Thursday, November 6, 2014
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 and it’s impossible to know if you’re wearing a bra but I don’t think that you are. You’re so clean that you’re dirty and you murmur your first word to me—hello.
When aspiring writer and recent Brown graduate Guinevere Beck strides into the bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: she’s gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and sexy beyond his wildest dreams. Joe needs to have her, and he’ll stop at nothing to do so.
As he begins to insinuate himself into her life—her friendships, her email, her phone— she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom-made for her. So when her boyfriend, Benji, mysteriously disappears, Beck and Joe fall into a tumultuous affair. But there’s more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect façade, and their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences…
Dark, masterful, and timely, debut novelist Caroline Kepnes’s You is a perversely romantic thriller that’s more dangerously clever than any you’ve heard before. A chilling account of unrelenting passion, this tale of love, sex, and death will stay with you long after the story ends... -- Simon and Schuster Audio
I started to see a little buzz for YOU by Caroline Kepnes a few months ago, and quite honestly, I wasn't sure it was a book that I'd enjoy. I like suspense novels and thrillers, but this book sounded more like a horror story to me. YOU basically tells the story of a stalker who will do anything to get the woman of his dreams. I don't know what this says about me, but I couldn't stop listening to this book.
YOU was probably the most disturbing book I've ever read, and yet, I totally enjoyed it -- if that's the right word. Joe is a bookstore manager who falls head over heels with aspiring writer Guinevere Beck after she visits the store one day. He is determined (and I really need a stronger word here) to "get" Beck, so he starts finding ways to insinuate himself into Beck's life like stealing her phone, hacking into her Twitter and email accounts, and more. It's not exactly an easy path because Beck has friends and a boyfriend who are in the way; however, Joe does what it takes to eliminate all of those problems... if you get my drift!
Despite many setbacks, Joe and Beck eventually start a relationship (of sorts), and you might think that Joe became more comfortable with the idea of Beck; however, that wasn't the case. If anything, he became even more obsessed with her. When Joe finds out that Beck isn't exactly the woman he thought she was, things take an even more drastic turn.
As I look back on this description, it doesn't really say much or even convey the intensity of YOU. I probably should have done a better job, but I didn't want to give away too much about this book. Suffice it to say, it's not for the faint of heart or those who are easily offended. And I had, without a doubt, one of the most uncomfortable reading experiences ever! This book is like nothing I've ever read, and yet, I was as obsessed with this book as Joe was with Beck!
I'm not exactly sure why YOU worked so well for me, but there were a few things that really stood out to me. I rarely say this, but I think my reading experience benefitted from listening to this book. Since the entire book was in Joe's first person voice, it just seemed like I was living inside his head. Hearing his insane thoughts was so real to me, and I'm not entirely sure I would have had the same effect from reading the book.
YOU was read by Santino Fontana and he did an outstanding job. His voice was haunting, but he also had perfect timing with Joe's sarcastic tone. I can't imagine a better narrator for this book. Here's an interesting tidbit that I found when researching Mr. Fontana. He was actually Hans in the Disney movie Frozen. It's a little hard for me to comprehend Joe singing "Love is an Open Door!," but it's true!
I have to give huge credit to Ms. Kepnes for writing YOU. In many ways, I have to wonder about her sanity to write such a twisted novel (just kidding!). It's apparent that she some major skills in bringing characters to life, but she also has enough of an edge to get inside the mind of a psycho!
I don't think YOU is the right book for everyone, but if you aren't easily offended and like to be scared then I highly recommend this book!
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this audio book.