{Effie Reviews} You by Caroline Kepnes

Posted January 3, 2017 by Effie in Reviews / 18 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, language, and/or violence.
{Effie Reviews} You by Caroline Kepnes


by Caroline Kepnes
Series: You #1
Published on September 30th, 2014
by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Genres: Adult, Thriller, Law & Crime
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon | B&N | BookDepository | Goodreads

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.

4.5 Stars

So, here’s a riddle for you.

How do you express how good you thought a book was without actually condoning all that was written on the pages?


You give FULL ON warning labels.

Like seriously people. This book is not for everyone. It is quite literally a dive into the mind of a sick, obsessive, psychotic stalker, who truly believes everything he does is justified. Simply because he loves a young woman and believes they are meant to be together forever.

I have never before read what Caroline Kepnes did with You. It’s about Joe, who by chance meets Guinevere or Beck as everyone calls her, when she walks into the bookstore he works at. Immediately he feels a connection to Beck. And tries to weave his way into her life by first stalking her for weeks and then also hacking into her social media. All so he can get information on her because he believes they are meant to be. But things get darker and more insidious as the story progresses.

The story is written in 2nd POV narrative, which is something I’ve never read before. But it fit perfectly for this story. It added this thick layer of creepiness to the book. Like Joe is speaking/writing directly to you 

I have no problem admitting that this book freaked me the f*ck out! It felt so real and seriously it’ll make me think twice about actually meeting new people for a few weeks. Worst part of it all, is that I realized something while I was reading the book. If you take away the thoughts of Joe and just leave the conversations he has with the people around him…You would never guess this guy was an obsessive, manipulative, yet charming psychopath.

You is the first book in a while, that has made me feel unfcomfortable and vulnerable, because the truth is: guys like Joe Goldberg exists in the real world too! A thing that fascinated me though, was how much of an unreliable narrator Joe is. And it’s like he has tunnel vision and only sees what he wants to see and what he believes is true. It doesn’t help that he engages us readers with great charm and humour throughout the story, that almost make you sympathize with him. Knowing how utterly disturbed he truly is.

It’s just insane, how good I thought this book was but at the same was so utterly horrified and disturbed while reading. This is not a book for the faint-hearted and definitely not for people who don’t like swearing, because there’s a lot of that too. I was warned there would also be more adulty things, but it wasn’t that bad to be honest. I expected worse.

Kepnes did an amazing book when she wrote this book and even more amazing job with her characters. Joe, most of all. I wonder what did she have to do, to actually create Joe. He’s a piece of art. A dark and disturbing male with a very disturbed mind. It’s almost unbelievable how realistic he sounds. Then there’s Beck, Joe’s obsession. She’s a real piece of work herself: a compulsive liar, reckless, manipulative and hypersexual. Let’s not forget about Peach, because I think she deserve a whole effing shelf to herself. She’s just as much of compulsive and maniuplative liar as Beck is, along with several self-esteem, jealousy and suicidal tendencies.

I think the only thing that made me not give this book five stars, is because there were moments when I got annoyed and bored at the more mundane moments. But overal, it’s definitely worth a read. Especially if you like thrillers and don’t mind diving into a psycho stalker’s mind. Because that’s what will happen, when you read You.

And thus you have all been warned…


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18 responses to “{Effie Reviews} You by Caroline Kepnes

    • I accidentally hit enter before I was done leaving my comment. Oops, lol. It kind of scared me that I found myself on Joe’s side at times, but like one of the commenters, I do love Hannibal Lecter, especially Mads Mikkelsen’s turn as the character on NBC. It takes a lot of talent to turn a psycho character that repulses you at times into someone you can almost empathize with and care about. I think this was a really well written book!

      Are you planning on reading the sequel, Hidden Bodies?

  1. Leah

    This book has been staring at me for some time at the library I work at. Normally, I don’t go for 2nd person POVs, but this sounds like a special kind of dark storyline that is right up my alley. I am determined to get to this one.

    • Effie

      Yes, it is a very dark storyline. Joe’s a real piece of art, I think if you read it, you’ll see what I mean. 🙂

  2. Liza

    I’ve seen glowing reviewed for You Effie, but I’m very hesitant to read it. I try to avoid books (and movies) that make me feel uncomfortable. Great review!

    • Effie

      Thanks, Liza! And yes, I can totally get that. I’m still freaked out at times when I glance at the ebook on my Kobo, lol 😀 but it was still worth reading it!

  3. Just to reiterate – THIS IS AN AWARD-WORTHY REVIEW. As someone who cites Hannibal Lecter as one of my favorite and most memorable characters, the more you lay into the creep factor, the closer I inched to my Kindle (which, as you know, has had You on it for a while). But were I someone who WASN’T as problematic and questionable in my choice of memorable character traits, this would still tell me aaaaaall I need to know.

    Thank you MUCHLY for this review once again!

    • Effie

      LOL, You’re welcome Lexie. Enjoy the read, I think it was really worth reading, eventhough it’s not something I usually read. 😀

  4. Oh my goodness, I need to read this now! I have had this sitting on my shelf for a while now and I’ve always been interested in reading but just never had the push to pick it up. After reading your review, it’s gone straight to the top of my TBR. Thanks for the push I needed, I guess.
    Sophie 🙂

  5. I really wanted to read this book for a loooooooong time but somehow forgot about it. Good thing I stumbled across this blog! Yay yay yay

    • Effie

      Right? I think Kepnes did an amazing job with this book. It really plays with your mind a bit. Gotta admit, I too had 1 moment where I was rooting for Joe and it creeped me out. *shudders*

    • Effie

      You should totally give this book a shot! It might’ve creeped me out like hell, but it’s definitely worth a read. ESPECIALLY if you like thrillers. 🙂

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