Wednesday, November 5, 2014

You by Caroline Kepnes

Title: You
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Read by:  Santino Fontana
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: 13 hours (11 CDs)
Source:  Review Copy from Simon & Schuster – Thanks!

You was an audiobook that I couldn’t stop listening too.  I’ve been very busy working and feeling tired, but I haven’t been worried about my drive home as the story kept me riveted.  It is a unique story about one man’s love, or rather obsession, for a woman.  The man is Joe Goldberg and he works at a bookstore.  One day the perfect woman stops by the bookstore, Guinevere Beck, and Joe is hooked.  He wants to know more about her so starts to look for her online and soon is hanging outside her apartment to learn her movements and more about her.  How can he orchestrate the perfect meet cute?

I first must say that this book is quite vulgar so if that is something that offends you, this isn’t the book for you.  The vulgarity is in character as the book is through the viewpoint of Joe and what he is thinking.  And what he is thinking is about sex with Beck pretty much constantly.  I grew concerned as I listened on – do men really think about sex this much?  I was turned off by the vulgarity at first, but grew so interested in the story I forgot about it.

I thought the book was very interesting as a look at the other side of a typical romance novel or movie, can what people think of as romance actually be the work of a creepy stalker?  I thought about popular books such as Twilight.  Edward is thought of as romantic, but he is in Bella’s room watching her when she sleeps, etc.  Even Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre does strange things like dress up as an old Gypsy woman so he can be alone with Jane, touch her hand, and try to manipulate her.  Don’t get me started on Fifty Shades of Grey.  What is all stories thought of as a romance by ladies were really on the other side really a story of a creepy stalker?

You had pop culture references on books and movies sprinkled throughout – I highly enjoyed them although I hadn’t quite read all of the books or watched all of the movies.  It showed how Joe is highly self-educated and aware of the world around him.  He also hated “phonies” just like Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye, yet he seemed to long for their world and a sense of belonging like Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby.  I thought this juxtaposition was interesting.

This book worked well as an audiobook. Santino Fontana is Joe to me.  It was almost creepier hearing Joe tell his own story.

This book is rather horrifying, and I wondered what it said about me and the author that I thought this creepy stalker was identifiable and funny at times.  This was very well written and it definitely made me think.  It’s not a book I will soon forget.  I highly recommend it.


  1. Yousounds riveting, Laura. Terrific review. I am not sure how to answer some of your questions!!

  2. I liked this audio a lot. I felt the same way about Joe. At times I came dangerously close to empathizing with him and at other times he terrified me.