Book Review: YOU by Caroline Kepnes

YOU_300wide1“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.AA

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.”

“This book is Absolutely Crazy and Bound to Freak YOU Out”

This book was absolutely -one word- Crazy, with a capital ‘C’. Kepnes wrote it in a second person narration which I believe made it even more creepy and personal (NOT TO MENTION THE GIRL HE WAS FOLLOWING WAS ALSO CALLED BECK, JESUS WHY!)

Joe, the main character first comes across Beck at the bookshop where he works, where he develops a fascination with her and eventually this leads to him basically stalking her online and in real life. Kepnes has written Joe perfectly, he was a very different character, and at times you feel yourself sympathising with him and laughing at his silly jokes. This was however changed at certain points where his obsession would cause you to backtrack and realise how much of a creeper and how twisted his thinking really is (he is one crazy man). Joe’s feelings would dramatically change, and at some points, this would be very quick. From feelings of love and happiness to total despair and hatred and wanting to kill everyone around him. His characterisation kept me on my feet and made me double take him. Honestly, I felt bad for him at points, and then suddenly those feelings were thrown in my face and I would feel horror over those feelings because of his actions.

Kepnes also has a very vocal element in this book: Social Media (and the internet in general). Beck basically lives her life through social media, she was obsessed with everyone knowing where she was and what she was doing. This, in turn, allows Joe to easily follow her around and keep track of her when he wasn’t around. This whole idea freaked me out. I try not to be too personal on the internet and tell everyone where I live and all that information, I know how easily someone can use this to their advantage. I feel like parts of this book should be used to show the social media generation (sorry, but you know who I mean, right?) who live their whole lives online the consequences of doing this. Because, how can the consequences of these actions be shown in any better way, seriously?

Another feature of this book which also made me very uneasy is the whole idea of Joe constantly referring to Beck as ‘You’, E.g. “You smile. You blush. I’m okay”. By doing this I felt like Kepnes has included me into the story, and in some moments it felt like he was actually talking/watching me and what I was doing. Yeah, this book was one creepy ass 422 pages.

I would also like to state, that it did feel like it took a bit of time at the start to get into it. But honestly, once it hits about (less than) a quarter of the way, everything just seemed to get a little crazier.


Favourite Quotes:

“You sit with the other quote-unquote writers, which allows your friends to go on about you and unfortunately, they’re right: You’re so much more invested in being a writer – accepting compliments and drinking whiskey – than you are at writing. But unfortunately, they’re also wrong: Everyone in this room is too full of pickle juice to understand your cowboy story”

“If we were teenagers, I could kiss you. But I’m on a platform behind a counter wearing a name tag and we’re too old to be young”

“There aren’t a lot of Guinevere Becks in the world – just the one. The first thing I had to find was your home and the Internet was designed with love in mind. It gave me so much of you, Beck. “

“Happiness is believing that you’re gonna be happy. It’s hope”



I’m rating You by Caroline Kepnes 4 out of 5 stars. This book was absolutely creepy and I really enjoyed reading it. However, some elements made it difficult for me to read on. I would suggest this book to those who really enjoy thrillers.

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