Tag Archives: Caroline Kepnes

Book Review: You Love Me (You #3) by Caroline Kepnes

You Love Me (You #3)     

Author: Caroline Kepnes

Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books

American release date:  April 6, 2021

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Psychological Thriller/400 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Joe Goldberg’s dreams of a forever love with Love Quinn, mother of his future child, have been crushed following the death of Love’s twin brother Forty and Joe’s arrest on suspicion of murder—namely RIP Beck and RIP Peach. But thanks to the wealthy Quinn family, Joe is freed and given 4 million dollars to go away, with the proviso that he sign a paper that says he must stay away from his son, whom Love names Forty in honor of her brother.

Joe winds up moving to Bainbridge Island, Washington, in a house bought for him by the Quinns, where he becomes a volunteer at the local library and falls madly in love with librarian Mary Kay DiMarco. Mary Kay comes with baggage, in the form of teen-age daughter Nomi,  whom Joe refers to as the Meerkat, but so what? Joe can deal with that. But MK (as he calls her) is hiding something else from him, something that is an even greater obstacle to their happiness, in the form of a has-been rock star husband named Phil.

Simple enough for Joe Goldberg, right? Not like he hasn’t killed people before, he has. But Joe has turned over a new leaf. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone, much less kill them. He’s a good boy, he is. But suddenly, people are dying, and none of it’s his fault. So why is he being made to suffer for their deaths?

The third book of the You series is just as delightful as the first two, with the deliciously psychotic Joe Goldberg as the main attraction. I love reading Joe’s voice, and his humor, even if I don’t get all the references (I do get a lot of them, though). Joe’s trying to do the right thing but the universe seems determined to get him, and his growing softness might just be the end of him.

More interesting characters along with some very unexpected events. Definite roller coaster ride with its ups and downs, and never knowing how things will turn out for Joe. Will surely be reading the next one whenever it comes out. I know this is not the end of the line for our hero, and I look forward to reading more as I wonder what he will be up to next.

 

No more Irregulars for me and other shows I am enjoying (x-posted at Full Moon Dreaming)

by Julie Lynn Hayes

It’s been a while since I talked about what I’m watching. Of course I can’t go back and  pick up what I missed, but I can move forward. Starting with my decision tonight to stop watching the Irregulars, a new Netflix show loosely based on the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

 


The Baker Street Irregulars are a group of street kids, led by a boy named Billy, who were utilized for their knowledge of London streets by famed private detective Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. John Watson. In this Netflix series, these kids are reimagined, with a young girl named Bea as their leader, and in this imagining we find a definite element of the supernatural. Edgy and youth oriented, I enjoyed it at first. After all, with sexy Royce Pierreson as Dr. Watson (last seen as Istredd on The Witcher), what can go wrong?

 

Sadly, a great deal. In this incarnation, they have completely changed Dr. Watson’s character, and are apparently portraying Sherlock as a weak, wasted drug addict (please don’t tell me he was an addict, he was high functioning and he did not spend time in opium dens). The straw that broke the camel’s back came when  I was about halfway through the fourth episode when  they introduced Inspector Lestrade as an utter asshole. I didn’t even care that they brought in one of Queen Victoria’s brood (the hemophiliac Prince Leopold) to run around with the group, although I personally don’t see that as ever happening. What I have come to realize is that this is Netflix’s version of any one of a number of shows on the CW – youth rules, age drools, that sort of thing. Bad enough what the CW did to Vampire Diaries, now Netflix is ruining Sherlock (and I won’t even consider watching Enola Holmes, not happening). So, it ends here. I can’t recommend this to anyone who enjoys watching or reading Doyle’s detective. Hard pass for me.

There is another book adaptation that Netflix is running. I just happened to read the book when I learned


about the series. You is the series in question, from the book by Caroline Kepnes. Told in the first person, it’s about a guy named Joe who works in a second-hand book store and becomes obsessed with a young female customer who enters the story by the name of Guinevere Beck. The first book in the series is all about this relationship as we quickly discover that Joe will do what it takes to get what he wants, up to and including murder.

 

****SPOILERS AHEAD*****  Joe stalks Beck, which she makes ridiculously easy by not having shades and by being something of an exhibitionist. For example, she has a little green pillow she humps when she’s horny. But she also has a friend with benefits named Benji, who is everything Joe despises. Plus he is using Beck. So he’s got to go.

Luckily the book store owner, Mr. Mooney, installed a sound proof cage in the basement where he 


keeps rare editions (although in the book, you have to take a ladder to get to them, in the series, they are reachable. Which is where Joe puts Benji, keeping him hostage until he dies from ingesting peanuts (Joe didn’t believe he had an allergy but by golly he did!)

