Goodreads rating: 3.83
Date published: Sep 30th, 2014 (USA)
My rating: ★★★★★
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.
Trigger warnings: stalking; violence; murder; slut shaming; misogyny
In You, we follow Joe, who is stalking Beck, a girl he met at the bookstore he works at. I don’t want to tell you anything more that than, because it is best to go into this book without knowing much. All you need to know is that a) this book is amazing; b) you will not be able to put it down; and c) this book is not what you think it will be.
Boy, I was not prepared to love this book as much as I did. I started it on the drive down to Alentejo with my family yesterday, and I could NOT put it down. I read it all day, until I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and then I kept reading when I woke up today until I finished it.
“Work in a bookstore and learn that most people in this world feel guilty about being who they are.”
I love how this is a thriller in which you follow the one doing the fucked up things, instead of reading from the POV of someone who is trying to figure out what’s happening – which was the kind of narrative in the thrillers I had read until now.
The mystery that Kepnes created surrounding the main character, Joe, and what he would do next is so incredibly addicting! You just HAVE to know what’s gonna happen next, so you read and read until your eyes bleed (hopefully not literally).
“I piss all over the floor of the shower to mark my place, my home, you.”
The whole story is told in 2nd person, so it feels like he is addressing you, even though you know he’s talking to Beck. You don’t get that in a lot of books, and I think that’s another element that helps the author hook the reader. Very interesting narrative.
As for the characters, they dictate where the story goes, and they are very well-built. You does not suffer from the complex-main-characters-but-flat-ass-side-characters syndrome, which I very much appreciate. Joe and Beck are incredibly complex and complicated characters and, although Joe is the stalker, he’s definitely not the only one who’s fucked up in the head. Beck could use some help too, to be honest… Regarding the side characters, I thought they were well-designed and served the purpose of the plot, but didn’t feel like a plot device, if that makes sense. Especially Peach, whom I absolutely loathed. She’s one of those people who is the exact opposite of me, so everything she did pissed me off to no end.
“A few days later I wear my carpenter costume and I fantasize about putting bars on your Windows, protecting this display case you call a home.”
What impressed me the most about Kepnes’s writing was how she made me side with a stalker who does the craziest shit you could possibly imagine. I was actually rooting for this guy the whole time!! What even!?!? The book read, to me, like a romance. I would just think “wow, this guy has serious issues, he should be in jail”, and five minutes later I would be like “oh my god CALL HER I WANT YOU TWO ON A DATE NOW”, as if this was a cute love story and not a story about a crazy ass stalker messing with a girl’s life. The author did a great job at making me doubt my own morals hahaha
“‘God bless you!’ I call out.
You giggle and holler back, you horny girl, ‘You too, buddy.'”
The pacing was also perfect. Sometimes Joe gives us the rundown of the whole day, almost as it happens; other times, he skips a couple weeks or months, but somehow nothing is really missing.
In conclusion, I reaaaaaaally loved You, and I can’t wait to dive into the sequel as soon as I can!! It’s such a well-built and written book, and it will definitely mess with your head and your feelings, but not necessarily in a bad way.
It’s also a perfect read for October, since Halloween is coming up! (I may or may not post a Fall recommendations post *wink wink*)
Have you read any books about stalkers? Which do you recommend? Let me know in the comments down below ♡
I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on You and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!
Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