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Give Me Your Hand

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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 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 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.


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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 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 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.

30 review for Give Me Your Hand

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    The fear all men have that there’s something inside us that shifts, and turns. A living thing, once dormant, stirring now, and filled with rage. 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 The fear all men have that there’s something inside us that shifts, and turns. A living thing, once dormant, stirring now, and filled with rage. 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. “Haven’t you ever done something in the blink of an eye and then realized it was wrong? That it was all wrong?” 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. The raw, ugly, mottled things you fear about yourself in your most private moments—what happens when someone says them aloud to you? The feeling like your skin slipped from your body, showing everything, red and veined. 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. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  2. 3 out of 5

    karen

    and, BOOM - review posted today! https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/s... ***************************************************** I GET TO REVIEW THIS FOR L.A. REVIEW OF BOOKS!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    3.5 Stars! Dark secrets embedded in a totally unique thriller... 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 did what?!!). She wants to rid herself of it, but the cat is out of the bag. I loved the "Then" and "Now" format as we lear 3.5 Stars! Dark secrets embedded in a totally unique thriller... 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 did what?!!). She wants to rid herself of it, but the cat is out of the bag. 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! ( Oh god no, not her!) This is when things start to go crazy!   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.

  4. 3 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    Give Me Your Hand 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 Give Me Your Hand 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 Dare Me, 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. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube

  5. 3 out of 5

    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 her 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 The Fever, Dare Me , and You Will Know Me . In Give Me Your Hand 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. Give Me Your Hand isn't the strongest of Abbott's books I've read—I think that goes to Dare Me (see my review)—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 itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.

  6. 5 out of 5

    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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    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 www.openbookpost.com

  8. 4 out of 5

    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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    3.5 STARS 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, 3.5 STARS 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. * I received a review copy from the publisher.

  10. 3 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    When she was 17, Kit's friend Diane made a confession to her that chilled her to the bone and almost derailed her life. Now, years later, Kit is a research scientist and Diane has reappeared in her life. Will Kit be able to coexist with Diane with the dark cloud looming over them? Megan Abbott has been a favorite of mine for the past few years and I pounced on this as soon as I saw it on Netgalley. Give Me Your Hand is a tale of secrets and the consequences of keeping them. Sooner or later, every When she was 17, Kit's friend Diane made a confession to her that chilled her to the bone and almost derailed her life. Now, years later, Kit is a research scientist and Diane has reappeared in her life. Will Kit be able to coexist with Diane with the dark cloud looming over them? Megan Abbott has been a favorite of mine for the past few years and I pounced on this as soon as I saw it on Netgalley. Give Me Your Hand is a tale of secrets and the consequences of keeping them. Sooner or later, everything comes back to bite you in the ass. Kit learns this the hard way, as do a lot of the people in her orbit. The story is told in two threads, one in high school, the other in the present day. It's a departure from her recent run of girl-noir books but change is fine in this case. Diane and Kit were more rivals than friends, both runners, each one of the smartest in their highschool in sleepy Lanister. Yes, Lanister, oddly fitting since I compare the machinations of teenage girls in Megan Abbott's books to Game of Thrones characters. Diane confesses something to Kit that nearly drives her mad. Years later, Kit's on the verge of having the life of a scientist she always wanted when Diane pops up again, a sociopathic bad penny. This story is doomed to take a dark turn from the start and it does, of course. I always feel like Megan's giving the male part of her audience a secret window into the relationships of teenage girls, infinitely more complex than the comparatively shallow, sex-obsessed psyche of teenage boys. Casual eating disorders and sharing deep secrets seem to be the norm. We also get a glimpse of how tough it is for women in the science field, both in Kit and Diane's competition with their lab mates and in Dr. Severin, the bad ass female scientist that is practically Wonder Woman to Kit, who seems willing to do anything to get what she wants. The way Diane's secret is revealed is masterful, doled out in tiny morsels until you can't take anymore. When she shows up in the present day, things quickly veer into the exact wrong direction, like S.E. Hinton by way of Jim Thompson. Then something baffling happens and there are some Telltale Heart moments and things really get tense for a while. As with her previous books, like Dare Me, You Will Know Me, and The End of Everything, I felt wrung out by the end. While a lot of other crime books get more press, Megan Abbott's are the best thing in the genre today. Five out of five stars.

