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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

#allthebookreviews: Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott @littlebrown @meganeabbott

Give Me Your Hand
by Megan Abbott

Thanks so much to Little, Brown and Company for these copies!
Another July read for #allthebookreviews.  

Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company
Publish Date:  July 17, 2018
352 Pages
Genre: Psychological Thriller

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.

My Review:

If I'm being honest, I'm not completely quite sure what to think of this book.  It started off a bit slow with the Then and Now format we are all used to reading by now.  We get a bit of history of Diane and Kit and the tumultuous secret that ended their friendship.  How Kit thought she could just move on and never have to deal with it again.  Then Diane shows up at her lab and becomes competition now for the coveted spots with the very formidable Dr. Severin.

This is where things start to get interesting.  We find out about this big secret, new secrets become born and it's a tangled weave that begins to unravel.  A knot constructed in ways Kit didn't even imagine.  Now what? 

Honestly, at first I was baffled about the continuing talk to PMDD research and how women become violent due to their periods... yes, I realize it's more convoluted than that but let's strip it down to this for the moment.  I was a little irritated with this concept - though I do give big ups for research into something that paralyzes some women on a monthly basis since a lot of research goes into male impotence but not much in this faction - so bravo.  I guess I didn't quite like this as a running theme though it did become so much more than that when it came down to the primal ending. Hell, maybe I'm on MY period and am just irritable by nature. HA

I will say that I enjoyed the last quarter much better than the rest of the book.  Abbott did a keen job bringing everything together and tying in SO many things.  This is where I believe she shines. 

It's dangerous when someone knows your biggest secret.  They say that people always carry something with them that no one else will ever know about.  Personally, after this story, I hope more people keep their biggest secrets to themselves!  Only two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead.


Jessica's Review:

This as my introduction to Megan Abbott and I was not disappointed! I've heard great things about her other books and I'll definitely be picking those up. GIVE ME YOUR HAND has a slower start and dives into the characters, but the pacing picks up as the story and secrets progress. 
Kit and Diane met and become fast friends in high school. Both girls have a mutual love for chemistry and a natural rivalry begins to spark between them. One night, Diane decides to share her horrible secret with Kit. This has plagued Kit for years and continues to haunt her. Now, a decade later, Kit is working in a research lab under her idol, Dr. Severin. They are studying PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) and has her sights set on a coveted position within the research team. One day everything turns upside down for her when Diane walks into her lab. As her past comes crashing back into her life she must now try to cope with having to work side by side with the friend she so desperately tried to forget. 
We go back between the past and the present, a thriller theme we see a lot and one that I rather enjoy. We get glimpses into the past and are slowly revealed, piece by piece, what Diane's dark secret is. While I would categorize this as more of a slow-burn thriller, it does pick up the pacing as we get closer to the big reveal. 
Abbott does a great job creating these characters and really dives into the minds of these women, both as teenagers and as adults. I really enjoyed the women in science element. This is something you don't frequently see in books lately, at least not in the genres that I frequent! It's refreshing to get a different perspective.
Overall, this is all about the power of secrets and the hold they can have on our lives. When does a friendship become a rivalry? When did these two friends begin to turn against each other and why? What do you do when the past comes back to haunt you?
I give this 3.5/5 stars!


  1. Thanks for this review! We’ve been looking forward to reading this one.