Title: You (#1 in the You series)
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Pages: 422 pages
Published: September 30th, 2014
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Source: Barnes & Noble Reserved Copy
When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides in 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.
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As most of you know I'm a hermit on Instagram and taking pictures of books is my life and soul. You has been the Instagramed pic of the month of August that I've decided to give it a try and the summary was all the convincing I needed. Queen of Shadows got me in a good ole' reading slump (you guys remember those?) and I haven't been able to read since I picked up this book. So let's get started into the review.
**BE WARNED: This book is for mature audiences only as it contains sexual content, foul language, and violence.**
The plot sounds like a thousand other stalker book summaries you've read before. But that's exactly it.. because it's not! This book is totally unique in a beautiful and lyrical way that even I enjoyed being in the head and being the eyes of a obsessive, love-sick narrator. This book is 2nd person point of view so there is a lot use of the word "You" as the narrator, Joe, observes Beck and judges her every move. It's more than just some stalking, but the stakes get higher as he becomes obsessive with the idea of this girl being his and he goes as far as violence, kidnapping, and even murder to let her find herself in his arms at the end of the day.
The book takes us on this point in his life where he can't stop thinking about Beck and everything that he does is about her. It's like he's writing this for her because it's directed to her when he uses the pronoun 'you'. This book is geared toward older audiences than the normal YA audience that the acclaimed novel Stolen by Lucy Christopher is made for. It's an exciting read that will keep you interested at every point and turn in the book! It has a rising creep factor that increases with every chapter as the obsessed gets greater and Joe is so close to procuring the one thing he's crazy about.
Let's talk about our narrator. The book is told in second person point of view by Joe Goldberg, a guy who works in a bookstore. Because of the fact that he's worked in this bookstore since he was very young, he just lives around books and literature. He's fond of it and that's shown in the way he speaks; how he automatically and without knowing, refers to literature and classics when he compares them to people or talks about someone else's actions. He's a very cynical character that thinks he's up to par with the idea of an image of a perfect boyfriend for Beck. He talks fondly of himself but judges everyone else including Beck's friends, ex-boyfriend, and family for being phonies. He kind of reminds me of an version of Holden Caulfield... but IN LOVE. I wouldn't go as far as to say he's crazy because someone can be totally sane and still be in love. Also the definition of crazy has varied in society so much that it's been scarred. I will say, however, that he does go a little bit too far and for what? A beautiful girl that just happened to walk into his bookstore that one day? But it does surprise me how one could have so many sexual fantasies about a girl he's barely talked to.
Beck, on the other hand, is like any normal woman living in the city. She's spunky, has a great personality, and loves to flirt, which all ladies know is the key to surviving in a well-populated area (wink wink). I thought her character was one I really admired and yet she was so oblivious over the fact that this guy was stalking her and watching her from her window. I don't know about you guys but I can sense shadows and feel people's presence!
How else can I word this? The romance in this book is sick! Being stalked by a sexual-driven and obsessive man is not fun. It's really not and I think this book truly showed me what we all have to be afraid of. This may not be based off of a true story, but it sure can be! Even though it's obvious that this was insta-love, it wasn't as cliche as most insta-loves are made out to be. You know what I mean? What I'm trying to say is that the author, from the start, expands on this problem that the main narrator has. He's the kind of person that becomes obsessed and overprotective of one thing for a while and once he has it, he moves on to something else. He's characterized wonderfully and Caroline Kepnes did a marvelous job at making him sound like a creep and someone you just wouldn't want to encounter.
Caroline Kepnes brings a moving and hypnotic thriller to the table that will give you the chills for years and, not to mention, make you want to purchase seals for all your windows around your house. Not only did it feel so real almost like a true story, but we get a glimpse into the eyes of a broken character that didn't have a perfect childhood or gets way too attached to things easily. She brings this scary story to life and the eeriness of the story is something you'll dearly miss soon after you're finished reading it. Frightening till the last page... I couldn't recommend a better book than this one!