  11. 3 out of 5

    JanB

    4.5 stars Kit and Diane are friends when both are in their teens. Diana’s influence helps Kit reach for the stars and compete for a coveted scholarship, a prize that Kit thought was beyond her reach. Only one girl will win, making them rivals. One day Diana tells Kit a secret, a secret that is so explosive it haunts Kit and their friendship suffers. The secret is a burden that weighs heavily on her heart and mind. They drift apart. Years later they find themselves both scientists and once again i 4.5 stars Kit and Diane are friends when both are in their teens. Diana’s influence helps Kit reach for the stars and compete for a coveted scholarship, a prize that Kit thought was beyond her reach. Only one girl will win, making them rivals. One day Diana tells Kit a secret, a secret that is so explosive it haunts Kit and their friendship suffers. The secret is a burden that weighs heavily on her heart and mind. They drift apart. Years later they find themselves both scientists and once again in competition, this time for a coveted position with the renowned researcher, Dr. Severin. From here, the novel takes a dark, disturbing turn. Told in alternating chapters titled Now and Then, this novel explores the cut-throat world of research scientists and how far one will go to advance their career. Underlying themes are the corrosive nature of secrets told, friendship, and the thin line between brilliance and insanity. Kit and Diane, along with supporting characters, aren’t ones you will love but it makes for an intense, compelling read. The author writes multi-layered, flawed women better than almost any other author I've read. The sense of dread and foreboding is strong and I found it impossible to put the book down until I turned the last page. The hints and revelations are perfectly paced and designed to make this an un-putdownable book. I read it cover to cover in one sitting. Megan Abbott is one of my go-to authors and this novel confirms her position as one of my favorite authors. Recommended for fans of intelligent, dark, and twisty thrillers!

  12. 3 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ It appears I read this one wrong. It also appears that I spend a goodly chunk of time using my review space saying “if you like Megan Abbott, then you’ll like this” on books that I actually liked more than most Abbott books – excluding, of course, The End of Everything because that thing was the bomb diggity. Now please don’t get it twisted and think I won’t IMMEDIATELY cut wait patiently in line for her next release because I absolut Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ It appears I read this one wrong. It also appears that I spend a goodly chunk of time using my review space saying “if you like Megan Abbott, then you’ll like this” on books that I actually liked more than most Abbott books – excluding, of course, The End of Everything because that thing was the bomb diggity. Now please don’t get it twisted and think I won’t IMMEDIATELY cut wait patiently in line for her next release because I absolutely will. There was just something missing here for me. While I was never once tempted to put Give Me Your Hand to the side and pick up a different selection, it wasn’t nearly as page turny (new word) for me as some of her other stories. Even when I’ve had fair-to-middlin’ reactions to Abbott’s books, I’ve appreciated how dense the story and how few words she takes to get it done. This one definitely had some slow spots and the females weren’t nearly as awesomely cringe-inducing as in some of her other stuff either despite a pretty juicy storyline . . . . . “By telling me you trapped me,” I say through my teeth. “By telling you,” she whispers, rain still glistening on her, “I was free.” Maybe I’ve just been desensitized???? *shrug* On the other hand, it was nice to know there’s a reason behind the times when I get like this . . . . 2.5 Stars, but rounding up because I still drank that Kool-Aid, yo. Now go read Diane S. or Dan or Char’s reviews to see that you actually do want to read this and not listen to anything I have to say. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    I'm at 42%. I'm saying this one got the best of me. DNF Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.

