Give Me Your Hand

Give Me Your Hand

A mesmerizing psychological thriller about how a secret can bind two friends together forever...or tear them apart. 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 th...

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Title:Give Me Your Hand
Author:Megan Abbott
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Give Me Your Hand Reviews

  • karen

    and, BOOM - review posted today!

    *****************************************************

    I GET TO REVIEW THIS FOR L.A. REVIEW OF BOOKS!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  • Emily May

    Not

    as good as

    , 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

    and the relationships between them. Abbott crawls deep inside the female brain - to all its dark places, thoughts and jealousies - and

    Not

    as good as

    , 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

    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.

    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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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    follows two ex-friends forced into a competition over a spot in an elite chemistry team, and in joint past-and-present tense, develops into a slow burn thriller about the nature of keeping secrets for people close to you, and how the darkness of someone near you can be what kills you.

    Okay, first of all, Megan Abbott is one of the most talented authors in the adult thriller genre. Her descriptions give her entire writing this very sinister feel, and it’s glorious. But there’s al

    follows two ex-friends forced into a competition over a spot in an elite chemistry team, and in joint past-and-present tense, develops into a slow burn thriller about the nature of keeping secrets for people close to you, and how the darkness of someone near you can be what kills you.

    Okay, first of all, Megan Abbott is one of the most talented authors in the adult thriller genre. Her descriptions give her entire writing this very sinister feel, and it’s glorious. But there’s also a hint of sardonic humor to her writing.

    What’s interesting here is none of the characters, including the lead, are good people. But perhaps the strongest antihero of the book is Diane. And I… empathized with Diane. A lot more than expected. Which I think is perhaps the most transcendent part of the book; that we find so much sympathy for these characters, even though we shouldn’t.

    This book also thrives primarily off a relationship between two women, and just as the relationship between Beth and Addie in

    , it is wonderful and fucked up. They are at once each other's biggest rivals and each other's biggest allies and Kit's feelings for Diane are so wonderfully complicated.

    Megan Abbott’s work never really sustains itself off plot twists or reveals for me; she’s more of a talent at creep factor and character work. But I will say there’s this particularly nasty twist towards the end, and I didn’t think there would be another twist, and it’s kind of the most fucked up part of the entire book.

    This book is fantastic and creepy and atmospheric and fucked up, and I can’t wait to read more by this author.

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  • Diane S ☔

    Cunning and clever. Kit meets Diana at school, both runners, both work harder than anyone else, both want to win the scholarship sponsored by the reknown Dr. Severin. Only one, however, will win this prize. A secret is a secret only when the one with the secret never tells. Diane has a big secret, one she tells Kit, who she considers her friend, but friends can so easily become rivals, when both want the same thing.

    Years pass, Kit works with Dr. Severin in her lab on a study of female menses, wh

    Cunning and clever. Kit meets Diana at school, both runners, both work harder than anyone else, both want to win the scholarship sponsored by the reknown Dr. Severin. Only one, however, will win this prize. A secret is a secret only when the one with the secret never tells. Diane has a big secret, one she tells Kit, who she considers her friend, but friends can so easily become rivals, when both want the same thing.

    Years pass, Kit works with Dr. Severin in her lab on a study of female menses, when she is unexpectedly united with Diana once again. When I read thrillers I am sometimes entertained, sometimes incredulous, but Im not often made to think about how the story was assembled and what it is meant to represent. Abbott writes about strong females, women at the top of their game, but inside they are anything but strong. Here she shows us the cut throat, claustrophobic feeling of the scientific lab. Where there is room for only a few in the important studies, the prestigious ones, and what people will do to get to the top. On the surface Diana and Kit are alike but underneath they are very different. Or are they? One knows who she is, the other makes excuses for the way she acts, but who is to say what she is actually capable of doing. She is not exactly innocent, has betrayed before, swinging things in her favor.

    As I was reading this I kept thinking of the book Columbine and one thing said in the book has always stayed with me. That without Eric, Danny would never have been a killer. I was surprised therefore, when something like that was written here.

    "The world is a fiction the brain constructs. The smell of a fresh peach, the punch of a Firefly in the night sky. The lilting hush hush of a lullaby. The brain fashions it all and we don't know how or why.

    So how could I know about myself, what I am, what Diane is or was before.

    What Diane and I are together that we might never have been alone."

    There is so much going on here under the surface, so much symbolism. Not an ordinary thriller by any means, but a thriller by a clever author at the top of her game.

    ARC from Edelweiss.

  • Susanne Strong

    4 Stars.

    Kit and Diane met while in High School and became fast friends. As fellow runners, they drove each other to become better. When Diane transferred to Kit’s school during their Senior year, their friendship continued and both excelled in school and in running, until one day when Diane divulged a terrible secret to Kit. One which destroyed their friendship and which Kit was sworn to keep forever.

