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You: A Novel

You: A Novel

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You: A Novel

4.5/5 (457 valutazioni)
462 pagine
7 ore
Sep 30, 2014

Nota del redattore

Stalking you…

“Gone Girl” meets “Gossip Girl” in this extremely unnerving novel about how easy it is to become prey to stalking (or, to become a stalker yourself) in this hyper-connected digital age. It’s now a hit TV series starring Penn Badgley in a role that’s essentially an adult, much-creepier Dan Humphrey.



“Hypnotic and scary.” —Stephen King

“I am riveted, aghast, aroused, you name it. The rare instance when prose and plot are equally delicious.” —Lena Dunham

From debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of the Year, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age.

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.

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone Girl, American Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.
Sep 30, 2014

Informazioni sull'autore

Caroline Kepnes is the author of You, Hidden Bodies, Providence, and numerous short stories. Her work has been translated into a multitude of languages and inspired a television series adaptation of You, currently on Netflix. Kepnes graduated from Brown University and previously worked as a pop culture journalist for Entertainment Weekly and a TV writer for 7th Heaven and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She grew up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and now lives in Los Angeles.

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You - Caroline Kepnes



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 most people would just pass by, but not you, in your loose pink jeans, a pink spun from Charlotte’s Web and where did you come from?

You are classic and compact, my own little Natalie Portman circa the end of the movie Closer, when she’s fresh-faced and done with the bad British guys and going home to America. You’ve come home to me, delivered at last, on a Tuesday, 10:06 A.M. Every day I commute to this shop on the Lower East Side from my place in Bed-Stuy. Every day I close up without finding anyone like you. Look at you, born into my world today. I’m shaking and I’d pop an Ativan but they’re downstairs and I don’t want to pop an Ativan. I don’t want to come down. I want to be here, fully, watching you bite your unpainted nails and turn your head to the left, no, bite that pinky, widen those eyes, to the right, no, reject biographies, self-help (thank God), and slow down when you make it to fiction.


I let you disappear into the stacks—Fiction F–K—and you’re not the standard insecure nymph hunting for Faulkner you’ll never finish, never start; Faulkner that will harden and calcify, if books could calcify, on your nightstand; Faulkner meant only to convince one-night stands that you mean it when you swear you never do this kind of thing. No, you’re not like those girls. You don’t stage Faulkner and your jeans hang loose and you’re too sun-kissed for Stephen King and too untrendy for Heidi Julavits and who, who will you buy? You sneeze, loudly, and I imagine how loud you are when you climax. God bless you! I call out.

You giggle and holler back, you horny girl, You too, buddy.

Buddy. You’re flirting and if I was the kind of asshole who Instagrams, I would photograph the F–K placard and filter the shit out of that baby and caption it:

F—K yes, I found her.

Calm down, Joe. They don’t like it when a guy comes on too strong, I remind myself. Thank God for a customer and it’s hard to scan his predictable Salinger—then again, it’s always hard to do that. This guy is, what, thirty-six and he’s only now reading Franny and Zooey? And let’s get real. He’s not reading it. It’s just a front for the Dan Browns in the bottom of his basket. Work in a bookstore and learn that most people in this world feel guilty about being who they are. I bag the Dan Brown first like it’s kiddie porn and tell him Franny and Zooey is the shit and he nods and you’re still in F–K because I can see your beige sweater through the stacks, barely. If you reach any higher, I’ll see your belly. But you won’t. You grab a book and sit down in the aisle and maybe you’ll stay here all night. Maybe it’ll be like the Natalie Portman movie Where the Heart Is, adapted faithlessly from the Billie Letts book—above par for that kind of crud—and I’ll find you in the middle of the night. Only you won’t be pregnant and I won’t be the meek man in the movie. I’ll lean over and say, Excuse me, miss, but we’re closed and you’ll look up and smile. Well, I’m not closed. A breath. "I’m wide open. Buddy."

Hey. Salinger-Brown bites. He’s still here? He’s still here. Can I get a receipt?

Sorry about that.

He grabs it out of my hand. He doesn’t hate me. He hates himself. If people could handle their self-loathing, customer service would be smoother.

You know what, kid? You need to get over yourself. You work in a bookstore. You don’t make the books. You don’t write the books and if you were any good at reading the books, you probably wouldn’t work in a bookstore. So wipe that judgmental look off your face and tell me to have a nice day.

This man could say anything in the world to me and he’d still be the one shame-buying Dan Brown. You appear now with your intimate Portman smile, having heard the motherfucker. I look at you. You look at him and he’s still looking at me, waiting.

Have a nice day, sir, I say and he knows I don’t mean it, hates that he craves platitudes from a stranger. When he’s gone, I call out again because you’re listening, You enjoy that Dan Brown, motherfucker!

You walk over, laughing, and thank God it’s morning, and we’re dead in the morning and nobody is gonna get in our way. You put your basket of books down on the counter and you sass, You gonna judge me too?

What an asshole, right?

Eh, probably just in a mood.

You’re a sweetheart. You see the best in people. You complement me.

Well, I say and I should shut up and I want to shut up but you make me want to talk. That guy is the reason that Blockbuster shouldn’t have gone under.

You look at me. You’re curious and I want to know about you but I can’t ask so I just keep talking.

Everybody is always striving to be better, lose five pounds, read five books, go to a museum, buy a classical record and listen to it and like it. What they really want to do is eat doughnuts, read magazines, buy pop albums. And books? Fuck books. Get a Kindle. You know why Kindles are so successful?

You laugh and you shake your head and you’re listening to me at the point when most people drift, go into their phone. And you’re pretty and you ask, Why?

I’ll tell you why. The Internet put porn in your home—

I just said porn, what a dummy, but you’re still listening, what a doll.

And you didn’t have to go out and get it. You didn’t have to make eye contact with the guy at the store who now knows you like watching girls get spanked. Eye contact is what keeps us civilized.

Your eyes are almonds and I go on. Revealed.

You don’t wear a wedding ring and I go on. Human.

You are patient and I need to shut up but I can’t. And the Kindle, the Kindle takes all the integrity out of reading, which is exactly what the Internet did to porn. The checks and balances are gone. You can read your Dan Brown in public and in private all at once. It’s the end of civilization. But—

There’s always a but, you say and I bet you come from a big family of healthy, loving people who hug a lot and sing songs around a campfire.

But with no places to buy movies or albums, it’s come down to books. There are no more video stores so there are no more nerds who work in video stores and quote Tarantino and fight about Dario Argento and hate on people who rent Meg Ryan movies. That act, the interaction between seller and buyer, is the most important two-way street we got. And you can’t just eradicate two-way streets like that and not expect a fallout, you know?

I don’t know if you know but you don’t tell me to stop talking the way people sometimes do and you nod. Hmm.

"See, the record store was the great equalizer. It gave the nerds power—‘You’re really buying Taylor Swift?’—even though all those nerds went home and jerked it to Taylor Swift."

Stop saying Taylor Swift. Are you laughing at me or with me?

Anyway, I say, and I’ll stop if you tell me to.

Anyway, you say, and you want me to finish.

"The point is, buying stuff is one of the only honest things we do. That guy didn’t come in here for Dan Brown or Salinger. That guy came in here to confess."

Are you a priest?

No. I’m a church.


You look at your basket and I sound like a deranged loner and I look in your basket. Your phone. You don’t see it, but I do. It’s cracked. It’s in a yellow case. This means that you only take care of yourself when you’re beyond redemption. I bet you take zinc the third day of a cold. I pick up your phone and try to make a joke.

You steal this off that guy?

You take your phone and you redden. Me and this phone . . . you say. I’m a bad mommy.

Mommy. You’re dirty, you are.


