacBeth fans and yet captures the audience that knows Megan the best.
Plenty of science action, lab testing, animal experiments and those disgusting mice with a 'then' high school v 'now' approach investigating PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) it's a blood v brain phenomenon.
Kit Owens never thought to highly of herself but she was enamored by all things Diane Fleming the mystery gal in high school chem class. 
Diane is super intelligent but yet has this dark side that many aren't aware. 
As the friendship blossoms so too does the feeling that Kit can be just as successful and branches out on her own only to be found in competition with Diane for some ground breaking research.
It's a ride you won't soon forget as Megan Abott keeps you locked in for those who love her writings you won't be disappointed.
Thank you to Megan, NetGalley, and Aldiko for providing me this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars 

When she was 17, Kit's friend Diane made a confession to her that chilled her to the bone and almost derailed her life. Now, years later, Kit is a research scientist and Diane has reappeared in her life. Will Kit be able to coexist with Diane with the dark cloud looming over them?

Megan Abbott has been a favorite of mine for the past few years and I pounced on this as soon as I saw it on Netgalley. 

Give Me Your Hand is a tale of secrets and the consequences of keeping them. Sooner or later, everything comes back to bite you in the ass. Kit learns this the hard way, as do a lot of the people in her orbit. The story is told in two threads, one in high school, the other in the present day. It's a departure from her recent run of girl-noir books but change is fine in this case.

Diane and Kit were more rivals than friends, both runners, each one of the smartest in their highschool in sleepy Lanister. Yes, Lanister, oddly fitting since I compare the machinations of teenage girls in Megan Abbott's books to Game of Thrones characters. Diane confesses something to Kit that nearly drives her mad. Years later, Kit's on the verge of having the life of a scientist she always wanted when Diane pops up again, a sociopathic bad penny.

This story is doomed to take a dark turn from the start and it does, of course. I always feel like Megan's giving the male part of her audience a secret window into the relationships of teenage girls, infinitely more complex than the comparatively shallow, sex-obsessed psyche of teenage boys. Casual eating disorders and sharing deep secrets seem to be the norm.

We also get a glimpse of how tough it is for women in the science field, both in Kit and Diane's competition with their lab mates and in Dr. Severin, the bad ass female scientist that is practically Wonder Woman to Kit, who seems willing to do anything to get what she wants.

The way Diane's secret is revealed is masterful, doled out in tiny morsels until you can't take anymore. When she shows up in the present day, things quickly veer into the exact wrong direction, like S.E. Hinton by way of Jim Thompson. Then something baffling happens and there are some Telltale Heart moments and things really get tense for a while. 

As with her previous books, like Dare Me, You Will Know Me, and The End of Everything, I felt wrung out by the end. While a lot of other crime books get more press, Megan Abbott's are the best thing in the genre today. Five out of five stars.
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I work for a major bookseller, so I have of course seen books written by Megan Abbott before, but I'd never read one previously.  After reading this one, however, I intend to go back and read previous titles. 
I loved this book. 
Even with three small kids, work, and a house renovation in progress, I devoured it in less than one weekend. The writing is beautiful-poetic, almost haunting. The story goes back and forth between past and present,  and explains the complicated nature of the relationship between the main characters,  Kit and Diane. Told from Kit's perspective, the reader learns very early on that a secret of Diane's will be pivotal to their relationship.  The characters are so well developed and multi-layered.  (Including the secondary characters, who are critical to the plotline and story development). There were times that the story took a few unrealistic turns, but never veered into "completely unbelievable". There were also a few small "mysteries", or questions, throughout,  and Ms. Abbott did a fantastic job of answering everything and ending tbe book with a tidy little bow. I honestly can't say enough good things about this book,  the author... I don't want to give away too much, especially since I feel the author did such a fine job with pacing. I absolutely cannot wait for this to be released, and I know it will sell fast.
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