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.
A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone Girl, American Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.
Joseph Goldberg (Joe) has a thing for Guinevere Beck (Beck) - and by thing I mean all consuming obsession for her. We are immediately sucked into the story as told from the point of view of Joe, a stalker you find yourself rooting for (a la Dexter). Joe met Beck in the bookstore where he works. They have a flirtation and Joe begins to obsess, which works out for us as a way to learn all about Beck. Beck has a first floor apartment, Beck doesn't close the blinds, Beck posts every thought on social media. Joe starts following Beck and comes to her rescue when she drunkenly falls off the subway platform. Joe has to rescue her and is in the process able to steal her phone. Joe is able to access all of Becks messages as a result and well stuff gets weird.
We meet Becks friends including Peach, an obnoxious, wealthy girl who has feelings for Beck, and Benji, a guy Beck has been casually dating. Joe decides to take out Benji in an interesting way (book cage anyone?) and eventually it is decided that Peaches (she hated being called that) needed to go as well. Was anyone else happy when that miserable b left the story? We meet Becks father, the "dead dad" is not so dead after all and we see how manipulative Beck can be. We also meet Beck's therapist Dr Nicky, who of course Joe decides to see under a false name.
Joe invents having OCD and gets a hold of the therapists session notes with Beck. What starts out innocent enough gets really weird really quickly and it is revealed that Beck and the good doctor have quite the fling going on. Things don't turn out well for anyone involved.
Beck is a big ol' bitch! Joe traps Benji in the book cage to learn more about Beck and sends out social media posts on Benji's behalf to make it look like he overdosed. He then kills Benji (Benji is allergic to peanuts) and soon after goes after Peach. Peach is in love with Beck and takes pleasure in putting down Joe (she calls him Joseph just to stick it to him). He tries to take out Peach while she is jogging one morning at her vacation house, but only injures her which causes Beck to continue to ignore Joe.
Joe almost got caught while following Beck and Peach, he hit a deer and totals his car. While pretty banged up he meets a cop, turns on the charm and well is able to avoid being found out.
Joe invents OCD and gets a hold of Dr Nicky (the therapists) session notes and can hear the progression of what starts out a professional relationship turning into a more sexual relationship. Not good eeek.
There are large parts of the book where we can feel Beck pulling back from Joe. From simple texts such as "k" to lies she tells him to get out of seeing him. During one such period Joe meets Amy Adams at the book store. They flirt, she uses a stolen credit card, he feels guilty, more to come on this later.
Beck has a key to Joe's apartment and decides to surprise Joe one day when school is cancelled. Joe comes home to discover Beck found the secret hiding spot (behind a wall tapestry) where Joe has hidden everything from her panties, to photos of her, yearbooks, stories she has written, even a used tampon!!! Beck explodes and calls him a sicko (dumb move Beck, dumb move).
Joe puts Beck in the book cage. Beck tries to escape, it doesn't go well. Beck remains locked in the cage, Joe goes through Becks apartment (for the hundredth time) and finds a laptop given to her by Dr Nicky. We get to see Beck's spoiled narcissism come to a head. Joe and Beck spend time together reading The Da Vinci Code (a gift from Beck earlier in the story) and we are led to believe that things between them are calming down (they get it on) Joe goes to the bathroom to clean up afterward, Beck has escaped the book cage, ran to the front of the store which is locked. Joe and Beck get into it, Beck says all the wrong things (I won't tell, etc) and Joe strangles her. Beck collapsed, Joe finds out Beck has been lying about reading The Da Vinci Code, Beck springs back to life, Joe shoves pages from the book in her mouth and finishes her off. Beck is dead! (I shouldn't be excited by this.)
Joe buried Beck in Dr. Nicky's back yard at his vacation house! So Dr Nicky goes to jail because all evidence points to him! Holy Shit! I can keep using exclamation points!
Oh so good! Such a suspenseful, fast paced read. Highly recommend the audio book because the narrator so perfectly captures the creepy wonderfulness that is Joe. How many times in your life can you root for the stalker?