    Years later, Kit is a Research Scientist in a lab, working for her idol, Dr. Severin. Kit’s goa

    4 Stars.

    Kit and Diane met while in High School and became fast friends. As fellow runners, they drove each other to become better. When Diane transferred to Kit’s school during their Senior year, their friendship continued and both excelled in school and in running, until one day when Diane divulged a terrible secret to Kit. One which destroyed their friendship and which Kit was sworn to keep forever.

    Years later, Kit is a Research Scientist in a lab, working for her idol, Dr. Severin. Kit’s goals are finally within her grasp and then Diane walks in - she is the new member of the team and from that point forward everything goes boom. If Kit thought her relationship with Diane was complicated before, she was wrong.

    In Give Me Your Hand, Megan Abbott creates an interesting story with characters whose lives are quite complicated and whose stories draw you in. Unfortunately for me, there was just a little something missing here.. perhaps it was an intensity - that I had come to expect from Ms. Abbott’s prior novels, which left me wanting more. Regardless, this was an easy, enjoyable read and it held my interest throughout.

    Thank you to NetGalley, Little Brown and Company and Megan Abbott for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 7.21.18.

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    I'm really torn here... On one hand, Megan Abbott is queen, but this definitely isn't my favorite book she's written. I adore how she can write a female relationship unlike any author I've come across before; she gets all the nuances just right and injects a creepy vibe that carries the narrative AND plot without much action from the characters. I'm not sure if I just wasn't as invested in the characters this go around, as it took a little longer for me to become engrossed in the story,

    I'm really torn here... On one hand, Megan Abbott is queen, but this definitely isn't my favorite book she's written. I adore how she can write a female relationship unlike any author I've come across before; she gets all the nuances just right and injects a creepy vibe that carries the narrative AND plot without much action from the characters. I'm not sure if I just wasn't as invested in the characters this go around, as it took a little longer for me to become engrossed in the story, or if maybe I've read too many books in this vein, but either way I fully accept that I'll be in the minority here. You can also bet your bottom dollar that I'll be waiting with bated breath for Abbott's next novel, just as I have all the times before. I'll try to add more thoughts closer to pub date.

  • Debra

    How well do you know your friends? What are the ties that bind? What can pull two friends apart?

    Kit Owens and Diane Fleming met when they are teenagers at camp. Then one day, Diane appears in Kit's chemistry class. Their friendship is sealed, and they soon become inseparable. Both girls become driven to do well not only in school but in life. Both are very intelligent, and both seem to have similar interests in science. Then one day, Diane shares a secret with Kit, a secret which changes their f

    How well do you know your friends? What are the ties that bind? What can pull two friends apart?

    Kit Owens and Diane Fleming met when they are teenagers at camp. Then one day, Diane appears in Kit's chemistry class. Their friendship is sealed, and they soon become inseparable. Both girls become driven to do well not only in school but in life. Both are very intelligent, and both seem to have similar interests in science. Then one day, Diane shares a secret with Kit, a secret which changes their friendship forever. Kit shared a secret she had at camp, but it wasn't as big as Diane's secret. The teens drift apart and both go their separate ways.

    As both were intelligent and had interests in the scientific field, they soon cross paths once again when they are both making names for themselves in their chosen fields. Diane is hired to work in the same lab as Kit and they learn that they are up for the same position working under a brilliant scientist whom they both idolize.

    This both is told through "Now" and "Then" chapters filling in the gaps of their friendship. The reader finally learns the "secret" and the impact it has on the women's lives. At the same time the reader watches as those in the lab vie for the coveted position and things take a turn and yet again their lives are changed.

    Part of this book takes place in a lab, but I did not feel that any of the scientific language or experiments got in the way of the story. It would be strange if the object of their study was not discussed as most of the characters were scientists. Yes, there is discussion about experiments being done on animals, so be warned! Some may not like these sections. For me this book was good not great. It was a fast read and well written but at the same time it failed to really "wow" me. I didn't really care for any of the characters, I didn't find anything to be too shocking or overly interesting. This is a book which I think had a lot of potential and it just fell a little flat for me. I still enjoyed it but was just missing that spark which would have made the book better for me personally.

