Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

You Will Know Me

Rate this book
Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. From a writer with "exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl," (Janet Maslin) You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition.

345 pages, Hardcover

First published July 26, 2016

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Megan Abbott

63 books5,459 followers
Megan Abbott is the Edgar®-winning author of the novels Die a Little, Queenpin, The Song Is You, Bury Me Deep, The End of Everything, Dare Me, The Fever, You Will Know Me and Give Me Your Hand.

Abbott is co-showrunner, writer and executive producer of DARE ME, the TV show adapated from her novel. She was also a staff writer on HBO's THE DEUCE. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Believer and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan and received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She has taught at NYU, SUNY and the New School University and has served as the John Grisham Writer in Residence at The University of Mississippi.

She is also the author of a nonfiction book, The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir, and the editor of A Hell of a Woman, an anthology of female crime fiction. She is currently developing two of her novels, Dare Me and The Fever, for television.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
5,383 (13%)
4 stars
14,272 (34%)
3 stars
15,778 (38%)
2 stars
4,800 (11%)
1 star
1,133 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,404 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,941 reviews291k followers
July 26, 2016
"So many things you never think you'll do until you do them.”

4 1/2 stars. I'm just going to say it: Megan Abbott is one of my favourite authors. I've read three of her books and I've loved three of her books. I get it - her writing isn't for everyone; but it's for me. Holy shit, is it for me.

It's hard to explain. Abbott writes about quiet people politics and the small details that all add up to something bigger. Suspense hums beneath the surface, turning the most mundane events into something darker, something more meaningful. She narrates real life and still keeps you on the edge of your seat.

You Will Know Me is a murder mystery, and yet it is mostly about a family that revolves around its anchor - a gymnastics prodigy called Devon. Like all my favourite mystery/thriller writers (Tana French, Gillian Flynn, etc.), Abbott makes her stories about so much more than the mystery. If you guess the truth - as you might here - it doesn't matter. It's about the whys, the hows, the intricate details and characterization. I think the telltale sign of a really good thriller is when the "whodunnit" can be spoiled and the book is still worth reading.
That’s what parenthood was about, wasn’t it? Slowly understanding your child less and less until she wasn’t yours anymore but herself.

The Knox family are at the centre of this tale. There's Katie - a mother overwhelmed by her changing daughter; Eric - a father obsessed with helping his daughter achieve her dreams; Drew - an oft-neglected boy who notices more than anyone realizes; and Devon herself - a teenage girl caught up in the intense, competitive world of elite gymnasts.

Into their world comes a death - a death that could very well be a murder. It shakes their tight-knit community and brings many secrets to the surface. As everything unravels, it becomes clear that the Knox family might not know each other that well at all.

You Will Know Me is an adult book about a murder, but once again Abbott demonstrates where she really shines: in portraying that nasty, psychotic little world of teenage girls. How hard it is, how much it hurts, how cruel they are to one another. It's just real life, after all, but the writing simmers with a barely-suppressed mania.

Low self-esteem, desire, jealousy, sex, confusion... add some top-level ambition to the teenage girl pot and it's easy to see how this normal part of life can turn dark in an instant. Abbott captures it perfectly and convincingly, writing beautiful, simple little moments, filled with meaning:
He’d never woken up, and the only sound now was his breathing, hoarse and ragged. For a second she thought she saw his lashes lift, the white of one eye looking at her, but she was wrong.

It is not what it’s about, but how the story is told. In fact, the more I read, the more I come to think that’s always the case. Writing pretty words into sentences is something that can be learned in a writing class, but being a good storyteller, like natural charisma, is something you simply have a knack for, or you don’t.

And, for me, Megan Abbott is one of the best.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Store
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,414 reviews77.5k followers
March 31, 2017
Ok, so Megan Abbott and I have a bit of history. I’ve not read her noir books, so my first read of hers was The End of Everything. I was so blown away by that one that I couldn’t wait to pick up Dare Me; I’m not sure if it was just me or the book, but I was so disappointed in myself for not loving it. I moved along to reading The Fever next, but didn’t rush out for it immediately; thankfully I enjoyed that one more than the previous but it still didn’t live up to TEOE for me. Needless to say, I was a teensy bit afraid of picking up You Will Know Me. What if I continued to be in the minority that wasn’t blown away by every book she wrote? Lucky for me, I not only picked this one up but enjoyed it so thoroughly that I’m convinced it’s her best book yet!

For some reason the cliquish world of gymnastics has always fascinated me; maybe because I was told at the age of 5 that I’d never be a gymnast due to my height and was an unattainable goal for myself. It has always been my favorite sport in the Olympics to watch, so much so that I used to make a balance beam out of pillows to walk along while watching. Take that dream crushing gymnastic instructors! Whatever the case, this book had me hooked from the very beginning, and it wasn’t just the suspense behind the mystery, but the development of the characters. Abbott does a fantastic job of giving you the willies in the simplest of ways; it’s like creeping unease is her second language and I want more. This story was so perfectly written that I feel like the mystery actually takes a backseat to more important themes, like the financial hardships of parents that give everything to support such a fragile dream, or the dynamics of how one child can become front and center while another suffers the consequences of neglect and disappointment. I was truly moved by how real and relatable Meg’s writing is; she had me on a roller coaster of emotions from beginning to end.

I really loved how simple this cover is; there is nothing distracting or attention seeking about it, yet your eye is slowly drawn in to explore what might be going through that young girl’s mind. Clearly there is a similar theme in Abbott’s books which revolve around teenage girl’s and their antics, but as many other reviewers have stated, this one is from a new perspective-the mother of a teenage girl. As the mother of two young girls, I appreciated (and was slightly terrified of) the insights of what is to come for myself in the somewhat near future; I found myself going off on tangents wondering what I would do in these situations if one of my daughters were in a position of such pressure during such a crucial time in a girl’s life. Megan Abbott has created something really special in this book, and I think she’s completely won me over with her charm and suspense. Worth the time and energy spent reading it, I’d recommend to fans who like a novel of suspense with much deeper subject matter than your everyday thriller.

*I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing my copy and it was my pleasure to return an honest review.
Profile Image for karen.
3,976 reviews170k followers
June 24, 2018
Being a girl is so hard, Katie thought. And it only gets harder.

i think i'm gonna go ahead and give this five stars after all. because, confession time - as far as her non-noir stuff goes, i didn't love her last two (Dare Me and The Fever) as much as i loved The End of Everything. i didn't dislike them by any means (although many readers did), but i thought that while they excelled in their depiction of the darker aspects of teenage girlhood, as do all her books, the surrounding stories weren't as strong as the one in The End of Everything, so as overall reading experiences they were a little shaky, but with these amazingly sharp scenes, descriptions, observations that were more than worth the price of admission.

this one, however, does both: it's another exploration of the claustrophobic, secretive, grubbily emotional world of female adolescence, and ALSO an amazing domestic suspense novel. and by approaching the theme from a different angle this time; from the POV of the mother of a teenaged girl, abbot puts a little spin on ground familiar to her readers; a fresh perspective on the transition of girl to woman from a character who has both been there herself and is now witnessing it in her daughter.

