You by Caroline Kepnes

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

You by Caroline Kepnes
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Publication Date: September 30th, 2014
Pages: 422
Song I Played While Reading: Cool For the Summer by Demi Lovato
Rating: 3.5 stars

   When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he googles her 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 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" encounter.
   As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck's life, he begins quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way. Joe will do anything to ensure Beck fingers herself in his waiting arms- even if it means murder. 

Gah, I expected so much more from this. From the rave reviews I saw, I expected to be creeped the fuck out. As in, keeping the lights on when I sleep and constantly looking over my shoulder and feeling watched. But no. All I got was a hilarious inner dialogue of a guy horny as shit over this girl and being able to WEIRDLY justify his actions. And when I saw he was able to justify them, I mean he convinced me murder was okay. I was all gung-ho for it! "Hey, this person is being a piece of shit and is super mean to Beck. KNOCK 'EM OUT, BUDDY." I actually wanted him to kill a person in this story cause they were so aggravating. Is that messed up? Probably. But do I regret those feelings? NOPE.
This was like a handbook for how to rationalize being a stalker and a murderer. And honestly, I was okay with it. This wasn't crazy amazing because in all honesty, nothing happens. There's maybe 3 exciting, action-packed moments, and then the rest is descriptions of Beck's hair or her ass or her boobs or her vagina or, good lord, Joe's fantasies over her. This could double almost as a porno, which was something I wasn't expecting. I got used to it quickly, and found it pretty hilarious at times.
This was told in a second person narrative, which made everything feel more intimate, as if Joe was writing this to Beck.

"You walk into the bookstore and you keep your hand on the door to make sure it doesn't slam. You smile, embarrassed to be a nice girl, and your nails are bare and your V-neck sweater is beige and it's impossible to know if you're wearing a bra but I don't think you are. You're so clean that you're dirty and you murmur your first word to me- hello- when most people would just pass by, but not you, in your loose pink jeans, a pink spun from Charlotte's Web and where did you come from?"

It's also written very loosely, resembling a constant stream of thought. Thank God Joe is interesting and comical or else I would have been bored out of my mind.
There weren't a lot of side characters that kept up a solid presence throughout the entire book so I can't say much about them, but I will say one specific person pissed me the hell off. Its possible thats because Joe got into my head, so this could be a false statement. WE'LL NEVER KNOW.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read, but nothing scary. There is a LOT of sexual content and vulgar language, so if you aren't into that than I highly suggest not picking this up.

"You sneeze, loudly, and I imagine how loud you are when you climax. "God bless you!" I call out.
You giggle and holler back, you horny girl, "You too, buddy."
Buddy. You're flirting and if I was the kind of asshole who Instagrams, I would photograph the F-K placard and filer the shit out of that baby and caption it:
F-K yes, I found her."

"You want brunch. What's the only thing more sexless than lunch? Brunch, a meal invented by rich white chicks to rationalize day drinking and bingeing on French toast. And you don't even drink when we get brunch and pretty soon we're going to places where they don't even have waiters. You're into this fucking deli where you stand in line with nine-to-fivers who read Stephen King on their iPads while they wait for their turn to order their sexless green salads, fucking beans and dressings and scallions and onions (Red or white? Grilled or raw?), for fuck's sake people, it's a SALAD. Stop overthinking it."

"I'm home when you finally respond and as it turns out, there is something worse than the dreaded K.
You: Long story, honey but I gotta bail. Call you tomorrow xoxo
I cry and watch Pitch Perfect and sing along with the Barden Bellas. I don't want to be a person who knows the name of a fictional a cappella group in a chick flick but thats what love has done to me."


  1. I had heard amazing things about this book, but I hate books where nothing happens and where there's a lot of description. I don't think I will be reading this book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Yeah, it's definitely the kind of book where you'll either love it or hate it. Glad I could help! Thanks for commenting :)