[690]: You by Caroline Kepnes

20821614 A look inside the mind of a loveable psycho.

by Caroline Kepnes

Ah, I get it now. I get your fascination with Joe Goldberg. For months I’ve avoided reading this because I was scared I would hate the character so much. Admittedly, Joe is morbidly hard to hate. He’s a cunning character who convinces, even the hardened reader the he’s nothing to be scared of. He’s reliable in that respect. Because I was lulled into a state of complacency – even convinced, for a time, that his victims were at fault. How sick is that?

Practically everyone in this book is messed up. They all seem to be on the precipice of madness themselves. I mean, Beck herself admits that she’s sick for the things she did to the men that walks into her life, all the while using her convenient excuse that her sickness stems from her daddy issues. Peach, Nicky, and OMG, even Karen Minty –ย especiallyย Karen Minty – each one of these characters brought a certain brand of sociapathic tendencies to the table.

What did Joe ever see in Beck? I mean physically, she’s attractive, sure. But after she played Joe a number of times, why couldn’t he move on? Joe’s obsession with Beck confounded me. But after a while, I don’t think reasons matter for someone like Joe. As soon as he set his sights on Beck, it was game over. And Joe is a very meticulous character. He may be lacking in college education, but he was exposed to boundless knowledge through his work at the bookstore. The bookstore was his life, the books his companion. It’s a little disturbing to think that books, coupled with loneliness can lead you to demented thinking (see: Misery by Stephen King). And this couldn’t be truer in Joe’s place. He grew up in the care of a bookstore owner who’s probably a little deranged himself. I wish the readers knew more about him so that we may know what made Joe the person that he was.

Joe more often justifies all the things he’s done to his victims as an act of compassion (like a good sociopath could). His calm mannerisms is disturbing, to say the least. But that’s a true marksman of a psychopath, isn’t it? I love that this novel was set in New York – a city so overpopulated that if one goes missing, no one would be the wiser. I also think that the age of social media played the perfect role as a necessary evil that helped Joe in hiding his crimes. It’s scary how easy it was for him. Made me want to change my passwords to everything.

You know what’s even sicker? I’d hoped he’d get away with it. I’d hoped that he finds a nice girl, move to North Dakota and forget all the things he’s done to his victims. That’s how good he is.

  • Gosh. Gorgeous review Joy ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m glad you liked this book a lot. <3 And ohh. Caring so much for the worst guy? That sounds pretty awesome, tbh, lol. Though he sounds awful too. Yet awesome. Curious about this one now ๐Ÿ™‚

  • YES!! I loved this book!! And I am right there with rooting for Joe. Yes, he is a sociopath and his actions were sickening. But Kepnes just wrote him so well that I found myself hoping he would get away with everything. Craziness! I’m so glad you loved it too.

  • Your last comment made me laugh out loud Joy, that’s the lure of a brilliantly written character. I felt the same way after reading Stolen. I want this book so badly now and even knowing what a master manipulator he is, I’ll probably still swoon. Absolutely loved your review Joy, now I must grab a copy too! <3

  • Imagine knowing the character is a psychopath and still not being able to hate them properly! This sounds like it’s written in a very interesting way. I’ll have to give it a try.

  • Jasprit

    I really tried to get into this one, but I just couldn’t deal with Joe, he totally creeped me out. I think I am in the minority when it comes to this book though, as a lot of my Goodreads friends really loved it! So maybe I need to try and give it another go, great review Joy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • HA! I loved this one too…after I initially DNFed it for being too creepy…but the second time around Joe just grew on me so much!

  • I don’t know how I’d never read the synopsis for this before! I knew it had something to do with a psychopath, and that was it. You make it sound fascinating, though!

  • Wow! This sounds like quite a mind bender of a read! Getting to know him and all his quirks, and how big of a psychopath he is!

  • I listened to this book earlier this year, but didn’t review it. I won it in a contest from another blogger, so I didn’t feel obligated to review. My feelings about this book were so mixed. It is a great book, but since I didn’t like any of the characters, I had a hard time connecting with it. Like you said, there isn’t a character in this book that isn’t messed up. Really glad you enjoyed it and great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

  • Jazmen

    I really liked this book. I rooted for the bad guy. I friggin rooted, for the bad guy. I must be mentally imbalanced. ๐Ÿ˜› But this book was a good ride!

  • Do you know I’m probably the only person on the friggin’ planet that has NEVER read a Stephen King book?? Like, pfft, yeah, there has to be some kind of law out there that I’m breaking but any who, I love the sound of this book! The main character sounds kind of creepy! ๐Ÿ™‚ well, to me anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Oh wow oh wow. What a review! I’ve seen this book around, but you’ve totally convinced me to give it a try. It’s the mark of a seriously talented author when they can actually have you doubting yourself and feeling sorry for the perpetrators.