That's what parenthood was about, wasn't it? Slowly understanding your child less and less until she wasn't yours anymore but herself.

this book features an ordinary couple - katie and eric knox, whose fifteen-year-old daughter devon is a gymnast so gifted she actually has a shot at the olympics. oh, and they have a son, too, but drew's not an accomplished gymnast, so he gets overlooked a lot. by them, anyway - doing his homework and reading books in gym bleachers where he is shuttled and dumped, all their attention focused on devon's contortions and ambitions. the book, however, does not overlook him, and his quiet resignation and patience are among the most emotionally resonant scenes in the book, while his status as spectator allows him to observe many things the rest of the family misses while their attention is elsewhere.

this has all the familial tensions you expect to encounter in a domestic thriller - murrrrrderrrr, suspicion, temptation, secrets, an overfamiliarity with spousal habits making deviations from the norm stand out and cause apprehension...

but then there's this extra layer of tension slapped on top because of the particular stresses, both financial and emotional, of being the parents of a high-performing child in a hyper-competitive environment where an injury could literally ruin the family, who have given up so much to the pursuit of devon's dream.

because this path involves a ton of sacrifice. most of katie and eric's time is spent taking devon to practice or competitions, reviewing the footage of her performances, and fundraising for the never-ending stream of registration fees, gym dues, costumes, coaching, travel expenses, etc, while their house and car slowly fall apart around them.

like the cheerleading in Dare Me, gymnastics is a perfect microcosm for abbott to eviscerate with her skillful picking apart of girl-culture and relationships. it's a precarious path these girls are on, where a tenth of a point can make or break a career and there's such a small window of opportunity available to gymnasts, before gravity and puberty end their careers, so there's this intensity to everything they do. they are in a state of suspended animation, where hips and boobs are liabilities, and their bodies are machines to manipulate and propel like weapons. normal standard of beauty do not apply - torn-up and heavily calloused hands and feet are not only par for the course, but valued, and the gymnasts have iron wills, extreme abilities to suppress pain, and a ferocious drive, giving them an adult focus in their teeny gymnast bodies.

That was what gymnastics did, though. It aged girls and kept them young forever at the same time.

abbot thrusts the reader into a full immersion into this world, and it is incredibly effective. the book is primarily delivered through katie's perspective, so it's technically an outsider's experience, but she's supplanted so much of her own life to focus on devon's career, she's as tunnel-visioned as devon, and the scene where she goes to devon's school and sees her, for the first time in ages, among regular teens instead of other gymnasts, is shockingly powerful.

abbott is so good at writing dread, at giving even innocuous situations a glaze of unease. it takes a long time for the death - the situation that drives the novel - to happen, but everything leading up to it - you can just feel things starting to bubble and there are all these heavy indications of approaching tragedy. it's masterful. even when NOTHING tense is happening, abbot can make it feel so:

He’d never woken up, and the only sound now was his breathing, hoarse and ragged. For a second she thought she saw his lashes lift, the white of one eye looking at her, but she was wrong.

and her depictions of the other gymnastics-stage-moms - hilaaaarious:

Maybe it was all those arched backs, those manicured nails gripping water bottles, their glossy manes, the high, whinnying sounds they made, their beady eyes. It reminded her of the hyenas in Drew's favorite animal book. They have excellent nighttime vision and hearing. True. They have powerful jaws and sharp teeth that they use to break open bones so they can feed. Also possibly true.

so, yeah - full five stars and a wicked disjointed review for this one, just to differentiate it as being tighter and more cohesive than those other books i gave four stars to but was really only feeling three-and-a-half.

and i just now realized i only gave 4 stars to The End of Everything.

whatever - i suck at math.
and also the balance beam.
if you were wondering.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Roxane.
Author 116 books156k followers
July 26, 2016
No on writes about the intersections between teenage girls, ambition, bodies, and obsession better than Megan Abbott. Her voice is distinct throughout this novel. Tight, taut, tense, terrifying. You Will Know Me is both a portrait of a family who put their talented gymnast daughter at the center of their world, and how ambition is the thing that holds them together and tears them apart. The words in this novel are like weapons and Abbott wields them very well.

Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,563 reviews5,860 followers
October 2, 2016
Katie and Eric Knox know no bounds when it comes to their extra-special gymnast daughter, Devon. Every thing goes to Devon and her amazing talent. That extra mortgage? No biggie. Smoozing with the richie bitch down the street. Par for the course.
commercial photography locations

Devon is a star. That's all that matters.

commercial photography locations

Then for Devon herself. This young girl is a frigging robot. She is about to turn sixteen and knows that the worst thing ever is about to happen. She is about to get some boobs and curves. This is her last shot at those ever elusive Olympics. This girl just comes across to me as a freaking robot. She doesn't care if everyone is making fun of her. They are all just jealous of her amazing life.
She is the only one in their gym group who will ever go anywhere.

commercial photography locations

Then a death happens. So many twisty turns. That my silly 'read too many of these type books' self figured out.

Abbott's writing did keep me reading. I loved seeing all the dark sides of all these hyper-sorta nutty people. From my personal viewpoint I knew that this was a glimpse into a life that I just can't imagine, because I just don't know if I have enough of that pageant mom mentality.
commercial photography locations

It was a dang fun glimpse into it though.

There was not enough space in her heart.
Her heart was different.
She was different.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,731 followers
February 10, 2017
The 2016 Summer Olympics are getting ready to start this week, and after reading this I’ll be leery of any heartwarming features about athletes and their families because it seems like they won’t scratch the surface of the toll it probably took on all of them to get there.

Devon Knox is an extraordinary young gymnast with a real chance to become an Olympian, and her parents, Katie and Eric, have made this goal the focus of their entire lives. However, the shocking death of someone connected to their gym causes a disruption that unveils secrets, lies, jealousies, and manipulations that threaten to undo everything.

As with her other recent novels Megan Abbott once again uses a backdrop dominated by adolescent girls as the basis for the story, but this one has a more decidedly adult point of view with most of the story told to us via Katie’s third party perceptions. As a mother who has sacrificed enormous amounts of time, effort, and money to support Devon no one could question her dedication, but Katie sometimes worries about what their relentless pursuit of this single dream has cost their family including the often overlooked younger brother Drew.

The book digs deeply into the whole sub-culture of gymnastics and creates the environment and characters so vividly that the reader is completely immersed in it. Whether it’s explaining how a minor misstep can hurt a score or describing the various injuries common to the girls it all feels incredibly authentic. Explaining that world to us is probably the easiest challenge Mighty Megan had in this one because once again it’s her incredible knack for putting us in the head of a conflicted character who has to face up to some ugly truths where the book really shines because that’s where it asks how much you can know someone else even if they’re the ones closest to you.

I especially like the theme about greatness requiring sacrifice and the questions that get explored regarding that idea. Devon might be able to do something that very few can, but does that mean she should have had to give up a normal childhood and teenage experiences? Is she doing this because it’s her dream or because so many adults around her have their own reasons for wanting her to succeed? Should the Knoxes have dedicated so much of themselves towards a single goal of one child, or does a parent of a kid with an extraordinary talent have a responsibility to do anything to see it fulfilled?

This might be the best book that Megan Abbott has done, and it’s because of the way that she weaves all that together in a story that is crime story, family drama, and reflections on the real cost of the pursuit of excellence in almost any endeavor.
Profile Image for Kelli.
844 reviews391 followers
August 19, 2016
I started this book at the perfect time, often turning the pages as my daughter sat watching Olympic gymnastics. I'm glad that she is able to watch these incredible performances and that these strong, determined athletes are an inspiration to her. I'm also quietly thankful that sports are recreational for my children. I understand that there are those children who are single-minded when it comes to their sport of choice. I also know there are those who excel beyond reason. I suppose with the right combination of desire, ambition, and support, those children can eventually compete at the highest level but not without tremendous sacrifice, time, money, blood, sweat, and tears.

This book seems to provide believable insight into the world of elite athletic competition. It was a decent vacation read, but it took a long time to get where it was going. There was some tension, but this was not a thriller. I found the story arc difficult to buy into because I needed more insight into the thoughts feelings of two extremely important characters. I found Devon too flat and Eric strangely peripheral for a central character. I expect much of what was left out was done so purposefully to create mystery, but in the end I just didn't believe it. I kept picking it up and it held my interest for much of the book but this one will be filed under forgettable. 2.5 stars
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,902 reviews35.3k followers
September 21, 2016
I took forever to finish this book .....which can be read in a day.
I only 'came back' to 'humor myself' with this $1.99 special during those times I was relaxing in our sauna. I save sauna/Kindle reads for those books I'm not dying to finish-- if it takes me 6 weeks -- makes no difference to me.
So... this was a chosen 'sauna-read'. ( always on my old Kindle which still works even in a hot box).

