REVIEW: You by Caroline Kepnes

June 10, 2016

 

SYNOPSIS: When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

 

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

 

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

 

SERIES: You #1

 

GENRE: Thriller

 

RATING: ★★★★☆/ 4 hypmotic and scary stars.

 

REVIEW: Before I sat down to write this review, a fellow bookstagrammer, @ab_reads, had posted a picture of YOU with a caption asking who else had read the book and what they thought. I summed it up as best I could and the perfect phrase popped into my head: YOU is just the right side of wrong.

 

It's not often that a book is told from the perspective of the antagonist. There is no anti-hero here, Joe is clearly the guy that we would run screaming from IRL. Seriously, I'm going to be giving every coincidental encounter a wicked side-eye for the foreseable future. When all is said and done, Joe is not your standard good guy...But here is where the author's hypnotic writing excels, because somehow we find ourselves rooting for Joe.

 

The idea that we are all the protagonists of our own lives makes sense. Told from Joe's perspective, his every move and reasoning seems logical. He's just a guy, standing in front of a girl, knowing that she should and will love him. And he's going to do everything in his power to ensure a happily ever after. It helps, that the flaws of everyone else surrounding his love interest, Beck, is marginally detestable. It makes for easy reader choices. All of the secondary characters are fantastically written and explored.

 

Kepnes weaves a truly thrilling and scary tale. There was a point in the middle of the book that I thought stagnated a touch, but just when I thought that it would become monotonous, she introduces a new plot point that reinvigorates the story and kept me glued to the pages till the very end.

 

 

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