  14. 3 out of 5

    Char

    At 1:30 Saturday morning, I finished reading GIVE ME YOUR HAND. It was worth every one of those late minutes! Kit Owens and Diane Fleming are not your normal teen girls. (I'm not sure if Megan Abbott has written any stories about normal teen girls, come to think of it.) They are good students and they both jog. They push each other to be better runners and they both come to realize that they want to be scientists. Every since the beautiful and mysterious Dr. Severin came to their school to talk a At 1:30 Saturday morning, I finished reading GIVE ME YOUR HAND. It was worth every one of those late minutes! Kit Owens and Diane Fleming are not your normal teen girls. (I'm not sure if Megan Abbott has written any stories about normal teen girls, come to think of it.) They are good students and they both jog. They push each other to be better runners and they both come to realize that they want to be scientists. Every since the beautiful and mysterious Dr. Severin came to their school to talk about her lab work and what it meant to perform studies and to do research, they both dedicate themselves to their goal. Then Diane shares a dark secret with Kit, one that Kit can't get out of her mind-one that's eating her alive. But eventually Kit gets past it and they both graduate and move on with their separate lives. Fast forward a number of years and Kit has achieved her goal. She works in Dr. Severin's lab and is vying for an important spot on a team studying PMDD, a horrible offshoot of PMS that causes all kinds of problems for women. She's almost certain to obtain that rare position-that is until she's told that Diane Fleming is also vying for the same spot. How will Diane's return affect Kit? Who will get those valuable positions on Dr. Severin's team? What about the secret they both share, how will it affect them now that they are together again? You'll have to read this to find out! Megan Abbott's writing is pure gold and this book is no different. Inside the warped minds of teenage girls and then again inside their heads as women, she nails it. Not only that, she unflinchingly depicts what it's like for women in the mostly man's world of scientific academia. With fierce competition at hand these men are respectful...until they're not. As a woman in a mostly man's world, (just cars, nothing hoity toity like science), I could identify with these women and what they went through. In the end though, a scientific world and some chauvinistic attitudes are only a small part of this twisted tale. I felt that the pacing of this story was fast and I had a difficult time pulling away from it. Just when I thought I'd read one more chapter something else would happen and I was compelled to read on. This is my favorite Megan Abbott book so far, (though I still have a few to read yet), and it was partially because I'm a super fan of the THEN and NOW format and it worked beautifully here. It helped build the tension and suspense and just kept me going on. And on. And on...until the stunning denouement that floored me. Floored me, I say! GIVE ME YOUR HAND was an excellent mystery/thriller/suspense novel full of interesting and mysterious characters and it was a BLAST! I highly recommend it! Available everywhere on July 17th, but you can pre-order your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Give-Your-Hand... *Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    She blinded me with science! Kit Owens is a bright high school girl didn’t think much about her future until she met Diane Fleming when Diane’s dreams of a career in chemistry rub off on her. The two young women become both study buddies and rivals that push each other to excel until Diane confides a dark secret that shatters their friendship. Years later Kit is working in a lab and hoping to score one of the few slots available in a prestigious project when Diane is hired by her boss. Kit strugg She blinded me with science! Kit Owens is a bright high school girl didn’t think much about her future until she met Diane Fleming when Diane’s dreams of a career in chemistry rub off on her. The two young women become both study buddies and rivals that push each other to excel until Diane confides a dark secret that shatters their friendship. Years later Kit is working in a lab and hoping to score one of the few slots available in a prestigious project when Diane is hired by her boss. Kit struggles to deal with the return of Diane to her life, and the fallout from that has unintended consequences. Mighty Megan Abbott takes on a lot in this one and delivers on almost all of. What’s most impressive to me is how well she establishes the tone for each aspect. Whether it’s detailing Kit’s life with limited prospects as an underachieving kid in a dead-end town or getting into the nuances of the cutthroat politics hidden under a thin veneer of civility in the lab you completely understand and buy into every bit of it. When Abbott has Kit realizing how close she is to either achieving a critical next step in her career resulting in a vastly improved lifestyle or is about to come up short after all her hard work to get there you know exactly what’s driving her. At the heart of all it is this complex relationship between Kit and Diane, and that’s where the noir part comes into it. I especially liked the revelations at the end that explain so much of what occurred throughout the rest of the novel.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I'm not going to lie. I am a HUGE Megan Abbott fan. I have read 4 of her previous books and I enjoyed them all immensely. I was so delighted to be able to get an early ARC of Give Me Your Hand. So, was it as good as I anticipated? I liked this book but I didn't love it as much as her others. Kit and Diane meet in high school. They share a love of chemistry and cross country running. While they support each others endeavors there is still a rivalry of sorts between the two. Kit has never met anyo I'm not going to lie. I am a HUGE Megan Abbott fan. I have read 4 of her previous books and I enjoyed them all immensely. I was so delighted to be able to get an early ARC of Give Me Your Hand. So, was it as good as I anticipated? I liked this book but I didn't love it as much as her others. Kit and Diane meet in high school. They share a love of chemistry and cross country running. While they support each others endeavors there is still a rivalry of sorts between the two. Kit has never met anyone quite like Diane. She doesn't share much about her family or herself. Until one day she does. She tells Kit her terrible secret. Kit now bears the burden of this secret and it nearly drives her crazy. Fast forward a decade later and with Diane safely in her rear view mirror she has worked hard to build her career. Kit works in a research lab under Dr. Severin studying premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Kit is vying for a coveted position on the research team and with tensions running high among the postdoc candidates Kit is dealt a blow she never saw coming when in to the laboratory walks Diane. Dr. Severin has brought her on the team and Kit can't believe her eyes. Hoping to never have to see her again she now finds out they have to work side by side. Through Now and Then chapters we find out all of the secrets these ladies share. Secrets they would never want exposed. Megan Abbott's unique voice is present throughout but for whatever reason I just wasn't as invested in these characters like I have been with some of her other books. Kit, who is supposed to be brilliant, made a lot of poor choices and it made it hard to like her. Diane was just odd. I really wanted to get inside her head more and hear her thoughts but that didn't happen. She always felt at a distance to me. The idea that anybody would turn a blind eye to some of what these women did astounds me. Of course, if they didn't, we wouldn't have this book right here. 3.5 stars! Thank you to NetGalley & Little, Brown and Company for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    Give Me Your Hand was a solid 4 stars for me. Kit and Diane are high school buddies, that is until Diane tells Kit a secret. Not just any kind of secret-a dangerous, change your life, never in a million years forget, type of secret. Kit is obviously haunted by this secret but she’s getting ready to graduate HS and plans on putting some serious distance between her and Diane. That was “then” though-fast forward to the present, where Kit is working in a prestigious research lab and just found out Give Me Your Hand was a solid 4 stars for me. Kit and Diane are high school buddies, that is until Diane tells Kit a secret. Not just any kind of secret-a dangerous, change your life, never in a million years forget, type of secret. Kit is obviously haunted by this secret but she’s getting ready to graduate HS and plans on putting some serious distance between her and Diane. That was “then” though-fast forward to the present, where Kit is working in a prestigious research lab and just found out that her new co-worker is someone she knows. Yes, it’s Diane and things are about to get way more interesting. Highly recommend book to fans that like Thrillers.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    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 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

