Author: Caroline Kepnes
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Format and source: Paperback, purchased from Fully Booked
Buy it here: Amazon
When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into 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.
This book is reminiscent of a Gone Girl kind of /love/ where we don’t know if we should be rooting for the narrator or not. Joe Goldberg is psychotic and has manic tendencies; something that is established just as the book begins. However, something about his charismatic personality had me confused as to why I still liked him despite his controlling and manipulative ways.
Joe is intelligent and despite his crazy antics, I can’t deny that he uses his clever wit to play Guinevere Beck right into his arms. It also doesn’t hurt that Beck is an extremely public person who incessantly feels the need to tweet everything she does. You is a modern criticism of how easy it is to stalk someone and learn everything there is to know about them through just click of the button. It reminds readers to stay vigilant about the things they share online and how increasingly dangerous the digital age has become over time.
I felt that this was a very interesting take on a suspense thriller that also touched on some toxic romance. Joe was a very unreliable narrator, which added to the creep factor of the very twisted plot. What’s unsettling about Joe’s mental state is he felt entitled to Beck’s love and thought he was doing her a favor by driving people away from her life as he saw fit. On the other side of the spectrum, Beck was also a very interesting character herself. You’ll find that throughout Joe’s journey, Beck is not as sweet and innocent as she is first played out to be.
Overall, I enjoyed everything about this book. All the characters were well developed and complex. The plot was well written and filled with twists and turns that will keep you guessing. As far as thriller fiction goes, I think this book is incredibly well done.