Review: Hidden Bodies (You #2) by Caroline Kepnes

Rating: 8.0/10

Synopsis

THE RIVETING SEQUEL TO THE HIT BOOK YOU, NOW A NETFLIX SERIES

In the compulsively readable sequel to her widely acclaimed debut novel, You, Caroline Kepnes weaves a tale that Booklist calls “the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman.”

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…

Review

Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio, the author, and the narrator for a listening copy of Hidden Bodies (You #2) for review consideration. Receiving this LC did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

Kepnes’ sophomore effort is just as unrelenting as its predecessor; a suspense-filled romp full of twists, passion, and obsession.

Fresh off the heels of ‘You’ comes ‘Hidden Things’, the continuation of Joe Goldberg’s legacy of being an overly-obsessed, vastly jealous, and downright malevolent lover-boy that I just cannot seem to get enough of. If you want a character study on a psychopath that you, at times, will absolutely feel empathy for and root on, look no further. Think the narrow-minded, skeptical character of Patrick Bateman from American Psycho meets the empathetic, relationship-skewering mold of Dexter Morgan.

This time around, Joe takes his show on the road and heads to LA. While intending to start afresh, Joe finds his newest obsession in the form of Love Quinn. Unfortunately, Love has a twin brother who continues to have his sis wrapped around his finger, a dude named Milo who keeps showing up in the picture, and the girl Joe came to LA to find and rid himself of that are all standing in the way of a perfect love story. Mix that with the goings on of Hollywood and the inability to put your past behind you, including a couple moldering corpses, and Joe has a good deal on his plate; and that’s on top of the stale chips and guac.

While I was enamored with the 2nd season of the Netflix series, even giving it higher praise than Season 1, I feel the polar opposite when it comes to the novels. Hidden Bodies just didn’t have the same feel as the freshman release and became a little long-winded in places, where ‘You’ just kept hitting harder and harder until left bloody and bruised. Not to say this isn’t a fantastic read, because it is since it includes Mr. Goldberg, but I became more annoyed by this cast of secondary characters than I did the first go-round and felt like there was maybe a little too much surrounding Joe and Love’s story.

I will say that if you watched the series and are now planning on reading the books, this one is a bit different comparatively to Season 1/Book 1. The guts of the story are there, but much like just about any adaptation, characters/storylines/etc. are changed to condense the story into an episodic format.

Lastly, Fontana did another phenomenal job with the narration. He absolutely nails the characters of Love and Forty, almost to the point where they must have used the audiobook for the casting call. I forgot to mention in my review of ‘You’ that Fontana also narrated Stephen King’s ‘The Institute’ which is another audiobook that I highly recommend if you enjoy his work.

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