How far would you go for the perfect love? A young man’s dark obsession with an enigmatic, gorgeous writer leads to murderous consequences in this erotic psychological thriller.
You walk into the bookstore and you 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 bare 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 word to me - hello.
When aspiring writer and recent Brown graduate Guinevere Beck strides into the bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: she's gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and sexy beyond his wildest dreams. Joe needs to have her, and he'll stop at nothing to do so. As he begins to insinuate himself into her life - her friendships, her email, her phone - she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom-made for her. So when her boyfriend, Benji, mysteriously disappears, Beck and Joe fall into a tumultuous affair. But there's more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect façade, and their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences.
Dark, masterful, and timely, debut novelist Caroline Kepnes' You is a perversely romantic thriller that's more dangerously clever than any you've heard before. A chilling account of unrelenting passion, this tale of love, sex, and death will stay with you long after the story ends.
©2014 Alloy Entertainment and Caroline Kepnes. All rights reserved. (P)2014 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
As an Audible Editor I listen for a living! British classics, YA novels, speculative fiction, and anything quirky, fascinating, or heart-wrenching.
This is an awkward one to recommend to my close friends and colleagues. Not that I’m particularly prudish or haven’t read “Fifty Shades of Grey” (I have), but because not only is the content of “You” extremely explicit at times, the narrative perspective is also so uniquely dark, that there’s this moment of full-on anxiety when someone I’ve recommended it to starts listening (what will they think of me!?!?). But, while this book REALLY ISN’T for all audiences (and certainly not children), I’ve yet to have a friend not agree with me that there’s something totally brilliant happening here.
So, all disclaimers aside, here’s the deal. I have been an Audible Editor for seven years. I listen in full to – on average – five books a month. I sample and browse countless audiobooks all day long for work. This is the BEST narration I have ever heard, bar none. Caroline Kepnes has created a narrative voice that is intriguing, full of snark, complex, uniquely dark, and incredibly intelligent (all great literary things!), but still pretty hard to get on board with. How do you root for a stalker? How do you start to care for someone who, despite his protestations in chapter two, is a complete and total f**k-up? Well, Santino Fontana’s narration gets you there. He brings this character to life – and I don’t mean that in the way all good narration brings a character to life. I mean that Fontana resurrects an impossibly irredeemable soul and makes you love him. This book is frightening, gritty, edge-of-your-seat stuff that is so much fun to listen to, and it stays with you long after you finish listening to it. It’s the perfect summer listen – don’t miss it. And don’t judge me – or yourself - for loving it!
Reading "You" was like reading someone's twisted, sociopathic diary entries...which, ironically, is exactly what the anti-hero Joe does throughout the story. I couldn't stop listening as each chapter got darker, and yet still wanting to hear this "relationship" unfold. I often found myself sympathetic to Joe and hating the "victims" as the story progressed...not sure what that says about me! The narration from Santino Fontana (BTW, what a killer name) was stellar, and I'm definitely planning to pick up Kepnes' Hidden Bodies in 2016.
This is the best audiobook I've ever listened to. It's hard for me to say that because there are some fantastic books out there. This one is now my favorite. I will listen to it again, and again.
There is no other book like this one. Not that I have read, and I think the only thing close to it would be Misery by Stephen King.
I would listen to him narrate a phone book. Seriously, all he has to do is change up the billion accents he can mimic and I'd be entertained for days.
"Can't say no to Joe"
If you had trouble reading the second person point of view in print, this is the answer. You'll love it. Get this one. Seriously.
The "stalker" theme seems to be all around us lately and is, quite frankly, not my favorite. Would probably not have even considered this had it not been for a post on Facebook by a friend whose tastes on books I usually share (the fact that this is how I came upon this book is actually ironic). So glad I followed her advice! And so glad I listened to "You" rather than read it on paper. Mr. Fontana is PERFECT as the first person narrator--the stalker who becomes increasingly obsessed with his prey. And Ms. Kepnes keeps your interest throughout, with the lies and deceptions becoming more and more involved, preposterous...and believable. It will make you want to reset all your social media privacy settings. It will make you cringe. And it will make you laugh! Yes, there's a lot of humor here. (Considering the theme, it is actually a pretty light--if riveting--read). Well done! I can't wait for her next one.
