Thursday, 8 September 2016

Review: You by Caroline Kepnes

Title: You
Series: You #1
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 432
Genres: Thriller, Suspense

When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the bookstore where Joe works he is instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: tough, razor-smart and sexier than his wildest dreams. He'd kill to have her.

Soon Beck can't resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom made for her. When a string of macabre incidents tears her world apart there is only one person she can turn to. But there's more to Joe than Beck realises and much more to Beck than her perfect facade. The obsessive relationship quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences...
Diving into reading You, I honestly thought I was going to love it as it sounded exactly like the sort of twisted story I would be hooked by. Joe's obsession with Beck starts from the moment she walks into the bookshop where he works. I loved being inside Joe's head as he rationalises stalking her whilst trying to figure out a way he can insert himself into her life more permanently. I liked this book and it was just an average read for me.

Joe is undeniably disturbed but he wasn't as dark as I expected him to be and sometimes I felt his narrative started to go into dull territory. He was very predictable at times and I the sheer amount of crimes he seemingly gets away with is incredible. I wanted him to be unpredictable and perhaps more crazy, as I would have found it more thrilling not being able to predict what he was going to do next.

Every secondary character in You are flawed in some way and Joe rationalises his perversion as normal because he points out those flaws incessantly. I personally love unlikeable, morally grey characters because they leap off the pages as real people. I really didn't like Beck or any of her friends but that's part of the charm.

You is full of pop culture references which I liked, I especially loved Joe's cutting commentary on people's reading habits and Stephen King. So apt. Unfortunately, I found all the references a tad overdone in places and I felt like the plot was unnecessarily drawn out in places.

So in summary, Joe wasn't as crazy as I expected and the plot feels bloated at times but it was still an enjoyable read despite all that. Would I recommend it? Maybe, if you are the kind of reader who is easily creeped out.

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