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    I loved this! I’ve only read one other Megan Abbott book (“Dare Me”) and I remember how much I liked her writing. This isn’t quite as stylized, but the prose is still very crisp and immaculate; the writing as memorable as the characters and story. “Give Me Your Hand” is the story of two girls who meet briefly at a summer camp, then reconnect in their senior years of high school. Diane Fleming is a mystery; a tall, cool, inscrutable and brainy beauty who seems to be harboring a secret. Kit Owens i I loved this! I’ve only read one other Megan Abbott book (“Dare Me”) and I remember how much I liked her writing. This isn’t quite as stylized, but the prose is still very crisp and immaculate; the writing as memorable as the characters and story. “Give Me Your Hand” is the story of two girls who meet briefly at a summer camp, then reconnect in their senior years of high school. Diane Fleming is a mystery; a tall, cool, inscrutable and brainy beauty who seems to be harboring a secret. Kit Owens is the narrator, an average girl coasting through high school until Diane’s influence sparks Kit’s ambition and drive. The two become friends and competitors, striving for a prestigious science scholarship. One night, as they are studying together, Diane reveals her dark secret. Kit is horrified and distances herself from Diane, fracturing their friendship. Years later, Kit has earned a PhD and is working with a group of post-doc researchers in a laboratory run by Dr. Severin. Three of Dr. Severin’s researchers are about to be selected for a highly coveted and federally funded research team: “Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, that’s the subject of the study. A set of symptoms with no agreed-upon cause. Some kind of catastrophic monthly dance between hormones and the feeling and thinking parts of the brain. Striking every month, it’s like PMS only much, much worse. Debilitating mood swings, uncontrollable rage. Abnormal signaling among cells, that’s what scientists only recently discovered. An intrinsic difference in the way these women respond to sex hormones. After decades of doubt about whether it even existed, now science has proven PMDD is not only real, it’s part of the genetic makeup. The women can’t help it, are slaves to it.” As the post-docs tensely await Dr. Severin’s decision, word comes down that Severin has just selected one of the three team members – a rising star from another laboratory, Diane Fleming. Brilliant, strange, and extraordinary Diane. And, after one of the open research positions is given to another study, only one PMDD research position is left open. It goes to Kit, pairing her once again with her former friend and competitor Diane. The story is tense and riveting and reads like a thriller, but it is much more than that. Abbott’s strength is in dissecting female relationships, especially teenagers and young women. I could not put this down! Crackling story, peerless writing, taut and atmospheric, what’s not to like? Well, maybe the ending – it felt a little bit flat after so much built-up tension and intrigue. And, in retrospect, I don’t know that I find it all very believable or likely. But, what the hell – I liked it so much, I read it twice and now I have a gigantic book hangover. I’m still picking it up and flipping through it, savoring little passages and memorable moments. Definitely recommended to Megan Abbott fans and those who enjoy unlikeable characters and sharp writing. 4+ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    You either know Megan Abbott books or you don't. Once you start reading her novels, I'm not sure you can stop. They are so consistent in the things that matter: stories with tight suspense and clear prose, stories of women and girls and the darkness in them. They are hypnotizing, the kind of books you cannot stop reading, books that keep you up late at night, books that linger in your brain after they're over. And clearly I think she's done it again with GIVE ME YOUR HAND. This book is absolutel You either know Megan Abbott books or you don't. Once you start reading her novels, I'm not sure you can stop. They are so consistent in the things that matter: stories with tight suspense and clear prose, stories of women and girls and the darkness in them. They are hypnotizing, the kind of books you cannot stop reading, books that keep you up late at night, books that linger in your brain after they're over. And clearly I think she's done it again with GIVE ME YOUR HAND. This book is absolutely consistent with Abbott's oeuvre, but also presents us something new. Kit and Diane are smart, united as teenagers they are more together than they were apart, they become more ambitious and more invested in the future. A secret revealed eventually divides them until they are united again, now successful scientists in a prominent lab, but neither has forgotten what they both know. The themes of blood and hysteria in women are writ large here, yes there will be several Lady Macbeth references. But they feel earned. Abbott's characters always lean a bit on the precipice, always feel like they could spiral off into darkness, and if it's a bit more heavy handed here, it never feels unearned. I like thrillers and crime novels but often there will be a BIG SECRET and the book spends all this time hyping you for the BIG SECRET and then you get to the BIG SECRET and it is not that big and often destroys all the buildup. Abbott knows better. She knows when to make her reveal, and her reveal lives up to the hype. I didn't feel suckered or manipulated. She's masterful, always keeping you just where she wants you. Note: it's not surprising that given the book's setting in a medical science laboratory there are scenes that include experimentation on animals. It's not a huge part of the book but a few parts do give details of mice being killed. Sorry, mice lovers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    You wonder how many more varieties of driven, murderous teen girls Megan Abbott can come up with. She's already covered the obvious trifecta - gymnasts, cheerleaders and, um, witches - and now she's on to...science nerds? What's next? Intense Teens Who Might Still Murder Somebody - Theater girls - Girls who just became vegetarians - A cappella singers - Yearbook editors The reason Megan Abbott is (slightly) less famous than, like, Gillian Flynn is, she doesn't have the flair for big twists. She's won You wonder how many more varieties of driven, murderous teen girls Megan Abbott can come up with. She's already covered the obvious trifecta - gymnasts, cheerleaders and, um, witches - and now she's on to...science nerds? What's next? Intense Teens Who Might Still Murder Somebody - Theater girls - Girls who just became vegetarians - A cappella singers - Yearbook editors The reason Megan Abbott is (slightly) less famous than, like, Gillian Flynn is, she doesn't have the flair for big twists. She's wonderful at characters, mood, tone and pacing, but you want more murdering. There are usually only like two suspects. Sometimes there's barely a crime at all. The big twist in the one about witches is that (view spoiler)[they aren't witches, (hide spoiler)] which, I mean, first of all, says who. But she's getting better! And this one's very good. It's got more blood, for one thing - the body count is higher. And its villain, angular Diane Fleming, might be Abbott's best character yet. All pretty and shy and science-y, and... evil? Abbott is my favorite writer working today, sorry Chimamanda Adichie but you could have murderous teens too you know - and she's at the height of her game right now. For me, personally, we're getting closer and closer to the girls I personally dated during high school, so once we get to Murderous Teen Members of the Amnesty International Club we'll be inside my life and will we even be able to count the bodies?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Megan Abbot has a wonderful ability to convey the inner most desires of her characters in a way which feels like the reader is peaking beneath a curtain into the watery pools of their emotions. Give Me Your Hand is noir without the sepia splash and minus the mysterious fedora-wearing character. In their place are test tubes, lab mice, and vibrant characters full of life who are bursting at the seams with secrets and ambition. Under a microscope, Kit Owens and Diane Fleming share a thirst for scie Megan Abbot has a wonderful ability to convey the inner most desires of her characters in a way which feels like the reader is peaking beneath a curtain into the watery pools of their emotions. Give Me Your Hand is noir without the sepia splash and minus the mysterious fedora-wearing character. In their place are test tubes, lab mice, and vibrant characters full of life who are bursting at the seams with secrets and ambition. Under a microscope, Kit Owens and Diane Fleming share a thirst for science; a lust for knowledge, and a need to become someone. They also share a secret which plagues both from their formative years of teenage angst through to their professional place in the world of pharmaceuticals. A secret worth killing to keep. My rating: 5/5 stars. Megan Abbott has crafted a tension-filled novel that threatens to boil at any moment, each chapter threatens the status quo. These character are dangerous and are portrayed as such.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce

