Author: Caroline Kepnes
Published by Atria Books
Release Date September 30, 2014
More Info: Goodreads
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When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: She’s gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and as sexy as his wildest dreams.
Beck doesn’t know it yet, but she’s perfect for him, and soon she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom made for her. But there’s more to Joe than Beck realizes, and much more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect façade. Their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences . . .
A chilling account of unrelenting passion, Caroline Kepnes’s You is a perversely romantic thriller that’s more dangerously clever than any you’ve read before.
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A chilling and intelligent literary debut, Caroline Kepnes’s You is a novel of obsession and twisted passion that taps into our contemporary compulsions. As it unspools inside the head of a complex and alarmingly appealing sociopath, the narrative traces an off-kilter love affair shadowed by impending danger. Laced with references to literature, movies, and pop music, the novel brilliantly captures the lifestyle of young singles laying claim to a particular brand of urban glamour as they seek temporary connections and lasting love in a world of social media and 24/7 accessibility.
From the moment Beck walks into the bookstore where he works, Joe knows that she is his destiny. They exchange banter at the register, then Beck leaves the store, thinking little of the encounter. Beautiful and tough, Beck is an Ivy League graduate recently transplanted to New York City for a graduate writing program. Determined to have her, Joe begins observing Beck from a not-so-safe distance. Watching the most intimate details of her life through the window of her apartment, he is both angered and aroused by her appeal.
When Joe rescues a drunken Beck in the subway a grateful, and clueless Beck agrees to go out with him. Joe steals Beck’s phone and hacks her email, reading her communications with her friends and her uncensored thoughts. Learning the identity of her current lover, Benji, Joe orchestrates his disappearance and moves in on the woman who has become his obsession.
Beck is a bit surprised by her attraction to this man, who is nothing like the others she has dated—an autodidact with little formal education and a surprisingly informed sense of what makes her tick. She introduces him to her friends and into her life, a world into which he does not quite fit. Still, their passionate, edgy, and erotically-charged affair rapidly propels forward with Beck unaware of the danger she may face at the hands of her complex, sensitive new lover.
As the candid narrator of the novel, as well as its impossible-to-pin-down protagonist/antagonist, Joe is a dazzlingly complex creation: at once sympathetic and creepy, genuinely in love, yet misguided and immoral. Kepnes deftly plays with our modern ideas about sociopaths by imbuing Joe with intelligence, wit, and a romantic’s heart. His seething anger at the world and his capacity to impose the blame for his failures on others ripples beneath the surface of a deceptively straightforward narrative. A martyr in his own mind, Joe embodies the contemporary zeitgeist with haunting verisimilitude.
A probing psychological study of urban life and modern love, as well as an impossible to put down thriller, You is a masterful first novel from a remarkable new voice in contemporary fiction.