This is Megan Abbott's 9th book. And my 2nd. 2 years ago, I read The Fever. It was pretty highly rated on Amazon and Goodreads...but not so much by The Book Sage (was I less than sage, you might ask? - check my review on 7/5/14). I gave it a 2.5/4. So when Meg, from Tandem Literary, sent me the ARC for You Will Know Me, I figured I would give it another go. Different book, same result - 2.5/4. I now know not to read #3. It's not bad; it's just not good enough to read a 3rd. Let's back flap it right now:
How far will you go to achieve a dream? That's the question a celebrated coach poses to Katie and Eric Knox after he sees their daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful, compete. For the Knoxes, there are no limits - until a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community and everything they have worked so hard for is suddenly at risk.
As rumors swirl among the other parents, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself irresistibly drawn to the crime itself. What she uncovers - about her daughter's fears, her own marriage, and herself - forces Katie to consider whether there's any price she isn't willing to pay to achieve Devon's dream.
Even though my older daughter, Meredith, was in gymnastics for several years, I still learned a whole bunch about the sport from this book and, more importantly, what goes on behind the scenes - with the parents, the coaches, and the incredible pressure that accompanies a high-level gymnast. The gym that Meredith belonged to, West Valley Gymnastics in Campbell, CA, actually produced an olympian in 1996. Amy Chow was part of the Magnificent 7, the gold-medal winning U.S. team in Atlanta (she also competed in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney). So I remember the buzz. Meredith wasn't part of the "in" group. So it was fun to really learn what goes on when there is an Olympic-quality gymnast in your gym.
But this was the best part of the book for me (along with quotes from Nadia Comaneci at the beginnings of 3 sections). Other than that, it didn't much grab me. I think the only physical reaction I had in the entire book was one knitted brow. C'mon, that's just never going to get more than a 2.5/4 rating from me.
The writing was okay, but nothing great. And a little over half-way through, things started happening which just didn't seem plausible to me. After that, I read it just to finish it. I kind of gave up. But having said all of that, there are lots of people who like Megan Abbott's novels way more than I do. You may want to test it out yourself. But don't say that I didn't warn you!