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You Will Know Me
You Will Know Memypaperheart (8)
Loved it, but the ending...

I absolutely loved this book and just devoured it- I couldn't put it down. I loved how atmospheric and foreboding it was, and I felt sorry for Drew. In fact, I loved this book so much I immediately went and purchased two of Megan Abbott's other books - The Fever (incredible) and Dare Me (okay, but had some issues). I'm looking forward to reading the rest of her books soon. My only complaint about this book is the ending - we don't get to see if Devon passes the qualifiers. I think we're left to assume she does, but it ended so abruptly. Overall, great read.

SaraStarr (2)
Interesting, I read Dare Me a few years ago and thought it was not good so I didn't bother with this book. The Fever is worth the read?
You Will Know MePrairieMeyer-Hesler (1)
Question?

Does anyone else think that if Devon had not made the qualifiers at the end of the book; her parents would have turned her into the police? It seemed like they both agreed that they were willing to keep covering up for her as long as she made her gymnastics goal but I am not sure if I was reading too much into it...

ChristineDuane (58)
I thought this too. It was a little creepy !
You Will Know MeBeth (6)
Having just finished...

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this story. On the one hand, it was a decently enjoyable read. I don't regret choosing it, but it definitely wasn't what I was expecting.

There wasn't a ton of suspense or mystery, I think the first few chapters basically spelled out exactly what was going to happen for the rest of the novel. The most suspense was waiting to see how Katie would react to learning the truth, and I found her take on the situation extremely interesting.

I also felt like the characters were all very, very similar and kind of one-dimensional, which made following the story slightly difficult when the author would go off on long sentences using only pronouns instead of names. I wasn't a fan of her writing style.

I think I was most confused about Devon's character. She writes cute love notes to Ryan in her sex leotard and then murders him? I'd love to hear more opinions and thoughts on her character.

BethCoryell (2)
Megan Abbott missed a great opportunity in not developing Devon's character nor telling any parts of the story from her perspective. As a reader being led through what should have been a dramatic mystery, I found myself bereft by being limited to solely Katie's perspective. Her maternal instincts, if one can call them that, kicked in sporadically and it felt as if Ms. Abbott wished for her to be a sympathetic character. In all honesty, as much as Katie was portrayed as being an exhausted parent, I, too, was exhausted by slogging through this novel.
rgarber55 (4)
I completely agree! I felt like there was hardly any character development at all... I thought that I would love this book, but wasn't very impressed. It was hard to get into this book as I felt like I hardly "knew" anyone involved. We saw that the daughter was an elite gymnast, but really learned nothing else about this family or their lives. Disappointed.
Beth (6)
I agree, I feel that we were extremely limited in the perspective of the novel. I felt as though it were a first person POV pretending to be third person, but so unsure of itself that I never connected to any of the characters. I think one of the things that disappointed me the most was the complete lack of growth in all of them. Even after everything that happened, they all remained more or less the same exact character as the start of the novel. There was never any depth to their motives of behavior.
Rachelle (6)
I agree that Devon's focus on gymnastics and qualifying for Elite made her compartmentalize, pushing aside her more human side. I saw that, too, when her mom visited the school and saw the way the other kids treated her, especially all the crude remarks. Devon knew what she wanted and knew she could be extraordinary, but I was still shocked at how she and her mom both just ignored the remarks. I could see how Devon had to, though, to continue to focus all her energies on gymnastics. She didn't have time for the typical teenage drama. I had a hard time, though, accepting that she'd go so far as to kill Ryan and seem to feel so little regret. The way I understand it is partly because of her parents. They both focused on gymnastics and the Olympic goal so much that they never seem to think of telling the truth or giving Devon any consequences.
Beth (6)
I could see the compartmentalization of Devon's behaviors causing her to abandon her 'human' side, and I could understand that as a young woman under an EXCEEDING amount of pressure that she could make some questionable choices. I think where I drew the line was her deciding to kill Ryan, even as a snap decision, it just seemed so out of nowhere. Perhaps if the author had delved further into her character, it would have made a tad bit more sense. I feel like Megan Abbott wanted so badly for it to be a 'twist' that she kind of forgot to explain more of the motives throughout the novel, instead of only the last few pages.
Talk2megoose (17)
I think Devon has the emotional range of a pretty typical teenage girl, but the aspirations of a champion. Ryan was her crutch when she was feeling ruined after her falter at the qualifiers. He made her feel wanted and special... so the infatuation began. However, once she regained her momentum at the gym, and started moving closer to the goal of qualifying for Elite, she felt the need to separate from Ryan. He was going to hold her back. Teenage girls have a zillion and one things they are trying to process at a certain time. Add in the fact that she is striving for a goal that has been ingrained in her since she was 3 years old, and I think you get a very powerful yet complex character. I found it very interesting how she was able to continue working towards her goal with so much focus, it was almost robot like, but her human side was still recognizing what she had done, and dealing with the guilt and the fact that she knew what she had done was terrible. Devon compartmentalized, which is what made her so interesting to me.
You Will Know MeSamanttttttha (14)
Devon and Ryan?