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I’ve heard only good things about this and even though it seems so creepy to be in the mind of a stalker and then agreeing with them, I definitely still want to pick this up. Wonderful review, Joy–curious to see how I’ll find this.

  • The story sounds like it does such a great job making you love and understand the mc even if they have done bad things– remember that feeling from breaking bad and wishing there was a way it could work out for walter

  • I love messed up characters! I am soooo adding this to my TBR. I am fascinated by a crazy bastard who actually convinced you to cheer for him. Love that sort of thing.

  • A cuddly loveable sociopath? My favorite!! Kinda puts me in the mind of Dexter, I am adding this book to my TBR list!! Thanks a lot, I can blame you for the newest additions to my already long list of TBR’s lol. I love your reviews, so it’s actually a good thing.

  • I liked this one but not nearly as much as I had thought I would. I absolutely loved the next book, Hidden Bodies. Maybe I just had more realistic expectations or something. I hope you get a chance to pick that one up as well.

  • Wow, this sounds terrifying! I have crossed paths with a psychopath before and I’m not sure I want to relive the experience.

  • Oooh! I’ve had my eye on this for so long but still haven’t gotten around to reading it! This definitely sounds like my kind of book though! Great review ๐Ÿ˜€

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  • RO

    This sounds pretty intriguing, and the fact that you wanted him to not get caught is super interesting. (lol) I don’t know that I would have noticed this by the title, but I want to pick this one up, for sure.

  • So I skipped this and proceeded to Hidden Bodies and totally wasn’t impressed nor enthralled by Joe. He caught me up with what happened in You so I didn’t feel lost, still I feel like I should’ve started with this. Maybe the Joe I met has changed from what happened in You.

  • Oh wow. Now I’m VERY curious. I like it when authors turn me around like that. *Off to change all my passwords* ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Karen

    Whoa – that’s good writing if it got you thinking like that about Joe.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  • Oh this sounds like intense and scary stuff!!! Probably a little bit too dark for my taste though.

  • oh wow, I think I’ve been eyeing this one the moment I saw it like months ago. And now I just need to have it.

  • Oh it sounds like an interesting and different one there! It’s really intriguing

  • I think if this book can convince you that his victims are the ones at fault at times, then you are really getting a deep look into what can be a twisted mind! I don’t know about reading this one myself… I’ve had my eye on it for a long time, but I guess I have to see. It sounds so dark and twisted! But at the same time… compelling >.>

  • This was disturbing and addictive, and I was rooting for Joe, too, in spite of my better judgement! I don’t think I’ll read the next in the series, though. I just don’t think I can do his craziness anymore. The audio version was fantastic! Glad to hear you had fun with this insanity, too, Joy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kara Lauren

    I love your review, it was like reading a secret diary entry, hehe. I definitely want to read this one!

  • shootingstarsmag

    Ooh this makes me want to read it even MORE. I finally have a copy so I really need to get on it! haha


  • Everyone seems to really enjoy this read. I may have to try it!

  • I got this at BEA a couple years ago, and tried it and, like Brandie, decided it wasn’t for me. But thanks for letting me know what I missed!

  • That is disturbing

  • I’m so happy you finally met Joe!! I love this book so much!

  • Lol, love your review. I have this book at home, and keep putting it off. I actually tried it once awhile ago, but gave up really quickly on it. I think I need to be in the mood for Joe.

  • I wanted him to find a nice girl, too! It’s unbelievable how we are all rooting for him haha

  • I was the opposite, as much as I enjoyed Joe’s sick and twisted personality, I was kind of hoping he died at the end as some sort of payback. Ugh, I hated Beck! This book was so unique to me.

    Nereydaโ”‚ Nick & Nereydaโ€™s Infinite Booklist

  • A lot of my friends enjoyed this
    book, but I was hesitant to pick it up. I think it takes a special talent to
    write a story about such character and convince reader to like him.

  • Yes to all of this, Joy! He was such a blast to read. I felt really dirty afterwards though because I was rooting for the guy haha. And ugh, I didn’t understand his fascination with Beck either. She was so obnoxious and manipulative.

  • kindlemom1

    He really is somewhat lovable or maybe just likable? Either way, it is hard not to be drawn to Joe and all his crazy.

  • Have you seen The Fall tv series with Gillian Anderson & Jamie Dornan? Your comment about wanting him to get away with it reminded me of it, it’s such a trip wanting the bad guy to not get caught.

    I’m totally going to add this one to my wishlist, thank you for sharing, I’d not heard of it before ๐Ÿ™‚