 

Beck also has a very obnoxious, rich friend named Peach Salinger (yes, related to those Salingers), who is determined to win Beck’s heart (and body). Joe knows how to deal with her thought.  And then we have Beck’s analyst, Dr. Nicky, who is also (unknown to Beck) Joe’s analyst (played in the series by John Stamos). While he doesn’t die, he does end up framed for Beck’s murder. And that concludes the first book.

 

Now, the first season covers the first book, with some changes. In the book, Candace is dead. In the series, she comes back, and her characters is combined with Amy Adam. The second season, like the second book, sees Joe go to Hollywood where he meets Love Quinn and her brother Forty. But in this version, Joe takes the identity of a screenwriter, who he ends up trapping in the cage, now situated in a storage locker in LA) To be honest, I don’t know how that got there, but it did.

 


Other changes in the series include the addition of a young boy in the first season, Will’s neighbor’s son, who lives with his mother and her abusive boyfriend. In the second season, the writers gave Delilah a little sister, who is the object of the pedophile comedian Hendy, and Delilah is given more intelligence and less sluttiness, which apparently makes her less likeable too. I’m sure the writers had their reasons for this. I’ve finished the second book and am waiting on the third, and so far I am liking the series. Keep in mind, Joe is a sociopath. I think the addition of the young cast members was to instill some sort of humanity into someone who is a serial killer.

 

Okay, last show I want to discuss is Lilyhammer, another Netflix series. I recently watched the entire 


Sopranos series, which I received as a gift for Christmas, and I loved it! I was sorry to see it end. Then one day I ran across Lilyhammer, which stars Stephen Van Zandt, who played Sil in the Sopranos. Of course I had to check it out!

 

Van Zandt plays Frank Tagliano, a New York mobster who testifies against one of his associates and demands the FBI relocate him in Lillehammer, Norway. One, because he saw the town during the Olympics and thought it was beautiful. And two, because it’s the last place in the world that anyone will look for him.

 

He is given the new name of Giovanni Henriksen, supposedly his father was Norwegian, but he likes to go by Johnny. Johnny has to learn a new language and a new culture in order to make his way in his new homeland. Of course, you can take the guy out of the mob, but you can’t take the mob out of the guy…

C’mon, is anyone really surprised? This is SIl we’re taking about lol

 


He’s intent on learning the language and studies diligently.  New in town, he meets single mother Sigrid Haugli (Marian Saastad Ottesen) and is attracted to her. He also makes some new business associates of his own and sets himself up in business. But his time as a wise guy is far from wasted as he uses his experience to get ahead in this new world he finds himself. in.

 

I have only seen four episodes but I love it already and am looking forward to more. Johhny, aka Stephen Van Zandt, is utterly adorable. There are lots of laughs, as well as some very romantic moments. Johnny’s next door neighbor turns out to be the chief of police, and she is very suspicious of him. In one episode, they decide he’s actually an Arab terrorist!  lol This series is fun for all.

All right, that’s it for now. I hope to talk about The Magicians soon (which I am rewatching) and Castlevania (which I will watch again since season 4 comes out May 13) and The Witcher (which I’ve seen six times now and have no idea when the second season is coming).

Book Review: Hidden Bodies (You #2) by Caroline Kepnes

Hidden Bodies (You #2)   

Author: Caroline Kepnes

Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books

American release date:  November 1, 2016

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Serial Killer Thriller/448 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

How sad that Guinevere Beck, the long-time object of Joe Goldberg’s devotion (read: obsession) turned out not to be THE ONE. How sad that Joe was forced to deal with her as he had dealt with idiotic Benji and the bitchy Peach before her. But now he has Amy and life is going to be good again, right?

Right up until the time it isn’t. Joe, too caught up in Amy, his emotions overriding his common sense, ignores the red flags and goes against his own rules, and then suffers the consequences when she steals about $23k in valuable books from the bookstore (which he foolishly gave her a key to the basement), including almost all the copies of Portnoy’s Complaint Joe had amassed (at her behest), and then nopes the heck out of Dodge. Berating himself for his blind stupidity, Joe comes across clues that Amy inadvertently left behind regarding her intentions, her aspirations and her dreams. So, it’s off to Hollywood for Joe! To locate and kill one Amy Adam.

Before he goes, Joe visits Mr. Mooney and tells him what has occurred and how he is going to Hollywood. Mr. Mooney has valuable words of wisdom for Joe, which includes being fellated, not sleeping with actresses, not watching too many movies. Don’t call vegetables veggies and don’t go in the ocean.