I found this book difficult to get into. I enjoy using my imagination when it comes to characters appearances, but I wish Megan Abbott would have been a bit more descriptive and used a bit less foreshadowing. I'm not a fan of a lot of foreshadowing at all, I feel as though it takes away from the story and can confuse readers. I noticed a few editing errors right from the start - missing words in sentences and missing quotation marks. I don't regret getting this book because it was indeed a good storyline, but it just felt as though a teenager wrote it. I'll be sure to steer clear from Megan Abbott's books in the future.

WendiHoward (3)
I didn't love this novel. I didn't feel a connection to the characters at all. It just fell flat for me. Someone above mentioned hearing from Devon's perspective, which I think would have been very interesting. I wonder if all of Megan Abbott's books are like this?
BethCoryell (2)
I, too, was disappointed in this novel. The characters lacked depth and the plot was plodding at best. Additionally, I found there were leaps made in the story line and during breaks in time periods in which I was left wondering what I had missed. Upon rereading the prior pages, however, I discovered that it wasn't my wandering mind (due to disinterest), but a lack of development both in terms of characterization and plot. I hope January's BOTM choices make up for this one. :)
HillaryB (1)
I was the exact same way! I was very disconnected with the characters. I enjoyed the storyline as a whole, but the storytelling had a lot to be desired.
Beth (6)
I felt the exact same way, I was shocked when I glanced at the about the author portion and saw that she'd published eight novels - I was expecting a debut author. The foreshadowing had me rolling my eyes! I was hoping for a suspenseful read, not having it spelled out on the first few chapters.
You Will Know MeJenniferHughes (4)
Lingering Questions

As I ponder on this book more and more, several things stand out to me:

1- Katie prides herself on the intimacy she shares with each of her children, (sharing Devon's body, and the special one-on-one time with Drew) but in the end, when it comes to the things that really matter, she isn't able to hear what either one is trying to tell her. Why is this?

2- Eric seems equally, if not more, to blame for Ryan's death than Devon is, by pushing Devon so hard, by his conspiring with Gwen, and by his reaction to learning of Devon's relationship with Ryan. Is he really covering for his daughter, or does he recognize his own role in the tragedy?

3- Katie is rather judgemental of the other families, but doesn't seem to have insight into how her own family embodies the same characteristics she detests in others, whether it's the cut-throat ambition of Gwen, the way the other parents use their daughters for their own pride, the flirtatiousness of the other mothers toward Ryan, or the family secrets of Teddy and Hailey. Toward the end of the book, does her experience teach her a lesson?

