Author: Caroline Kepnes
Genre(s): Thriller, Fiction, Adult, Mystery, Suspense
Hello lost souls, Alyssa here! As promised, here is my December book review! I chose this novel because when I read it back in October as my Fall read, I simply could not put it down!
Kepnes really knows how to pull in her readers with a very intriguing hook that leaves them wanting more! I found myself lost in her book for HOURS on end. This novel is perfect for suspense and thriller lovers. It will capture you and hold you down until the end… Just like one of our main characters. Hint, hint.
Some of the reasons that made me choose this novel at first sight was the list of commending reviews, especially Stephen King’s “Hypnotic and scary… Totally original” comment. I found he was right! I love reading books with good reviews from authors that are personal favorites.
So before I begin, I just want to make you all are aware that I will be putting spoilers at the very end but before I do, I will include a warning in red text color.
YOU puts the reader into the shoes of Joe Goldberg who resides and looks after his former employer’s bookstore in East Village, New York. The book starts off when Joe’s heart is captured by Guinevere Beck, as she wonders into the small shop and through the bookshelves. The moment she places her credit card into his hand is the moment she would always live to regret.
The reader quickly learns that Joe is not your average… Joe. Filled to the brim with obsessive thoughts, he fails to resist his possessive impulses and sexual desires. Unfortunately for his unlucky victims he has learned to cover his cravings with charm and wit and is no amateur when it comes to stalking. He soon knows where she lives, her circle of friends and even passwords to her email and social media.
Not only does he stalk Beck but her lover Benji and her best friend Peach. Seeing them as threats, he feels an intense need to take them out of the picture because he wants her attention to be on him… always. After some time, Joe notices Beck’s slow dis-attachment from him. She stays in more often and attends frequent sessions with her therapist, Dr. Nicky.
Of course this raises red flags for Joe because he has no idea who this person is. So what would Joe Goldberg do in this situation? Schedule a session with the same therapist… under a completely different name. Therapy actually does some good for Joe. It releases him from the stress Beck has been causing and he no longer feels the need to track her every move.
After a few more sessions, Joe finds himself in a new relationship but this causes him to become depressed only because he feels further away from Beck. After months of not hearing from her, a single phone call places Beck back at the center of his every motive. The two reconnect and it’s clear that Joe is living his dream. Having ended his unhappy relationship he is back with his true love Beck. Everything is more than perfect, but can Joe keep his skeletons hidden in the closet forever?
When I first started to read this book I always knew that he’d murder anyone that got in the way of him having Beck. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when Joe ended up holding Benji captive in the basement of his bookstore. This is also why it was no surprise that Peach was his next target.
The only reason Peach was next for him was because he had found naked photos of Beck in Peaches bedroom. He notices that they had some liquid marks from her touching herself and then the photos. That explained to Joe why Peach was always pulling Beck away from spending time with him. Rage grows inside him as he starts planning on how to kill her off.
In fact, the way he murdered peach reminds me of the song Breezeblocks by Alt-J. Only because he chocked her to death and then placed rocks in her clothing right before he threw her body into the ocean. To be honest, I was kind of glad when he murdered Peach. Throughout the book you notice how needy she is and how much of a brat could be. She even took advantage of Beck when she was drunk so… ten points for Joe!
You also begin notice that Joe is actually kind of a sweet guy when it comes to Beck. He really does love her and even wants to trust her, something he proves when he stops checking through her email. At that point everything seems to be going well but in reality that’s when shit hits the fan.
The day comes when Joe gets exposed for all the wrong he has done. I had known this moment was coming but it was just a matter of when and where. I have to admit that the way Beck finds out the truth of Joe was a bit risky on Joe’s end. Why give her a key to your place Joe? Of course she’s going to snoop! Though he finds her just in time when she looks horrified in his living room looking down at her old high school yearbook, used undies and even a used tampon!
Of course I probably would have reacted the way she did: screaming and fighting for my life to escape from that cruddy apartment. Of course what can a small, mid-twenty year old female do to defend herself from someone twice her size and strong enough to snap her like a twig? Not much.
I also wasn’t too surprised when Joe ended up holding Beck captive. I knew he wasn’t going to let her go that easily. What got me though was when Joe found out about Beck’s affair with Dr. Nicky. That’s when things started to go down real quick. Desperate to escape, Beck decides she needs to gain his trust again… by having sex with him. It turned out her plan worked! Joe (dumbass) left the cage door unlocked because he finally felt like things had settled between them.
I personally think that Beck should had done a better job at escaping; like maybe waiting for Joe to trust her enough to actually let her be around other people. It wouldn’t have taken long! If only she played her cards differently, then she would have still been alive and have had a survival story to tell.
I have to say that the way Kepnes guided the reader through Beck’s death scene was both original and merciless. Joe loved her with all his heart but as soon as he realized who the real Guinevere Beck was he did what he had to do. Again, I played the song Breezeblocks while reading through her death because it just seemed to fit so perfectly.
So to sum that all up, I have to say that this book is a 10/10. I love the way it was written and Kepnes did an excellent job at making me want more even after the last page was turned. I will continue this series by reading her next book Hidden Bodies, to find out what happens to Joe when he leaves his home and heads to Los Angeles.
I hope everyone enjoyed my first book review! I just want to give a genuine thank you to digitalpopcom.wordpress.com for editing my posts so wonderfully!