For starters....it's possible I come to this story - the world of competitive gymnasts -
with a different eye than the reader who have only been fascinated in watching
the Olympic gymnasts - from afar - on their TV sets.
I grew up as a competitive gymnast. I competed at the elite level - taking first place all-around in Calif. two years in a row.
Unlike Deven, though, ....the gymnast in 'this' story....I didn't have parents like she did.
All the other girls on my team did. I was the small 'orphan -type' gymnast. My mother never 'once' saw me compete.... and my father wasn't alive......but I do know this world--the way the judging works - the hours of dedication -each day in a gym. 'The culture'
My personal biggest beef with the sport of 'serious' gymnastics....is "when it's over, it's over".....and then what? At least in Tennis, or swimming, or running- and other sports --- they carry into adult time recreation and exercise.
Or....if a child spends more time playing an instrument- its lifetime- or more time studying academics....developing a true natural love of learning....it too will be lifetime...
BUT.... ask 'any' serious die-hard child gymnast - if when it was over - years of tunnel vision dedication- pulled ligaments and bloody palms - if they didn't hit a wall of at least minor depression when they woke up and realized there is a WHOLE NORMAL WORLD .... and they haven't been living it.
A hunger to learn new things began to open for me - ( and anger). I spent years angry at myself for investing so much time to a sport that leads nowhere. After about 30- years of distant from the sport -- I came to more balance thinking -- and actually acknowledged the hard work I 'did' do. I was extremely dedicated -loved the girls on our team and our coach. I was able to finally realized that - in my case - gymnastics was 'all' I had ....(the team and family experience was stronger than at home)...
I was finally able to stop being angry at myself - and love that kid who found 'something' when home life was pretty empty. Plus...I was good at it. I was actually good at 'something'...which by the way nobody in serious competition takes time to experience. All gymnasts see is what they can improve on. [more-better-perFECT]. There is always something to improve on. Acknowledge themselves?....you've got too be kidding...their critical mind is much too dominant. Pretty sad when you think about it.

So....I came to this book with 'already' pre-thoughts.....
....then I read it - when I did during sauna breaks ....it was all very familiar'.
A 'little' re-visit of memories was 'enough'.

Gymnastics was the only activity I wouldn't allow my children to 'take classes' in. If they wanted to flip flop in our back yard - they could do it on their own time---( which they both did) They were born with rubber-band flexible genes.....but I was SO CLEAR -- our family was not going near THAT WORLD.
but then our older daughter got serious in 'another world'...Theater/ musical theater -- ( she is an adult contortionist), She also became an equity actress at age 9. Oh well!

I ask....."why do families want to live like the KNOX FAMILY ... in "You Will Know Me"
.....an excerpt to prove my point:
"She couldn't remember the last night they'd gone to bed at the same time. Eric working fifty hours a week. Katie working twenty-five from home, creating commercial logos, designing annual reports on her overloaded computer between carpooling, car repairs, more errands. They had such a meticulously coordinated schedule, calendars synced, pop-up reminders, both of them always needed somewhere and then always coming home to the rest of it. All their duties hung like heavy raiment over them all the time, only the sight of Devon spearing into the air lifting them up".

Sounds exhausting.... doesn't it? Yet - many of us ( even without a gymnast in the family) -- if we raised children can relate to this exhaustion and crazy-ness on some level. Most parents - all of us - have been guilty of this fast life with our children - swim meets- theater - work - etc. Hopefully - we've also stepped back and laughed at ourselves and slowed down at times too. Taken complete breaks from the scheduled life.

There were some good messages -- (in this story)
One being -- the goal you are so trying to achieve may turn out to 'not' be satisfying!!! Shocker to discover - and hard to face the truth about it. - yet... a powerful message all the same!

Then... there are all the messages - about the cost- the risk of putting a family on the fast tract competitive train... other siblings are left out - family meal time and leisure time goes out the window. The marriage can suffer... health and well being - for everyone can suffer. If not immediately...in due time.

As for the mystery- pretty predictable....but...
The storytelling flows .....
The strength is the dynamics between the family's story ( messages to pull from them) -and the inside world of competitive gymnastics. Community warm? or Cut throat?


Profile Image for Larry H.
2,474 reviews29.4k followers
August 22, 2016
I'd rate this 3.5 stars.

While the so-called "mystery" part of this book held about as much suspense as whether Ryan Lochte and his swimming compatriots were actually robbed at gunpoint in Rio, You Will Know Me further cemented Megan Abbott's talent as one of the best creators of mean girls (and adults, for that matter) that is currently writing.

"And so gymnastics became the center, the mighty spine of everything for them."

Katie and Eric Knox have given nearly everything in pursuit of their daughter Devon's dreams of becoming a gymnastics superstar. But while many parents would let their children's dreams override any semblance of a normal life for their family, Devon isn't just any aspiring gymnast—her coach believes she can make it all the way to the Olympics. So do the other parents whose children practice in the same gym Devon does—they know their children simply orbit around the planetary force Devon represents and hope that simply being in her presence and watching her might pay off.

Katie and Eric barely have a minute for their "real" lives outside of practices, coaching sessions, and meets. Fortunately their precocious young son Drew is content to watch his sister and occupy himself, so he doesn't appear to mind that he play second fiddle to his sister. And while Katie is the one who spends most of her time shuttling Devon back and forth, Eric has taken an increased role as head of the gym's booster club, and isn't afraid to use his handsome charm when necessary to get things he wants for the gym, especially when they could impact Devon's chances of success.

And then the sudden death of a member of their close-knit gym family throws them all for a loop, and threatens to disrupt Devon's progress toward the tournament for which she has been practicing, which in turn, causes ripples for the other girls and their families. Eric tries to take charge and do what's best for Devon and, by extension, the gym, but Katie starts to wonder if all of that effort, all of the hungry ambition is worth it. Is it worth turning these young girls into women while their bodies don't catch up? Is it worth all of the sacrifice, the hurt, the fears, the destruction of people's lives?

"That was what gymnastics did, though. It aged girls and kept them young forever at the same time."

The more rumors swirl around the gym community, the more Katie tries to figure out just what happened and what, if any role her husband played in the tragedy, while hoping not to discover the actual answers. But as she gets to see the full scope of Devon's ambitions, and all that people will do to ensure their star reaches the heights they believe she is destined for, Katie doesn't know whether to be repulsed or to root for her daughter with all of her might.

Especially in the midst of the 2016 Olympic Games, this book was definitely intriguing, and it's probably a lot more realistic than it might seem at first glance. Abbott created a particularly odious group of characters, most of whom had slightly noble intentions but lost them somewhere along the way. (Those who aren't utterly unlikable are pretty freaking clueless.) This is the third of Abbott's books I've read (after Dare Me and The Fever ) which boasts such a motley, well-drawn crew of miscreants.

While this book is certainly entertaining, as I mentioned earlier, you can see the resolution of the "mystery" coming from a mile away. I guess if this book hadn't been peddled so hard as a mystery I might not have cared, but that was the one piece of the book that didn't work for me. This was a fairly fascinating and timely look at the single-minded pursuit of dreams and just how far people would go, but it didn't grab me as much as I hoped it would.

Still, this is a slightly creepy look at the group think of helicopter parents and people who live vicariously through their children's accomplishments. Perhaps you'll recognize someone you know in one of the characters—I certainly did!

See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....
Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,239 followers
April 18, 2017
3.5 stars
"Never again," she told herself. "I won’t be that mom. She needs someplace to be herself. To be messy and sad and human. Real."
To be whatever she was becoming.

Here’s a tense thriller that is more about the journey than the actual mystery. It’s more about the intricacies of the Knox family and the way their world revolves around competitive gymnastics. Told from the mother Katie’s perspective, there’s the recurring theme of parenthood and what it’s like to watch your child grow pulling away more and more until they ultimately become their own person. How scary that can be. Some very powerful, great lines by Megan Abbott.