Rachelle (6)
Helen at one point in the book makes a reference to how we never really know our children, and I think that applies to Katie. There were a lot of things Devon was hiding from her. I agree with Jamie, though, that Katie also didn't want to know. Especially when Drew told her his dreams over and over, and she always completely dismissed them. I don't blame Eric for the events leading up to Ryan's death. I think he did push Devon about breaking up with him, but I imagine many parents would react this way when they find out their 14 (16?) year old daughter is sleeping with an older guy. I do blame him for not telling Katie as soon as he found out and for helping his daughter cover everything up. Unfortunately, I also don't think Katie ever learns her lesson, at least as far as seeing those traits negatively in herself. Instead, I think she embraces the pride, focus, and secrets.
jana (10)
No. Katie learns nothing except how to deceive HERSELF. I was completely horrified how Katie handled it when Devon made her confession. That was her moment of truth. She should have taken Devon straight to the police station the next morning but instead she became complicit in the cover up and allowed Devon to get away with murder. The moment Devon put her foot down on the accelerated she made her choice to sacrifice all she had worked so hard for. That was the moment Devon could have been saved instead all Katie did was reinforce to Devon that all u need to do is get rid of what stands in your way because what SHE WANT means more than anything else. Even another human life! It's pathetic what Katie did. I also believe Devon was a little sociopath in the making and Katie sealed the deal. I thought Katie would do what's right. Instead she failed both drew AND devon. Very sad
JamieGarrett (8)
I agree that throughout the book Katie was continually deceiving herself. She made her next door neighbor Mr.Watts agree with her that she couldn't have possible been watching when 3 year old Devon had her accident. She is constantly questioning Eric's love for her and if their marriage was only a result of Devon, but in the end she didn't care how she got Eric or if he married for love. I believe the overarching theme of the book involved Katie turning a cheek to the truth, big or small. Telling Drew he was always dreaming is another example, and not to mention Devon's murder. This theme wasn't meant to be told from any other perspective.
You Will Know MeTalk2megoose (17)
So Happy This Book Made The List!

I really enjoyed this book. It was well written, fast paced and I thoroughly enjoyed the character development. I read this book in 3 days, and didn't want it to end. However, once it did end... the deep thoughts started. I really started thinking about the relationships between everyone in the book, and how deep the lies and deceit went. It went beyond the immediate issue of Ryan's murder, and the people directly involved, but went all the way back to Katie's marriage. Reading about her discovery that her husband may not even truly love her, and how he may have only married her because of her pregnancy was devastating. This book reminded me of Russian nesting dolls. There were layers upon layers of lies, pain, and ugly, and all of it started with the tiniest doll in the center. Devon.

This book makes you think about humanity, and if all people have that evil ugly side inside them. It brought me back to how I felt when I read, 1984. While this book is very entertaining, and you can leave it at that... if you really take the time to pay attention to the little things happening in the background, you are in for a thinker of a book.

MacyPruitt (4)
I completely agree. I was surprised that there are not more positive comments on the forum. I absolutely loved this book and loved the stories among stories between the characters.
You Will Know Meabbyysmom (3)
love it

The book grabbed me from the get-go! So fast paced. You can tell there's a ton of "behind the scenes" but as it's told from the moms perspective and she's not privy to it...you only really know as much as she does. I have not yet finished it because I don;t want it to end! I've read some of Meg's other books "THe Fever" was especially good. She's really maturing as a writer, She's a delight to read!

You Will Know MeKevinNguyen (6)
Discuss With Us

You Will Know Me is about ambitions—those of kids and those of parents. Do they align? How does ambition affect the parent-child relationships?

abbyysmom (3)
My child is ALMOST as into basketball as Hailey is into gymnastics. As a parent and as a familial relationship it does take a toll. My daughter is very clear that I support her with basketball but that she and I also have our commtment to our family and sometimes (though not often) basketball comes second. This ads another layer of challenge as my daughter commutes weekly between two different households. My ex drops everything for the basketball and I won't.
jana (10)
Devon you mean? After reading this book I can honestly say I would NEVER allow my daughter to get involved in gymnastics. Anything that pushes a young girl to such extremes I believe is not good for them either physically or psychologically. Got a very unsettling feeling peeking inside that world
jana (10)
Devon you mean?
You Will Know MeKevinNguyen (6)
Discuss With Us

The novel is largely concerned with the secrets we keep from the people we love. Why do the characters in You Will Know Me hide things from the people who care about them the most?