    3.5 emotionally charged stars “Nothing is more creative... nor destructive... than a brilliant mind with a purpose.” (Dan Brown) There is a lot to be said about brilliant minds and the need to be the very best. One can give up everything to achieve the awards, the scholarships, the accolades, and the recognition they so desire. One can even give up a life to pursue their ends. Meet Kit Owens and Diane Fleming two intense girls brought together in Megan Abbott's Give Me Your Hand. They meet in high 3.5 emotionally charged stars “Nothing is more creative... nor destructive... than a brilliant mind with a purpose.” (Dan Brown) There is a lot to be said about brilliant minds and the need to be the very best. One can give up everything to achieve the awards, the scholarships, the accolades, and the recognition they so desire. One can even give up a life to pursue their ends. Meet Kit Owens and Diane Fleming two intense girls brought together in Megan Abbott's Give Me Your Hand. They meet in high school, each a competitor, one spurring the other on, until a secret is revealed and their lives drift apart. They both go their separate ways for years, each achieving lofty standards until fate and a brilliant research scientist bring them together once again to compete for a spot on her team investigating the effects of premenstrual rage that at times plagues women. Kit knows a terrible secret about her one time friend and yet has never revealed it. Why has she held this unrevealed secret for so long and will she get to use it as both she and Diane vie for a spot on the team? How far does one go to get where they want to be? This was quite the intense story of how a secret effects the life of both the giver and the receiver of the secret's history. Secrets reveal the mind and the heart of the girls in this tale and as the time draws near for the selection of the team, both girls, now grown to women, twist and turn to achieve what they want. Lives are in danger and lives can be lost yet, to get what you want is there really anything you would not do to achieve that goal? This was definitely a book that presented a side of brilliant minds that was devious, cunning, and frightening. Can brilliance breed insanity? It’s a fine line separating intelligence and insanity. Will these girls cross that line or have they already done so? My reviews can be found here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres... Thanks once again to my local library for purchasing a copy of this intense novel.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    Kit Owens is surviving high school but not living up to her true potential when Diane Fleming arrives at her school. Diane awakens a fire in Kit and the two form an unlikely friendship that propels Kit to academic success in her senior year. She and Diane study together and push each other to reach to be the best. Kit can't help but feel bad for her friend, who lives with her grandfather after the death of her dad. But all that changes when Diane shares an explosive secret with Kit, one that cha Kit Owens is surviving high school but not living up to her true potential when Diane Fleming arrives at her school. Diane awakens a fire in Kit and the two form an unlikely friendship that propels Kit to academic success in her senior year. She and Diane study together and push each other to reach to be the best. Kit can't help but feel bad for her friend, who lives with her grandfather after the death of her dad. But all that changes when Diane shares an explosive secret with Kit, one that changes the way she views Diane and basically ends their friendship. Ten years later, Kit has tried to put Diane (and her secret) behind her. She's working in the lab of a female scientist, Dr. Severin, whom she's idolized for years--a woman Diane first helped introduce her to. But when Dr. Severin earns a prestigious grant and Kit learns that Diane is suddenly in the running for one of the coveted spots to work with the Doctor on the research, the past comes rushing back. Soon Diane and Kit find themselves over their head, with secrets and horror lurking around every corner. So, I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this one as I started it, but it grew on me. It's not really a pleasant read, at all, and none of the characters are ones you'll really love, but it's very compelling and there's a slow, foreboding creepiness that keeps you reading. I read this one quickly, as it's dark, twisty, and intense and very easy-to-read (as in, a page-turner, not the subject matter). "My mom always say, you don't have a self until you have a secret." ~Diane The novel flips between the "then" and "now" format, with Kit narrating to us. It's a female-centered book, and it easily depicts women's uphill battle in the workplace. It also shows the complicated feelings of our female characters: Kit has a lot of thoughts. Her struggle from a poor high school student to doctor is a fascinating one, even if I found her hard to empathize with. You won't necessarily agree with a lot of these characters' (sometimes outlandish) choices, but you'll find them oddly fascinating. I enjoyed how the novel delved into the darkness of friendship--and some of the competition that can come with it. Diane and Kit's relationship is dark and intense, as is the entire novel, really. The secrets that layer this book unravel slowly and eerily, and it really does keep you reading. I especially thought this one was redeemed or bolstered by its ending; often a thriller is so good and then deflates at the end, but I actually thought this one got a little better at the end. The ending is really well-done, and I didn't feel let down whatsoever. Overall, this is a dark, intense, and compelling psychological thriller. It's not exactly packed with loveable characters, but they are flawed, interesting, and--at times--quite creepy. You'll be drawn in by its twisty plot and complicated portrayal of friendship and secrets. 3.75 - 4 stars. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google+ ~ Instagram

