"YOU" by Caroline Kepnes: why it's the best book I've read in years and why you should read it too

"YOU" by Caroline Kepnes: why it's the best book I've read in years and why you should read it too

I’m not typically a book reviewer, I just read something and move on to the next. I do read book reviews however and it was in People Magazine that I came across one of their “picks”.  They recommended a book called “You”, by debut author Caroline Kepnes. They referred to it as chilling. That’s all it took.

I downloaded it on my Kindle and the odyssey of Joe and Beck began.

It was a page turner (or clicker as I was on my Kindle!) to beat all page turners. Not only is the story as twisted and delicious as  could be, it was written in a style I’ve never encountered in a book and that made it all the more enjoyable. It was written in a narrative style with lots of run on sentences that made more sense than if it had been structurally what we’re used to. Pretty sure that was just a run on sentence. But I digress.

“You” is the story of obsessive love. Love is used lightly as there is a fine line between love and obsession. And the story of Joe and Beck is that of obsession and stalking, in a way I’ve never heard.

Joe Goldberg works in a book store in a trendy area of the East Village of New York. In walks Guinevere Beck, an aspiring writer and there is an instant connection. Or is it only as far as he is concerned?

“You walk into the bookstore and keep your hand on the door to make sure it doesn’t slam. You smile, embarrassed to be a nice girl and your nails are square and your V-neck sweater is beige and it’s impossible to know if you’re wearing a bra but I don’t think that you are. You’re so clean that you’re dirty and you murmur your first words to me – hello – when most people would just pass by, but not you, in your loose pink jeans, pink spun from Charlotte’s Web and where did you come from?”

While reading the book I can’t recall how many times I gasped, said WTF out loud and read faster than I’ve ever read to find out what was happening next. I remember when I read “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn and did that a few times. I must say, I think that “You” is a much better read. The twists are more constant, the characters are more developed and that writing style, oh that writing style. I want to write my first novel in that style.

In the age of social media this is an important book. It’s startling how much a person can find out about another through Facebook, twitter and other means through Google and search engines. It’s also startling to realize how much a person with a crafting mind can get away with; startling and very, very scary.

I wish I had the imagination to have written such a book. Throughout it I found myself wanting to ask the author how in the world she came up with this story; how she created Joe and Beck. How she was able to dig that deep into the dark side of her brain (I believe we all have one) and create this story.

There were many times throughout the book I found myself rooting for the villian which leaves me wondering about the dark side of my own mind. I think that “You” will have many people feeling the same way; love is a powerful emotion and what lengths we can go to to have what we want is sometimes frightening.

Now go buy the book. Read it and let me know what you think.

I’ll be waiting.

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