You by Caroline Kepnes

February 5th, 2015 Kimberly Review 83 Comments

5th Feb
You by Caroline Kepnes
by Caroline Kepnes
Series: You #1
Narrator: Santino Fontana
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
Genres: Suspense Thriller
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 4 cups

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.

You by Caroline Kepnes offers a twisted thriller that will sink its hooks in you. Christy @ Love of Booksdemanded suggested  that I read this. It went on sale and I snagged it. Loupe @ Hot Listens said the narration was out of this world so I grabbed the audio version. They were both right. You was brilliant, twisted and combined with Santino Fontana narration I was completely trapped inside Joe’s mind and I friggin’ loved it.

“You blush. You are Charlotte’s Web and I could love you.”

Joe Goldberg’s works at a bookshop in the East Village when Guinevere Beck enters and makes a purchase. As Joe checks her out they chat for a few minutes and Joe feels a connection. What transpires next exposes our vulnerability in the digital age. Joe manipulates his way into Beck’s life and she unknowingly welcomes him.

“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.”

Kepnes delivers the tale completely from Joe’s point of view allowing us to ride along as he manipulates and creates. He is the composer and Beck’s life his masterpiece. This is not a romance, yet there IS a romance and it is brilliant. What impressed me the most was the author’s ability to make me like this anti-hero. Joe is so wrong and I should run, but I could not. He made me laugh, terrified me and yet I was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. I was impressed by how cleverly Kepnes exposed his inner workings. The dark humor woven into the tale, especially when Joe finds himself in trouble made me giggle even if it was twisted and wrong. *grins*

If you have ever watched or read Dexter than you know what it is like seeing Joe interact with others. He is a little odd, but does not seem to be a threat, heck he is even shall we say sweet. Kepnes captured this brilliantly. Have I said brilliantly too much? I am at a loss for words. Fans of movies, books and pop culture will love the references Joe makes. All of them take place in the commentary that is constantly running in his mind.

“You are a woman and I am a man and we belong in the dark together.”

The entire time you are reading/listening to this the outside world will slip away and as you begin making a checklist of the stupid, seemly innocent things Beck did. Kepnes will  have you questioning your tweets, and Facebook status. You will expose your own vulnerabilities and the realism makes it all the more suspenseful and chilling.

“You are not easily rescued”

Santino Fontana the narrator brought Joe to life. His narration was superb and notched up the chills. He nailed the dark humor, Joe’s frustration,  and his seductive awkwardness. It added a level of brilliance to the story providing a perfect marriage of voice and story.

You is the type of story that you become caught up in, and yes the premise behind it is a scary one. Perhaps you will walk away a little wiser about social media. Perhaps you will take a second glance at a stranger and wonder…but is that such a bad thing?

“The problem with books is that they end.”


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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

83 Responses to “You by Caroline Kepnes”

  1. Shannon

    Santino Fontana! Holy moly, this book was already on my radar but now it’s definitely going to the top of my list. I haven’t done an audiobook in a long time, though, and a lot of times I don’t get as much out of them as I do print copies.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Folks who read it seem to like it just as much..regardless of the format I hope you love it Shannon

  2. Olivia

    Contrary to you, I haven’t really been seeing many positive reviews for this one. It does sound dark and suspenseful but I am still not sure. I have seen it compared to Gone Girl a lot but seeing as I haven’t read that yet I don’t know 🙁

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is dark, twisted and different. It has vibes similar to Gone Girl, but is unique.

  3. Trish

    I love twisted and wrong! Great review Kim! I have it and can’t wait to dive in to the darkness soon 🙂

  4. benish khan

    I’ve read this creepy book before, and I enjoyed it beginning to the end. I’m really glad you liked it as well – It’s a good thing the novel is something other than romance. Great detailed review 🙂

  5. Ramona

    Oh my god, I would’ve totally missed this if you hadn’t posted this – and what a pity that would’ve been, right? Amazing review, this is going on my to-read shelf, marked “urgent”. Thanks for sharing, Kimba, this is great!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, enjoy I look forward to seeing what you think of Joe 🙂

  6. Lily B

    gah another book I need to go and look into now, I always like a good thriller! Now I know where to go to find some suggestions for one o.o

  7. Madiha

    I honestly don’t understand how people keep up with audiobooks because then there’s so much detail you forget almost immediately, but wow, for this one I really want to give it a try!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Forget details? What? I can quote from audios I listen to. Do you have trouble remembering what you listened to? I know some folks have difficulty and need to read to process. I think though, that the more you listen the better you become. I’ve listened to over 50 audios in the past 14 months and I think that helps.

  8. Sarah

    HOLY. CRAP. This might be the second book this year that I read that isn’t romance! Wow, it really does sounds spectacular. Christy recommended I read it awhile ago, and it’s on the TBR, but I really haven’t given it much thought since her review until now.

  9. Lupdilup

    I’m was so thrilled when I found out you enjoyed too! Thanks for the mention, I’m so glad my recommendation work. The narration is simply brilliant!!! And one of my favorites of 2014. The next one should be coming out soon! I hope 🙂

  10. Candace

    I hadn’t heard of this before but it does sound like something I might like. I’m hit or miss with thrillers but this one sounds like one that might work for me. Glad you enjoyed it so much!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It has a different feel and I loved how creeptastic it was 🙂

  11. Reanna

    I snagged the Kindle edition back in November, and when I finally started it, I remembered you said the audio version was amazing. You were right. I think I needed to hear part of the audio so I had Joe’s voice. I couldn’t nail it down before that LOL! But yes, this book is a serious mind *@$%!