Katie and Eric Knox are the parents of fifteen year old Devon. She’s an insanely talented gymnastics prodigy. She’s on track to be one of the best, hopefully even make the Olympics. The next step is to make Senior Elite status at the Elite Qualifiers. Everyone knows Devon can do it. Their gym BelStars is counting on it - Devon is the star of the gym. All the girls look up to her. The other parents envious, but wanting their daughters to be close to Devon in the hope that it rubs off on them. Devon’s own parents have invested a hell of a lot of time into her gymnastics career. Eric, the BelStar Boosters president, always schmoozing it up with the other Boosters and gym parents. Devon’s younger brother getting neglected for his sister’s talent. It’s all pretty messed up, yet this is how it is. An extreme amount of pressure and stress put on these young girls’ shoulders by tons of adults who should know better.

Six weeks out from the big competition, everything comes to a halt when news of a death within their tight-knit gymnastics community comes to light. It might not have been an accident after all. Could it have been murder? Rumors swirl amidst everything else leaving Katie wondering how well she really knows her own family.

The feeling of dread is palpable from the first page. I found myself immersed deep into the world of competitive gymnastics. There are some excellent lines on competition, the complexities of all that pressure on a young girl, and being a parent in that intense world. I was intrigued by the mystery of who killed the boy and why, but that was so much more in the background compared to the real meat of this book. For a mystery lover, I didn’t care too much. Some of the characters could have used more depth, especially Devon. Though I understand it’s from a mother’s perspective, so a mother might not know her daughter on a deeper level. But still..it bothered me. Other readers will love this. If you’ve already grown to love Megan Abbott, you’ll be pleased. There is definite crossover appeal here.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,888 reviews10.5k followers
July 28, 2016
Katie and Eric Knox will do anything for their gymnast prodigy Devon. When the boyfriend of one of her gymnastic instructors die, will Katie be able to keep their idyllic life from disintegrating around them?

Here we are, another Megan Abbott book and another series of cold knives in my heart. At first glance, I thought this might be similar to Dare Me, Megan's book about cheerleaders. You Will Know Me is about the parents of star gymnasts and the crazy shit they do for their kids.

From the first page, I knew I'd wolf this down like it was a brisket sandwich. All the dark hints of the coming train wreck were like a fishhook through my eyelids. I was powerless to look away as the lives of the Knox family and the rest of the gymnastic families were torn asunder.

The Knox family were as realistic a depiction of the alien world of elite gymnasts that I can fathom. Eric was the charming dad, Katie the doting mother, and Drew the little brother that wound up getting pushed into the background a lot of the time. Devon was the star, the thoroughbred the Knox family and most of the families at the gym pinned their hopes on. I hated that damn Gwen Weaver!

You Will Know me raises a lot of questions about families. How well can you really know someone, even if you've been with them for the better part of a decade? How far would you go for your kids?

Ryan's death scrapes open a lot of wounds and unearths a lot of dark secrets. I gasped aloud like a 1950s housewife when one of the twists was revealed but, even then, the Megster had a couple more twists to throw at me. Once again, she was the matador and I was the bull.

The writing was fantastic. It's been fascinating to watch Megan develop as a writer as I've devoured her books over the last few years. I lost track of lines I wanted to read out loud, bent on finishing it before bedtime.

I will share this gem:
the things you want, you never get them. And if you do, they're not what you thought they'd be. But you'd still do anything to keep them. Because you'd wanted them for so long.

There are other suspense writers that get more press but Megan Abbott's girl-noir tales are the best things going today. Five out of five stars.
Profile Image for James Thane.
Author 8 books6,912 followers
August 29, 2016
Following Dare Me, a brilliant novel set in the world of teenage cheerleaders, Megan Abbot turns her eye in the direction of another exclusive arena of young girls, gymnastics. This is a very dark, thought-provoking book; brilliantly written as always. And after reading it, you will never watch the Olympic Games, or many other such sporting events, in the same way again. While there is a crime at the heart of this book, this is not a crime novel in the traditional sense. Truth to tell, the crimes perpetrated here are of a much larger variety than those one usually expects to encounter in a "crime" novel.

In Dare Me, Abbott's focus was largely on the young cheerleaders themselves. Here, though, the focus is on the parents and other boosters who sacrifice virtually everything in the pursuit of making a champion out of a gifted child. At the center of the book is the Knox family: Eric, the father; Katie, the mother; Drew, the younger brother; and Devon, the child prodigy who becomes practically the family's sole reason for existence.

The Knox family is stuck somewhere in the lower reaches of the middle classes, essentially because they have pinned all their hopes on making their daughter a champion. They buy into a years-long dream, starting when Devon is a tiny child, aimed at ultimately making her an Olympic star, even though they barely dare to mention this ultimate dream out loud.

And they sacrifice everything for that dream. They live in a house that is falling apart. Their aging automobiles are always in the shop. Practically every dime they can scrape together, including a second mortgage that they can't afford, is spent on coaches, gym fees, outfits and travel. They spend hours every week, watching their daughter train; they're forever on the road to meets and conferences. Their social circle consists only of the other parents with similar dreams and with the all-important boosters who raise money to support those dreams. This is a family that has no life outside of their focus on Devon, and your heart breaks for little Drew whose entire existence seems to be an afterthought. And in the end, this is one of the scariest books I've ever read.

As Devon prepares for the event that will finally make or break her future as a gymnast, a tragedy occurs within the tight knit group that constitutes the Knox Family's inner circle and it threatens to destroy everything that they have aimed at, not just for Devon, but for all the other children and families as well. The aftershocks cascade through the Knox family and those around them, with no telling what they will ultimately produce. Abbott is a master at this sort of psychological drama, and watching the events unfold, you realize that you're in the hands of an Olympic-sized talent. This is a book that will stay with the reader for a very long time.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,083 reviews17.3k followers
June 8, 2019
She hadn't learned, no one had taught her—Katie and Eric hadn't taught her—that the things you want, you never get them. And if you do they're not what you thought they'd be. But you'd still do anything to keep them. Because you wanted them for so long.

And here it is - my favorite Megan Abbott novel of the four I've read.

Megan Abbott's perfect writing style and fantastic characters blend with a creepy storyline to form a near-perfect suspense book. You Will Know Me has an interesting, if somewhat overdone, premise. Katie and Eric's daughter, Devon, a talented gymnastics star. Their lives, and the lives of many at their gymnastics studio, revolve around her. Their gymnastics studio is in perfect balance... until a member is killed, and alliances suddenly shift.

You Will Know Me blends together several interesting concepts at once into a tightly plotted murder mystery. It's like a suburban mystery drama, but somehow... darker. The plotting is very slow-burn. At times the book might be too slow for some readers. But every moment of detail and character-building comes to a close in the finale. The last 1/3 is absolutely spectacular, with twists and turns and a breathless conclusion.

However, the plotting isn't what stands out here. In my opinion, the best suspense book is the type where the ending can be spoiled for you and the book is still worth reading. This isn't worth reading to see who is the killer; it's worth reading to see how the killing happens. This book brings up so many interesting themes, so many conflicting feelings, so many questions.

The characters of You Will Know Me are especially brilliantly crafted. We see this story from Katie's point of view, which allows us to see into the obsessive nature of their family. Katie's narrative becomes darker and darker as she tries to figure out what's happening in her family.

As always, Abbott's writing style and atmosphere is perfect for the story. Again, it's not for everyone; anyone who hated Dare Me may want to skip this one.

VERDICT: In terms of suspense, it's hard to find a better book. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a slow-paced yet far from tame thriller.
Profile Image for Joe Valdez.
476 reviews783 followers
December 23, 2022
My latest foray into the fiction of Megan Abbott is You Will Know Me, in which the Edgar-winning author's tempest of murder and deceit settles over a teenage gymnast shooting for Olympic glory. Published in 2016, this is not a great thriller, but it's an exciting and eerily effective one. Abbott's work enthralls me for the same reason the late Elmore Leonard's does; their coffee may only rate three stars, but unlike Starbucks, their ambiance is a five. As with Dare Me and The Fever, Abbott demonstrates a willingness to write about teenagers for adults, with the depth that a conventional Young Adult novel would gloss over.