Before arriving in LA, Joe applies for a job at a used bookstore next to the UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade) with a guy named Calvin and puts out feelers for girls trying to sell copies of Portnoy. He constructs a social media presence for himself, including Facebook, and starts to receive Friend Requests.  He applies for an apartment at a building called Hollywood Lawns.  The manager, Harvey Swallows, is an older aspiring stand-up comic who responds to Joe’s email with a Facebook friend request and an invitation to be his fan. Then Joe plasters a fake casting call on Craigslist, “specifically designed to appeal to Amy’s overweening ego”.

Joe is assigned an apartment on the first floor, near the office, and Harvey introduces him to another guy in the building, named Dez, who is a drug dealer. Dez emphatically warns Joe not to f*** Delilah.  He meets Delilah, who turns out to be a gossip reporter who is easy on the eyes and a tendency to be clingy.

Joe establishes a routine. Well, as much of a routine as he can in a place like LA. He shops at the Pantry, where all the cashiers end their checking out process with “Ray and Dottie send their love.” Apparently, they are the owners and lovely people. He goes to the bars where he thinks Amy might show up, but she is never there, to his frustration. He hadn’t planned to spend any real time here, but this isn’t going the way he hoped. At least not yet.

An accidental viewing of a video of the comic Henderson puts Joe on Amy’s scent (Calvin actually made him watch it). Joe is convinced that Henderson and Amy are an item. Calvin is hoping to get Henderson interested in his spec screenplay Ghost Food Truck, and apparently there is a party at Hendy’s house tonight. What fortuitous timing! Now how to get in?

The next day, Joe learns about an audition that is being held for women that fit Amy’s type, and he’s convinced that she’ll be there. She isn’t, but Fate must be on his side because that is where he meets Love Quinn.

The second book in the You series moves us from New York City to Hollywood, which has a vibe all its own. Joe, being the survivor that he is, learns how to fit in without becoming one of them. Determined to find Amy and end her, he unexpectedly meets the love of his love, Love Quinn, and her twin brother Forty (tennis, anyone?). This book is no less of a roller-coaster ride than the first one, with Joe on the verge of being found out and called to order for what he’s done a number of times.

And he keeps on doing what he does best.

Joe is a great character, although honestly I wouldn’t want to meet him. He has no real conscience and kills without a second thought, although he is able to self-justify every killing. If you are interested in watching the series, which I am doing, be aware that the series does diverge in some areas. In the first season, they introduced a young boy, a neighbor of Joe’s, who lives with his mother and her abusive boyfriend. In the second season, Joe has a neighbor with a teenage sister who Joe befriends. They don’t exist in the books.

Joe’s adventures are hilarious as he learns to deal with the people who call Hollywood home. But he can’t help but remember that dang jar of urine he left behind in Peach’s mansion, wondering if it will ever come back to bite him in the a**. However, with Love on his side, he feels he can get through anything. Including Love’s obnoxious, waste-of-space twin. Unless, of course, Love figures out what Joe really is.

I enjoyed the sequel as much as the first book, and I hear the author is working on volumes 3 and 4. Can’t wait.

Book Review: You by Caroline Kepnes

You           

Author: Caroline Kepnes

Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books

American release date:  October 13, 2020

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Serial Killer Thriller/448 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

The moment Guinivere Beck walked into the NYC bookstore that Joe Goldberg manages, she becomes his instant obsession. His new love. What else can he do, in her best interest, other than to find out everything he can about her and stalk her? And Joe is very good at what he does.

Determined that Beck love him as much as he loves her, he goes about learning what makes her tick. So naturally he needs to spy on her inside her apartment (good thing she doesn’t believe in curtains). A stroke of fortune (or is it Fate?) finds him in possession of her cell phone, so now he can follow her every message, tweet, and email. He gets to know her friends, the most obnoxious of whom is Peach, an entitled rich beeyatch. And then there’s Benji, the surfer-looking dude with his own artisanal water company who seems to be a friend with benefits.

Good thing Joe has the patience of a saint, because the road to winning Beck’s heart is not going to be an easy one. And if, well, he has to kill a few people along the way, all in a day’s work, right?

You pulls you in from the first page with its compelling first person narration. Joe Goldberg is “likeable”… in that charming, demented, narcissistic serial killer kind of way. Poor Joe. Sometimes it seems as though he takes one step forward and three steps back in his pursuit of the elusive Beck. After a while, you begin to wonder just what it is he sees in her that makes him so crazy.

Oh, and just to be clear, this is not his first rodeo, as he plainly admits. So maybe he just wants to get it right this time… unless things don’t work out, and then he can just start again, right?

This book will make you laugh and will also horrify you… and leave you hoping you never meet any people like these. But it’s definitely a fun, wild ride, a psychological rollercoaster that will leave you wanting more. And luckily, there is a second book. Looking forward to reading it.