Sunday, July 26, 2015

Book Review ~ You (You #1) by Caroline Kepnes

(You #1)
by Caroline Kepnes

From debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2014, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age.

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.

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You by Caroline Kepnes is a book where after reading, you might contemplate cutting off  all ties from social media and maybe email for the rest of your life without even missing it.   This is a chilling read that will dig its claws into you and devour any safe feeling you have when you post your status or pictures on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  You will not want anyone to know anything about your life after reading this book.  The reason behind this quest for life as a social network hermit?  One Joe Goldberg. 

Joe Goldberg is a seriously f**ked up psychotic and obsessive man who will go through any lengths to get the woman of his desire, Guinevere Beck (Beck to her friends).  Poor unsuspecting Beck can’t help herself from constantly posting about her life on any social network site – leaving breadcrumbs everywhere and making it so much easier for Joe to keep tabs on her.  But Joe can be a charmer and Beck falls for him not knowing that in the depths of his sick and twisted mind he is planning for that one day when Beck will forever be his - to control both her body and her mind.

I both loved and hated this book - not because of the writing, but for the main character Joe.  Joe is not a character that will give you a warm and fuzzy feeling.  From the very beginning I instantly disliked him and at the end I hated him.  I would like to tell you that Joe is just a misunderstood fellow, that he could seek help to fix this issue, but in all honesty you can't fix this level of craziness.  His only redeeming quality in my opinion is that he is an avid reader who works in a book store - but that is where the love ends for me.  Most of this story is told via Joe’s point of view through his thoughts and actions and the reader really gets to 'see' inside his mind – and let me tell you, it’s a jumbled hot mess. Joe is a seriously messed up person with some major mental problems.  He thought nothing of killing anyone who came between him and Beck.  He is a true sociopath who truly gave me the creeps.

You is a dark, twisted and chilling tale that totally immersed me in a reading experience like no other and I am a bit disturbed that I liked it as much as I did.  I wanted to put the book down and stop reading, but just couldn't.  I just had to know how this story played out and as expected, it did not have a happy ending.  Although You wrapped up quite nicely (and by nicely I just mean no major cliffhanger), the author opened the door for the next installment of this twisted series and even after the love/hate relationship that I had with Joe, I can’t wait for its release.

This well-written book is not an easy read, but it will challenge you as you take a dark and twisted journey into the mind of a cold-hearted, psychotic, stalkerish killer.  Check it out, but be prepared to get the major creeps....because you will have them.

4 stars

Caroline Kepnes is the author of You and Hidden Bodies. She splits her time between Los Angeles, California and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

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