The story takes place in the present day in an anonymous suburb (the weather suggests the Midwest, but it could be anywhere). Katie Knox is a wife, mother of two and freelance designer. No athlete--art class and boys and sneaking off to see bands her focus when she was a teenager--her fifteen-year-old daughter Devon is a regional champ on the cusp of qualifying for elite gymnast status, putting her in a class of forty to sixty girls nationwide, five of which will be selected for the U.S. Olympic team. Katie's husband Eric is an audio engineer as indifferent to sports and competition as she was until fate intervenes in the life of their firstborn.

What Katie refers to as The Foot occurs when three-year-old Devon slips on wet grass into a Sears Craftsman riding lawnmower that Eric left idle, shearing two toes off her foot. To help with her balance, their doctor recommends enrolling Devon in kiddie soccer, or ice-skating, or tumbling. Katie takes Devon to Tumbleangels Gym, where within a year, her daughter is the star. Gym tuition fees, booster fees, meet fees and travel expenses swell the Knox's credit card debt. By age seven, Devon's tryout tape gets to Teddy Belfour, the most decorated gymnastics coach in the state, who offers to train Devon if they dump their strip mall gym and enroll her in his training facility.

And overnight BelStars became their whole world.

Twelve thousand square feet, a virtual bunker, it had everything that jolly Tumbleangels, run by two sweet women both named Emily, didn't. The color-coordinated foam wedges and cartwheel mats were replaced by mammoth spring floors, a forty-foot tumbling track, a parent lounge with vending machines. All of it gray, severe, powerful.

And BelStars had Coach T., nearly all his energies devoted to Devon, beneath her on the beam, the bars, spotting her at the vault. Barking orders at everyone but Devon. ("She doesn't need it," he said. "She just needs our faith.")

This was the place Devon began spending twenty-five hours a week, before school, after school, weekends. And, because it was thirty minutes from their house and Eric's work schedule was unreliable, it was often the place Katie and thus little Drew spent four, five, seven hours a day, Katie's default office, her laptop open, trying to do her freelance design jobs.

But it was impossible not to watch Devon. Everyone watched her.

At age thirteen, Devon's qualifying run for Junior Elite culminates in what Katie calls The Fall, with Devon's vault dismount disqualifying her by seven-tenths of a point. Rather than end their dream, Eric concludes that equipment is holding Devon back and with a landing pit in the gym, she could go all the way. In what Katie comes to call The Pit, Eric takes a leadership role in the BelStars Booster Club and with generous funding from a restaurant owner named Gwen Weaver, a landing pit is dug. Helping with construction is one of Grace’s employees, nineteen-year-old Ryan Beck, who every girl at the gym and some of the BelStars moms go googly-eyed over.

Ryan becomes a fixture at the gym once he starts dating Coach T's twenty-two-year old niece Hailey, a tumbling coach whose body development disqualified her from an athletic career, but like everyone else, recognizes in Devon a once-in-a-generation talent and is willing to do her part to help her. Everything is back on track for the star, until Ryan is killed by a hit-and-run driver at two o'clock in the morning. While Devon remains true to her nickname "Ice Eyes" and remains focused on her training, stress fractures show at BelStars when Coach T disappears from the gym to attend to Hailey, who has become a suspect in Ryan's death.

When Eric is unable to get their clunker out of the shop promptly, Katie attends Ryan's funeral service alone. She's confronted by Ryan's mother, who mentions that the other parents don't seem to want her there and then Hailey herself, who accuses Katie of betrayal. Katie's son Drew is given to dreams about his sister and tells Katie that Devon flew out the window and drove away in a car one night. Eric spends more time than ever holding the boosters together, from which Katie feels excluded, and picks up on things dad is telling her daughter and not her. Devon begins receiving threatening text messages from Hailey. Katie wonders how long she can hold it all together.

There were furtive thoughts she tried never to linger over. Like maybe Eric never would have married her if she hadn't gotten pregnant (the night it happened, drunk on a softball victory, the company team, and three jubilant hours at Rizzo's Tavern with everyone toasting his grand slam, Eric had been the one sweet-talking her into the back of the SoundMasters van. The one who promised her it would be okay; promised her everything). Or the other thought: that he never would have stayed married to her if it weren't for Devon.

It's just, he'd said once, that shaky first year, Devon swaddled to Katie's chest, I don't need you the same way.

But thank God, everything was different later, and had been ever since.

Before he left, that kiss on her cheek, his breath tanged with mouthwash--she loved him so much.

Then the last week sharp-kneed its way back into her brain.

What glues You Will Know Me together and kept me turning the pages is how well Megan Abbott knows her world and her characters. Like a sculptor, she starts chiseling away at both, revealing what's underneath. This is a far more compelling approach to me than coming up with a plot and forcing characters to act it out. Readers may not find gymnastics interesting or the identity of the murderer difficult to suss out. I'll never need to read this novel again but did admire the choices the author made. Devon is developed into a facsimile of a real teenager as opposed to some Midwich Cuckoo, while Katie's strength is not superhuman but pure devotion to her children.

Wending her way past the practice beams and uneven bars, Katie started to pick up her pace. Some feeling in her chest.

Approaching the locker room, eyes fixed on the long line of red cubbies veining through the door's cutout window, she heard the scream, like a tear in the throat.

"Stop it!
Stop it!"

Heart pommeling against her chest, Katie charged through the double doors.

At first, she couldn't see anything, just heard a tight shriek, a hard clang.

"Devon?" Katie cried out.

Running past the locker stalls, her chest lurching, everything was a red blur until she saw them:

Two girls interlocked on the floor, almost like an embrace. Katie could only see the tall one on top, golden hair sprayed across the back of a red BelStars hoodie, and beneath her a pair of tanned legs scrambling, sneakers squeaking on the tiles.

"Help!" came a strangled voice as Katie forked her arm under the torso of the hoodie girl and lifted with all her might, which seemed infinite.

Wrenching the girl by her hood, barring the tanned expanse of her broad shoulders, Katie hurled her aside, somehow stronger than ever in her life, and found beneath the bloodless face of her daughter.

"Devon," Katie cried. Sprawled on the floor, her daughter still grasped the girl's hoodie cord so tightly it had cut into the center of her palms, blood-whorled.

"I'll kill you," the hoodie girl screamed, and Katie's head whipped around to see who she was.

Though she already knew.

Rather than write the Young Adult version of this story from Devon's (dramatic) point of view, Abbott's focus is Katie, who as an adult has been shaped by experience as no teenager would. Her happy marriage includes one moment of negligence from her husband that resulted in dismemberment of her child and that she cannot forgive or forget. She questions what sort of career or life she might have had if she hadn't gotten pregnant, and whether her decision to enroll Devon in gymnastics was wrong. These lingering doubts and terrors make for a deeper, more compelling read than a novel about mean girls or stage mothers. I really liked it.

Length: 82,725 words
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,025 reviews659 followers
September 18, 2016
Competitive edge, the pressure to be perfect, and far too much importance attached to a performance. For fifteen year old Devon Knox, perfection in gymnastics is all she has ever wanted. Her parents are willing to do anything to help her achieve it. They may have doubts about a lot of things, but not about Devon's absolute talent. A suspicious death occurs shortly before a major competition, and the fallout from the resultant collateral damage will leave no one untouched.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,690 reviews14.1k followers
August 7, 2016
I have long been fascinated by the world of elite gymnasts, one of my favorite things to watch in the Olympics. Why I grabbed this book when it was offered. First of this authors I have read. The storyline involves around this rarified world, and the mystery, who was behind the wheel of the hit and run is seamlessly blended into the lives of these gymnasts. Our narrator is one of the mothers, her daughter Devon is extremely focused, knows what she wants and has since she was a young child. She is the star of the gym.

