Book Review: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott


From Goodreads:

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 roller coaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition

I have read a ton of amazing thrillers this year and You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott is one of them. As soon as I started reading this novel, I knew I was in for a juicy read. Based around a competitive gymnastics center, the Knox’s are trying to achieve the unthinkable, turning their daughter, Devon, into an Olympic gymnast. All I have to say is, I’m glad I don’t have a girl, and I am not going to be pushing my son into gymnastics anytime soon. The insane amount of money people put into gymnastics, the insane amount of time spent practicing and competing, and the insane amount of gossip and scandals that seem to happen, is enough to keep me far away from any gym.

Even though I don’t enjoy being involved in gossip and scandals (who does?), I love reading about them (who doesn’t?). Devon is born to be a star. After a tragic foot accident when she was three, her doctor suggests that her parents enroll her in gymnastics to help her with her balance issues. From there, it is destiny. Sometimes, though, people try to ruin someone else’s destiny. Sometimes by mistake, and sometimes on purpose.

When a car accident occurs on a dangerous road, weeks before qualifiers, the gymnasts, parents, and coaches are all tumble through a whirlwind of emotions. The accident turns into an investigation, which throws everyone off their game, especially Devon. Katie Knox, Devon’s mother, starts to discover clues that may lead to the source of her husband’s, daughter’s, and son’s weird behavior. Her character is my favorite in You Will Know Me. She gives her whole life to her daughter, day in and day out, to help her become a star. Katie and her husband, Eric, aren’t the type of parents that are forcing their child to go to the Olympics, Devon is just that good; she has the will and drive to achieve greatness. With all of the attention on Devon, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for little Drew, the second child in the family. He is so smart and seems to be just along for the ride. I’m sure this happens a lot with other siblings in professional athlete’s families.

Even though You Will Know Me focuses on the death of one person, there is more to it than just secrets and lies. There is a lot of determination in these athletes and a lot of crazy support from their parents. Along with determination comes injuries, pain, and a lack of reality for these girls, outside of gymnastics. It really is an interesting look into their world.

I had first heard about You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott before the summer Olympics started and, of course, I was intrigued. Gymnastics, like many other Americans, is my favorite part of the Olympics. What a crazy life professional athletes live. They must be under extreme amount of pressure from their parents, family, peers, friends, and society in general. I can only hope that if my son wants to play a sport, we don’t get too wrapped up in the hoopla of it all. All I want is for him to have fun.

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