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You Know What You Have to Do

3.10  ·  Rating details ·  749 ratings  ·  147 reviews
You do not kill a man in cold blood and then talk your way out of it. Other than her real name — Mary-Magdalene Feigenbaum — fifteen-year-old Maggie’s problems seem ordinary. She has tiffs with her too-critical mother, a crush on her cute psychologist, and worries that her only friend — fellow outcast Abigail — is morphing into a popular girl, leaving her behind.

But Maggi
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Skyscape (first published January 1st 2013)
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Bonnie Shimko My novel, You Know What You Have to Do, is set in northeastern New York.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  749 ratings  ·  147 reviews

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Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
Mar 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: galleys, read-in-2013
Sometimes books actually make me angry. They can be so frustrating, annoying and insipid that I find myself wanting to smack something. Unfortunately, after a decent start, You Know What You Have To Do completely fell apart.

I actually like the idea of a book written from inside the head of a villain. A mild-mannered teenage nobody who's secretly killing people? Odds are I'm going to be curious about that book every time. However this book had piss-poor character building and I hated how it dealt
Okayyy. Not sure where to start with this one..

I saw this on Amazon and thought it looked good. The story looked interesting and the plot creative. Well, thats really where the interesting and creative stopped.

Mary-Magdelene, aka Mary, Maggie, Mare, is a 15 year old girl who lives with her mom and stepfather in her stepfathers funeral home. Maggie hears voices in her head telling her to kill people. She does act on these voices, and soon is having horrible nightmares, and is forced to go to a t
❂ Sam ❂
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
I picked up a review copy of You Know What To Do on a bit of a whim. It seemed interesting and I love shows that feature serial killers and troubled criminals. I'm a law student. I read about regular criminals all the time and the crazier ones are something of a macabre interest. I love shows like the Following, Criminal Minds, Dexter, etc. and Hannibal and Bates Motel are both on my 'must watch' list.

So I thought I might enjoy this book. The whole plot revolves around this girl Mary-Magdalene
Bonnie Shimko's "You Know What You Have to Do" had me and then completely lost me in the respective journey. It tells of a young woman named Maggie who has more than a few issues to work out. This is the kind of dark humored novel that is either hit or miss, and by dark - I mean VERY dark. I once described this to someone as "Serial Mom" for teenagers, and that description is true, at least at first. Maggie has a voice inside her head that pretty much tells her to kill people or think some reall ...more
Faye, la Patata
Read this and my other reviews over at The Social Potato.

An advanced reading copy was provided via Netgalley. Thanks you very much~

If there's anything that YKWYHTD has, it's an interesting premise. A character that has a voice in her head that tells her to kill people? How intriguing is that? I thought to myself this would be a freakin' awesome setting and one that would lead to a lot of drama, conspiracies, and other good stuff. The fact that it has a quirky character and an even quirkier inte
Reading this was rough.
You Know What You Have to Do made reading feel like a chore. It was like I was back in school being forced to read. I don't like that feeling.
I did more eye-rolling than reading, really.

Mary-Magdalene Feigenbaum hears a voice in her head. It tells her to kill people. Sometimes it's because that person is bad or just because they happen to be crossing the street while she's driving. She's listened to it a few times and it might just be catching up to her.

The dialogue in th
Jessie Potts
Apr 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I loved most of this book. The writing was good and the heroine was creepy, she hears a voice in her head telling her to do bad things, and she came up with a ton of excuses in her head as to why she did things, justifications and explanations, and she really believed them. This made the story even more interesting. What did not work for me was a few things.