But....... the story itself is not why I gave this four stars. I gave this rating because I felt the author did a fantastic job portraying this singular world and those involved in it. The sacrifices of the parents, financially and physically, the strain it can have on a marriage, the delayed puberty of the girls, their somewhat freakish appearance, their injuries, deformed feet, how they are regarded by their classmates, the ambitious parents who will do anything to see their children reach elite status and most importantly the neglect of the other children and how they react.

So all in all an interesting story but a fantastic job taking the reader behind the scenes so to speak.

ARC from publisher.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,411 reviews7,409 followers
August 9, 2016
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

You Will Know Me is the story of this . . . .

commercial photography locations

The person on the track???? Fifteen year old Devon . . . .

commercial photography locations

The people who are going to get her there?????

And . . . .

commercial photography locations

All of the parties have the same end goal – Olympic gold . . . and nothing will stop them.

I’m going to go against the grain just a weeeeeeee bit and only give this 4 Stars. Truthfully if I hadn’t read this during the day followed by watching the U.S. women gymnastic team compete the same night, I might have only given it 3.5. I’m going to blame this on The End of Everything (and now I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t have been so stingy and doled out a full 5 to that one). However, the timing here was 100% on point so a full 4 it shall receive.

I would have ended up reading You Will Know Me no matter what, because the Abbott Kool-Aid is one of my favorite blends, but Dan gets the official shout-out for getting my rear on both the ARC request list and the library waiting list. Here’s the deal with her books. If you read a lot of mystery/thrillers there’s a good chance you may know where the story is going pretty much immediately - but boy is the getting there fun. No one writes teenagers like she does and few do as well grinding out the lesson time and again that . . . .

commercial photography locations

Many thanks to the magical library waiting list that somehow had me go from sixty-something to number two. After seeing who the publisher was on this one at the eleventh hour I was well aware I would be denied the ARC so the timing was spot on.
Profile Image for Diane.
1,080 reviews2,626 followers
July 29, 2016
Reading this book is like watching a great gymnastics performance -- it's powerful, it goes by super fast, and you can't take your eyes from it.

In You Will Know Me we meet the Knox family: Parents Katie and Eric, daughter Devon, and son Drew. Devon is training to be an elite gymnast. Katie and Eric have re-mortgaged the house and piled on tons of credit card debt in order to pay for all the lessons and equipment Devon needs. And poor Drew is often forgotten on the sidelines.

We see the story unfold from the mother's point of view. Devon is on track to be an Olympic gymnast, but then tragedy strikes their community when a friend is killed. There is a mystery about the death, and we watch Katie try to piece together the puzzle. In the tradition of modern thrillers, she isn't a reliable narrator and her memory and perspective can't always be trusted.

I said this book goes by super fast, and I read it in two sittings. I liked seeing an insider's perspective on what it takes to be a great gymnast, and the toll it can take on the athletes and their families. This book also did a good job of showing that we never really know our loved ones. How well do you know your spouse? How well do you know your children? How many thousands of things do we avoid telling each other?

This was my first Megan Abbott thriller, and based on fellow Goodreads reviews, I need to look up her other books. Recommended for fans of mysteries/thrillers.

Favorite Quote
"She hadn't learned, no one had taught her ... that the things you want, you never get them. And if you do, they're not what you thought they'd be. But you'd still do anything to keep them. Because you'd wanted them for so long."
Profile Image for Zoe.
406 reviews933 followers
July 26, 2022
“That’s what parenthood was about, wasn’t it? Slowly understanding your child less and less until she wasn’t yours anymore but herself.”
You Will Know Me is a quick and compelling mystery, but not one that is particularly thrilling or shocking.

Katie Knox’s 16-year-old daughter Devon is a gymnastics prodigy with dreams of making it to the Olympics. When a member of Devon’s gym is killed in a hit-and-run, Katie eventually realizes that the accident may be more sinister than it appears.
“That was what gymnastics did, though. It aged girls and kept them young forever at the same time.”
The gymnastics focus of the story is incredibly accurate and well-written. Megan Abbott does not lean too heavily into the technical details of the sport, so the novel is easy for people who are unfamiliar with gymnastics to follow. Yet, she perfectly manages to encapsulate the decades of hard work, money, and dedication gymnasts and their families put in to reach the top level of the sport.

The real problem with this novel is the mystery itself. The twists and turns are rather predictable, and it’s easy to guess the full context behind the hit-and-run accident. Including more red herrings would have been beneficial and would have helped add an extra layer of thrill to the story.

Ultimately, this is a solid mystery with a unique sports focus. While the ultimate reveal is not particularly shocking, it is an enjoyable read nevertheless.
“After all, who wouldn’t do anything for one’s child? Especially when that child worked harder and wanted something more than either of them ever had? Who wanted in ways they’d long forgotten how to want or had never known at all?”
Profile Image for Blaine.
726 reviews582 followers
April 13, 2021
That’s what parenthood was about, wasn’t it? Slowly understanding your child less and less until she wasn’t yours anymore but herself.
I have a weakness for books and movies that examine parents of exceptional children. How hard do you push—should you even push at all—to help your child realize their potential? Where is the line between helping them, and living through them in reflected glory? Is there any way for a child to have a semblance of normalcy while pursuing such excellence?

One of my favorite movies (and one of the few movies that’s better than the book) is Searching for Bobby Fischer, which looks at these questions through a largely optimistic, happy lens. You Will Know Me takes a much darker look. Weeks before a pivotal gymnastics meet, there is a hit-and-run death that touches the lives of the families at the BelStars gym. The fallout from that death exposes the fault lines between the families, between the parents, and between the teenage girls.

You may think at times that you know what will be revealed later, and you might be right (I saw some of the reveals that were coming). But You Will Know Me is one of those books where the journey counts more than the destination. The delicious cutting remarks between the moms. The excellent portrayal of the marriage between superstar Devon’s parents, Katie and Eric, who slowly realize that they may have very different ideas about what is best for their daughter. This novel is a slow burn, but one that fully pays off. You Will Know Me was my first book by Megan Abbott, but it won’t be my last. Recommended.
Profile Image for Jessica Woodbury.
1,578 reviews1,978 followers
December 26, 2015
A Megan Abbott novel is more than just a book. It is a palpable feeling in the pit of your stomach. It is a steadily-growing sense of dread that something awful is about to happen. Or that perhaps something awful has happened already and you don't know about it yet.

I've read almost every Megan Abbott book and I have yet to read one I didn't like. Her novels are set in an almost-real world. It looks a lot like real life, but something is always just slightly off. You can feel it, that something is a little bit wrong. I don't know how she does it, and I wish she would tell me.

You Will Know Me continues Abbott's incredible streak of books about the darkness within families, and specifically within teenage girls. Katie's daughter, Devon, is 15 and on track to be one of the best gymnasts in the country. It's that kind of family that makes you wonder how they work and what it must be like. Amidst her story of slowly-mounting discomfort, she also gets you into the rhythms and routines of the life of a family that revolves entirely around one extraordinary person. A death rips the community of the gym apart and Katie starts to discover things she never wanted to know.

This isn't a typical thriller or a typical novel of darkness lurking in the shadows of the suburbs. It is meticulously built and you can feel it in every word. Abbott's history as a writer of noir is obvious here, as it is in most of her work, and she continues to mashup those older styles in modern settings with great success.
Profile Image for Megan Hoffman.
173 reviews278 followers
January 13, 2017
I've seen this book pop up here and there in recommendations for a little while now. I'm not sure if it's because I didn't find the cover compelling or what, but for some reason I was never that drawn to it. But over the holidays I decided to try out the Book Of The Month Club and when December picks rolled around, it was seemingly the best choice of the bunch so I gave it a shot.

