Narrator: Santino Fontana
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on 2014-09-30
Genres: Erotica, Fiction, General, Psychological, Thrillers
Length: 11 hrs. 6 mins.
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Hidden Bodies (You, #2)
How far would you go for the perfect love?A young man’s dark obsession with an enigmatic, gorgeous writer leads to murderous consequences in this erotic psychological thriller.
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.
In YOU, Joe is a New York bookseller who develops a dangerous fixation on a young woman who enters his shop.
Whoa Nelly, this book! The first word that comes to mind to describe it is unrelenting. It is so intense and addictive, but at the same time so painful and you just want it to end! I’ve never been so relieved to reach the end of a book. This story had me completely on edge.
YOU takes you inside the mind of a stalker and the obsessive way he follows his prey. Debut author Caroline Kepnes’ use of second person narrative makes the story feel even more unsettling, as Joe’s words are all directed at “you.” The book challenges you by making you empathize a little with Joe, even though he’s so off the rails.
It’s a normal day in Joe’s bookshop- the customers are annoying him, and he’s passing the day by judging their bad taste in books. When writing student Guinevere Beck (goes by Beck) walks in, all bets are off. She’s beautiful, sexy, bookish and clever. When Joe gets Beck’s credit card in his hand, he has her name and proceeds to stalk her on social media, driven to make himself into her ideal man.
Joe follows Beck to her home, obtains her cellphone and access to her email, and basically inserts himself into her life. They even start a relationship, which raises the stakes for Joe, as he gets jealous of everyone else in Beck’s life. Joe wants to be her everything and takes it upon himself to watch over every part of her existence.
Beck seems to thrive on the attention and drama, though has other distractions, and this infuriates Joe. The book is like one long monologue of Joe’s obsessions, and the author keeps the tension high as Joe plays his dangerous cat and mouse game.
None of the characters in You are particularly likeable which is good/bad as it allows the reader to be more detached as the story plays out. The side characters do add color to You though, and open up Joe’s world a little.
This book reminded me of a book I read a long time ago called The Collector, another book about a clerk with a dangerous obsession- both books could qualify as alternative horror choices this Halloween.
You is also chilling because the situation seems so conceivable. It makes you question the way you use social media as you see how your info in the wrong hands becomes a nightmare scenario. (Also, do booksellers judge our book selections that much? The Stephen King/Dan Brown recurring gags added a bit of levity to the situation)
I listened to the audiobook of You, performed by Santino Fontana. The audiobook made this book such a more intense experience. Just hearing Joe’s voice speaking to “you” was so unsettling. Fontana was really good at conveying Joe’s manic episodes and making the character believable. The narrative style made You a perfect choice for audiobook – though you may be scared out of your wits listening to it! Fontana gives an outstanding performance and matches Joe’s moods beat for beat.
Listen to an excerpt – this is when Joe is first stalking Beck at home:
You is relevant and disarming and also I’ll never be able to watch Pitch Perfect the same way again.