Trying to catch up on reviews, I reached out to my Facebook world and asked what books people wanted reviews of.* Taylor chose You by Caroline Kepnes. Perfect, I thought. I know I wrote a review of this one on Goodreads.
Well, that’s not very helpful. While I still find this review to be very funny, let’s flesh that out a bit.
I read You because I wanted to watch the tv show. I hate watching a movie or a show based on a book without reading the book first because, in my opinion, the author took so much time and energy to come up with the story and I want them to be the ones to tell it to me.
The book started out strong for me in the first few pages. There was some absolutely dynamite descriptions of the life of a bookseller and the crap we have to put up with from customers. I was taking pictures of lines and sending them to my coworkers. I was hooked and here for it.
And then it went downhill. So fast. It was like being on a go-cart with broken brakes falling down a long, scary San Francisco hill. At first, it’s all fun and games and then it goes badly for so long.
This book was stalker, horror porn. Every decision that Joe made made by stomach fill with knots. I know, I know, that’s the point. But I never felt like there was any motivation behind what he was doing. He became just a stalker sociopath with nothing else going on. And Beck just kept making bad decision after bad decision. She felt like a very one-dimensional pawn and he felt like a flat “crazy man” so it felt more like reading horror porn than anything. It felt like I was reading event after event after event with no idea of how I had gotten there. Beck was just a stereotypical dumb girl who needed a man to fix things for her. And I quickly lost any interest in Joe when his character became purely a method of shocking the audience.
I had some conversations about the book after I finished with people who had watched the show (which I still haven’t because I am scarred by this book) and they were shocked to learn that all of the things that they loved about the show didn’t exist in the book. Apparently the show adds some dimension to the lack of believable plot by adding in some actually sympathetic characters. The book definitely could have used that.
The only reason this is a two-Sequinbeast book rather than a one-Sequinbeast book is that I can’t get past the connection I felt to those first few pages. But that is really all it has going for me.
*I still need help prioritizing what books to write reviews of since I fell so far behind. So if you go to this page and see a book that I read this year that you want to know my thoughts on, please let me know!