First the book is dark, people die, a lot of people, and all by Maggie’s hand. The book isn’t quirky, funny or anything, it was a dark and
1.5 stars

Even though my rating would suggest I hated this book, this isn't so much about hating or loving as it is about being devastatingly disappointed by what turned out to be of a product with a fascinating premise and a very satisfying and deeply engrossing first few chapters. I honestly thought this would be one of those wonderful times when I find myself loving a book that for some reason everybody else has hated, but, as it turns out, I have to agree with the general rating this time. Af
Debbie Narh
1.5 Stars

I hate when a synopsis mislead me and lie. I went in hoping for a quirky, fun read like it says, but instead, all I got was a very dark, slightly insensitive story about a teenage murderer. This is not a light or simple read. Quite frankly, I'm surprised I even finished it.

Maggie, as a character is very dull. There is close to no fight or feelings of remorse (that don't feel forced and awkward) in the book. Every time the voice comes into her head, I waited, hoping that she would fight
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a ride. I couldn't put this down. I know this was for young adults, but I believe it's for kids of all ages! It leaves you thinking, that's for sure!
Sarah Marie
You Know What You Have to Do by Bonnie Shimko

3 stars

Mary-Magdalene Feigenbaum refuses to be known as anything else but Maggie. Maggie starts to hear a voice inside of her head telling her to kill people when she feels like someone is being cruel or unfair. The voice tells her, “You know what you have to do” and gives her ways to kill people. Maggie doesn’t want to kill people but the voice and the headaches are too much for her to fight. The books description is really misleading and I feel like

Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's true! This book does turn formulaic teen fiction on its head. Can I get an AMEN! Perhaps, this explains the wide variety of star-ratings. Either you're going to like the change or not. For me, it was a winner! If you're looking for gore or slasher scary, you won't get it here. This is a psychological haunt that seeps into the brain and does the dirty work. What makes it frightening? The seemingly everyday ability to function with a demented voice in the head. The realism is what brings on t ...more
Christal (Badass Book Reviews)
See this review and others like it at!

2.5 stars - You Know What You Have To Do by Bonnie Shimko is a difficult book to review. The writing was well-done and I was captivated by the premise while I was reading it, but I was unsatisfied with the ending and the lack of a cohesive plot. As I was reading, I thought the story was building to a large, climactic finale but it just went out with a whimper. Thinking back on it now, there doesn't really seem to be a point to this boo
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tianna Richardson
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Talking to yourself is normal, but what happens when someone inside your head starts talking to you? The voice isn't telling you that you look pretty today either, it's telling you to murder. That's exactly what the main character of this book, Mary Magdalene has to deal with. She faces a constant battle with an unfamiliar voice in her head telling her to kill numerous people that have hurt people close to her. The voice is strong and demanding so she finds herself committing the murders, to sil ...more
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, suspense, 2013, fiction, ya
I'm starting to read more YA lit just because there's so much of it available now. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and this was one I chose to measure the fuss. I'm glad I chose it because it was much much better than I anticipated. I used to think YA lit was dumbed down; I was wrong. At least I was wrong as that notion applies to this book. I really enjoyed it. The author has great insight into the thoughts and feelings of adolescent girls, and I really liked that she gave Maggie t ...more
Kelly Hager
Apr 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I think I was expecting something a little closer to Serial Mom. What I got was a truly creepy novel about a girl who is told to kill---by a voice in her head.

I do wish we had seen Maggie try to resist the voice in her head (like REALLY try) because I feel like most people would need some major coercing in order to murder someone else. Even if that person was an awful human being.

And that was the part of the story that interested me the most---the Dexter-ish idea of killing people who "deserve i
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Talk about a whole new take on YA reading! This is dark, scary and a real page turner with a quirky heroine, a snarky attitude and a great plot!

Fifteen-year-old Mary Magdalene Feigenbaum is a girl with a problem. She hears a voice in her head that tells her: 'You know what you have to do'...and it wants her to kill, seek revenge for wrongs done to those she cares about. Accompanying the voice, comes pain, even professional help does no good, of course she isn't exactly honest with anyone about w
Nancy Fischer
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Number one: I love creepy. Number two: I love a unique voice. Number three: I Iove this book.

