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.
I’m actually really confused about my feelings on this book. I’ve been trying to get this review together all week because I’m still trying to process it. On one hand it was a very unique read but on the other hand it got tedious to read.
What I Loved: Seeing (reading) the world through the eyes/mind of a love obsessed stalker, it was actually quite a bit of fun. The narrative style was also really awesome it was very unique, the entire book is written as Joe speaking to Beck (You). That’s really about it, the creepiness of Joe and his smarts and wit are what I love the most about the book.
What I Didn’t Love: Everyone in the entire book was crazy and messed up. EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. It was kind of depressing, it didn’t really show you the good side of human nature just the bad. Now that wasn’t so bad because it’s cool to read about most of the time but after reading an entire book where all it is are bad crazy people, yeah it gets a little depressing. The pacing also got REALLY slow, at first Joe’s actions/stalking was exciting and interesting but 3/4 of the way through the book it got kind of boring.
So what drew me to this book in the first place was the narrative style which as I stated is Joe talking indirectly to Beck, referring to her as YOU. Thus the title of the book, I like it I think it’s really neat. Then what caught my attention after that was the fact that Joe is a creep, a very charismatic creep, and he’s stalking this poor girl. I’ve never read anything like that before and I thought that this ,too, was really cool and neat.
That is all I thought was cool about the story though, and that is what ultimately disappointed me.
Joe stalking Beck, that’s it that’s the entire plot of the book. Him stalking her and letting NOTHING get between them. If there’s a problem, Joe will go to any length to get rid of it. The scariest part of the story is how easy it is for Joe to learn things about Beck and insert himself into her life by using her social media. SCARY. The pacing is pretty slow as I stated earlier, I mean literally all Joe does is creep on Beck 24/7. It gets old, but what else is he going to do? That’s right nothing, because “You” wouldn’t be “You” if he didn’t stalk her. It was engaging enough to keep me reading but I did find myself wanting to put it down and not pick it back up at times.
As far as the writing goes, I said earlier I love the narrative style, Joe talking to Beck the entire duration of the book, it’s very unique and it makes it A LOT of fun to read.
Every single character in this book is fucked up and very well developed, I don’t think we are introduced to any characters that we don’t get really good insight into. I loved being able to know every character so well. But everyone has their own set of problems that gets exploited by Joe, which is why I said they’re all kind of fucked up because we see a lot of the bad in all of these people.
Joe – is the best character, he makes you want to be on his side and root for him. You’ll find yourself sitting there justifying his actions, “Oh yeah he’s following her around but it’s ok because it’s for true love right?” Wrong. He’s stalking her that’s bad but being in Joe’s headspace is toxic, he will make you think everything he does is alright when it obviously isn’t. That’s the beauty of Joe’s character. He’s smart, funny, charming, and he doesn’t leave ANYTHING to chance. You also can’t really trust him as a narrator and it’s wonderful.
Beck – was the polar opposite of Joe, basically. I didn’t like her character really at all, she was selfish and attention seeking. Enough said.
Other Characters – I can’t talk too much about anyone else without spoilers but I will mention Benji and Peach. You won’t see them right off the bat but they’re there….being annoying. Benji is a little whiny, stuck up bitch and Peach is horrible. Peach is honestly the most hate-able character, go read the book, and come back and tell me you didn’t think the same thing. Every character has their secrets though and they aren’t introduced unless they’re vitally important in the book.
Overall it was a pretty good book, I loved the character development and the slightly creepy atmosphere but a MAJOR draw back for me was the pacing it was way too slow and it got tedious to read through. So if you can muscle your way through the slow pacing then I recommend reading “You” it really is a decent read.