In short, You Will Know Me is the story of a family whose lives center around one daughter's success in gymnastics. She's great - the greatest in the gym - and her whole life, as well as those lives around her, revolve around whether she might one day make it to the olympics. But when someone close to them is killed one night, they find themselves divided in terms of what really matters in life. Is it gymnastics? Is it doing whatever it takes to protect those that you love?

After reading this story, I feel several different ways. On the one hand, it was seemingly marketed as a mystery but there wasn't a lot of mystery solving involved. In fact, the "clues" that led them to realize the events of that fateful night seem to just unfold to everyone when they're not even looking. But I really did enjoy it. I'm glad I read it, even if it's not what I expected, and I would happily recommend it to others if I knew they were looking for an interesting read.

What stands out to me about this book though is not the thriller or mystery aspects, but instead how it portrays the many differing aspects of humans and family lives. As people, we tend to compartmentalize things to an extent where if we aren't careful we can totally close ourselves off to other aspects of our life - even if those things are important. Psychologically, maybe this is a coping mechanism, maybe it's so that we can focus on the things that are most important to us without feeling guilty, or maybe it's just the way we are wired. Regardless of the reason, Megan Abbott did a fantastic job of humanizing these characters are the struggles that they endured throughout the course of their journey.

What did I think?: Overall, You Will Know Me is about ambitions - a daughter's ambition to succeed, a son's ambition to fit into his family while not getting in the way, a mother's ambition to take care of her family while maintaining a sense of herself, and a father's ambition to do whatever it takes to see his family succeed. I found this fascinating, and yet I still wanted to know more. Anything negative that I feel about this book is because I felt like it went above and beyond in areas where it didn't matter while skimping on details in the areas where I wanted to know more.

Who should read it?: If you were ever a gymnast, chances are this one is going to speak to you simply given its subject matter. If you like mystery thrillers, and are looking for something that's less formulaic, this one is highly recommended. Or if you're just looking for a very intimate look at a family in turmoil, I can't think of a better book to pick up.

Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,322 followers
May 19, 2016
“Children are knives, my mother once said. They don’t mean to, but they cut. And yet we cling to them, don’t we, we clasp them until the blood flows.”

----Joanne Harris

Megan Abbott, the Edgar®-winning author, pens yet another heart-stopping thriller, You Will Know Me, which is yet to publish in the month of July of year 2016, that unfolds the story of a mother with a child prodigy, and this is a mother's tale of how and at what extent she can go to protect her daughter and her husband thereby rescuing her whole family all just in the name of fame and celibacy and Olympic dreams of her daughter that will not only take her whole family under spot light but the whole town, especially the coaching center which came to fame under her daughter's name.


Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate.

Katie is the mother of a gymnastics prodigy daughter, Devon who is aiming as well as competing to make it in the Olympic squad. She also has a science-freak son, Drew. Her husband, Eric and she herself are a part as well as the leaders of their community coaching center where Devon is it's face and a hope for many girls who spires to be like Devon. Devon kept on beating on hurdle after another and kept on racing towards the Olympic dream, but when a young college boy dies on a hit-and-run mishap, things get worse and Katie's idea of her innocent little girl drastically changes as one rumor after another starts piling up in the town. But Katie has to protect her daughter as well as her dreams and she can't let anything ruin it, be it a dead boy's cause of death investigation or those dirty rumors about her daughter and her husband. Will Katie be able to protect her whole family in the light of that boy's death?

Well, why haven't I discovered this best-selling author before You Will Know Me. I need to read her previous books ASAP!! OMG! Holy Buckets, this is like "the most brain-twisting read" that i had after a very long time, I mean literally!! The author really knows how to get under readers' skins especially by controlling and dominating their minds. I could not face away from the fear, panic of something terrible that is bound to happen in the story and despite of the deep fear, I kept on hooked on to the story line like a hawk!!!

The author's writing is mind-blowing, interlaced with dark emotions and mystery, in one word, the writing is exquisite and flawless. The narrative is something, totally engaging and it is the first person POV of Katie, whose voice gets imprinted onto the readers' minds. The mystery has lots of depth and lots of unexpected twists and turns that will throw the readers off their edges. The story builds up based on Devon's preparation for the championship, and then the death of that boy happens which changes the whole course of the story. The author has even set an atmosphere that feels like an impending doom in the story line, but no matter what, it is so hard to anticipate what is that catastrophic effect.

The characters, oh my, all the time, had a strong psychological grip on my mind and they never once let me go, even after the end of the novel. The main characters, Katie, Devon, Hailey, Gwen, Eric, Drew, Coach T, are brilliantly developed, both with their flaws as well as with their dark sides. We see all the characters from Katie's POV, thus they may not be who they are in their own demeanor, but that's the point, we need to live with Katie's perspective to look into the story and also into the character's demeanor.

The darkness, especially the sickness in Katie's family as well as among all the characters are very well depicted. And folks, please don't go and try to figure it our on your own, because the author knows how to laid out a dark, twisted, mysterious road filled with equally grim and realistic characters. The author knows very well how to bring out the darkness and that evil minds of human beings.

The author has done a great research on gymnastics, what are the routines, exercises, instruments, especially focusing on the mentality of a young Olympic-dreams aspiring gymnast, trying to put the spotlight on her emotions, which is at times ice-cold or at times ignorant, or at times selfish. Among all the others, the only positive character in the story line is Drew, he is young, and the way he talks will make the readers fall for his charm, especially for his wit and intelligence.

In a nutshell, this is a spellbinding and fast-paced page-turner that will only keep the readers guess till the very end.

Verdict: This is going to be one of the best thrillers of this year. So guys, please do not miss this one, even if you are not a huge fan of psychological thrillers!!

Courtesy: Thanks to the author, Megan Abbott's, publicist, for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book.
Profile Image for Ninoska Goris.
256 reviews156 followers
August 23, 2018
English – Español

Anyone would think that this book is just about everything the Knox family has to do to get their daughter gymnast prodigy Devon to qualify elite, however, it also deals with a death that could be a murder and everything revolves around it.

In general it is predictable and the characters are not in my opinion special or memorable, but although you deduce the plot you want to continue reading because this does not make you lose interest. On the contrary, this is the best thing that the book has and you want to get to the end.

The book is mostly narrated by Katie, the mother of Devon, who works from home to care for Drew and transport Devon to her practices. Eric, the father, works extended hours. They have a double mortgage on their home to cover the high costs of gym, coach and others to achieve what they call the “Devon dream”.

Because Devon never says it, she simply practices and is very good at it, she is also an excellent student, but she never says anything. She is a typical adolescent confined in herself, who does not have friends and who does not give the impression that she cares nothing.

Eric, for an event that happens when Devon is small girl and what starts everything, feels guilty and his need to help her is an obsession, doing what is necessary, what is required. Although Katie is not the same at first, she realizes that her family is united simply by Devon and that without her and the gymnastics they would not have anything.


Cualquiera pensaría que este libro solo se trata de todo lo que la familia Knox tiene que hacer para lograr que su hija gimnasta prodigio Devon califique elite, sin embargo, también trata de una muerte que podría ser un asesinato y todo gira a su alrededor.

En general es predecible y los personajes no son en mi opinión especiales ni memorables, pero aunque deduzcas la trama quieres seguir leyendo porque esto no hace que se pierda el interés. Por el contrario, esto es lo mejor que tiene el libro y quieres llegar hasta el final.

El libro está narrado mayormente por Katie, la madre de Devon, quien trabaja desde la casa para poder cuidar a Drew y transportar a Devon a sus prácticas. Eric, el padre, trabaja horarios extendidos. Tienen doble hipoteca de su casa para poder cubrir los altos costos de gimnasio, entrenador y demás para lograr cumplir lo que ellos llaman el “sueño de Devon”.

Porque Devon nunca lo dice, simplemente practica y es muy buena, también es una excelente estudiante, pero nunca dice nada. Es una típica adolescente recluida en sí misma, que no tiene amigas y que no da la impresión de que le importe nada.