You smile and you’re definitely not wearing a bra. You take the books out of the basket and put the basket on the floor and look at me like it wouldn’t be remotely possible for me to criticize anything you ever did. Your nipples pop. You don’t cover them. You notice the Twizzlers I keep by the register. You point, hungry. Can I?

Yes, I say, and I am feeding you already. I pick up your first book, Impossible Vacation by Spalding Gray. Interesting, I say. Most people get his monologues. This is a great book, but it’s not a book that people go around buying, particularly young women who don’t appear to be contemplating suicide, given the fate of the author.

Well, sometimes you just want to go where it’s dark, you know?

Yeah, I say. Yeah.

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. Night moves don’t work in the morning, and the light pours in through the windows. Aren’t bookstores supposed to be dark?

Note to self: Tell Mr. Mooney to get blinds. Curtains. Anything.

I pick up your second book, Desperate Characters by one of my favorite authors, Paula Fox. This is a good sign, but you could be buying it because you read on some stupid blog that she’s Courtney Love’s biological grandmother. I can’t be sure that you’re buying Paula Fox because you came to her the right way, from a Jonathan Franzen essay.

You reach into your wallet. She’s the best, right? Kills me that she’s not more famous, even with Franzen gushing about her, you know?

Thank God. I smile. The Western Coast.

You look away. I haven’t gone there yet. I look at you and you put your hands up, surrender. Don’t shoot. You giggle and I wish your nipples were still hard. "I’m gonna read The Western Coast someday and Desperate Characters I’ve read a zillion times. This one’s for a friend."

Uh-huh, I say and the red lights flash danger. For a friend.

It’s probably a waste of time. He won’t even read it. But at least she sells a book, right?

True. Maybe he’s your brother or your dad or a gay neighbor, but I know he’s a friend and I stab at the calculator.

It’s thirty-one fifty-one.

"Holy money. See, that’s why Kindles rule," you say as you reach into your Zuckerman’s pig-pink wallet and hand me your credit card even though you have enough cash in there to cover it. You want me to know your name and I’m no nut job and I swipe your card and the quiet between us is getting louder and why didn’t I put on music today and I can’t think of anything to say.

Here we go. And I offer you the receipt.

Thanks, you murmur. This is a great shop.

You’re signing and you are Guinevere Beck. Your name is a poem and your parents are assholes, probably, like most parents. Guinevere. Come on.

Thank you, Guinevere.

I really just go by Beck. Guinevere’s kinda long and ridiculous, you know?

"Well, Beck, you look different in person. Also, Midnite Vultures is awesome."

You take your bag of books and you don’t break eye contact because you want me to see you seeing me. Right on, Goldberg.

Nah, I just go by Joe. Goldberg is kind of long and ridiculous, ya know?

We’re laughing and you wanted to know my name as much as I wanted to know yours or you wouldn’t have read my name tag. "Sure you don’t wanna grab The Western Coast while you’re here?"

This will sound crazy, but I’m saving it. For my nursing home list.

You mean bucket list.

"Oh no, that’s totally different. A nursing home list is a list of things you plan on reading and watching in a nursing home. A bucket list is more like . . . visit Nigeria, jump out of an airplane. A nursing home list is like, read The Western Coast and watch Pulp Fiction and listen to the latest Daft Punk album."

I can’t picture you in a nursing home.

You blush. You are Charlotte’s Web and I could love you. Aren’t you gonna tell me to have a nice day?

Have a nice day, Beck.

You smile. Thanks, Joe.

You didn’t walk in here for books, Beck. You didn’t have to say my name. You didn’t have to smile or listen or take me in. But you did. Your signature is on the receipt. This wasn’t a cash transaction and it wasn’t a coded debit. This was real. I press my thumb into the wet ink on your receipt and the ink of Guinevere Beck stains my skin.


I came to know e. e. cummings the way most sensitive, intelligent men my age came to e. e. cummings, via one of the most romantic scenes in one of the most romantic love stories of all time, Hannah and Her Sisters, wherein an intelligent, sophisticated, married New Yorker named Elliot (Michael Caine) falls in love with his sister-in-law (Barbara Hershey). He has to be careful. He can’t casually make a move. He waits near her apartment and stages a run-in. Brilliant, romantic. Love takes work. She is surprised to run into him and she takes him to the Pageant Bookstore—are you catching a theme here?—where he buys a book of e. e. cummings poems for her and sends her to the poem on page 112.

She sits alone in bed, reading the poem, and he, meanwhile, stands alone in his bathroom thinking of her as we hear her reading. My favorite part of the poem:

Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.

Except for you, Beck. These past few days, I’ve learned so much. You put your tiny hands to work on yourself when the mood strikes, which it does, often, which reminds me of another joke in Hannah, where Mia Farrow teases Woody Allen that he ruined himself with excessive masturbation. You’re okay, I hope.

The trouble with society is that if the average person knew about us—you, alone, orgasming three times a night, and me, across the street, watching you orgasm, alone—most people would say I’m the fuckup. Well, it’s no secret that most people are fucking idiots. Most people like cheap mysteries and most people have never heard of Paula Fox or Hannah so honestly, Beck, fuck most people, right?

Besides, I like that you take care of yourself instead of filling your home and your pussy with a string of inadequate men. You’re the answer to every banal and reductive article about hook-up culture. You have standards and you are Guinevere, a love story waiting for the one, and I bet you capitalize The One when you dream of him. Of me. Everyone wants everything right now but you are able to wait with

Such small hands.

Your name was a glorious place to start. Lucky for us, there aren’t a lot of Guinevere Becks in the world—just the one. The first thing I had to find was your home and the Internet was designed with love in mind. It gave me so much of you, Beck, your Twitter profile:

Guinevere Beck


I’ve never had an unspoken thought. I write stories. I read stories. I talk to strangers. Nantucket is my homeboy but New York is my homebitch.

Your revealing bios at various online journals that publish your blogs (unless you want to call them essays), and your thinly veiled diary entries (unless you want to call them short stories), and the poems you write sometimes have fleshed you out. You are a writer born and raised on Nantucket and you joke about island inbreeding (but you aren’t inbred), and sailing (you are petrified of boats), and alcoholism (you lost your father to the bottle and write about it a lot). Your family is as tight as it is loose. You don’t know how to be here, in the city where nobody knows anybody, even though you had four years of practice as an undergrad at Brown. You got in off the wait list and you remain convinced that there was some sort of mistake. You like polenta and cherry pie Lärabars. You don’t take pictures of food or concerts but you do Instagram (but really only old things, pictures of your dead father, pictures of beach days you can’t possibly remember). You have a brother, Clyde. Your parents really were assholes about the names. You have a sister, Anya (serious assholes, but not the kind I thought). Real estate records show that your house has been in your family forever. You hail from farmers and you’re fond of saying that you don’t have a place on Nantucket, but that your family made a home there. Full of disclaimers, you’re like a warning label on a pack of cigarettes.

Anya is an islander and she’ll never leave. She’s the baby who wants nothing more than walks on the beach and the clear division of summer and the desolation endemic to a seasonal tourist trap. Anya is fucked in the head over your dad. You write about her in your stories and you turn her into a young boy or an aging blind woman or, once, a lost squirrel, but it’s clear that you’re writing about your sister. You envy her. How come she doesn’t have the weight of ambition? You pity her. How come she has no ambition?

Clyde is the oldest, and he gets to run the family’s taxi business on the island. He’s married with two kids and he’s the paint-by-numbers parent of the family. That much is clear from his picture in the local paper: a volunteer fireman, leather-skinned, standard-issue American man. Your dad has the record of any small-town boozer and he’s not above a DUI or a public intoxication and your brother responded by being the opposite—sober, extremely sober. If you had been born first, running the family business might have been an option. But you were a classic middle child and you did well in school and your whole life you were labeled the hope, the one who would get away.

