Review: You

You Book Cover

You by Caroline Kepnes, published June 2015 by Simon & Schuster.

Read: June 2015
Genre: Adult/Thriller/Suspense
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 432
Get It Now: Wordery

Add to GoodreadsGoodreads Synopsis: When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village book store 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.


The Review

I’ve seen this book do the rounds on a few book blogs and I was intrigued by it, I didn’t realise just how intrigued I was until I spotted it in my local Tesco and felt the urge to pick it up. The premise of this book is essentially the perils of dating in the age of social media, but with a particularly sinister twist. It’s a topic I’ve rarely seen covered well, and generally I enjoyed this read. Please be aware this is very much an adult book, not suitable for younger readers.

You is an incredibly well-written novel – full of witty remarks, twists and turns, and some shock surprises. I felt the tension, I had heart-racing moments, and on more than one occasion I wanted to theatrically shout, “he’s behind you!”. Kepnes’ writing is so razor-sharp, it’s hard to believe that this is a debut. The style of the novel is reminiscent of both Gone Girl and Dear Daughter, with unreliable narrators and unlike-able characters galore!

You is told from the POV of our main character, Joe, but it’s like we’re inside his head as he repeatedly addresses the reader with the word “you” in the text. In actual fact, the “you” he is referring to is our second main character, Beck, the girl he has fallen in love with, but the use of the word makes the reader feel like they’re getting the inside scoop on this crazy character.

As much as I enjoyed this read overall, at times it could be very slow-going. While Kepnes’ writing itself was excellent, the storytelling aspect could at times be very slow, either due to pacing, or because we are essentially in Joe’s head – the thought processes could be very erratic, and at times feel like a stream of consciousness – which builds a great character, but can make the text difficult to follow.

I enjoy my fiction with a good dose of realism, and I have to say 3/4 of the way through this book, I was wondering how no one had yet caught up with Joe i.e. the cops. That, and Joe’s thought processes (and to a certain extent actions) had begun to get repetitive, by the time I was at the 90% mark I was happily ready to wrap this story up and say “goodbye” to Joe. Unfortunately, the ending of this book hinted at a sequel, and when I checked out Goodreads it was confirmed that there would indeed be a follow-up to You. I felt disappointed, this would have made a much stronger standalone, and I’m not yet sure if I will be continuing with the series.

The Rating

3.5/5

Have you read “You”? What did you make of our quirky narrator and the storyline? Let me know in the comments!

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About Rachel

Avid reader & book blogger. Lover of Business. A fan of drinks & dancing. Ever optimistic. Feminist.

19 Responses

  1. I am intrigued by your review, this definitely sounds interesting, but I hate when books that seem like they would be perfectly good standalones go and make themselves into a series. I miss good standalone books, why do people insist on making a book more than it naturally is?

    I have to say, the creep factor puts me off majorly whilst intriguing me at the same time, which makes not sense, I know, but that is the kind of person I am. I may pick this book up, but I probably won’t go out of my way looking for it.

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  2. Kathy

    You’re so right on the repetition. It tended to drag in places for me and started out really slow, so it took a while for me to get into it. The second point of view is what really sold me on this one and made me love it. The fact that Joe is so calm and delusional in his stalkerish ways was mind blowing for me.

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  3. Great review. I’ve seen this around a lot and been quite tempted too, but something always stopped me. I have to admit I am kind of glad I never picked it up, I feel the same things that bothered you would be exactly what would annoy me about this book. And what would probably ruin the read for me. I also don’t want to start yet another series!

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  4. I have tried this book TWICE now, and I refuse to delete it off my Kindle yet. Tarryn Fisher has raved about it so much that I feel like I’m missing something. I want to try it again sometime and I hope I can get into it. Great review – I’m glad you enjoyed it for the most part. 🙂

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      1. Feeling good. It’s hurting and a bit irritating right now. But that’s the first its bothered me all day. The actual procedure was quick and pretty painless.
        So, I am probably wrong to be this way but I usually won’t even try a book that doesn’t have a 4 rating or higher. I’m weird like that. I hate wasting time on a book that isn’t amazing. But I’m still determined to try this one again.

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