    Now I’m dying for the sequel, and I hope they use the same narrator 🙂

  12. Lexxie

    Oh my goodness, Kim, I think this is definitely a story I need to either read or listen to as well! It sounds both chilling and fun, it’s the kind of thing that could definitely happen in this day and age. Having someone stalk her sounds scary, but it seems like she doesn’t even realize this at all, so it makes the readers kind of complicit with Joe.
    Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Joe is complicated and I loved getting inside his twisted little head

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Suspense is good, and getting inside a crazy guy’s head is cool.

  13. Silvia

    It does sound really good! You’re on fire with audiobooks lately, aren’t you? I’m glad you keep finding such great stories to listen to 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL these are from December..I went crazy on the

  14. Heidi

    Was Christy cracking her knuckles and threatening you to read this? I have my ARC and I must move it up. I really want to get inside Joe’s head. Thanks for the reminder, I better get this read before Christy comes and kicks my arse.

    • kimbacaffeinate but she kept me reminding me..i cracked in December and the audio was fantastic.

  15. Stacy (StacyHgg)

    I just went online to my library and they have the Audiobook for download so YAY! (Although I’m #10 in line, LOL)
    I love when an Author can make me like an anti-hero. I know I’m supposed to cringe, and when I don’t I question my sanity, and morality–but that’s okay 😉

    • kimbacaffeinate

      psst…..I find these creepy, twisted characters so fascinating. You are not alone

  16. Tammy

    Oh wow I NEED to read this! The Dexter reference alone makes me want to drop what I’m reading right now, ha ha! Awesome review, Kimberly!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Tammy, and his mind reminds me of Dexter…..enjoy!

  17. aurian

    Wow, that sure sounds creepy, and makes me double happy that I am hard to find using social media. I don’t think I want to read it, but I could make my stepdaughter read it in the hope she gets some sense in her head.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ah, fear through reading. It was interested getting inside his mind and seeing how he operated.

  18. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Some people love it, others hate it…I am on the fence. I started it, and for whatever reason, wasn’t in the mood for it, so I stopped. I am sure I’ll return to it. Thanks for sharing.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I totally think audio is the way to approach You. Maybe you can try again later.

  19. Livia

    Oh my God. I’m picking this up right now, I don’t care about my TBR list or anything else, lol. Hardcore desire.

    *rushes off to get the book*

  20. Sophia Rose

    Someone else told me this book was brilliant and shivery. sounds like it was a hit for you too. I eventually want to give it a go.

  21. Mary

    OMG. This sounds positively creepy!! And all too realistic. If you’re not completely off the grid or locked down on social media, you’re so vulnerable to nutters!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is very hard in this day and age to stay off the grid. It was creepy and oh so good

  22. Jenny

    I need to read this Kim! It’s been on my list since Christy posted her review, but I haven’t had a chance to get to it yet. Clearly that’s a fail. I love a good anti-hero, one I know is bad news on so many levels but yet someone I can’t help be drawn to. Can’t wait to read!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ooo yeah start with something will be hooked. I recommend this or Girl on a Train

  23. Felicia the Geeky Blogger

    I totally should have listened to this on audio (I DNF’d the hardcover). I wanted to love this because let’s be real—totally up my twisted alley. However, I just couldn’t get the characters to come to life for me. I think the audio would have solved that problem (I even gave it 200 pages). I might go back and try it in audio 🙂

  24. Nick

    I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book! I saw the book at B&N but it was so expensive. I’m gonna go see if the library has it. I love twisty books and this seems like the ultimate twisty book.
    Lovely review, Kim!

  25. Melanie Simmons

    This looks really interesting. I love when you have find a narrator that can really make a thriller even more scary. I’m adding this one to my TBR list.

  26. Jeann

    What interests me about this book is that it’s told from the stalker’s point of view, which is totally creepy and would really creep me out! I haven’t seen Dexter, not sure if I could stomach it but this one would be weirdly fascinating. Thanks for the review Kimba!

  27. Cynthia

    I am so glad you loved this one. I loved it so, so, so much. I read this earlier this year and I think it’s one of the best ones I have read so far. I think I may need to check out the audio version. I have heard rave reviews about that one. I want to hear someone do Joe’s voice because I am sure it would be super creepy.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The audio version made my top ten for 2014. (yes I post this far out. I listened to this in early December)

  28. Melliane

    Oh that’s great! SO many things in this book. I’m glad it delivered so many things and that it was that good! It’s the first time I hear about it but I think I need to keep it in mind now. thanks for the review!

  29. Christy

    I seriously want to shove this book down everyone’s throat. lol. And no, I don’t think you can say brilliant enough when it comes to You. 😀

  30. kindlemom1

    Wasn’t this just freaking crazy? Darn Christy and the books she makes me read. 😛

    There is going to be a sequel to this and I can’t wait, it is going to be messed up in the best way possible!