The Internet is a beautiful thing and you sent a tweet an hour after we met that day:

I smell cheeseburgers. #CornerBistroIsMakingMeFat

And let me tell you, for a moment there, I was concerned. Maybe I wasn’t special. You didn’t even mention me, our conversation. Also: I talk to strangers is a line in your Twitter bio. I talk to strangers. What the fuck is that, Beck? Children are not supposed to talk to strangers but you are an adult. Or is our conversation nothing to you? Am I just another stranger? Is your Twitter bio your subtle way of announcing that you’re an attention whore who has no standards and will give audience to any poor schmuck who says hello? Was I nothing to you? You don’t even mention the guy in the bookstore? Fuck, I thought, maybe I was wrong. Maybe we had nothing. But then I started to explore you and you don’t write about what really matters. You wouldn’t share me with your followers. Your online life is a variety show, so if anything, the fact that you didn’t put me in your stand-up act means that you covet me. Maybe even more than I realize, since right now your hand is heading down to your cunt yet again.

The next thing the Internet gave me was your address. Fifty-One Bank Street. Are you fucking kidding me? This isn’t a frenzied Midtown block where harried worker bees storm to and from the office. This is tony, sleepy, ridiculously safe and expensive West Village real estate. I can’t just hang out on your block; I have to fit in with the la-di-da folk. I hit up the thrift store. I buy a suit (businessman and/or driver and/or kept man), carpenter pants and some kind of tool belt (handyman on a break), and a bullshit tracksuit (asshole taking care of his precious body). I wear the suit for my first visit and I love it here, Beck. It’s quintessential Old New York and I expect Edith Wharton and Truman Capote to cross the street hand in hand, each carrying a Greek paper cup of coffee, looking as they did in their heyday, as if they’d been preserved in formaldehyde. Princesses live on this block and Sid Vicious died on this block a long time ago, when the princesses were gestating, when Manhattan was still cool. I stand across the street and your windows are open (no curtains) and I watch you pour instant oatmeal into a Tupperware bowl. You are not a princess. Your Twitter confirms that you won some kind of real estate lottery:

Um, not to sound like @AnnaKendrick47, but I love you awesome nerds of the @BrownBiasedNYC and I can’t wait to move to Bank St.

I sit down on the stoop and Google. The Brownstone Biased Lottery is an essay contest for Brown University graduates who need housing for graduate school in New York. The apartment has stayed in the Brown family (whatever that means exactly) for years. You’re an MFA candidate in fiction writing, so it’s no surprise that you won a lottery that’s actually an essay contest. And Anna Kendrick is an actress in this movie Pitch Perfect, which is about college girls who sing in a cappella competitions. You see yourself in this girl, which makes no sense. I watched that Pitch movie. That girl would never live the way you do.

People pass by your parlor level apartment, ever so slightly above ground level, and they don’t stop to stare even though you’re on display. Your two windows are wide open and you are lucky this is not a well-trafficked street. This must explain the deluded sense of privacy you have. I return the next evening (same suit, can’t help it) and you walk around naked in front of the open windows. Naked! I hang out again across the street on the stoop and you don’t notice me and nobody notices you or me and is everyone here fucking blind?

Days pass and I grow anxious. You parade too much and it’s unsafe and it only takes one weirdo to spot you inside and decide to go and get you. A few days later I wear my carpenter costume and I fantasize about putting bars on your windows, protecting this display case you call a home. I think of this neighborhood as safe, and it is, but there’s deathliness to the quiet here. I could probably strangle some old man in the middle of the street and nobody would come outside to stop me.

I return in my suit (so much better than carpenter garb) and I wear a Yankees cap I found at another thrift shop (I’m that asshole!) to mix it up, just in case you were to notice, which you don’t. A man who lives in your building climbs the very small staircase (just three steps) that leads to an exterior door (it’s not locked!) and that door is so close to your apartment. If he wanted to (and who wouldn’t want to?), he could lean over the railing and rap his knuckles on your screen and call your name.

I come in the day, in the night, and whenever I am here, your windows are always open. It’s like you’ve never seen the nightly news or a horror movie and I sit on the steps of the brownstone across the tiny, clean street that faces your building and I pretend to read Paula Fox’s Poor George or pretend to text my business associates (ha!) or pretend to call a friend who’s late and loudly agree to wait another twenty minutes. (That’s for the neighbor who always might be hidden away, suspicious of the man on the stoop; I’ve seen a lot of movies.) With your open-door policy, I am allowed into your world. I smell your Lean Cuisines if the wind is right and I hear your Vampire Weekend and if I pretend to yawn and look up, I can see you loaf, yawn, breathe. Were you always like this? I wonder if you were this way in Providence, parading around as if you want your rarified neighbors to know you naked, half-naked, addicted to microwave foods, and masturbating at the top of your lungs. Hopefully not, hopefully there is logic to this that you’ll explain to me when it’s time. And you with your computer, as if you need to remind your imaginary audience that you’re a writer when we (I) know what you truly are: a performer, an exhibitionist.

And all the while, I have to be vigilant. I slick my hair back one day and wear it shaggy the next. I must go unnoticed by the people who don’t notice people. After all, if the average person was told about an often nude girl prancing around in front of an open window and a love-struck guy across the street watching, discreetly, most people would say I’m the nut. But you’re the nut. You’re just not called a nut because your pussy is a thing that all these people want to know about, whereas my whole being is abhorrent to your neighbors. I live in a sixth-floor walk-up in Bed-Stuy. I didn’t allow my nut sack to be raided by the College Loan Society of Bullshit. I get paid under the table and own a TV with an antenna. These people don’t want to touch my dick with a ten-foot pole. Your pussy, on the other hand, is gold.

I sip my coffee on the stoop across the street and grip my rolled-up Wall Street Journal and I breathe and I look at you. I never wear the tracksuit because you make me want to dress up, Beck. Two weeks pass and a portly dowager emerges from her quarters. I stand, fucked, but a gentleman.

Hello, madam, I say and I offer my assistance.

She accepts. It’s about time you young men learned how to behave, she rasps.

Couldn’t agree more, I say and the driver of her town car opens the door. He nods to me, brothers. I could do this forever and I settle back onto my stoop.

Is this why people like reality TV? Your world is a wonder to me, seeing where you lounge (in cotton panties bought in bulk online from Victoria’s Secret; I saw you tear into the package the other day) and where you don’t sleep (you sit on that couch and read crap online). You make me think; maybe you’re searching for that hot guy in the bookstore, maybe. This is where you write, sitting so erect with your hair in a bun and typing at bunny-rabbit speed until you can’t take it anymore and you grab that lime-green pillow, the same pillow you prop your head against when you nap, and you mount that thing like an animal. Release. This is where you sleep, at last.

Also, your apartment is small as hell. You were right when you tweeted:

I live in a shoebox. Which is ok bc I don’t blow Benjamins on Manolos. @BrownBiasedNYC #Rebel

My #BrownUniversity mug is bigger than my apartment. @BrownBiasedNYC #realestate #NYC

There’s no kitchen, just an area where appliances are shoved together like clearance floor samples at Bed Bath & Beyond. But there’s truth buried in your tweet. You hate it here. You grew up in a big house with a backyard and a front yard. You like space. That’s why you leave the windows open. You don’t know how to be alone with yourself. And if you block out the world, there you’d be.