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Are you...crying?! There’s no crying in...science! There might be murder, though. I feel like Megan Abbott is sort of the Tom Hanks of thrillers. Everyone pretty much seems to love her, and deservedly so; her talent is pretty much consistently unimpeachable, more or less a safe and sure bet. Here she’s given us another totally solid book, which for me fell somewhere between a completely respectable 3 and 4 stars. (A Lab of Their Own?? sorry, couldn’t resist...). I do think it’s a fair observation t Are you...crying?! There’s no crying in...science! There might be murder, though. I feel like Megan Abbott is sort of the Tom Hanks of thrillers. Everyone pretty much seems to love her, and deservedly so; her talent is pretty much consistently unimpeachable, more or less a safe and sure bet. Here she’s given us another totally solid book, which for me fell somewhere between a completely respectable 3 and 4 stars. (A Lab of Their Own?? sorry, couldn’t resist...). I do think it’s a fair observation that Abbott’s books - except for one, but I’ll get back to that - follow a certain template and can be a bit predictable by this point, especially if you’ve already put away a few of them in the past. I will admit that at times, a certain weary sense of deja vu descended upon me like a formaldehyde cloud and made me feel as though this book and I were lacking a certain - wait for it... - chemistry! (bahahah!) That being said, there were a few things I especially appreciated about this book that set it apart from some of its predecessors. For one, I thought the traditionally male dominated science lab setting was pretty spectacular, even better than the worlds of competitive cheerleading and gymnastics and adding extra layers of complexity and nuance. A ruthless STEM ambition murder mystery? - I am here for that!* I also thought Diane was a much more interesting antagonist than in many of Abbott’s previous books, especially that of You Will Know Me. I loved Abbott’s turn away from a more “mean girl” type of villainess toward a more quiet and mysterious, conflicted, otherworldly antihero. I also loved the inclusion of PMDD as a possible risk factor for the...let’s say Megan Abbotty types of things that take place in the novel - although I will say that I think perhaps a little more could have been done with this. And did anyone else find that this book seemed a lot more bloody/gruesome and gothic even than typical Abbott?? In all, I think this book represents fully matured, classic Megan Abbott. Don’t get me wrong - the prose still walks that edgy noir line and sometimes teeters a bit into the over-the-topness that we’ve clearly grown to know and love. But this one never really falters into sounding like ... a parody of Megan Abbott. As for the book I mentioned earlier that seems to be somewhat of an outlier in the Abbott oeuvre - shout out to The Fever! This is my FAVORITE Abbott book by far, and one of my favorite novels as well. I know many people don’t feel this way, but if you love this book - I’m with you!! * I REALLY wanted to title this review “Dial STEM For Murder!” - but I thought, that’s so good that surely someone’s thought of it already. So I Googled it and sure enough, at least one British news site seems to have used it (for an article about a school science class studying a fake crime scene at a sewage plant, whaaat). Good try, though, right?!