    Thank you to Little, Brown and Company and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    See more of my reviews at

  • Holly  B

    3.5 Stars!

    Most teenagers have secrets they share with friends. There is nothing unusual about that, but this secret is so dark that it threatens to change the course of two lives.  Thankfully none of my high school friends shared any secrets that gave me nightmares. Kit is haunted by the secret Diane shared with her (

    . She wants to rid herself of it, but the

    I loved the "Then" and "Now" format as we lear

    3.5 Stars!

    Most teenagers have secrets they share with friends. There is nothing unusual about that, but this secret is so dark that it threatens to change the course of two lives.  Thankfully none of my high school friends shared any secrets that gave me nightmares. Kit is haunted by the secret Diane shared with her (

    . She wants to rid herself of it, but the

    I loved the "Then" and "Now" format as we learn about the two high school friends, Kit and Diane and the past they shared.  Fast forward ten years and Kit is the only female working in a prestigious lab. That is until her old pal Diane walks through the door! (

    ) This is when things start to go

    This novel has a bit of all the genres. Some science with the laboratory setting and the research going on (even mice make an appearance), a bit of a YA feel with the high school rivalry, part thriller and maybe even a tad touch of horror. Yes, a fine wine.

    I thought this one was a fast read and well paced, but not my favorite.  I did set my believability factor aside to fully enjoy this one.  I'm looking forward to reading another book by this author because her writing was just so engaging.

    Thanks to NG and Little, Brown and Company for my ARC.

  • Larry H

    3.5 stars.

    "I guess I always knew, in some subterranean way, Diane and I would end up back together. We are bound, ankle to ankle, a monstrous three-legged race. Accidental accomplices. Wary conspirators. Or Siamese twins, fused in some hidden place. It's that powerful, this thing we share. A murky history, its narrative near impenetrable. We keep telling it to ourselves, noting its twists and turns, trying to make sense of it. And hiding it from everyone else."

    When Kit and Diane became friends i

    3.5 stars.

    "I guess I always knew, in some subterranean way, Diane and I would end up back together. We are bound, ankle to ankle, a monstrous three-legged race. Accidental accomplices. Wary conspirators. Or Siamese twins, fused in some hidden place. It's that powerful, this thing we share. A murky history, its narrative near impenetrable. We keep telling it to ourselves, noting its twists and turns, trying to make sense of it. And hiding it from everyone else."

    When Kit and Diane became friends in high school, for the first time, Kit recognized her intelligence as an asset. Diane encouraged her to believe in herself, believe she could accomplish anything she wanted, that she wasn't destined to attend college in her hometown and never amount to much. The two grew inseparable, challenging and pushing each other, both hoping to achieve a prestigious internship. Kit always felt as if she were one step behind Diane, but that didn't stop her from wanting, from trying.

    One night, Diane told Kit a secret she had kept hidden from everyone. This wasn't just any secret—this was the biggest secret Diane had, about the worst thing she had ever done. Kit didn't understand why Diane had to tell her this, and it completely destroyed their friendship. Any time she looked at Diane, Kit felt the weight of the knowledge she had about her. She knew she should tell someone, but she can't bring herself to, but she can't escape knowing, either. Still, she hopes that once they graduate high school she'll never see Diane again.

    Years later, Kit is where she wants to be—working in a lab under one of the most formidable female scientists, who is just about to receive major grant funding for a project looking at a once-taboo, misunderstood, "female issue." Kit is hoping to be one of the people chosen to work on this grant. And then, unexpectedly, Diane arrives, brought into the lab specifically by Kit's boss.

    "Everyone always likes the best, wants the most, admires deeply, the girl who's just out of reach. The girl no one can touch, really. We don't know why we're drawn, but it's unstoppable."

    Without warning, Kit faces the same feelings about Diane she had hidden away after high school. All she wants to do is work, but suddenly she's competing with Diane again, trying not to think of what Diane told her all those years ago. But in a moment of weakness, Kit makes a mistake she can't take back, and suddenly Diane is there, protecting Kit, keeping

    secret.

    Can Kit keep both of their secrets? Is Diane a threat to her, professionally and/or personally? How far will things have to go before Kit feels secure in her work, and her life—or will that ever be a possibility?

    Megan Abbott has created some of the best "mean girl" characters in fiction over the last few years, in novels like

    , and

    . In

    it's more "crazy girl" than "mean girl," but her work is equally memorable—and unsettling.

    This is an interesting story of female intelligence, friendship, rivalry, and relationships, and the challenges women in academia (particularly in science) face to get ahead. It's also a look at how far we would go for a friend, if there's a secret that we'd consider too big to keep for someone, even if we care about them.

    Even though this book is fairly predictable, I couldn't stop reading it. I needed to see how far Abbott would take her plot and her characters, hoping she wouldn't go completely off the rails.

    isn't the strongest of Abbott's books I've read—I think that goes to

    (

    )—but it's still entertaining, and it will be difficult to get out of your mind.

    NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

    See all of my reviews at

    , or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at

    .

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