You (You #1) – Caroline Kepnes

4.5 stars
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Pages: 424
Release Date: September 25, 2014

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.

My updated review of You will mostly be about my expectations for the upcoming television show and I’ll touch briefly on what I thought of the story reading it for the second time.

I think You is one of those novels that won’t translate well to the screen without significant changes. You works so well as a novel because the reader gets to live in Joe’s head. Joe’s head is simultaneously a dangerous and fascinating place. Throughout the novel, Kepnes makes readers conflicted about their feelings about Joe. She accomplishes this through the many great one-liners and passages. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the television show has Penn Badgley doing voiceovers throughout the season. I’d hate to see Kepnes’ amazing writing go to waste.

The first time I read You, I was amazed at how much I enjoyed a novel about stalking from a stalker’s perspective. I even knocked off half a star on my rating because I didn’t think a novel from the stalker’s perspective was needed *insert eye roll emoji*. The second time around I still very much enjoyed the story, but felt that at certain parts the novel felt slow. At many parts, I would skim through a few pages since the story feel bogged down at times by lengthy descriptions or unnecessary ruminations. The only reason I decided to reread You was because of the television show. Had the show not been made, I probably would never have reread it.

Overall, I’m incredibly excited the show. The cast looks promising since I think Penn Badgley is perfectly cast.

Below you’ll find my original review.


“If we were teenagers, I could kiss you. But I’m on a platform behind a counter wearing a name tag and we’re too old to be young.”

You is such an interesting, unique, and disturbing book. It follows the perspective of a stalker, Joe, the entire novel. It’s like reading his diary written to the woman he’s stalking, so the reader gets an intimate look into the way he thinks and why he does what he does.
The writing is absolutely amazing. It’s like stream of consciousness but directed to a certain person. The writing will keep you engaged and intrigued and anticipating what Joe will do next. You can’t help but be entranced with Joe’s character despite his actions.
There were many moments throughout this book that I felt sympathy for Joe, which is disgusting on so many levels (a nod to the clever writing). There would be moments where I would feel bad for him, but then a moment later realize how awful Joe is.

“If you knew what I went through to get into your home, that I messed up my back trying to know you, inside and out, you’d judge me for it.”

Overall, You is a fantastic read if you’re looking to sympathize with a stalker while simultaneously being disgusted with him. The only reason I gave it a 4.5 instead of 5 is because did we really need a book to show a stalker’s perspective? Either way, You is definitely worth the read if you’ve been considering it.

Have you read You? What did you think? Are you excited about the TV show? What do you think about the cast?




9 thoughts on “You (You #1) – Caroline Kepnes

  1. I didn’t realize that this was being made into a show! Like you, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. I thought it was so interesting to be in the mind of a stalker, and there were so many (creepy) things that I hadn’t thought about before!

    1. The first episode premiered last night! It’s going to be released weekly on Netflix.
      Right?! There were so many times that I was so captivated by Joe then I would realize what he’s doing and feel gross for liking him haha.

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