Your neighbors go on, like children—town cars pick them up from their enormous nearby homes and redeposit them at day’s end—while you fester in a space meant for a maid or a golden retriever with a sprained ankle. But I don’t blame you for staying here. You and I share a love of the West Village and if I could move into this place, I would too, even if it meant slowly going insane from claustrophobia. You made the right choice, Beck. Your mother was wrong:

Mom says no lady should live in a shoebox. @BrownBiasedNYC #momlogic #notalady

You tweet more often than you write and this could be why you’re getting your MFA from the New School and not from Columbia. Columbia rejected you:

Rejection is a dish best served in a paper envelope because then at least you can tear it up or burn it. #notintoColumbia #lifegoeson

And you were right. Life did go on. Though the New School isn’t as prestigious, the teachers and students like you well enough. A lot of their workshops are accessible online. A lot of college is accessible online, which is yet another strike against the increasingly irrelevant elitist system that they call college. Your writing is coming along, and if you spent a little less time tweeting and spanking the kitty . . . But honestly, Beck, if I were in your skin, I’d never even put clothes on.

You like to name things and I wonder what you’ll name me. You are attempting to have a Twitter contest for the name of your apartment:

How about #Boxsmallerthanmybox

Or #PitchPerfectWatchingPad

Or #Yogamatclosetmistakenforapartment

Or #Placewhereyoulookoutthewindowandseetheguyfromthebookstorewatchingyouandyousmileandwaveand

A cabbie lays on his horn because some freshly showered asshole who crawled out of a Bret Easton Ellis rough draft that never saw the light of day is crossing the street without looking. He says sorry but he doesn’t mean it and he’s running his hand through his blond hair.

He has too much hair.

And he’s walking up those steps like he owns them, like they were built for him and the door opens before he’s there and that’s you opening the door and now you’re there, guiding him inside and kissing him before the door slows to a close and now your hands

Such small hands

are in his hair and I can’t see either of you until you’re in the living room and he sits on the couch and you tear off your tank top and climb on top of him and you grind like a stripper, and this is all wrong, Beck. He tears off your cotton panties and he’s spanking you and you’re yelping and I cross the street and lean against your building door because I need to hear it.

Sorry, Daddy! Sorry!

Say it again, little girl.

I’m sorry, Daddy.

You’re a bad girl.

I’m a bad girl.

You want a spanking, don’t you?

Yes, Daddy, I want a spanking.

He’s in your mouth. He barks at you. He slaps at you. Once in a while Truman Capote walks by and looks, reacts, then looks away. Nobody will report this to the police because nobody wants to admit to watching. This is Bank Street for fuck’s sake. And now you’re fucking him and I return to my side of the street where I see that he’s not making love to you. You’re grabbing his hair—too much hair—like it might save you and your stories. You deserve better and it can’t feel good, the way he grips you, big weak hands that never worked, the way he smacks your ass when he’s done. You hop off and you lean against him and he pushes you away and you let him smoke in your apartment and he ashes in your Brown mug—bigger than your apartment—and you watch your Pitch Perfect while he smokes and texts and pushes you away when you lean into him. You look sad and

Nobody in the world has such small hands

except for you and me. Why am I so sure? Three months ago, before you knew me you wrote this tweet:

Can we all be honest and admit we know #eecummings because of #Hannahandhersisters? Okay phew. #nomoreBS #endofpretension

See how you were talking to me before you even knew me? When he leaves, he isn’t holding Desperate Characters by Paula Fox. He is a blond misogynist popping his collar and blowing hair out of his eyes. He just used you and he is not your friend and I have to leave. You need a shower.


BEFORE you, there was Candace. She was stubborn too, so I’m gonna be patient with you, same way I was patient with her. I am not gonna hold it against you that in that old, bulky laptop computer of yours you write about every fucking thing in the world except me. I am no idiot, Beck. I know how to search a hard drive and I know I’m not in there and I know you don’t even own anything resembling a notebook or a diary.

One possible theory: You write about me in the notepad on your phone. Hope remains.

But, I’m not gonna pull away from you. Sure, you are uniquely sexual. Case in point: You devour the Casual Encounters section on Craigslist, copying and pasting your favorite posts into a giant file on your computer. Why, Beck, why? Fortunately, you don’t participate in Casual Encounters. And I suppose that girls like to collect things, be it kale soup recipes or poorly worded, grammatically offensive daddy fantasies composed by desperate loners. Hey, I’m still here; I accept you. And, okay. So you do let this blond creep do things to you that you read about in these Craigslist ads. But at least you have boundaries. That perv is not your boyfriend; you sent him into the street, where he belongs, as if you are disgusted with him, which you should be. And I have read all your recent e-mails and it’s official: You did not tell anyone that he was in your apartment, inside of you. He is not your boyfriend. That’s all that matters and I am ready to find you and I am able to find you and I owe that to Candace. Dear Candace.

I first saw Candace at the Glasslands in Brooklyn. She played flute in a band with her brother and sister. You would like their music. They were called Martyr and I wanted to know her right away. I was patient. I followed them all over Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. They were good. They weren’t ever going to be top forty, but sometimes they’d have a song featured in a wretched show for teenagers on the CW and their website would explode. They didn’t have a label because they couldn’t agree on anything. Anyway, Candace was the prettiest, the lead of the band. Her brother was your standard drummer fuckup douche bag and her sister was homely and talented.

You can’t just bum-rush a girl after a concert, especially when the band’s music is ambient techno electro shit and when her psycho controlling brother (who, by the way, would never be in a band were it not for his sisters) is always hanging around. I had to get Candace alone. And I couldn’t be some guy hitting on her, because of her protective brother. And I was going to die if I didn’t get to hold her, or at least make a step toward holding her. So I improvised.

One night, outside of the Glasslands where it all began, I introduced myself to Martyr as the new assistant at Stop It Records. I told them I was scouting. Well, bands like being scouted and there I was, minutes later, in a booth drinking whiskey with Candace and her irritating siblings. Her sister left; good girl. But her brother was a problem. I couldn’t kiss Candace or ask for her number. E-mail me, she said. I can take a picture of it and put it on Instagram. We love it when labels reach out.

So I did what any Elliot in Hannah would do. I staked out Stop It Records, a sad little joint, and noticed this kid they call Peters come and go every day.

