Audiobook Review – You by Caroline Kepnes

Audiobook Review – You by Caroline Kepnes
Audiobook Review – You by Caroline KepnesYou Series: You #1
Publication date: September 30, 2014
433 pages

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 Girl, American Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.

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I did it! I met Joe Goldberg. Though, I don’t ever want to really meet Joe Goldberg. You was both wildly entertaining and horrific, funny and terrifying. I had a crazy good time reading and listening to this book. The writing was really great and the Joe’s character made it all that more riveting.

When you start this book, it doesn’t take you very long (first paragraph) to realize that the story’s narrator is more than a little off. At one glance, he’s already deduced that the female patron of his book store is a “dirty girl” and that he is in love with her. So the completely normal thing for him to do is take note of her name on her credit card, find out where she lives, stalk her social media accounts, find out where she lives, buy costumes so that those in her neighborhood don’t notice the same person standing on the corner staring at the same window night-after-night, break into said apartment, and desperately try to know her by insinuating himself into her life. Totally normal. Well, to Joe it’s normal. And he’s played this game before.

It was Kepnes’s characterization of Joe that stood out to me. We are in Joe’s head the entire time, so everything we learn about his backstory is filtered through him. He briefly glosses over his childhood and how his father didn’t care when he went missing. His relationship with the book store owner is more than a little creepy. He repeatedly mentions that he didn’t go to college—which led me to believe that he felt inferior to those that did—but it’s clear that he is a very intelligent person.

What made this book so compelling to me was Joe’s voice and dark humor. His sharp wit was magnetic and attractive, but not in a romantic sense. I found myself laughing out loud at what he would say and the lengths he would go to to try to win Beck’s affection.

But, I’m not gonna pull away from you. Sure, you are uniquely sexual. Case in point: You devour the “Casual Encounters” section on Craigslist, copying and pasting your favorite posts into a giant file on your computer. Why, Beck, why? Fortunately, you don’t participate in “Casual Encounters.” And I suppose that girls like to collect things, be it kale soup recipes or poorly worded, grammatically offensive daddy fantasies composed by desperate loners. Hey, I’m still here; I accept you.

LOL!! I’m still laughing at this more than a week after finishing. Okay moving on….

It was downright disturbing the way he would nonchalantly mention how he’s stalked other people before or talk about the items in Beck’s online shopping cart, like he was asking a waiter for more ice. If you read this one too quickly you might miss some of Joe’s gems.

And sometimes you have to play around with the facts to get the girl. I have seen enough romantic comedies to know that romantic guys like me are always getting into jams like this. Kate Hudson’s entire career exists because people who fall in love sometimes tell lies about where they work. And Candace believed that I was a scout. I waited until we’d been together for a month before I told her the truth. She was mad at first (girls get mad sometimes, even when the guy is Matthew McConaughey) but I reminded her of the comedic, romantic truth at heart: The world is an unfair place. I know music. I’m smart.

Joe is kind of like a more disturbing version of television’s ultimate serial killer, Dexter. But unlike Dexter, Joe isn’t out there trying to rid the world of the bad people; he just kills the people who get in the way of his love. Joe describes himself as a romantic and maybe in the very true sense he is a true romantic. Like many of us, Joe is just looking for his one and only, his one true love. Beck has the chance to be the recipient of ALL of Joe’s love. The question is whether she can handle his love. 😉

You sigh and I love you for trying to spin this into some sort of strike against complacency and what fun it is to play with you.

This book was well-written and Joe is a character I won’t soon forget. I wanted more plot and story, rather than Joe being creepy. The plot was rather predictable, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment. I’m looking forward to more of Joe’s adventures in Hidden Bodies.

Audiobook Comments:

I started reading this book and then the audio copy came in at my library and I switched. Santino Fontana narrates the crap out of this novel. Joe’s voice is magnetic all on its own but combined with the narration, Joe that much more creepy. Fontana’s comedic timing made me laugh so many times. I think this may be one of my favorite audiobooks ever just because I really appreciate dry humor and a sharp wit and Fontana captured the essence of Kepnes’s beloved Joe perfectly.

* I received an advanced copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I borrowed the audiobook from my local library.


YOU by Caroline Kepnes

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