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All booksYoung adultYou Will Know Me
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
Young adult

You Will Know Me

by Megan Abbott

Quick take

Perfectly ties together a fascination with the adolescent psyche, the hysteria of small-town cynicism, and the secrets that young people keep among themselves.

Why I love it

Kevin Nguyen
GQ

Nobody writes about teenagers better than Megan Abbott. The teens of You Will Know Me are elite gymnasts with dreams of making it to the Olympic squad. They sacrifice all of the things that 'œnormal teenagers' take for granted '” sleep, social lives, even food '“ all in the name of their immense ambitions. But a sudden tragedy sends the hopefuls'”and their coaches and parents'”into a panic, questioning whether becoming the next Mary Lou Retton or Simone Biles is worth dying for.

The novel perfectly ties together a fascination with the adolescent psyche, the hysteria of small-town cynicism, and the secrets that young people keep among themselves. (Think high-brow Pretty Little Liars.) And then there are the parents: Katie, the mother of the local gym’s most promising gymnast Devon, wrestles with whether she should nurture her daughter’s athletic aspirations or protect her from them. (Troublingly, her husband Eric is all in on Devon’s career.) Throw in Katie’s obsession with uncovering the truth behind a mysterious death, and you have a sense of how combustible the set-up is.

An anxious dread hangs over the whole novel, and there are even flirtations with the supernatural But even here, Abbott is incredibly restrained, particularly in her plotting, giving space for readers to create their own suspicions and theories about the characters. The novel never manipulates the readers'”it lets them manipulate themselves.

You might also find yourself loving You Will Know Me even if you’re not ordinarily a reader of crime novels. Abbott doesn’t shy away from the genre, but her writing is a cut above many of her contemporaries. She leans on language that is tense but patient, rather than trying to make you turn pages quickly.

Which is perfect because you’ll want to savor every page of this twisty piece of teenage noir.

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Member thoughts

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All (1742)
Love (433)
Like (1090)
Dislike (219)
1791 ratings
  • 24% Love
  • 61% Like
  • 12% Dislike
  • Savannah, GA

    I am a big gymnastics fan, so naturally I was excited about this book. It did not disappoint! The details & stresses of gym life, drama & secrets, & the who-dun-it made for a fun & unpredictable read.

  • Ephraim, WI

    This was one of the best-written thrillers I've read. The characters and their stories made me think constantly, not only about the answer to the mystery but also bigger questions of family and worth.

  • Bastrop, TX

    I know it has been said for some books, but seriously, I was riveted. I read the book in a day because I couldn't put it down. I hated the characters. I loved the characters. I didn't want it to end.

  • Oxford, OH

    WOW! This book is a page turner and I would stay up for hours reading. I couldn't put it down. I was confused when I first started reading it but once I got into it was amazing! I want to know more!

  • Lawrence, KS

    I love Megan Abbott books! I have yet to be disappointed. This is definitely a twisty-turny ride. She writes about the complexities of teen girls in an adult contemporary way better than anyone else

  • West St. Paul, MN

    One day you wake up and think, how are we THOSE parents? How could we NOT be those parents? I read this in one long gulp... unputdownable. You might guess the ending but you still can't look away.

  • Dallas, TX

    A character study on what happens when your family's whole world is centered on one thing (in this case, gymnastics). A haunting look at sacrificing youth for excellence, with all its consequences.

  • Gray, ME

    I never thought a book about a teenage gymnastics prodigy would be my kind of book, but I could not put it down! This is a read in one night no matter what you have to do the next day type of book!

  • Spring Grove, MN

    I feel high-level gymnastics is a world where everyone respects what these athletes do, but never truly understand the magnitude of their dedication. This book was a great glimpse and a fun plot!

  • Arlington, VA

    It was fun and engaging. I thought I had most of it figured out (I was actually right for once), but Abbott had some twists that were unexpected. The commentary underneath the text was also great!

  • Church point, LA

    Loved this book I feel that it should be turned into a lifetime movie. There were definitely twist and turns that were not expected. Kept me wanting to read to find out what the heck was going on!

  • Marina Del Rey, CA

    This story is bizarre and relatable at the same time. The strong connection to family and reaching goals at any cost. The way you get to know the characters and feel like you know them and don't.

  • Novi , MI

    This book is by far the best book I've read in a while. It is so hard to put down and the mystery is never ending! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries with a sense of love.

  • Southington, CT

    I wasn't sure I was going to like this book because I don't have any ties to the gymnastic world but once I got into it, I loved it! It was shocking at some points and totally kept my interest.

  • Woodbridge, VA

    Could not put this down once I got into it. While the plot line was a little predictable to me, I still could not stop reading it and was very pleased overall with the story and how it was told

  • Houston, TX

    Such a true story of raising children including the sacrifices you make thinking they are good for your children and realizing no matter what you do or don't do they grow up into human beings.

  • Chicago, IL

    This was super suspenseful and a fun read. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. Finished it in 4 days between my commute and reading at night before bed. Great mystery/thriller!

  • lexington, KY

    Never have I read such a page turner. It sucks you in and your reading until the end. Very thought provoking & will elicit very stong feelings in you regarding these complex characters!

  • Pontiac, MI

    I love the perspective from the mother of the superhuman gymnast; we always think about the athlete, but rarely how far their support system will go to achieve their collective dream.

  • Stillwater, OK

    The whole time I was reading I was trying to figure out who I thought was responsible and once I found out in the end I was extremely surprised!! Definitely did not see that coming!!

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