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  • (3/5)
    I must say I was intrigued by this with the Netflix movie out and I'm glad I read the book. While the language in it is definitely not for the faint of heart, I liked reading with the stalker/killer's POV and what drove him to his madness/obsession. Yes Joe is crazy, stalker and obsessed with Beck. He kills people that are not good for her, he steals her stuff, he knows everything about her. Basically a straightforward story, no twists and you know what is going to happen at the end. No surprises and I'm okay with that. I really need to know what happens next with him so I'll more than likely read the next book.
  • (3/5)
    I listened to this on audiobook, which just made it that much more creepy.I think this was so different since it was from the stalkers POV. It was also very disturbing since the characters start dating. I thought it was going to get very intense, but I found myself losing interest. This could have been a little shorter as some stuff that happened did not bring anything extra/special to the storyline. This had so much more potential to be intense and “on the edge of your seat.” Great concept, but fell a little short.
  • (3/5)
    Als sie seine Buchhandlung betritt, ist es um Joe Goldberg geschehen. Doch Guinevere Beck, die alle nur mit ihrem Nachnamen anreden, hat Amors Pfeil nicht so tief getroffen, weshalb er ein wenig nachhelfen muss. Erst beobachtet er die Studentin nur, dann nutzt er eine Gelegenheit, um mit ihr wieder in Kontakt zu treten. Nun sitzt sie in der Falle. Beck entwickelt tatsächlich Gefühle für ihn, aber andere Dinge, vor allem andere Männer, beschäftigen sie ebenfalls. Also muss Joe diese nach und nach aus dem Weg räumen. Den anderen Typen, die Freundin, den Therapeuten. Da er ihre Mails mitliest, ist er ihr immer einen Schritt voraus und er ist sich sicher, sie wird am Ende schon erkennen, was gut für sie ist.Die Geschichte um den besessenen Bücherfreak, der eine junge Frau stalkt, um sie für sich zu gewinnen, klingt in der Grundanlage spannend. Tatsächlich fand ich den Anfang auch sehr überzeugend, die Dialoge sind hier lebendig und Joes Verhalten zwar übergriffig, aber doch nachvollziehbar. Es ist offenkundig, dass er sich zum Psychopaten entwickeln wird und die Situation sich zuspitzen muss, aber dies geschieht nur mit sehr vielen Schleifen und Längen, was leider der Spannung nicht zuträglich ist.Natürlich ist Joe besessen und krank, die Leichtigkeit, mit der er mordet, ist ohne Frage auch jenseits des normalen Verhaltensrahmens. Allerdings sind die anderen Figuren auch weit davon entfernt, was zum Teil aber auch an der nicht ganz stimmigen Figurenzeichnung liegt. Vor allem Beck ist in sich nicht glaubwürdig, von der talentierten und ehrgeizigen Studentin, die ein Stipendium für eine der besten Universitäten erhalten hat, ist gar nichts zu spüren. Sie ist dümmlich, naiv, völlig desinteressiert an ihrem Studium und scheint außer für den nächsten Mann, den sie aufreißen kann, keine Gedanken zu haben. Auch ihren Freundinnen rangieren in jeder Hinsicht auf dem geistigen Niveau von 13-Jährigen Dorfproletinnen, was den wohlhabenden und intellektuellen Hintergrund, den sie angeblich haben, in keiner Weise widerspiegelt.Das ewige Hin und Her zwischen Joe und Beck, die ja irgendwie mag, aber dann doch nicht, soll vermeintlich das große Finale hinauszögern und die Spannung steigern. Allerdings wird es irgendwann sehr müßig herauszufinden, warum Beck jetzt gerade doch wieder nicht will oder was ihre Freundin ihr nun serviert. Die Schleife ist leider auch so wiederholend und vorhersehbar, dass keinerlei Überraschung kommt. Joes Informationsbeschaffung und Überwachungssystem ist clever, auch sein Charakter in sich völlig stimmig – aber das ist zu wenig, um den ganzen Roman durch zu tragen.
  • (4/5)
    You by Caroline Kepnes is a thriller story about an obsessive stalker who poses as a Manhattan bookstore employee but is really living as a predator, hunting and tracking his victim. The book is unusual in that it is told entirely from the stalker’s point of view. The reader gets deep into Joe’s thoughts which are all involving the “You” of his current stalk. He meets Beck when she comes into the bookstore, but something about her attracts him and then they bond over literature.Joe sees Beck as his perfect match, but his way of worming into her life, leaves no doubt that this is not a romance, but deeply disturbing psychological behavior that is going to eventually implode. Joe uses technology to stalk Beck, and I don’t mean that he follows her on Twitter. He hacks into her e-mail, lifts her cellphone and monitors her text messages. He methodically removes anything or anyone that he sees is an obstacle all the while telling himself this is for her own good.The author excels at placing the reader firmly into Joe’s head and as he works through various situations the sense of impending doom heightens. You is a dark, twisted story that kept me totally engrossed and reading well past my bedtime.
  • (3/5)
    Biggest takeaway: I felt that the the author was preparing the way for a turn, a surprise, but it never happened. Credit, for writing in second person POV but the main character and his obsession are never quite convincing. Both probably contribute to the feeling that I had of an unreliable narrator but apparently that was unintended by the author.
  • (3/5)
    I actually forgot I owned this book until I started watching the show on Netflix. I got about three episodes into the show before I stopped watching so I could read the book. I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand the characters were frustrating annoying but on the other hand, it was like I was under a spell and I could not stop reading. I read an article where women were obsessed by Joe. They wanted him to "stalk" them. The actor who plays Joe in the Netflix show of course discourages this obsession. I do too. It is not flattering that someone is so obsessed by someone else that they will follow their every move and find a way to incorporate themselves into that person's life. Although, in a way, if you think about how Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media outlet is today. It is really an easy platform for people to "stalk" others online without getting too close. Beck I found the most annoying. She was not that interesting. She was almost as shallow as her friend, Peach. She suffered from low self esteem. Thus the reason that it was so easy for Joe to find his way into her life. I got the concept of the book and the factor of the use of the word "you". However, after a while, it did grow old. Again, back to my original feelings about the book. This is where I had the mixed feelings. While, I found the characters not to have the best endearing qualities; I as "obsessed" to keep reading this book as Joe did have a good storytelling voice.
  • (2/5)
    A friend loaned me this book with the disclaimer that she bought it based on the back cover blurb alone. As soon as you start reading, the language is pretty brutal and it’s VERY creepy. Overall I couldn't put it down and have already sought out the follow-up, so what does that say about me? Ha. It was very twisted but I think a lot of the language was over-the-top, and while it didn’t seem out of character for Joe, it could have been taken out and he would come off just as creepy and horrible.
  • (4/5)
    Such a unique reading experience! It was a little predictable, but honestly I didn't mind it because the 2nd person writing was so unique and different. This book was very creepy. It will have you looking out your window and checking over your shoulder. Very unique!
  • (2/5)
    Occasionally I’ll stumble upon a book with a very deceptive synopsis. Caroline Kepnes’ novel, You, is primarily marketed as suspense, and while that is not entirely misleading, readers should be aware that it borders heavily on erotica. While Kepnes makes some bold choices in her narration, too much focus on extreme violence and sex significantly detracts from plot and character.

    The protagonist, Joe, a twenty-something bookseller, immediately falls in lust with Guinevere, a young woman who walks into his bookstore. Despite being complete strangers, Joe creates an entire backstory for her in his head, and in the process immediately establishes himself as an unreliable narrator. Joe’s use of second person perspective fascinates, but while his voice is consistent, sometimes his highly passionate narration feels forced. As a result, many of the other main characters’ personality traits and quirks come off as exaggerated and shallow.

    To make matters worse, the plot jumps from strange to outlandishly bizarre in mere pages. Kepnes presents every character in the novel, including some who only appear for a few chapters, as the absolute worst of humanity. I have never been a proponent of disliking a book because the protagonist is unpleasant, but when all of the characters are off-the-wall insane, it becomes exceedingly difficult to find the will to continue reading.

    The heavily descriptive scenes of sex and violence, some real and many imagined, occur far too often. Joe’s obsession with Guinevere’s body not only verges on the obscene, but ends up annoying the reader with its repetition. Some scenes are so over-the-top, it would be laughable if it were not so disturbing. Moderation is often vital when it comes to making somewhat taboo topics believable, and moderation is what this book severely lacks.

