You: A Novel & Hidden Bodies (You #2) by Caroline Kepnes
Okay, y’all. After reading these two books I think I sort of, kind of am getting closer to understanding why seemingly every guy between the ages of 18-30 “loves” American Psycho. Disclaimer that these books by Caroline Kepnes are twisted and dark AF, yet somehow also hilarious and a valid commentary on today’s social media obsessed society.
You. First things first, this book is seriously deranged. While I was reading it I was like why am I enjoying this so much? Why am I laughing so much? Is something wrong with me? etc. etc. I have never read a book like this before, and it’s actually pretty brilliant. Kepnes takes you deep, deep, DEEP into the mind of Joe Goldberg, a seemingly average dude who works at a bookstore in New York City. One day Guinevere Beck (AKA Beck) comes into the store; she’s beautiful, flirtatious, and an aspiring writer. Joe immediately feels a connection with her- they’re meant to be, obvi, she just doesn’t know that yet. So he does what to him is the obvious next move – he Googles the name on her credit card. From there, he is easily able to find out what he needs to know from her Facebook and Twitter profiles, including where she’ll be later that night for a “chance” meeting.
So begins Joe’s incredibly misguided quest for love as he takes silently control of Beck’s life, orchestrating a series of events that leads her right to his waiting arms. As he moves from stalker to boyfriend, he’ll stop at nothing to ensure that he transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man.
You is equal parts twisted, insightful, and hilarious. I found myself rooting for Joe because he’s funny and smart, and sees the world the way an astute person sees the world. But then he does something completely deranged – like murder. I promise you that you will find yourself rooting for Joe as much as you will find yourself disgusted by him. Despite being an obsessive/stalker/murderer, Joe has remarkably valid insight into society that’s completely immersed in a virtual world of social media. Plus, there’s Evan, Joe’s employee who is trying to learn Spanish via Enrique Englesias songs.
Hidden Bodies. Our charming, intellectual, witty, murdering narrator is back in Hidden Bodies. Without giving anything away, a certain chain of events leads Joe to leave New York City for Los Angeles in the sequel to You. LA is literally Joe’s nightmare, where people are chill, eat guac, and are obsessed with their own reflections. But then Joe meets Love, the real girl of his dreams. Love is beautiful, wealthy, and most importantly, Love loves Joe for who he really is.But then his past starts to catch up with him.
Hidden Bodies was still really enjoyable, but it was lacking a certain something that You had. The overall message of Hidden Bodies is more about the importance and redemptive powers of love. It was also just a little too outlandish for me to get completely on board with, but still a totally fun read. Joe’s critiques on society are more celebrity culture-focused in this one, but still spot on. Overall, I seriously enjoyed both of these books. Extremely original, unique, a lot creepy, and v. fun. DO READ!