Give Me Your Hand

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

A twisting, compelling thriller that I really enjoyed. Really captures the dark side of teenage life and friendship. Megan Abbott never disappoints!
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I absolutely love Abbott's novels and this one was just as good as the others I've enjoyed. Alternating past and present, the book follows protagonist Kit and friend Diane as they meet in high school, go their separate ways, and then are reunited at the lab where both hope to work on a promising scientific study about women with raging PMS that causes violent tendencies. But a secret that Diane revealed all those years ago to Kit unleashes a whirlwind of events and emotions that will ultimately result in catastrophe for all involved. I love flawed (and even devious) characters and Abbott is a master at plot and dialogue, creating tension at every turn. Still a big fan!
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I wasn't overly thrilled with this book. It seemed to me the author wasn't quite sure where they were going with it until the very end when it tightened up and actually was entertaining for about 20 pages. However, the flipping back and forth between unrelated memories in the past without any sort of logic made it a difficult read and hard to follow, especially the ending. While this may work in some books when the author is working their way up to a big reveal  that was not the case here and it instead seemed superfluous. I also wasn't able to connect or even sympathize with any of the characters so all in all not worth the read.
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Jumping from Then to Now, this book unravels the dark history between Kit and Diane and the even darker present.  Kit tries not to get sucked back into the secrets and horror that Diane embodies, but finds herself back into the web.  A fantastic psychological thriller that kept me reading right until the last page!  I would recommend this to anyone that likes a suspenseful read!
I received this advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest opinion and review
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I received Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott at Day of Dialog and I just finished it!
I have enjoyed all of Megan's titles- I find the drk minds of her female characters intriguing.  Plus she is a fantastic writer.  There is nothing better than a good plotline that also has strong, deep characters and amazing writing!
Fantastic Read—kept me going until the end.
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Megan Abbott is a very hit or miss author for me, but I really liked her previous book so I was hoping that GIVE ME YOUR HAND would be another stellar thriller. But unfortunately it left me generally underwhelmed. I liked the two narratives, the 'then' and 'now' where we would jump back to high school and then to the present day, as that allowed the secrets and reveals to come out at their own pace. But I kind of wish we'd spent more time in the teenage years, as the crux of the conflict happened then. Once the secret was revealed, we kind of left the teenage timeline for good, and I liked it better of the two. I also felt like I had to suspend a little to much disbelief for some of the plot points to occur the way that the did, and that the ending was a little too quick for my tastes. Overall I would consider it to be a good book to pass the time on an airplane (which is exactly what I did with it), but had I not been as much of a captive audience it may not have held my attention very well.
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I really enjoyed YOU WILL KNOW ME so I was pretty excited to dig into GIVE ME YOUR HAND. Although the writing is strong and the story seems  fairly suspenseful at first, ultimately I came away feeling a bit disappointed. Primarily my concerns are twofold--first, the characterization feels weak, the characters almost sketch/cardboard-like. Second, the plot lacks any real surprises, resolving in exactly the way I expected. I'm not giving up on Abbott--in fact, I think she's an excellent writer--and overall this story of rivalry in a science lab IS entertaining.
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Not quite as good as You Will Know Me, in my opinion, but still another great example of why Megan Abbott is one of my favourite authors.

I can't recall any writer this adept at crafting complex, flawed female characters and the relationships between them. Abbott crawls deep inside the female brain - to all its dark places, thoughts and jealousies - and captures it in such a way that I can feel the story getting under my skin. Her novels are novels of atmosphere and a creeping impossible-to-ignore sense of wrongness under the mundanity.

Give Me Your Hand is about the friendship and rivalry between two bright and brilliant women - Kit and Diane. As teens, they were inseparable, with Diane fueling Kit's ambition and offering the drive she needed to stay on track for the Severin scholarship. Dr Severin is famous for her studies on female disorders, and particularly PMDD - PMS's nastier and more debilitating sister.

After Diane reveals a dark secret to Kit, their friendship falls apart and the girls go their separate ways, both to successful careers. In the "now", Kit is employed in Dr Severin's lab and working her ass off to get onto the research team for PMDD. Everything seems to be going well until Dr Severin hires an amazing researcher from Harvard. Diane, of course. Then, Kit's life gets turned upside down again.

Abbott combines the difficulties of being a woman with a tense, slow-burn thriller. She gradually lifts the curtain on Diane's secret, piece by piece, until I was dying to know what happened. And Diane herself is allowed to be a bit sinister, a bit villainous, without ever feeling like a caricature.

This book is about the power of secrets, the past's habit of coming back to haunt you, and also the fine line between female friendship and rivalry (as most of Abbott's thrillers are). It's something that fascinates me. Women often have deep, all-encompassing friendships built on loyalty and sharing secrets, but we are also pitted against one another. When two female celebrities wear the same dress, it’s all about who wore it best. There has to be a winner; some kind of hierarchy. It's so easy for friendship to turn sour; for an ally to become a rival.

At the root of this book, there are so many themes of female passion, ambition, and weakness. Everything from the casual misogyny of the male scientists to the PMDD present obstacles for women, and I really liked how every single female character who walks into this book shines with her own distinct personality. Even the female detective - who we should view as an enemy of the protagonists - is likable in her brief scenes.

I can't quite decide if Abbott thinks that women are wonderful, worthy of the utmost admiration, or if she thinks they are as ferocious and terrifying as men have suspected all along. It's probably a bit of both.
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I knew from the beginning that this was going to be a difficult read for me. I am not sure where the disconnect was this time but I didn't get swept away as I usually do when reading Abbott's latest release, Give Me Your Hand.

