This one has definitely stayed with me. We were three weeks into COVID-19 quarantine when I read this book in two days. Confession - we binged the Netflix series first, watching the entire first two seasons in about a week. Not only could we not wait to watch each episode, but did I mention we were in quarantine? - so bed time was not a factor. I loved the Netflix series so much I had to read the book and ended up binging it too.
Caroline Kepnes has given us a real psychological thriller here. This is the first book in the "You" series and it is the first season of the Netflix show. The story is told from the POV of Joe who works at a bookstore in New York, plus he's "a bit" obsessive and a stalker, oh and a psychopath! And even knowing all of that I can't help but like him. It's crazy, I know and so is the story.
Joe meets Beck. When Joe falls for someone, there is no one else, he is laser focused and he will do anything, yep anything, to make sure that she falls for him too. He is funny, charming, and he knows exactly what to say and what Beck needs to hear. He rationalizes all of his thinking and actions and it's quite disturbing. It's like a bad car wreck; you don't want to see it and at the same time, you can't look away.
The one thing I did like better in the Netflix series was a neighbour boy that doesn't exist in the book. That relationship and what happens in the show is both endearing and shocking and adds a bit more depth. That being said, there is plenty going on in the book that lets you see who Joe really is, and there's enough surprises too.
If you've seen the Netflix show "Dirty John" or know that story, it's kind of like that except fictional with a more likable character.
I haven't read the second book, Hidden Bodies, but hope to before the third one comes out. I don't believe a publication date has been set for it yet so there is time to catch up if you want to check this out. Enjoy and stay tuned for the Hidden Bodies review when I eventually get to it.
Bookworm Rating: 🐛🐛🐛🐛