It's pretty hard (CRAZY HARD!) to create a protagonist that a reader can (dare I say it?) like and care about who is also a murderer and a schizophrenic who many times obeys the violent voice in her head. I mean, the murdering thing, even if some of the victims were deserving, should be a turn-off, right? And the goading voice suggesting atrocities should make your skin crawl, correct? But they don't. We
Melissa Wehunt
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. And that took me totally by surprise. I figured I'd like ok... but I thought it was awesome. I found the characters quirky and compelling and the story intriguing. The only reason I didn't 5 star it, is I feel like it kind of lost steam towards the end.... she could have done cool stuff with the story to make it "deeper"... but then, I might watch too much Supernatural for my own good. So... Still though: a strong, fast, physiological thriller.
Robin (ReadItRobi)
Billed as “Judy Blume meets Dexter” this 2013 YA release surprised me in many ways. At first, I expected a bloodbath, instead I was met with a teenage girl full of emotion battling an evil voice in her head. The only problem is, the voice instructing her to kill seems to be trying to protect her loved ones by knocking off the people who hurt them.

This is a short YA novel published more than 5 years ago, so don’t expect to be treated to characters expounding on what’s appropriate using today’s s
Actual rating: 2.5 stars

A copy of this book was generously provided to me by the publisher via netgalley. All opinions herein are mine and were not influenced by the author or publisher in any way.

This book was definitely not for me. Maybe it’s because I’m not in it’s target audience. Certainly, had I read this book 10 years ago (I’m in my late 20’s now), I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more. After sitting through countless critical reading courses and a few psychology courses (necessary
Sarah Goodner
The only reason this one earned a second star is because the plot was decent. The character development and dialog, however, was laughable. Maggie, the narrator, is a high school student who starts to hear voices that tell her to kill, and she has to obey or suffer physical pain. As she tells the story, it reminded me of the vocabulary and dialect more indicative of a ten-year-old than a teenage girl.

The end was really terrible, though, and I don't mean tragic. I really didn't care enough about
Another book that straddles the mystery-horror line. It's not quite a mystery but not quite horror. So I'll just put it on both shelves! You'll figure it out.

This was a quick and very engaging read, but the ending was unsatisfying. I feel like I'm owed a sequel, so I can see where Mary-Magdalene headed next in life. Also, while the book is contemporary, Mary-Magdalene's friend Abigail sounds and acts like a Sweet Valley High character, and I do not mean that as a compliment to Abigail or to the
Lesa Divine
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This was just a okay story nothing scary at all. Just a teenage girl with a mental health issue that she's pretending she doesn't have. A voice telling her to kill people these people has caused some kind of harm to people she knows and the voice doesn't believe they should live anymore.
Again okay story I read for a readathon because it was short.
Terrie Lopez
A very different kind of story

The main character is very unusual. From her name to what's going on in her life. It's a quick read with a sad twist. While it wasn't the best book I've ever read, it wasn't the worst either. It draws you in and you have to finish it.
This book started well, and kept my interest well enough, but the very sudden end was a big disappointment that left many unanswered questions, and was most unsatisfying.
Not a big recommendation from me.
Emme Abrahams

The ending was plain, no cliffhanger or real ending. I liked the beginning but it just really wasn’t my type of book. I wish it was more suspenseful or had a plot twist or something to make it more interesting.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting, but a bit weird. I can definitely see the appeal for teens
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“The Thing Is
to love life, to love it even when you have no stomach for it and everything you've held dear crumbles like burnt paper in your hands, your throat filled with the slit of it. When grief sits with you, its tropical heat thickening the air, heavy as water more fit for gills than lungs; when grief weights you like your own flesh only more of it, an obesity of grief, you think , how can a body withstand this? Then you hold like life a face between your palms, a plain face, no charming smile, no violet eyes, and you say, yes, I will take you I will love you, again”
“She has all the right equipment to look sexy, pretty even. She just overdoes everything-like she's a coloring-book women who got scribbled on by a toddler,” 2 likes
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