  26. 3 out of 5

    Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com Megan Abbott is the award winning author behind the novel Give Me Your Hand. Abbott’s niche is noir fiction. Give Me Your Hand is a prime example of a chilling psychological thriller. With a dramatic shattered glass style front cover, there is an ominous tone to this novel, before you have even read the first sentence. Give Me Your Hand centres on two strong female protagonists, Diane and Kit, who were best friends in high school. A rift formed between Diane *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com Megan Abbott is the award winning author behind the novel Give Me Your Hand. Abbott’s niche is noir fiction. Give Me Your Hand is a prime example of a chilling psychological thriller. With a dramatic shattered glass style front cover, there is an ominous tone to this novel, before you have even read the first sentence. Give Me Your Hand centres on two strong female protagonists, Diane and Kit, who were best friends in high school. A rift formed between Diane and Kit so deep that it has fractured their relationship. Years later, both these highly intelligent and ambitious women will battle it out to reign supreme. What follows is a story of sacrifice, determination, rivalry, jealously, bitterness, secrets and bloodshed. Abbott’s novel has received plenty of praise from fellow authors and has been well received by reviewers across all social media platforms. This is my first experience of Megan Abbott’s writing, I found her prose slick and clear. There were some instances in the lab based sections of the storyline that I felt went way over my head, so you need a good clear mind for these parts. The narrative itself was slow to begin, but revved up in the second half, complete with a full throttle conclusion I didn’t see coming. The characters are hard to develop any sense of empathy towards, but they are intriguing and well placed. The primary protagonists offer a good example of highly ambitious women, who are trying to gain the upper hand in a professional male dominated world. Full appreciation goes to the author, Megan Abbott, for putting the spotlight on women in this situation. I recommend Give Me Your Hand to thriller fans. *I wish to thank Pan Macmillan for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Because the bad things you do become part of you, literally. This is no metaphor. They become part of you on a cellular level, in the blood. You are friends with someone in high school to the point where you're so tight you confide in each other. Until one night, your friend tells you something so dark and fucked up that you realize you need to just keep your distance. The friendship no longer exists. Twelve years later, that friend shows up at your workplace and is your new co-worker. What hap Because the bad things you do become part of you, literally. This is no metaphor. They become part of you on a cellular level, in the blood. You are friends with someone in high school to the point where you're so tight you confide in each other. Until one night, your friend tells you something so dark and fucked up that you realize you need to just keep your distance. The friendship no longer exists. Twelve years later, that friend shows up at your workplace and is your new co-worker. What happens now? That is the basis for this story. And if this happened to me, I'm not sure what I'd do. If someone told me something so messed up that I realized I shouldn't be friends with them anymore, then there is no way in hell I'd be comfortable with them in my workplace. But then you have to remember we're adults, so you shouldn't let little things bother you especially personal things at work. So how big is this secret? And how does it affect you? Add in the fact that your job is one where there are only so many coveted spots on a huge research team, things get iffy here. Will your ambition get in the way? Can you keep your old friends secret? How far will you go to get that coveted spot on the team? Should the secret even be a factor? “Listen, Kit, there are some people who are trouble. They can’t help it,” she said, watching me in the mirror. “But let them in, and they’ll swallow you whole.” Kit and Diane met at cross country camp more than a year before Diane transfers to Kit's school where Diane's influence on Kit pushed her to work harder in their high school chemistry class. The two are close until a secret is shared that end the friendship. It's been twelve years when Diane is hired at Severin Lab. Just where does all of this lead? It becomes somewhat of a cat-and-mouse situation that goes places I didn't expect. Megan Abbott does what she does best here with writing a female friendship turned bad. I also really loved the idea of a secret coming back to haunt you and being in someone else's hands. It's hard to know when someone you once trusted with your life could eventually become your biggest rival, so it's interesting to think of what happens when this comes back to bite you in the ass. I did think the story was a bit on the slower side. It was merely the author that kept me reading, although in the end I did like the story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Trudi

