Book review: You by Caroline Kepnes

You by Caroline Kepnes
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 24, 2017
Source: Borrowed

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.

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone GirlAmerican Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.

I feel like I’ve been in a slump forever. I’ve read a book here and there that I’ve enjoyed, but overall, nothing has given me that feeling that I’m used to, where I’m just counting down the minutes until I can pick up a book again. Nothing until You, that is.

Let’s start with why I read this book. I’m not really a thriller kind of person. I mean, sure, I’ve read a few of them. I’ve enjoyed a few of them. But thrillers are usually something I read when they’re recommended by someone else, not something I seek out on my own. This one was recommended by Daniel, who hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

I could tell, from the very first page, that I was going to like this book. From the first line, it has this really creepy vibe that somehow makes it impossible to put down. Joe is so intense, so creepy, so completely convinced that Beck is in love with him and just unwilling to show it. He stalks her, breaks into her house, and steals from her. He should be the least likable protagonist in recent memory, but he’s not. Joe is, somehow, a sympathetic character. Even as he’s doing horrible things, you can’t help but feel at least a little bit bad for him.

I’m so afraid of accidentally spoiling anything in this book, so I’m going to be brief and vague. This book was incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever before felt such a mix of emotions while reading — it’s not often that I find myself quoting Lena Dunham, but I 100% agree with what she said about this book: “I am RIVETED, AGHAST, AROUSED, you name it.” It was a wild ride and I enjoyed every minute of it, even when it made me want to triple check that all my doors and windows were locked.

I’m trying to decide if I want to watch the Netflix show or not. In some ways, I think it would be fun to compare the two, but in other ways… reading the printed words was enough. I’m not sure I want to see everything in this book acted out.

#romanceopoly: murder mill
#mmd19: a book recommended by someone with great taste

Have you read You? Have you watched the show?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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43 thoughts on “Book review: You by Caroline Kepnes

    • Sara @ The Bibliophagist says:

      That was probably the creepiest thing about the book! He gets her name from her credit card and is able to figure out where she lives, where she hangs out, when she’ll be home and away… all from her social media.

      And that foursquare thing always freaked me out too and I never got into it. Way too much personal information for anyone to see.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. doctorsordersbookreviews says:

    I haven’t read this book yet, but I did watch the Netflix show! I am not a thriller/horror movie person, but this show didn’t bother me too much. It was more of a “man this could really happen, I should be more careful” than a jump out of your seat horror movie. I really liked it and would recommend it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. S&J Reads says:

    Yes this book was amazing!! It was unlike anything we have read before! In addition to reading the book, we also watched the Netflix series. You should definitely check out our comparison of the two on our blog:) We really enjoyed the TV series, however we both agreed that the show romanticized Joe and Beck’s relationship a little too much … It was hard to dislike Joe in the show, whereas in the book it was evident that he had some serious issues!


  3. dinipandareads says:

    Great review! I really need to read this one. So many people have been recommending it (and then to watch the series afterwards)! I think I need to gear myself to get properly freaked out because I live alone on a very quiet street with very quiet neighbours lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thecoycaterpillarreads says:

    I need to read this, had it on my TBR forever but after watching the netflix series and your review, I think I need to read it sooner rather than later.

    Liked by 2 people

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