Originally published in 2014, You
has become very accessible due to Netflix Original series dramatization
at the end of 2018. Caroline Kepnes is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and this
was her debut novel in 2014. You has been translated into
nineteen languages, shortlisted for a CWA New Blood Award, and has now become a
very much talked about book.
The story takes off when
aspiring writer Guinevere Beck - just Beck to her friends,-strides in to the
bookstore where Joe Goldberg works. Joe
is smitten; Beck is gorgeous, tough and razor-smart. Joe however is more than
he appears. He is a complete stalker and
very quickly becomes obsessed with all things Beck.
Beck herself is no angel
and would rather talk about writing than actually write, and she just loves to stir
up a drama. She is flighty, flaky, needy
and self-centred. Joe fits the bill for Beck, as he is charming, erudite and
extremely well read.
The novel is written in
the second person narrative which allows the reader to gain insight into Joe’s
mental state and thought processes, which functions as both a thrill and a
nightmare. In fact it is so easy to like Joe, and be annoyed by Beck and her
ridiculous behaviour. His knowledge of books is impressive, he is sensitive and
intelligent. Wrong and wrong again.
I found it an
all-consuming read told in a fresh voice.
You may not be for everyone, as Kepnes takes her readers by the hand in to
a dark, delicious tale full of sharp psychological edges. Reading this novel
will give you food for thought in this digital age.
Submitted by Paula
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