Tuesday, December 29, 2015

YOU are My Obsession . . .

Have you ever had that feeling that someone was watching you?

Have you ever felt that something just didn't feel right?

What would you do if you knew that someone would do ANYTHING to have you in their life?

Before I begin this review, I want to state that, in being a dark fantasy/psychological thriller author, there are still some things that will make me jump out of my skin and/or creep me out so much that it takes a cup of Earl Grey, playing World of Warcraft, or watching the movie JAWS to calm me down. The book YOU by Caroline Kepnes is one of those things.

Joe is a mild mannered and somewhat asshole-ish bookstore employee in New York City who thinks himself to be way above those who enter into his domain to purchase the latest from Stephen King or some classic novel that he knows they will never read. However, his world is literally turned upside down when a young girl named Guinevere Beck walks into the store and into Joe's heart. At once, he begins to track her down through Facebook and other social media platforms; thus begins one of the most disturbing books I've ever read . . . except for Traumatized by author and good friend Alexander Brown (love you!)

YOU is told from Joe's perspective, making it hard to just "walk away" from his actions. He wants the world to see what he is doing. He wants you, the reader, to never stop reading his every move and the fact that he's proud of them. He claims his actions are for Beck, but are they? From convincing the maintenance guy that he is Beck's boyfriend so that he could enter her apartment, to stealing items from her apartment to create the Box of Beck, to considering and planning murder. It's all for love, baby, can't you see that? I began reading YOU early Monday morning. I snuck in pages while at work. I raced home to read more of the book and at 7:10, completed it, only to have a ten minute talk with myself about what I had just read. I even messaged dear friends of mine to explain why I needed a hug, a puppy, and ice cream with sprinkles. YOU left me feeling creeped out, dirty, heartbroken, angry, and just sad.


While the story may not be an original one, Kepnes adds her voice and weaves a sinister tale that, thankfully enough, makes you want to read the last pages of the book - a sample from her new book Hidden Bodies. Joe reminded me of a new breed of Tom Ripley; if you have not read the book The Talented Mr. Ripley, I highly recommend it. You'll see what I mean.

Thank you, Caroline, for creeping me out just enough that I will watch my back every time I enter a bookstore.


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