I liked the Then/Now format but I didn't like the characters Kit or Diane. I could not connect with them or the situations and I think that played a big role overall. Still, it was well written and the pace was acceptable. 4 stars.
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3.5 stars

I liked it, just can't say I loved it.

What I liked:
-The relationship between the 2 main characters. They fed off of each other in a way that I haven't read before and it was the driving force of the whole book.
-The premise that this all started with the telling of a secret as a teen, and the life long effects it had on the both of them.

What I didn't like:
-The pace was a bit slow for my liking and seemed to flat line a lot.
-The bouncing back at forth between timelines felt a bit jarring to me for some reason. 
-I tuned out a lot of the lab, rats, and PMDD info. I get the relevance, but it dragged at times.

Megan Abbott is the queen at writing about female relationships, and once again she doesn't disappoint in the area. I was hoping for better, but am still happy I read this. It's always a good reminder to think about whom you want to share your secrets with....

ARC provided by NetGalley
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Megan Abbott’s newest novel, Give Me Your Hand, promised to be a “mesmerizing psychological thriller,” and it did not disappoint. 

I found the novel initially hard to get invested in because the author jumps right into the story, with the reader learning background on the characters and how they are connected as the book progresses. This initially created a lack of connection to the characters and the storyline for me. However, about a quarter of the way into the novel, I was hooked! 

Kit and Diane’s perverse friendship is driven more by the desire to best one another than any actual affection between the two teenagers. They initially bond when Kit reveals a secret at summer camp that upsets Diane, and years later Diane repays the favor by sharing a secret that will change Kit’s life forever. They drift apart after high school, and Kit has no desire to ever see Diane again. Unfortunately for her, Diane shows up as her boss’s new protege one day and turns Kit’s world upside down all over again.

Give Me Your Hand will have you turning pages until the very end with all of its twists perfectly woven into the story of two women with a truly killer connection.
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I loved this book and plan to write about it for Book Riot! Megan Abbott is so talented and this book’s characters really grabbed me.
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3.5 stars.  This book confused me from page one, but was written excellently.  I think that some things were not as shocking as the author was hoping it would be and it sort of seemed almost choppy at times, but the characters were done well, so I know that it's one I'll recommend in Chapter Chatter Pub before it is released, as although I was lost, I don't think all would be.  The author has a beautiful way of writing!
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My history with Megan Abbott books are love/hate - I either love it or hate it within the first few chapters and it becomes a struggle for me to finish the book. Give Me Your Hand was in the middle - I neither loved or hated it but I also couldn't get into it. I think I was bored by the pace and all of the scientific laboratory talk. I was looking for a reason to walk away from the book and I got it when Kit dropped her dogs off at a rescue shelter after her mother passed away.

You just don't do that.
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I had a hard time with this book.  I guessed what the high school secret was almost immediately and the dynamics between Kit and Diana stemming from that confession seemed way over the top and solvable 10 times over by Kit.  The whole plot line from the investigation into PMDD and the forced relationship between the 2 main characters felt forced and contrived. It felt like it spun out, just to spin out; that Kit could have done something at any time regardless of what crazy Diana would tell her.
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Quick read that I enjoyed.. some of the "twists" were predictable to me (I read a lot of thrillers), but there were some I didn't see coming. I enjoyed the theme of women in science and how hard it can be for them. Overall good read, would recommend to anyone who enjoys thrillers.

(Received advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
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Definitely my least favorite of Megan Abbott's books, it just didn't grab me from the start like the others have. I still found the plot intriguing but the friendship between Diane and Kit wasn't as compelling as the friendships I've seen in previous books. I also found some of the plot points to be incredibly forced, I would have liked to see things go in a different direction. 
That being said, I wish this book had continued to see the fallout of the actions of Diane and Kit besides a brief flash forward. I think the dynamic between all of the characters would have been fascinating to see in the aftermath of everything that had happened.
Despite not enjoying this as much as her previous books, I will still continue to pick up and recommend Meghan Abbott's books as fervently as before. This one just wasn't for me.
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"Give Me Your Hand" is a stand out psychological thriller in a genre that has been flooded in recent years. I enjoyed the alternating timeline - two girls, lab partners in high school who meet at a cross country summer camp who then find themselves reunited in a professional setting after years of estrangement. The premise of the lab research the protagonist works on - basically, women who experience extreme PMS symptoms that drives them to acts of violence - was fascinating, if not an obvious thread of foreshadowing throughout. Plenty of plot twists, some more predictable than others, but the book was compulsively read-able. I really and truly recommend this thriller for an exceptional summer read.
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First, Give Me Your Hand mix of science, suspense, and friendship is the perfect combination for a stay-up-all-night-just-one-more-chapter kind of book. Entertainment Weekly lists Give Me Your Hand as one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018. It is easy to see why. In this psychological thriller two scientists, old friends, are connected via their darkest secrets. Like, seriously dark. All kinds of disturbing (in a good way).
All too often, thrillers center around a dead or missing women. Female friendships focus more on men than the rich, interior lives of the characters. And female characters rarely get to be brilliant, ambitious, and competitive like the characters in Give Me Your Hand. More books like this please. We need more characters like the ones Megan Abbott creates. She writes books that seem destined to be movies, filled with atmosphere, tension and twisty endings.
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This was a great departure from Abbot’s latest depictions on teenage girls and their inner psychology. We get a more nuanced look into what happens when these girls grow up and are still caught in the web of their teenage rivals. A smart and riveting read.
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