Review: “You” by Caroline Kepnes

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.

You is an incredibly disturbing read, written from the perspective of Joe – a charming psychopath who is ready to do anything to get together with Beck.
This novel is not for everyone – it includes violence, murder, sexual encounters, and it might upset some readers. The way it reads is also creepy due to the protagonist’s personality.

You’re so much more invested in being a writer – accepting compliments and drinking whiskey – than you are at writing.

If the story was told from Beck’s perspective, we wouldn’t realise what kind of person Joe is until it was too late. His obsession with Guinevere comes off strong only at times and that’s when you start realising that Joe is seriously ill. I think that is one of the most disturbing features of this novel, the fact that for a lot of the time Joe just seems like a person in love. He says the right things, he plays the perfect boyfriend material and he is ready to do what he feels is right, to protect Beck. However, that’s the issue, his actions are morally wrong, selfish in nature, driven by mad desires, and heavily misjudged. He feels the need to control Beck’s life to a great extend and twists her words and emotions to suit his own, psychotic agenda.

The world fell out of love with love at some point.

What a shame to be so angered by what you don’t have that you treat what you do have like it’s nothing.

On the other hand, Guinevere is not perfect herself. I didn’t particularly like her that much as a person she was described to be but at least she didn’t pose a threat to the society, she was just a shitty friend predominantly, nothing equivalent to Joe.

I’ve had a bit of a hard time when it came towards the end of the novel. There were only a limited number of ways that the author could have finished the story with and even though I didn’t particularly like the one she has chosen, I’m not sure the other ones would have been any better.

But the most important thing I know is that I want the possibility of you more than the reality of Karen Minty.

If you are looking for a tad creepy, mystery novel filled with suspense, I would recommend checking out “You” if you haven’t yet. It read surprisingly easily, it had a nice flow to it since it’s mostly an internal dialogue.

Have you read the book, or seen the show perhaps? Let me know what you thought of either, down in the comment section ! And thank you for reading my review.

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