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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Reading Challenge Update

This will be the third (and final) time that I talk about March, and then I’m going to forget about it. Unsurprisingly, because I only read about a third of what I usually do, my reading challenge update for March is not that great.

Monthly Motif is a reading challenge hosted by girlxoxo.

March’s theme was royalty, kingdoms, empires, governments and I read one book for this prompt:

April’s theme is crack the case and I’m thinking I’ll either read a Tana French book or one of my Book of the Month mysteries. Let me know what you think I should choose!

I read a total of 6 books in March. I’m still 14 books ahead in my reading challenge, mostly because I did so well in February.

Popsugar hosts a reading challenge every year. You can find out more information on their website.

Two of the books I read in March counted toward the Popsugar Reading Challenge. The prompts I checked off in March include:

Romanceopoly is a reading challenge hosted by Under the Covers and Peace Love Books.

I’m really not doing very well with romanceopoly, though it was the reading challenge that I checked off the most prompts for in March.

The prompts I checked off were:

Modern Mrs. Darcy hosts a reading challenge every year. You can find more information on the website.

I checked off exactly zero prompts for this reading challenge in March! On the bright side, I’m only four prompts away from finishing, so I’m not too concerned.

Please feel free to recommend me a book in translation and a book published before 1990!

As usual, I waited until 9:30pm on the last day of the month to finish three books that I’ve owned for more than three months, but hey, I did it. They were:

How are you doing on your reading challenges? Do you have any recommendations for me? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book review: Paper Girls, Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan

Paper Girls, Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Source: Borrowed

The mind-bending, time-warping adventure from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and CLIFF CHIANG continues, as intrepid newspaper deliverer Tiffany is launched from the prehistoric past into the year 2000! In this harrowing version of our past, Y2K was even more of a cataclysm than experts feared, and the only person who can save the future is a 12-year-old girl from 1988.

Volume 4 of Paper Girls was, by far, my favorite of the series. It’s definitely the most exciting of the volumes, and despite being a little jumpy sometimes, I felt like it was really well-written.

The girls end up in 2000 amid the Y2K scare, and wow, that really took me back to elementary school! (Just saying that makes me feel old.) I remember Y2K like it was yesterday and this alternate version of history in which a bunch of crazy things actually happened was so fun to read about! (In real life, the craziest thing that happened was the computers at my school thinking it was 1900 and not 2000.)

I’m really enjoying this series so far and I’m looking forward to reading the next volume!

#ps19: a book that makes you nostalgic
#mmd19: a book in the backlist of a favorite author

Have you read Paper Girls? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: Paper Girls, Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan

Paper Girls, Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: August 8, 2017
Source: Borrowed

The multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning series from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and CLIFF CHIANG continues, as newspaper deliverers Erin, Mac and Tiffany finally reunite with their long-lost friend KJ in an unexpected new era, where the girls must uncover the secret origins of time travel… or risk never returning home to 1988. 

In volume 3 of Paper Girls, the girls find themselves in prehistoric times. Although I didn’t like this volume as much as the previous one, I thought that this time jump was interesting and I did like the addition of Wari and Jahpo. I’m really curious to see what will happen with them next!

The only other thing I really feel like mentioning about this volume was the development of a certain relationship. I’m trying to say this with no spoilers and it’s really hard, but this was a nice plot twist and I can’t wait to see where Vaughan is going to go with it!

#mmd19: three books by the same author

Have you read Paper Girls? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: 41 Reasons I’m Staying In by Hallie Heald

41 Reasons I’m Staying In by Hallie Heald
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Source: Borrowed

In a world of seemingly unending social obligations, we could all use a night off. 

In 41 Reasons I’m Staying In, illustrator and self-proclaimed introvert Hallie Heald imaginatively portrays engaging and sometimes outlandish excuses to avoid leaving home.

With each page comes a new room and character, pursuing their obsessions, hobbies, interests, and sudden whims with gusto: 

plotting world takeover, learning magic, mooning over a crush, evading taxes, and beyond. 

This dark and humorous celebration of introverts offers a unique look into their private worlds and reminds us of the deep fulfillment and joy we can find in spending time alone.

I remember first seeing 41 Reasons I’m Staying In as a spotlight on Clarissa’s blog. I immediately hopped over to my library’s website and put a hold on it, and I was not disappointed at all!

The first thing to know about this book is that it’s really more of a collection of art than anything else. There are very few words, but surprisingly, that didn’t bother me! I absolutely loved the art in this and I think my favorite reason was #1: hiding evidence of my emo phase. Everything about that illustration reminded me of my teenage years. I’m still emo at heart.

I think that 41 Reasons I’m Staying In would make a great gift for an introvert or a great coffee table book. It’s also just fun to flip through and look at the illustrations! I just flipped through again while I was writing this review and noticed new details.

I’d highly recommend this for any introverts.

#mmd19: a book outside your (genre) comfort zone

Have you read 41 Reasons I’m Staying In? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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