Eric, por un acontecimiento que ocurre cuando Devon es pequeña y lo que inicia todo, se siente culpable y su necesidad de ayudarla es una obsesión, haciendo lo que sea necesario, lo que se requiera. Katie aunque no es igual en un inicio, se da cuenta que su familia está unida simplemente por Devon y que sin ella y la gimnasia no tendrían nada.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,421 reviews8,295 followers
July 29, 2016
3.5 stars

My therapist once said that I have an obsessive personality. He meant this neither as an insult nor a compliment, just a fact that I know what I love and stick with it (e.g., books, psychology/mental health, Ariana Grande). As a kinda obsessive person, I consider it fair game to call all the characters in You Will Know Me obsessed - extremely, obscenely obsessed. Not in a good way, either. They all hone in like hawks on young Devon Knox's success as an aspiring gymnast, the one girl in their insular community who has a chance at making it big. Megan Abbott shows us this relentless focus on Devon through the eyes of her mother, Katie. As the novel progresses, Katie learns more and more about the devastating price of ambition, how it can twist and distort almost anyone, even her own daughter.

I loved the intensity of Abbott's writing in You Will Know Me. Every word felt so precise, so lethal, like she designed every sentence to showcase the desperation in the Knox family and the several rude awakenings Katie encounters. I finished this book in a day; the taut writing and the evolving suspense surrounding a certain character's death pulled me in page after page. I wanted to know so much about the Knox family, the beauty and pain of Devon's ruthless desires, and how Katie would navigate the interactions between her private family life and their family's wider social circle.

But I felt disappointed in almost everything other than the suspense of the story itself (which really did slay me). The book jacket advertises a novel that centers on "the desperate limits of parental sacrifice, furtive desire, and the staggering force of ambition." And while Abbott did show this sacrifice, desire, and force, she did not dig into their deeper psychological roots. I wanted to see more of the factors that contributed to everyone's obsessiveness with Devon, as well as how Devon coped with it. Abbott could have spent less time in Katie's head to instead give us more scenes showing her more intimate interactions with other characters, Devon and her entire thought process throughout this ordeal, and the consequences of all of this for Eric and Drew. When I closed this book, I felt satisfied by the thrill of it, but I expected a more in-depth, layered exploration of ambition and how it can ruin young girls, how it can scar both their bodies and minds if enforced in unhealthful ways.

Overall, I would recommend You Will Know Me to anyone who wants a well-written thriller featuring a mother-daughter relationship that goes awry. I can learn a lot from Abbott's prose, her on-point physical descriptions and how she creates a fire of conflict that never stops burning. While this novel does not go as deep into the complexities and the angst of female adolescence as Before I Fall or Some Girls Are , it will make you question what it means to know someone - your lover, your kid, yourself.
Profile Image for Pauline.
735 reviews
June 18, 2017
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott was a thriller about trying to succeed in the competitive sport of Gymnastics. I found this book hard to read as the characters were so unlikeable. I was amazed at the pressure put on these children to get to the top of their field. I would like to thank NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,157 reviews36.4k followers
September 2, 2016
Oh the Masterful Tangled Web She Weaved!

In this mystery thriller, Megan Abbott describes the life of a gymnastics family of four, who will do whatever it takes to help their daughter Devon achieve greatness, and hopefully, a spot in the Olympics. Katie and Eric Knox are the parents of Devon and Drew. Devon is a gymnastics prodigy. They have supported her day in, day out since she was 3 years old as everyone in their community could see her greatness.

The story is about family and how they support and protect each other and the lengths they will go to, in order to do so. Their journey and strength, is in each other. And everything seems perfect. That is until the death of the young heartthrob Ryan, whose death rocks the community and coach Teddy and his family, whose niece Hailey was dating Ryan until his death. The mystery surrounds how it happens and who did it. Once the police start investigating, the gloves come off. Coach Teddy will do whatever he can for his niece Hailey, as will Katie and Eric Knox, for Devon. And through it all, Devon is still trying to compete so that she can gain Senior Elite Status in order to become an Olympic hopeful.

Megan Abbott is a masterful story teller. Her characters are multi-faceted and strong willed. The book is gripping and keeps you interested throughout. I read it in a day and a half and couldn’t wait to get to the end.

I will say that the mystery in and of itself wasn’t that hard to figure out although the reasons behind it were fascinating and Ms. Abbot did a great job in trying to throw the readers off course. All of the supporting characters added a lot of richness to the story, especially Gwen (who I disliked immensely) and young Drew Knox (who was a trooper and who was extremely intelligent and observant).

All in all, You Will Know Me was a truly enjoyable read and it held my interest throughout. If you’re looking to read a great thriller, that contains fascinating characters, this book is for you.

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

Published on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon on 9/2/16.
Profile Image for Julie .
3,996 reviews58.9k followers
September 12, 2016
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott is a 2016 Little Brown publication.

I put this book on hold way back at the start of the 2016 Summer Olympics, and quickly discovered I had a very long wait ahead of me. FINALLY, I got a copy and immediately blew through the book at record speed.

I knew I was about to witness a train wreck, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the pages. This book disturbed me for days after I finished it, and I still get a queasy feeling when I think about it.

The story, as you know, is centered around Devon Knox, a promising gymnast who has the potential to become an Olympian. But, while Devon is at the center of the story, the spotlight is on her parents and the tight-lipped, exclusive enclave belonging to the world of the elite gymnast.

If you need a book that has a likeable character, (not counting poor little Drew), a person you root for, or who rises up to redeem themselves, or need a mystery/crime story to wrap everything up in a nice little knot, I warn you, this novel does not do that, but instead will leave you feeling disquieted and chilled right down to the bone. It's good stuff!

While we all watch the dwarfed little darlings who perform at Olympic levels and cheer our hearts out for them, hold our collective breaths while they perform death defying aerial feats on a four inch wide beam, four feet off the ground, buying into the heartwarming marketing ploys that guarantee endorsement contracts, we never see what happens behind the scenes. The falls, bruises, sprains, breaks, blisters, and the hours and hours of training, the money involved, and the toll it takes on a family.

This book gives the reader a little inside peek into that world, and exposes an ugly and dark underbelly that includes cover-ups, manipulations, scheming, little fiefdoms, abuse of power, intense pressure, and perhaps something far more sinister, like murder.

Katie and Eric live a middle class existence, but they are in deep debt, paying for all of Devon’s training, and gymnastic needs, while their son Drew lives in his sister’s dark, lonely, and cold shadow, practically ignored by his family, but seeing far more than the adults give him credit for.

Because the Knox family has no friends outside the world of elite gymnast, their parents, and coaches, and because their life is all about Devon, they spend every waking hour they aren’t working or sleeping, at meets and raising money for Devon’s needs. Devon is isolated and sheltered, ridiculed in high school for her stature and muscles, and for her underdeveloped female attributes, but at the gym, she is the object of awe, is looked up to, but she is also the target of jealousy and resentment. There are no boys, parties, or dating for Devon, who must work hard to achieve every goal her parents and those depending on her are expecting of her.

So, when a set-back causes Eric to take steps to get Devon back on track, a young, good looking guy enters this elite world and turns everything upside down and inside out. But, when a shocking crime is committed, this community, so solid and connected to each other will slowly implode, but wil also close ranks to protect the only life they know… no matter what the cost.

This story almost held me in a trance like state while I watched the events unfolding before me, as Katie begins to find herself shut out of the life she thought she was so connected to, trying desperately to hold on to her daughter, and her marriage, but is ultimately left shell shocked by the irony of it all.

The tragedy shakes everyone up, exposes cracks in the Knox family, the world of gymnastics, and shines a light on the mental and emotional strain the family is under, the true feelings they have, deep down, and how horribly sad these abuses, neglect, and their obsession really is, but the sadness is far outweighed by how cold and terrifying this book is. It definitely left me feeling shaken, and I admit, I may never watch the Olympic gymnastics events the same way again!!

Overall, you have to read this book to really 'get' the intensity of if, and I hope you will check it out for yourself.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,404 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.