    Besides the unique choice of narrative voice, Caroline Kepnes’ You is just another run-of-the-mill erotic thriller with page after page of predictable reveals, senseless violence, and exaggerated sensuality. While I wouldn’t recommend it, if you do find it absolutely necessary to check out the hype, at least it’s a quick read.
  • (4/5)
    Do you know that feeling when you finally get around to read that one book that all of your friends seem to love? You know..that book that you have been saving for a special occasion because you know that you are going to love it just as much as everyone else seems to? Then you read that book and cannot figure out what all the fuss was about. That pretty much sums up my relationship with this book. I didn't hate it but I definitely didn't love it either. My four star rating is an extremely generous rating but I decided to bump this book up just for its originality.I loved the idea of this book. A book about a stalker sounds pretty good right off the bat but the fact that the book is told from the stalker's point of view really took everything up a notch. I thought that I would really like being in Joe's head but once I was there, I found out that he rambles....a lot. Joe's rambling inner dialog is really what kept this book from being great for me. I was really ready for him to do some horrible things just so he would stop with the rambling.The book did have some really exciting moments. Joe's obsession with Beck is truly frightening at times. The way that he is able to find out so many things about her so easily is quite scary to think about. The things that Joe is willing to do in order to make sure that he can have Beck all to himself was beyond anything that I could have imagined. I did enjoy the second half of the book much more than I did the first largely because the more intense moments occurred in the second half of the story.There were a lot of things that I really liked about the book and looking back at it I do remember a lot of amazing moments. My issue with the book was that I found it very easy to put down. It seemed to take forever for this book to get to the good stuff and I am just impatient I guess. I didn't like any of the characters in this book. I went in thinking that I would love Joe but I really didn't. All of the other characters in this book annoyed me.I did like this book and plan to read the next book in the series very soon. I may have went into this book with unrealistic expectations. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to spend some time in the head of a true psychopath.
  • (5/5)
    A little dirty, but surprisingly captivating. I liked it much more than I expected. Be warned: Not for the easily-offended or prudish.
  • (5/5)
    Brilliant! Wow, talk about controlling...Ha!
  • (5/5)
    if you look at the word crazy in a dictionary, you'll see Joe the main character in this book. The more you read this book and about Joe, the more you canoot stop, you just want to know what happens next. Dark, at times freaky and with some humor. A pleasure!
  • (5/5)
    The first chapter is super creepy and it just builds from there! I really liked this book, and I really wanted to give it 5 stars! What kept me from it, and possible spoiler alert, is the scene(s) in Little Compton. The series of events seemed a bit of a stretch, and the behavior of the cop and the hospital staff was completely unbelievable. Completely. Take that part out, and it's 5 stars for meThe voice, the first person Joe, is awesome! Insane, brilliant, and creepy! Even creepier for me is that I agreed with him from time to time! (though not about stalking, killing, abducting, etc.) I hate Peach too!I loved the break down of the first line of "Nothing Compares 2 U" and the repetition and variation of it throughout the book!"It's been seven hours and fifteen days since you took your love away." - PrinceI really enjoyed all of the pop culture references: Pitch Perfect, Hannah and Her Sisters, Ikea, frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity (which I've actually had, thanks to my friend Dina!), Elton John, Dan Brown, Taylor Swift, a pickleback (?) I especially like Joe's rants about "Doctor Sleep" by Stephen King, my favorite author! Lots of chuckles from me during that!The stalking part of this is just crazy and as it is set in the modern day it shows the dangers of social media and the absurdly easy access of information on the internet as well! Just freaky! Like I said at the top, a creepy good read and I'm totally excited that there is a part 2! "... and people have to be careful or they wind up with lives they didn't want."
  • (3/5)
    We follow Joe as he chronicles, in real time, his relationship with Beck. Seems straightforward enough and the farthest thing from a thriller. What makes it a thriller, the relationship starts fast and hard, except only in Joe's head. Slowly, through creepy, extreme, stalker tactics, he wins Beck over. The most thrilling thing about this story is that everything is matter of fact. The twist is there is no twist. Everything Joe tells you is truth in fact. There's no night in shinning armor or alternate ending. This book makes you want to guess what will happen, how the "happy messed-up ending" will happen, but it turns out it's like life: you can guess, but you will be given the answer."
  • (4/5)
    I was in a reading slump, picking up books but not being engrossed by any of them, and then this beauty came along. A girl walks into an independent bookstore and has a conversation about books with the cute bookstore worker. She runs into him again...and again. She realizes that she has a lot in common with him and finds him attractive. Sounds like the start to a romantic movie, right?Yeah, not so much, because the cute bookstore worker is actually a stalker who is seriously deranged and has become dangerously fixated on the girl.Everything else is spoilers because the less you know going into this book, the better. Joe (the bookstore worker) is one of my favorite fictional characters from this year's books read so far. He's hilarious at times, scathing and sarcastic, and absolutely out of touch with reality. Reading the book from his perspective was both weird and amazing, and I wouldn't have changed a thing.As the book progresses, we see him seriously losing it - he kills two people, and we discover that they aren't his first kills, either. And, in the end, he kills Beck, because he can't handle the fact that she has found out who and what he is, and he sees that she is not perfect, and she was going to leave him for good. He cannot handle rejection.But even knowing that he is a murderer and etc, I couldn't help but feel attached to this character in a bizarre way. He's just so damned likable at times. It's really unnerving, and I love it when a book does that to me.A great book and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel!
  • (5/5)
    Reading this book was like reading Gone Girl. The writing is incredible. The story is addictive, but there is not one likable character in the whole book. Well, maybe a couple of OK people exist, but none of the main characters are likable at all. I did not even feel bad for them when they got killed. But the book is just GOOD. Although I never really related to Joe, our stalker/killer, he did have some funny moments. And the disdain he holds for everyone and everything went from annoying to fascinating. A game of what is he going to find wrong with the next person/place/thing he encounters. And he never failed me once. When someone can write such disgusting characters and still keep me loving the book, that is someone to pay attention to in the future. I'm already waiting for the second book at the library. As most reviewers have noted, this book is not for everyone. Joe is just nasty. So if you are sensitive to really icky language, you may want to steer clear.
  • (4/5)
    Obsession can be innocent or deadly. With Joe, it’s deadly.When Guinevere Beck enters Joe Goldberg’s bookshop, she has no notion of the consequences their mildly flirtatious banter will enable. Joe ought to know better. Joe has experienced consequences before. But from the moment he sees Beck and salivates that ‘You’re so clean you’re dirty’, his obsession with her envelops both their lives.== What’s it about? ==The storyline is obviously focused on Joe’s unrelenting quest to love Beck and, often more chillingly, to protect her, but there’s a lot about Joe and Beck to discover along the way. Joe works in an independent bookstore and this is far more than just a conveniently unpeopled setting: Joe judges people by their book selections and thoroughly enjoys discussing literature with Beck, who claims she has ambitions to become a writer but mostly spends her time writing emails and posting updates on social media sites. Oh, and masturbating using an old pillow in front of her uncurtained apartment windows.