Chillingly, Disturbingly, Unrelentlessly YOU

YOU By Caroline Kepnes Book Review

Victorianna Beels, Copy Editor

   In September of 2014, thriller novel YOU by debut author Caroline Kepnes was published, taking the world by storm. Since the books release, it has been read by many, including famed writer Stephen King and was even given a Netflix adaptation original series in 2018.

   After reading this incredible novel, I now understand why one of most incredible authors of our time, Stephen King, called the book “Hypnotic and scary… Totally original.” 

   From the first of the 428 pages, I was glued to the compelling “love story” of Joe Goldberg and Guinevere Beck.

   The hypnotic story of the two young lovers begins in New York City, when a beautiful, young, aspiring writer Beck took a step into the East Village bookstore where stunning young man, Joe, works. Being completely enamored by her, Joe does what anyone would do: he decides to Google the name on her credit card.

   Lucky for him, there is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a way too public Facebook account and tweets incessantly. This avid use of social media gives Joe access to everything he needs to know about his new obsession. Guinevere Beck goes to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street uptown, and she is meeting with her friends up at a Brooklyn bar tonight, the perfect place for their “completely by chance” journey together to begin.

  This book is not just any thriller novel: it is so much more than that. The most unique part of this book is not the story line or the characters, it is the way it is written. Although the story was incredibly interesting, the thing that pulls the reader in the most is the perspective that the book is written in. 

   For example, the book begins with, “ 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…” 

   By writing the book this way, Kepnes really does a good job at drawing the readers into the story and makes them feel like they are in Joe’s mind, which is an incredibly new, unique perspective for a story to take.

   Even though Joe does some really bad things, the reasoning he puts behind them makes so much sense that his actions are forgivable and rationalized. The perspective and understanding that the reader has with Joe leaves them almost rooting for him when he is trying to kill somebody or do something heinous.

   If anybody is looking for a thrilling, incredibly written, interesting novel, check out YOU. It is such a hard book to put down when you have to stop reading and it is definitely something that will not be regretted. It not only gives you insight on what social media can reveal about someone, but it also makes for a great read.