“You” Book Review

Cover of “You” by Caroline Kepnes

This is a story of boy meets girl. A meet-cute that begins in a bookstore a casual mumbling of words, it is destined to be a story that festers into love and a happy ending for two people with a love for books in the crowded city of New York.

At least that’s how we want it to be, but author Caroline Kepnes has other plans.

Boy meets girl and is instantly taken with her and then off into a long dark, twisted spiraling road of obsession is weaved into words that gripped me and refused to let go.

Through the novel, you’re in the mind of Joe, a bookstore manager who is appears as your average cute, bookish nerd.

Then comes Beck, the Carrie Bradshaw of the story she is an aspiring writer, she lives in a seemly chic apartment (it’s not) in lower east Manhattan, she has her three friends (who one of them you come loathe with a passion of a thousand suns) who comes wrapped in a pretty packaged bow of false pretenses. Joe is instantly smitten by Beck. It’s a meet-cute after all how could anything go wrong, cute guy meets equally cute girl while he works at the bookstore, nothing can go wrong right?

But as mentioned before Kepnes has different plans for her readers, we are then guided through the story in Joe's fucked up mind, it turns into a twisted game of cat preying on an unknown mouse. While Beck drags Joe’s heart strings through the mud, Joe turns the tables on her by knowing her move even before she takes it. The reader watches as Joe struggle with game of chasing beck, Joe becomes consumed with beck, dedicating his nights and days watching her every move, all while getting close to her without her having a clue what Joe is up too.

In the intense novel of “You” I found myself flipping hanging on every page, each turn with a different surprise, it will come to no shock to you that I read this book in one day, finding myself dizzy with the total mind-fuck that Kepnes leaves readers in.

Kepnes provides us with characters that are anti-hero’s leaving it up to the reader to decide on who is good or evil, but I must warn you that the each character will pull at your thoughts while you try to wrap around who is wrong and who isn’t, there is Beck, a tragic broken girl who wants to be loved but achieves the feeling by her selfish motives, and there is Joe, an intense young man who scares the hell of you as he unleashes the horror and truth behind the dangers of a world that is ruled by social media. This is not a fairy tale of Joe and Beck and let’s be a little more frank, this is not a love story not even in the slightest.

At some point, I found myself torn, do I feel sorry for Joe? did he make himself a victim? or do I root for Beck trying to figure out herself and has the unfortunate pleasure of being the apple of Joe’s eye? That is up to you.