== What’s it like? ==Fascinatingly creepy. Disturbing. Entertaining.If you appreciate his biting tone and impatience with ‘fake’ people then you may be surprised to find yourself rooting for Joe rather than Beck, even as he attempts (fairly successfully) to isolate her from those friends he deems a threat. Joe is a fascinating character, at once brutally honest and fatally dishonest: he is clearsighted about everyone around him except for Beck and his own attentions to her.His emotional rollercoastering as Beck picks him up, drops him and picks him up again are far more likely to garner your reluctant sympathy than Beck’s persistent shallow attention to herself. Her egoism and self-centred nature seems like a perfect match for Joe’s, and while she craves attention, he wants nothing more than to give her his undivided attention. But of course, Joe is narrating this story, and while he’s not exactly unreliable, his viewpoint is very…focused. When Beck’s friend, Peach, complains that her apartment has been broken into and things stolen, Joe is indignant – albeit only in his head. ‘I didn’t BREAK IN and I didn’t move her CHAISE. I used a service key I found at the party….I brought an acrylic jacket for that Bellow, so the bitch should say THANK YOU.’ Ah. Well, that’s ok then… “I don’t think of him as a serial killer, but as a problem solver.” Caroline Kepnes on JoeAlongside the literary references (Stephen King, Dan Brown, e.e. cummings, Paul Fox, Salinger, ‘Charlotte’s Web’ and ‘The Western Coast’ all feature in just the first two chapters) there are masses of pop culture references and snippets of social media. While Joe (of course) abhors Facebook et al, he does find these sites frighteningly useful in the course of his various stalker-y activities, and reading this may well make you think twice about what you share online.== What’s not to like? ==There’s a lot of bad language, all of which is in keeping with Joe’s moods and general character, but which may not appeal to some readers. It’s not excessive but is prevalent. Similarly, there’s a lot of sex and masturbation, male and female, which is not overly detailed but may not suit more sensitive readers. ‘Punching him is gratuitous. But then, he did use the word excellent a dozen times in twenty f***ing minutes.’ JoeIf you don’t appreciate Joe’s worldview, then you may struggle to appreciate Joe, and he’s the heart of the book. There are also a couple of episodes where you might expect more to happen as a result of Joe’s actions, but nothing does and this seems a little unrealistic, no matter how charming he can be.Finally, Joe is, of course, a stalker. Women, or indeed men, who’ve experienced stalking might not see the humorous side here, especially as much of Joe’s first-person, ultra-knowing narration is directed at you.== Final thoughts ==I loved reading this and still can’t fathom how it took me two whole weeks to complete it, as every time I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. I would have enjoyed this for all the literary references and Joe’s cynical take on life alone, but his developing relationship with Beck is chilling and fascinating. Because they are each so vividly who they are, the ending is inevitable, but it’s a testament to Kepnes’ skill that it doesn’t feel inevitable and that your sympathy for Beck is only likely to surface at the end.As for the ending…Joe remains wonderfully, chillingly himself, and I look forward to reading more about him in Kepnes’ sequel, ‘Hidden Bodies’ (though I’m disappointed to learn that the action moves away from the bookshop). His narration is a masterpiece of understated creepiness and I look forward to reading more in a similar vein.
  • (4/5)
    You by Caroline Kepnes has to be one of the hardest books I’ve ever reviewed. Not because I don’t know what to say, but because I want to say SO MANY things that I’m not entirely sure how to do it. I mean, before I say anything else I should warn you: this is not a book for everyone. I think that the subject matter on its own is pretty far from ‘Young Adult’ and if you don’t like getting out of your comfort zone, then this book isn’t for you. I was really afraid of this book for the same reason. I never (read: not ever) read books that aren’t Young Adult, unless it’s a classic. But I jumped into this book regardless because I thought: 'well, I have nothing to lose’.I am so glad I requested this audiobook! It was amazing. If you get the chance, buy the audiobook. You’ll get the maximum reading experience out of it. You is narrated in a sort of second-person tense ("You finish sending a text message and relax your arms"; "You undress in front of the window without realizing everyone [including me] can see it"), and it totally achieves the eerieness and creepiness it was looking for. The protagonist is written spectacularly, because, he makes you want to sympathize with him. BUT HELLO, HE’S A STALKER! And yet, Joe is so good at rationalizing. It isn’t necessarily his fault that he decided to stalk Bec. Bec made it too easy because why would she have given him a credit card if she didn’t want Joe to trace it and find out her name and where she lived? It’s her fault ; she just had to leave her window open when she was undressing… It’s scary and at the same time thrilling hearing the way the narrator just makes this seem so nonchalant. As if there were nothing wrong, because, to his eyes, nothing is. The whole Bec/Joe relationship is another story altogether, and whoever classifies this book as a romance has got to read it again. This is not a romantic relationship at all. It’s the relationship between a stalker and an unsuspecting stalkee. It was troubling seeing how Joe could easily explain away things (like the fact that he knew what her favorite movie was and her career without even discussing it with her beforehand) and Bec believing it because it actually sounded plausible. What made this book was definitely the narration. The audiobook narrator is Santino Fontana, whom most of you may recognize as the voice of Hans on the Disney movie, Frozen. I had no idea that Santino could deliver such a performance! He perfectly captured the ‘wholesome’ and ‘put together’ persona that Joe always tried to exude, while still sounding completely terrifying and intimidating. He didn’t need to yell or raise his voice to scare you; with only a certain inflection he would become a completely different person. It was terrifying; it was brilliant. Overall, I definitely recommend this book. It was one of my favorite (and most surprising) reads of 2014. The audiobook narration shines and makes the story all the more amazing. If this is a book you think you can tackle, definitely do. 4.5 stars
  • (4/5)
    Reportedly the next "Gone Girl", this is a big read with too many switcheroos and too little editing. Protagonist Joe is a bookstore manager who falls in love with a flirty patron, Beck, and plunges into her life. He's aided tremendously by the fact that her "lost" cellphone has ended up in his hands. This is social media stalking at its most blatant, as Joe follows Beck, a very beautiful, shallow, and troubled grad student through her Facebook, Twitter, and various texts on her phones. He's creepy, as are all stalkers, but perhaps his worst quality is falling so desperately in love with someone whose self-centered lies are so obvious. Joe plays Beck, Beck plays Joe, Joe plays Beck's friends. There is one redeeming character, Ethan (like the sister in Gone Girl) the bookstore clerk, but he's not enough to prop up all the insanity that swirls around the two main characters. This could have been shorter by about 75 pages, which would have sharpened the edges. Confession: I did stay up all might reading it, but it was like eating too much chocolate at one sitting - I didn't feel good when I was done.
  • (4/5)
    Read from July 04 to 09, 2015Dude. This book is messed up. I came to this book because of Brad Thor's recommendation on the Today Show -- it was his steamy summer rec. The first third I had to work to get past the use of second person, but I couldn't stop reading. Joe -- our narrator -- tells us the story as if he's talking directly to another person. This other person is Beck. A young woman that comes into his bookshop one day that Joe becomes obsessed with. We quickly learn Joe is straight up crazy town and we are in his wacko head the entire book. It's fascinating. Truly.
  • (5/5)
    I could hardly put this book down. It was so addicting, I couldn't break away from it hardly at all. I really enjoyed the characters they all played off of each other very well. The two main characters were sickos so that made it more interesting, talk about a match made in Heaven.The ending was fantastic, I think a follow up would be great for this book. Ms. Kepnes, really came out with a fabulous debut.
  • (5/5)
    #hashtag #youwillundersatandwhenyoureadthebook #whyareyounotreadingthebook ... A stunning debut novel that really is a send up on popular culture, social media, contemporary values, dating and obsession, stalking, pretentiousness, and so much more. Never would have have thought I would have laughed as much as I did reading a book about a serial killer who falls in love, but this book is unique, and its commentary on modern life sharply witty. I also cannot believe a woman author nailed the main male character so well... kudos. Starts a tad slowly, but once you are hooked, you will stay tightly focused to the pages until you know how the story turns out. A thriller like no other. #reallytimetogetreading
  • (4/5)
    Liked this much more than I thought I would. The experimental second person style adds to the tale rather than distracting and making it hard to read, which was my fear.
  • (3/5)
    Not sure about this book. I loved the premise of it. I didn't like any of the characters and I didn't actually care whether they lived or died. I would have enjoyed it much more without the many, extremely descriptive sex scenes. However, I did want to know what happened in the end.
  • (5/5)
    *received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

