Reviewed by Yasmine Lewis
How well do you know the people around you?
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott is a psychological thriller that will keep you on edge through its 339 pages. Kit is a young PhD student in science, working in a lab with other PhD students, all of them are competing to become one of Dr Severin’s partners on her future project on Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder. As the deadline to find out who be chosen comes nearer, a new recruit enters the scene, Diane Fleming. Kit recognises her, in her teenage years, Kit experienced an intense friendship with Diane, who revealed her one and only secret to Kit, a shared burden for the two girls. After losing touch with her after high school, she comes to forget Diane.
Diane is an untouchable character, suspicious and dangerous, who comes crashing back into Kit’s life. The book is filled with chapters “now” and “then”, keeping the reader up to speed with the different time periods of Kit’s life and her involvement with Diane. Kit, on the other, is your average girl, she gets along with everyone, especially Alex, one of the PhD students. She is all alone in the world but is getting along fine. I think anyone could relate to Kit, she isn’t a boring character she’s just your typical protagonist. Her mind is always switched on and it reminded me of myself. As we follow her through her daily life, we think she can’t be bad, she is depicted as a good girl but when she sees Diane it triggers something in her, a dark side.
Even though sometimes it is hard to follow suit, Abbott does not lose the reader half way through, the chapters are kept short, revealing small details at a time. Mixing science and thriller where the characters are calculating, manipulative and brainy, is definitely a good combination. This book will make you over analyse the people around you.
Give Me Your Hand is written in the first person, it will mess with your head. You will be easily connected with Kit’s mind and personality. Abbott’s way of writing is like being in someone’s head, or even your own. Swivelling with questions, doubts and fears, it is as if the reader is the scientist analysing the different characters of the book. It is written in a way that we have all the clues to unravel the story, as the reader becomes the key in laying it all out. The book seems to come full circle at the end which is always satisfactory for the reader. This is definitely one to read; you won’t be disappointed.
Expected publication: July 17 2018.