    I love Megan Abbott. I think she is one of the most accomplished novelists writing today. Just the mere scent of a new book from her gets my reader blood all bubbly and excited. Getting to meet her in person is one of those experiences that cannot be measured in the regular way. But Give Me Your Hand didn't quite do it for me. It's a good book with a compelling plot, and strong female characters. I just didn't fall down the rabbit hole this time as quickly or deeply as I usually do with Abbott's I love Megan Abbott. I think she is one of the most accomplished novelists writing today. Just the mere scent of a new book from her gets my reader blood all bubbly and excited. Getting to meet her in person is one of those experiences that cannot be measured in the regular way. But Give Me Your Hand didn't quite do it for me. It's a good book with a compelling plot, and strong female characters. I just didn't fall down the rabbit hole this time as quickly or deeply as I usually do with Abbott's books. Everyone else is five starring this though, so I'm fully taking the blame that it's my fault and I'm bummed that I didn't experience what everyone else did. Now back to counting down the days to Abbott's next book. The wait is always agonizing.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I love a beautifully written thriller -- and this is exactly that. Not a who-done-it, but a why-done-it, with palpable dread on every page. And, as my own readers know, I love dread. And so I loved this exquisite novel.

  30. 3 out of 5

    Faith

    A psychopath, a patsy and an ethically challenged scientist meet in an absurd plot. Kit Owens and Diane Fleming were friends for a short time when they were in high school. Diane shared a terrible secret with Kit and it ended the friendship. It was pathetically easy to figure out what this secret was. Now 12 years later, Kit is a post doc and Diane reappears in her life. Kit wants to be assigned to a new research project led by Dr. Lena Severin. They will be studying premenstrual dysphoric disor A psychopath, a patsy and an ethically challenged scientist meet in an absurd plot. Kit Owens and Diane Fleming were friends for a short time when they were in high school. Diane shared a terrible secret with Kit and it ended the friendship. It was pathetically easy to figure out what this secret was. Now 12 years later, Kit is a post doc and Diane reappears in her life. Kit wants to be assigned to a new research project led by Dr. Lena Severin. They will be studying premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which is sort of PMS on hyperdrive and causes rage, among other symptoms. PMDD may or may not exist. I have no idea. I don't know the author's reasons for selecting this as the research topic, but if the author had been a man, my diagnosis would have been misogyny, because it was irrelevant to the plot. But I don't care for even a suggestion that women have to study women's issues or that women are all nuts, but they have an excuse. I've read too many thrillers and I need some basic level of believability for a book to get out of the mediocre range. If I read only a couple of books a year I would probably be a lot easier to please. I admit that the lab details seemed realistic, as did the competitiveness of the post docs, but nothing else did. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

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