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Do I Really Hate Megan Abbott’s​ Books?

October 10, 2017

Inspired by reading ‘You Will Know Me’ by Megan Abbott. This review isn’t exactly spoilery, but some of the things that I have mentioned might give you some preconceived ideas of what the book is going to be like. If you want to avoid that then please don’t read any further. I do quite like it though, so uh, you do you I guess.

I have found that it’s hard to truly like a book by Megan Abbott. Whenever I find myself thinking of her novels that I’ve read, 4 in total, I can feel nothing but positive emotions towards them. They’re meaningful, I tell myself, and so incredibly real. But I don’t like any of them.

They don’t conjure up any strong emotions, the prose doesn’t tickle my fancy and none of them are on my Goodreads ‘favourites’ shelf. It would appear that they have none of the qualities that a book, the queen of the Tearling for example, should have to pull readers in. Nothing that should give them the right to obtain so much respect from the tiny corners in my mind. What I think is striking about her books, is that they are unforgettable.

Perhaps the concept that she has chosen to write about is a rehashed trope or the characters that she has created are walking stereotypes (in this case, it was the tiger mum), but not once has she ever made any of it boring. Instead, she chooses to twist these common, cookie-cutter devices into something that completely alien. Instead of viewing the tiger mum through the eyes of a disapproving outsider, we get to see inside her head.



Read My Reviews Of Her Books Here:


Dare Me

End of Everything

Because of this, it isn’t until the end that we even consider the fact that it might be our narrator who is the pushy one. The mum who is always on the stands watching her daughter with eagle eyes. She views herself as a hardworking, supportive mum who is entirely devoted to her daughter’s dream. To her daughter’s desires, wants, and feelings. Whether or not this is truly the case, I don’t suppose we’ll ever know. As with all Abbott books, the readers are left with uncertainty and the drive to come to their own conclusions.

Perhaps that is another thing that I like about her books. The ambiguity that she writes with is effective in allowing her readers to make her story into their own. To project their own desires onto the story, just as the characters in her books do. Because of that, it all becomes real. The crimes in her books are believable. The characters, believable. The motivations, believable. It’s almost too real.

When cracking open these pages, we also crack open the minds of criminals. We know why they have done and, scarily, we begin to understand. Empathise. Afterall, what would you do to keep your family safe?


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