You: A Novel (1) (The You Series) - book cover
Thrillers & Suspense
  • Publisher : Atria/Emily Bestler Books; Reprint edition
  • Published : 16 Jun 2015
  • Pages : 448
  • ISBN-10 : 1476785600
  • ISBN-13 : 9781476785608
  • Language : English

You: A Novel (1) (The You Series)


"Hypnotic and scary." -Stephen King

"I am riveted, aghast, aroused, you name it. The rare instance when prose and plot are equally delicious." -Lena Dunham

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 Girl, American Psycho, and Stephen King's Misery.

Editorial Reviews

"Hypnotic and scary...never read anything quite like it." -- Stephen King

"My most favorite thriller." -- Lena Dunham

"YOU is superb. So funny, apart from anything else, and properly clever. It is: different, hot." -- Sophie Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Monogram Murders and The Other Woman's House

"This is one of the most unsettling books I've read this year, but despite being thoroughly creeped out, I couldn't put it down even for a second. It's narrated by the villain, which makes for a rather unnerving read. I even found myself accidentally rooting for him as he was about to commit pretty heinous crimes. Whoops." ― Bustle

"An impending sense of dread hangs over Kepnes' cleverly claustrophobic debut, in which love takes on a whole new meaning...Kepnes keeps the reader guessing." ― Kirkus Reviews

"Intense and deeply disturbing, You is a dark story told in a fresh voice, and an addictive read from beginning to end. Being inside Joe Goldberg's head was both a thrill and a nightmare, and yet I didn't want to wake up. I look forward to more from the very talented Caroline Kepnes." -- Jennifer Hillier, author of THE BUTCHER

"Chilling...[Kepnes' YOU] will have readers looking over their shoulders." ― Publisher's Weekly

"Chilling...unrelenting." ―

"A deeply dark yet mesmerizing first novel of two people caught in a romantic tangle with an ever-tightening knot." ― Booklist

"Is Caroline Kepnes' 'You' the next GONE GIRL? It'll take you inside a psychopath's head... and might even make you like him. A mad and macabre love story." ― TimeOut Australia

"Could be the next GONE GIRL...a perverse suspense romance about obsession, sex, and secrets." ―

"All-consuming – a book that will not release its hold on you, even when you are not actively reading it." ―

"You…had the page-turning quality of classic (Stephen) King at his peak." ― The Devil's Advocate

"Kepnes'debut novel is gripping in both substance and style." ― Closer Magazine

"You is a deliciously terrifying stalker tale that grabbed hold of me on page one and kept me captivated right until the very end…Utterly unputdownable." ― Kathryn's Inbox

"If you like twisted psychological horror with a liberal dose of hip and more than a dollop of perversion, this one's for you!" ― Pages Podcast

"If you liked GONE GIRL'S portrayal of a marriage in decline, the demented love story at the heart of YOU will have you gripped….This book will give you Stockholm syndrome." ― Harpers Bazaar (UK)

"You by Caroline Kepnes completely blew me away…It's an exceptional thriller that is chillingl...

Readers Top Reviews

Steve Sutherland
So, this book is a bit of a break from the normal. It follows the story of a stalker and his victim. Unusually, the story is told from the stalkers point of view. The stalker, Joe, is completely obsessed with young writer Beck and he'll do anything to win her love. The story being told from this point of view gives the reader an insight into the mindset of the stalker. During the book, Joe breaks into Becks apartment - several times - and steals her posessions, gets rid of her current boyfriend and her best friend, and there's more than a hint that things didn't end well for his previous girlfriend. As you read on you realise that, not only is Joe completely deranged, and he's becoming more and more unhinged with every chapter. But, worryingly, he believes his behaviour is perfectly rational! Telling the story from this point of view, for me, was unusual and something I've never come across before. Although I felt it had a slow start and I didn't find it the easiest book to read, this made it an intriguing and interesting story which in the end kept me turning the pages. And, if I'm completely honest, I didn't expect it to end the way it did. I'll certainly be reading more by this author.
I’ve not been quite so confused about how I feel about a character in some time. Joe - is it wrong that I loved him at times? That I felt like he was almost right at times? He was funny and the way his thought process was written was addictive. You almost judged Beck for not wanting him more. It shows just how messy life is and how luck and small changes can set things up so differently. In a very strange kind of way I wanted Joe to be happy and I wanted him to truly find love. Beck wasn’t a good person but then you’re only ever seeing her from his perspective and his perspective on people change as to what suits his narrative. Absolutely smashing story and so creatively written. I might have a new favourite author!
(This review contains spoilers for both the book and the Netflix show) So, I only discovered this book because of the Netflix show. Usually I like to read the book first, but I’d just finished the show when I saw the ebook was on sale, so I snagged a copy. Having watched the tv adaptation meant that I was constantly reading YOU through the lens of the show. I was constantly comparing, noting the similarities and differences, examining how the different mediums added—and detracted—from the story. Therefore, this review is going to contain a lot of comparisons between the story in both mediums, as I can’t really review the book without comparing it to the show, given the complex narrative style that is present in both. I also believe my reading of the book was informed greatly by prior knowledge of the show, so as I was reading it with the show in my mind, I feel my review should reflect this. From watching the show, I hadn’t expected the narrative voice of the book to be as strong—you’ve got a voice over in the majority of the scenes in the show—and I was curious as to how the book would portray Joe’s commentary. I’d even doubted whether it could portray it to such a powerful extent, but I was wrong. How’s commentary was stronger in the book than a show. I recognised many of the same lines which was a delight, but whereas Joe’s voiceovers in the show were added to scenes and we still saw the action, in the book, it pretty much feels like absolutely everything is given to use through Joe’s direct address commentary where he talks in his head to Beck, and recounts her dialogue and their conversations amid this internal monologuing. It’s almost exhausting to read. Joe is a truly fascinating character. He’s cold, ruthless, a murderer, stalker, and a psychopath, yet he justifies all his actions to us in his narration. He’s strangely likeable and there was something disturbingly alluring in reading his narrative. His voice just grabs you and keeps you reading as you wonder just how far he’ll go to pursue Beck. Unlike the show, the book tells us early on that Joe has murdered before he meets Beck. (Spoiler ahead—skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to read it.) Whereas the show reveals Candice is alive, the book tells us early on that Joe murdered her when she broke up with him. Knowing how dangerous Joe is, right from the start, really heightens the tension and makes us concerned for Beck. Beck, the female MC, is just as interesting in the book as she is in the show. She’s a writer, she’s lost, she sleeps around, she’s insecure and looking for validation, she has huge ambitions. Yet, with the book however, I found her slightly harder to picture, in that she didn’t feel as “true and real”. By that I mean, her characterisation is still strong and well written, but we see her only through Joe’s eyes in the book, ...
Gut Reaction Reviews
Writing in first person is probably one of the more difficult viewpoints for an author to tackle. Kepnes proves this, at least partially, in You, her debut novel. The first half of this book is tedious, almost to the point of wanting to stop reading. But the second half picks up and makes this a worthwhile read. The ending was predictable, with a slight twist that made it satisfying. Since the main character works in a bookstore, there are several references to various well-known novels, as one might expect. This is a bit overdone, in my opinion, and felt more like the author trying to impress with her literary knowledge. What this novel lacked, was the tension or edge of your seat page turning that makes for a great mystery/suspense novel. The “praises” this book has received made my expectation high, only to find, it does not deliver. This one gets three stars, as it is an okay read, just not a great one.