Kilbanks (2)
It's interesting that almost every character who was hiding something was doing it to protect someone else, be it from disappointment, sadness, or even jail. This ultimately was to the detriment of both the secret keeper & the naive. It's an interesting lesson that those we are trying to protect may be the ones we're hurting the most.
Rachelle (6)
Agree, too, but I also think there's an element of pride and ambition to some of the secrets. Having the truth about Ryan's murder become public knowledge would certainly derail Devon's gymnastics career, which is something not only Devon but her parents have put their whole lives into.
jana (10)
Absolutely agree and by allowing the crime to b hidden from law enforcement Katie and Eric hurt their children in an even more detrimental way. I feel in protecting devon,they sacrificed her soul. Very disappointed in these parents!
jana (10)
I think many of us hide things from the people we love. To avoid conflict,fear of being vulnerable, fear of rejection, fear of losing their respect, to avoid hurting the people we love with the stark reality of TRUTH. This family has most families beat hands down though.
Skeggjold (17)
I think it's most interesting to consider this in relationship to Katie. Many people in the book were hiding things from Katie, seemingly due to different priorities (not wanting to derail Devon's path) but ultimately because they understood things about Katie that she wasn't ready to admit to herself. Her son told her the truth every step of the way and she wouldn't hear it. Everyone knew and had noticed things about her that she could hardly process: the neighbor, Gwen, Eric, Ryan's mother, Drew, Devon, etc. Katie had a half-formed idea about who she was and what she stood for that couldn't withstand critical examination. I believe this is also why Devon withholds that critical bit of information at the end, as well. Devon can face that fact, but Katie can't.
You Will Know MeKevinNguyen (6)
Discuss With Us

In Megan Abbott's novels, teens act like adults and adults act like teens. What do you think she's trying to say about emotional maturity?

You Will Know MeBookWorm (11)

I thought this book had an interesting premise, and the plot kept me engaged throughout but I honestly had a hard time being really drawn in. I think there were a few factors that contributed to this. Mostly, there were too many characters and every. single. one was a "suspect". I didn't know how I felt about any of the characters even in the end - Katie, Eric, Devon, Drew, Gwen, Teddy, Hailey, etc! It made it hard to form ideas throughout the book. I feel like this would make a good movie because in addition to all the information given by the author, it would have been helpful to have body language, and tone, etc. I think this is reflective of a lack of description from the author because I very rarely feel this way about a book.

There was also the topic of how far will a parent go to protect a child and to push a child. Do you think either / both Katie and Eric crossed lines in protecting Devon and pushing her to be her best gymnast? I felt that there was a lot of focus on Eric going to far, but in the end was Katie out of line as well?