    I gave this book 5 STARS... I did this for many many reasons. First I want to start off telling you that this is one of those books that you will either not like or LOVE! I LOVED it. It isn't your every day run-of-the-mill book. It's a deep and twisted psychological driven book.

    It's twisted and fucked up! For some, it may be hard to follow. I will tell you why... First, the writing style isn't what your normal reader is used to. It truly takes talent to write an entire book in second-person. With the second-person writing comes the pop culture aspect. Caroline uses so many pop culture references, I even didn't get all of them. And I am pretty sure I should have. Then you have the mental state of the main characters.

    Joe, is obviously disturbed. I spent a greater part of the book trying to diagnose him. He is so messed up in the head. However, Beck doesn't really have all of her screws either. After all, she becomes close with her stalker... And in some ways, once she realizes he has been stalking her, she seems half okay with it.

    This book is a journey with an ending. I say it that way for a reason. It's not necessarily happy or sad or earth shattering.

    If I had to categorize this book, it would be in the MUST READ FUCKED UP book category. Since that category only exists in my head, I would say it's part new adult and part psychological thriller. I read this book about a month ago, and I still find myself daydreaming about it with the confused head tilt. No lie!
  • (4/5)
    Joe is an unassuming guy you see working in a bookstore. He first sees you in the F-K aisle of the fiction section. You both have a slightly flirty conversation while you buy some books and then you leave. You are mostly likely dismissive of the incident, but he isn't. It sticks in his mind as he obsessively Googles every tiny fact he can find about you. He knows about your blog where you write stories about thinly veiled events in your life. He finds your apartment and watches you from across the street. You don't have curtains, so it's easy for him to wear different clothes and watch your most intimate actions for as long as he wants, unnoticed by you or your neighbors. You are also unaware that he has been in your apartment, hacked into your computer, stolen your underwear, and invaded your most personal space. You are now dating him after a few more very convenient meetings and you have no idea what he's done.You is from the point of view of Joe, creepy misogynistic stalker. Of course he views himself as a completely normal guy. He realizes that people on the outside would see him as creepy and disturbed, but he dismisses it as a misunderstanding. If they knew him and his situation, they would think he was as normal as he did. The narrative creeps under your skin because he seems to have no idea how horrible he is. Everything is nonchalantly described: Joe watching his object of affection Beck in her most intimate moments dressed up in a suit across the street from her apartment; Joe following her every move when she's away from him; Joe kidnapping her current boyfriend, holding him in a cage, and sending offensive tweets so she will break up with him. While Joe idolizes and worships Beck, he's also quick to condemn her behavior if it's outside his imagining of her and act as if he has to educate her. Throughout his tale, women frequently do not figure well. He is always more knowledgeable and wise while they just need to be educated. None of the negative events in his life are ever his fault and this isn't the first time he has done this level of stalking, nor will it be the last. After a while of reading from his narrative, it's easy for his insane behavior to be normalized. When things start going well, I found myself rooting for him a little, at least until he did the next creepy thing or made a particularly offensive comment about women. I love books like this because you see right into the mind of someone who is horrible and you see how and why they justify doing the awful things they do. The object of his affection is Beck, real name Genevieve. She isn't perfect. Actually, she's a bit of a mess. Her boyfriend is an annoying narcissist who treats her life garbage. Her best friend lies constantly and tries to separate Beck from everyone else in her life. It's a crazy random happenstance that so many horrible people are in her life. Adding Joe to the mix just pushes it over the edge. Seeing into her short stories, emails, blog entries, and text messages gave an honest view of who she was. She does things that everyone does, but hopes no one knows about: lies about what she's doing, lies to get what she wants, blows people off to spend time with other people, and talks about people behind their backs. It's a bit jarring to see so much about one person and makes me wonder what someone would think if they had that access to all of my things. I like that she isn't portrayed as perfect, no matter how much Joe wants her to be. She's just a normal girl with a whole lot of crazy people around her.I had a few problems with the novel. It takes an extreme suspension of disbelief that Beck is some sort of crazy person magnet. She did have some fairly normal friends (who of course she always dismissed when seeking help), but the biggest figures in her life where the narcissistic boyfriend, obsessive Joe, and hypochondriac best friend. The other problem was that Joe's obsessive tendencies could have been pushed further for me. For much of the novel, he's just doing invasive things like snooping. He obviously has the capacity for more, but doesn't reach it very often. I expected the level of John Fowler's The Collector, but it fell quite a bit short. I hope the next book, Hidden Bodies, raises the creep factor to eleven. Overall You was enjoyable and well written, but a few things pushed believability and it could have been way more disturbing.
  • (4/5)
    You is the deliciously creepy new novel from Caroline Kepnes. When Guinevere Beck walks into a New York bookstore, she immediately catches the eye of the clerk, Joe. A light flirtatious conversation ensues, but for Joe it is much more than that. Beck is the one he's been looking for. They're meant to be together. But Joe wants to make sure everything is right first - so he begins gathering information.... he discovers where Beck lives, begins watching her home, stalking her online profiles and hacks into the cell phone she 'lost' at the bookstore. You is told entirely from Joe's point of view in an unending, seriously disturbed stream of consciousness narrative. The matter of fact attitude in dealing with roadblocks (Beck has a boyfriend already) to his ultimate goal (Beck) is truly chilling. But just as frightening is his ability to explain and rationalize almost anything. Beck isn't quite the golden girl Joe envisions. But no matter, they will be a beautiful couple. He just has to win her over - bit by bit. None of the main characters in You are likable. And yet, when I thought about Joe and Beck, it is actually Joe that elicits a modicum of sympathy. I know! Beck is the 'stalkee' and the one in seeming danger, but I really didn't like her at all. Kepnes's character development was excellent. Kepnes has penned her own version of the 'stalker' novel. It's different - and it's darn good. Kepnes has written for Entertainment Weekly and television. She knows how to grab the reader and hold them. I was hooked from first page to last. And I started getting a little paranoid after the first few chapters..... I loved the ending. This one has film written all over it.
  • (5/5)
    This was an obsessive, addictive read. My desire to know how this scenario was going to play-out made me feel a little creepy, but I couldn’t stop listening to it. It’s not so much that I liked these characters; no, it was like watching a train wreck in slow motion and not being able to look away.Joe is a stalker. From the day he encounters Beck in the bookstore his desire to know everything about her, to control her, becomes an obsession. He steals her phone, he reads her email and tweets, he schemes to get rid of her sometimes boyfriend, Benji, he intensely dislikes one of her friends.What makes this book so compulsive is the way it is written from the point of view of Joe, the stalker. But it’s not written in the first person – it’s written in the second person, and it is very, very effective. Joe rambles on to himself at length attempting to justify his actions, all the while explaining them to Beck who he refers to as… You.I can’t recall another second personal narrative I’ve enjoyed this much. The dialog is clever, the story twisted and original. The author effectively gets into the head of a psychopath and we get a peek at what he’s thinking. And it’s not just his thoughts about Beck and her friends. He has disdain for the bookstore customers and their reading choices. He goes into a hysterical rant about the type of customers buying the new Stephen King book, Doctor Sleep, on release day…6:08 and the next dude in line is buying the new King and The Shining just to be bold — he calls The Shining a prequel and I want to cut his face — and what an awful world it is out there, Beck. What a miracle that you came in here, so happy, when most of the people who come in are so miserable, everyone except for you and me and Curtis, who holds the door for Mr. Shining and starts with his bullshit.Ummm, note that Beck is not there. The stalker is talking to himself, to You. And he does like King, just not his readers. And the rant continues.I alternated between feeling terrified by Joe and the thought that there are people like him walking the streets, to feeling sorry for him and coming dangerously close to empathizing with him! He is so needy at times. And then there’s that cage he has in the basement and I am back to feeling creepy.The book has been described as a romantic thriller because (without getting spoilery) Beck and Joe doget together, sort of. And in a way, they are perfect for each other… or maybe I should say, deserve each other.Audio productionThe audio was narrated by Santino Fontana, a new voice for me, and he did a fantastic job making me think I was listening to an obsessive, unbalanced person. He portrayed Joe with emotion and feeling… kind, impatient, angry, frustrated… easily switching between Joe’s many moods. It added to the aura of unease knowing that someone like Joe was watching Beck’s every move, or could be watching any of us!One warning – there is some explicit sexual content and more than a few swear words. While I thought the audio enhanced the book, hearing rather than reading may not be for everyone. If this doesn’t bother you, then definitely try the audio.
  • (4/5)
    Pyschological thriller that makes you aware of every social media example that a stranger can find you and stalk you.