This book was addicting... I became obsessed with the story and the narrator. You have to read this book if you like dark, obsessive, compulsive, all encompassing love/tragedy real life, first love stories.
Joe, the main character is in my mind night and day... I had to keep listening.. could not get this book out of my mind. I became obsessed with his obsession. Also, the narrator’s voice captured the book so perfectly... I felt like I was in his head... very well done!
Love it - I have never been more obsessed with a character and wanted to read more.
This novel is dark but in all the good ways.
I loved the narrator and the character Joe. You want to hate him....But you can't.
Everything. I think the author did a fantastic job portraying Joe and his obsessions.
His interactions with Dr. Nicky
Love is a sick and twisted game
The narrator is amazing and he is the one of two things amazing about this book. The prose is well-written and melodic. I absolutely loved how Caroline Kepnes used such ornate and beautiful prose. One of the most beautiful lines in the book is when Joe says, "Not even the rain has such small hands..." The book was so beautifully written and I appreciated Ms. Kepnes' writing style. Yet, I did not like this book.
We follow Joe through a descent from mad into more madness. The main character, you understand from the beginning, is not quite right. He describes his view of people and interactions. He justifies his treatment of others by painting them as awful, mean-spirited and shallow. His perspective, skewed as it was, only made me sicken for the people he is involved with. I was worried about them.
Even when told from his perspective, I could not find any feeling for him. From the beginning, I was hopeful, but even then, I never rooted for Joe. I just wondered why no one else he met was creeped out by Joe. When he admitted to having stolen a cell phone, I could not understand the reasoning of the main victim/heroine. One thing I can say is that everything about this book is intense. I am still disturbed by the happenings in the story. I just found myself feeling the emptiness that I felt before after watching Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler.
I was not involved with the character--I was involved by with the people in contact with Joe. I wondered if he was supposed to be some kind of anti-hero, but he had no redeeming qualities.
Despite not liking this book, I have to let people know that Ms. Kepnes is a brilliant writer. I just did not like this book.
Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane. Reviewer at BiblioSanctum.
"So, yeah, in its strange way this did end how I thought it would as mentioned in a prior status update. I need to think about this one because right now all I feel is, "This was... a book." I'd give it a 3.5 mainly because of the narrator."
I said that on Goodreads when I finished this book and my general feeling is still, "This was... a book." I can't decide if this is one of those books that I liked so much I hate it or I hate it so much I like it. Readers follow Joe Goldberg--a highly intelligent high school dropout, bookshop manager/worker, book lover, and psychopath--as he instigates himself into the life of a woman he feels is "perfect" for him despite all the signs pointing to her having her own severe issues. Social media and her habit of being easily accessible on social media makes it easy for him to start skirting the fringes of her life until he's able to set a series of "chance" encounters that allow him to become fully immersed in her life. Social media stalker mixed with Joe's relatively "normal" appearance also serves as a cautionary tale that you never know who may be using your personal information gleaned from posts for some disturbing purpose.
The interesting thing about this book is that it's told entirely in the POV of the perpetrator, Joe. This makes You an especially creepy read as you stroll through his thought process and how everything is rationalized just so to make him seem like the hero of the story in his own mind. In his own narrative, he is the love-ridden, patient man who deals with a woman fraught with inconsistencies because "that's how women are." Too many times, you find yourself raising an eyebrow as Joe points out the predatory stalker behavior in others, but sees his own behavior as him being the "stronger" one and being the one who needed to be the "glue" that keeps everything together in their "love story," removing whatever obstacles are necessary.
Most of the characters in this book are pretty hard to like with the exception of maybe a handful, but nobody takes the crazy cake like Joe. He is absolutely reprehensible. Kepnes certainly knows how to write a story that can keep you interested even if you're only hanging on to angrily get through this book. It reminds me of American Psycho in a way with all the brand-dropping, except Joe despises all the glitz unlike Patrick Bateman, and I'll definitely check out the sequel if only to hate-read what Joe's been up to. The narration for this was top-notch. Santino Fortana was the perfect voice for Joe. He managed to capture the delusional, mocking, self-righteous tone of the main character well, and I think his narration made me dislike Joe even more because that's exactly the way I would think a person like Joe would sound. I definitely will be picking up the audiobook when the second book is released.
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