Skeggjold (17)
You've hit the nail on the head as to why I usually don't read mystery novels, I spend too much time figuring out the mystery and none enjoying the story (if there is much of one.) The author started out heavy and kept the noir-ish tone and phrasing the whole time. It was a lot to take, though the plot was interesting. Stephen King said to read some books for the language, some for the story. This definitely fell on the story side for me. I think Eric may have crossed a line around the time of the pit, though there is some merit in not wanting to let Devon quit just because she was afraid. The question for me is exactly how much did he compromise ethically to get that pit built? Did he cheat on his wife? Katie crosses her lines later, once she starts mindlessly destroying evidence. It's one thing to be protective, but another to ignore everything around you in service of a story you've been telling yourself. I felt scared for Drew by the end. The author did a good job of building up how everyone could get in so deep they found it necessary to press on, no matter the cost, without really making that choice explicitly. It was a series of small decisions that led up to something bigger than all of them. Very true to life.
Snug216 (32)
I feel like your last paragraph there really nailed it on the head. She was just "so good" that this little thing could be overlooked. And this little piece ignored, And if we just get rid of this then... and if we just destroy this then... and in the end every little excuse led to something so big, how could anyone back track? So good. I really liked this book. And it's YA Lit to begin with, I feel like some people are being really hard on it here.
Talk2megoose (17)
I just received this book last night, and I am already half way finished. This book immediately drew me in, and had me forming my guesses as to what happened, right off the bat. I agree that this would make a great movie, but that is because the book is really entertaining. I think the author did a great job of getting the point across as to who was good, bad, and otherwise. I loved that I could picture the snotty gymnast mothers, and uppity families that want to see their children be the best, so it reflects well on themselves as parents. I can't wait to see how it ends, but so far I am very pleased with how thought out the characters and plot lines are (and there are so many). As for the parents going too far... I can't form a conclusion, as I am only half way though. However, from the beginning I felt Katie just wanted her daughter to be happy. As for Eric, he is the one completely absorbed in every aspect of this gymnast goal and lifestyle, but I feel both of them could be turning a blind eye at the real goings on.
AshleyFreeman (2)
Like so many of you, I read this book quickly. Even though I didn't really find any of the characters likable, I still felt compelled to read quickly. I don't have any children, but I have a feeling that reading it as a parent would be a very interesting experience, given Katie's choice at the end. Not too sure what was going on with the neighbor. My only guess is that it was too show that Katie is just as complicit in Devon's accident/upbringing as Eric? I'd love to hear some other ideas. Also, given Devon's own description of the accident toward the end, is it possible that Devon might be a sociopath in the making?
Skeggjold (17)
I think the neighbor's perspective on the accident showed a few things. One, Katie was just as responsible for Devon's foot as Eric. However, unlike Eric, at the moment of crisis she froze. He made a tourniquet from his belt, he acted to save and protect their daughter. Beyond that moment, he made it his mission to see her successful despite her injury. This pattern is repeated with events later in Devon's life. Katie is able to face the injury, calling it a "frankenfoot," but not her part in it. She rewrites history in her mind to preserve her idea of herself as a mother. This is echoed in her behavior when Devon tells her story, filling in gaps and rewording phrases to make it fit Katie's idea of herself and her daughter. I believe this is also what Gwen means when she says Katie is "much better": Gwen knows she is manipulative and her honesty limits her, Katie believes her own fiction. Which makes her limitless.
RJMearman (1)
I also read this book at an extremely fast pace. I don't normally finish books this quickly because daily activities get in the way, but I finished this book in 24 hours!! (over the course of one evening and the following morning). The only character I liked was Katie - I felt I could relate to her the most - maybe since it was from her perspective so we got a further insight to her thoughts. I agree about the neighbor, I thought he was going to be the missing piece in the Ryan Beck murder story since the neighbor was a bigger character towards the end. Devon's description of the accident was a bit eerie. I felt that there were a few holes in the story - a hit and run turned into a cold case in a town where everyone talks about every detail in each others lives, also the ending left you to infer that Devon became Elite, I was hoping for a bit more closure.
Kris10 (3)
I initially wanted more closure, but the more I thought about it I'm glad it was left open. If Devon made elite I would have been mad a sociopath was rewarded and if she hadn't made elite it seems like the whole story would be for nothing. Of course that is just my feelings about the ending. I really enjoyed the book!
Snug216 (32)
