Monday, 1 August 2016

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

I really wanted to love this book. I have always had huge admiration for Megan Abbott and I have read all of her books. If it's one thing Megan Abbott can do, as she still accomplished in this book, is understand teenage girls. She knows that they are multi-layered, complex, capable of extreme cruelty and jealousy and so much more than face value. You Will Know Me is told by Katie, the mother of gymnast prodigy, Devon. Devon Knox is the centre of not just the family, but the entire community since being extraordinary from a child. Katie must juggle life between her family, gymnastics and also the shocking tragedy that hits the community. A young man is killed during a hit and run and rumours are started over what actually happened that night. Katie finds herself right in the middle but how far is she willing to go to protect her family?
My one stand out in this book is Devon Knox. I understand 100% why Megan Abbott chose Katie to narrate the story but I just wish we had been able to see more into Devon's head. She was such a complex and wonderful character. She is the type of character that the author does best - a teenage girl with layers upon layers of complexity. All her life, she has been a star and high expectation comes with that. Even Katie thinks she knows her daughter, knows her body and her mind, and yet Devon remains a mystery throughout the book. Although I've given this book quite a low rating, Devon Knox is probably one of my all time favourite characters. I would love to see what went on in her head. 

Don't get me wrong, other than Devon's father, Eric, I did enjoy the Knox family. I loved Katie who was capable of anything in order to protect her children. Who gave up everything to help Devon achieve her game. Although, her youngest son, Drew often gets neglected and yet he remains such a bright light in this novel. He's obsessed with nature and animals and his little observations being metaphors for what's happening in the story were some of my favourite moments. Eric for me was just a character I didn't care much about. He loves his daughter fiercely but hides a lot from his wife.
The reason I gave this book quite a low rating is because the mystery/thriller aspect just didn't captivate me. I've read a lot of books in these genres and I've also read a lot of Megan Abbott's books, when you combine them, the mystery became kind of predictable. I'm not saying it was bad writing, I just wish it had been more mystery and twists and turns. I loved that it was based around gymnastics, I loved that it showed the life of these young girls who worship the sport and all the pain that comes with it. 
Overall, I did enjoy reading this book but I wished for more. Maybe my expectations were too high but I just wish I could take Devon Knox and delve inside her head and that didn't happen in this book, other than through Katie's observations. The writing, as always, was spot on and the author's understanding of teenage girls has not wavered. One of my least favourites from Megan Abbott but still an enjoyable book all the same.

Have you read this book? If so, what were your thoughts?
Let us know in the comments!

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