You (You #1) & Hidden Bodies (You #2) by Caroline Kepnes ~ #bookreview

~Jennifer~ | 2:16 PM | | |

Book One

Title: You
Series: You #1
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Published: 9/30/14
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books                          
Source: Borrowed from library

My Rating:


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.

I'm going through a thriller phase right now. Over the last couple of months, I've read four or five of them and have enjoyed them all. After reading a review for Behind Closed Doors, I happened to see a comment on the review recommending this series, and that's all it took. I was sold.

You was edgy, scary and fun. I love unreliable narrators, and it was pretty clear from the beginning I couldn't trust Joe's version of events. He's a stalker, for one, and two, he has a distorted view of what a relationship should be like.

I'm still trying to figure out how he finagled his way into transforming himself from Beck's stalker to her boyfriend. Obviously she didn't realize she was being stalked, but still. He's just so smooth that one would never suspect there's a dark and dangerous side to him. He's well read and intelligent, and on the outside appeared to be "normal."  

For a few weeks everything's peachy, but I knew Joe and Beck were heading off the rails at any moment. He was too freaky about her, and really, I didn't think there was anything special about her. She was quite annoying as a matter of fact - someone I'd never want to hang out with.

As unhealthy and unattainable his views on relationships are, Beck was never going to give him what he wanted. I saw that from the get-go. She had issues herself, like a complete lack of self respect and the attention span of a gnat. 

You had plenty of surprises and held my attention throughout, and as weird as this sounds, I actually wanted more of Joe. He weaves an interesting tale and seeing the inner workings of his mind is disturbing but also like a train wreck - you can't look away.     

Book Two

Title: Hidden Bodies
Series: You #2
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Published: 2/23/16
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio  
Narrated by: Santino Fontana
Length: 13 hours, 3 minutes                                          
Source: Borrowed from library

My Rating:,13038083


Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice...  

*Audiobook edition review*

Hmmm...Hidden Bodies didn't live up to its predecessor, You. I think part of the problem was the emphasis on secondary characters who weren't interesting. Joe seemed tamer this time around, and there were parts I had to listen to repeatedly because I kept zoning out leaving me to wonder if I missed something important. But nope, I never did. Those moments were mostly in the beginning when Joe meets his new girlfriend Love's family. There just wasn't enough of what made the first novel so likable for  me.

I listened to a huge chunk of Hidden Bodies in one day once I was in the middle of the story - I had to know what was going to happen! Another strange thing I encountered was some of the story depressed me, and I almost had to take a break from listening but didn't really want to stop. I became so wrapped up in it I had to remind myself I wasn't in the story, and that's likely because I spent 4 or 5 hours in a row listening to it.

Santino Fontana as the narrator was fantastic. His voice was exactly how I thought Joe would sound. I quite enjoyed his Californian accent for the local characters. There are parts of Hidden Bodies I'd listen to over again just because of his talented reading of this novel. So while the story didn't live up to the first novel, I would still recommend it because you need more Joe in your life like I did, haha! I really hope there's a third book and that it can capture the essence of the first novel!

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