This summarizes everything about the ending. That's why it's better not to know. Was Devon a little sociopath or made one bad decision and didn't know how to cope? Did she make it and was never discovered? Did she make it and then the cops come storming in as she's getting her medal? Did she not make it and her parents turn her in since everything was for nothing anyway? That, for me, was the juiciest part of the ending. The wondering. And maybe learning a little bit about yourself... I found myself hoping she made it and didn't get caught. Something about some people being better than others and getting to play by different rules. That's life for a lot of people and it wouldn't surprise me one bit. When you are talented, or pretty, or rich, etc, you get away with stuff others don't. And she had a whole team of people complicit in her lies.
Kilbanks (2)
I agree with you. I was very much into the story but I didn't like even one of the characters. I just felt sorry for the ignored son. This book was hard to put down but I found the ending to be a bit abrupt.
(4)
Yes me too. I am not sure why I could not get into the characters. Maybe they were not that relateable i am not sure. Yes, poor Drew. It felt a little too Young Adult for me. Definitely the ending was abrupt. There was not much about Eric coming back into the house and where was he when he left? Still very good book.
RebeccaHamilton (3)
I agree about the ending. I just kept waiting to hear from Devon's perspective.
EllieHarte (5)
Me too! I wish there was more about Devon after the fact. Agree that the ending felt very abrupt.
EllieHarte (5)
I agree with you about all the characters being suspects! I read this book in a 2 day period so it definitely kept me engaged and curious as to what was going to happen. I do think this would make a really cool movie. I loved the atmosphere of the gym and the family/community that came out of that, and then how quickly those bonds could dissolve once something big happened. I'm not sure either of the parents crossed lines pushing Devon necessarily, but I think Katie was probably out of line at the end. It's hard to say because yes, they did spend their whole lives taking care of her and pushing her, but...I guess I just wonder what the other option would be? Telling someone everything? Not sure! I don't see Katie doing that. What did you think of the Frankenfoot thing? That kind of seemed like a thing thrown in there to make Devon imperfect, but I'm possibly not reading enough into it.
Skeggjold (17)
The Frankenfoot thing served two purposes in my mind: it provided a motive for Eric and Katie to pour everything they had into Devon's success (to assuage their guilt and fear), and it underscored Devon's own determination to succeed in the face of any limitation. On a more symbolic level, that I feel the author was a little-heavy handed with, part of Devon was missing. She was missing part of herself, and she didn't feel as much because of it.
EllieHarte (5)
This is a really good point! I do think they felt guilty about it, and I also do think that she was trying to prove herself.
LizzyD (6)
As a mother of a daughter who spent many years as a competitive gymnast, it was the gymnastics that kept me reading. Many of the characters in the book reminded me of people I had known that were connected with the gym. Apart from that, I thought the book was an okay read. I question how she could become an elite gymnast with the damage done to her foot. That felt unrealistic to me. I am also confused about the neighbor's memory of the lawn mower accident. Why would he have been watching Katie?
BookWorm (11)
I definitely felt engaged - I also read in about 3 days, so I guess that's a sign that it was good. I just remember at different times in the book being like wait are all these characters bad? why dont i have any idea yet? Different from say The Couple Next Door, if you read that, where you kind of have changing hypothesis but still are creating hypothesis throughout. And yeah for Katie, I'm not sure what choice she had in the end. But I thought Eric was a bit over the top throughout the book, and they talked about that a lot, but in the end Katie also seemed to be willing to protect Devon no matter what. Hmm Frankenfoot - I'm surprised that wouldnt have impaired her more. I felt like it worked as a great way to say that they kind of stumbled in to gymnastics, they didnt go in to it hoping she'd be a prodigy, they just did it to make her normal and it ended up clicking really well. But then it kept coming back in other ways that I felt like weren't as useful for the story. What did you think?
Hannah (33)
I think this was one of the most real books that I have read in awhile, and it kept surprising me throughout, which I really didn't expect. I don't think we really got a full portrait of Eric or his motivations which I think was intended by the author I agree that Frankenfoot was only helpful to help explain some of Eric's motivations and it was not really explored effectively and I think it could have had more of an impact. Very underutilized
gmjohnson500 (6)
This book felt real to me too. I could relate to the competitive parenting with sports. I read this in three days and was sad to see it end.
Talk2megoose (17)
I just wanted to drop a quick book recommendation since we are on the topic of parents going "too far". I highly recommend, "Defending Jacob". That book threw me for an absolute loop. Very much along the same lines as You Will See Me, but minus the gymnastics realm.
AshleyFreeman (2)
Defending Jacob is a fantastic read! Totally agree on that one.
abbyysmom (3)
I second Defending Jacob!!
KerynSullivan (1)
I agree that there were a lot of characters to keep track of. However, I really enjoyed this book and I couldn't put it down. I kept thinking I knew what was going to happen next but was surprised each time. I thought for sure that Eric and Gwen were having an affair and I had a feeling from the beginning Devon was the one who hit Ryan-not Eric. I was kind of confused with Mr. Watts and some of the things he said, for example, he said Katie was standing frozen at the door when the accident with the lawn mower happened. I really loved Drew and knew he must know and be aware of what was going on especially at the end when he told Katie Devon would take the car out. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down!