Review: You (You #1) by Caroline Kepnes

Rating: 9.5/10


From debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2014, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age.

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 GirlAmerican Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.


Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio and the author for a listening copy of You (You #1) in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this LC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.

Obsession breeds murder in this deeply unsettling, yet riveting debut.

I actually read this novel about four (4) years ago, on a whim, after seeing it at a local Barnes & Noble on the clearance rack. The front cover had a blurb from Stephen King and that, along with the synopsis, struck me as a definite purchase opportunity. I remember everything about it as it is a novel that just sticks with you, and not in a happy feelings type of way.

Joe Goldberg is a FASCINATING character and his arc throughout this novel is what kept me coming back, and honestly, is why I gave it another go; this time via audiobook. Being inside the mind of this psychopath who truly believes he is doing all the right things while going about his infatuation with Beck in all the wrong ways; it is absolutely captivating. From the get-go, Beck becomes his everything and Joe won’t allow a single text, e-mail, or person to stand in the way of him claiming his most prized possession. I mean, heck, if you can’t find a way to distance someone from stepping on your turf, might as well kill them, right?

Kepnes became a go-to writer for me after this read as I devoured her last novel, Providence, in a matter of hours. Having said that, I have still have yet to read Hidden Bodies (I know, shoot me) as it came out sort of on the heels of me finishing ‘You’ and I began my reviewing “career” shortly after, but it is already queued up and will probably be taken down in a day or so; unless someone tries to get in my way… Definitely look for a review of it very soon.

I can’t end this review without giving immense props to Santino Fontana for his narration. He absolutely nails Joe Goldberg, in such a way that only Penn Badgley barely tops it in the Netflix series (and that is because you can see Joe rather than just hear him). Perfect pacing and pitch lead to an immersive listen that I cannot recommend enough. And if you haven’t taken the chance on watching the series on Netflix, you are truly missing out on a spectacular adaptation.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Love the show, this review makes me want to read the book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David W says:

      You definitely should!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s