If you’ve been paying attention to the Netflix world these past few months, you might have heard of a little show called You starring Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, and Shay Mitchell. What you might not have realized (because I didn’t until after the fact) is that it is based off of the novel You by Caroline Kepnes. The novel is available to check out as a digital copy or as a physical copy; follow the link to reserve your spot!
What appears to be a chance meeting for Guinevere Beck in Brooklyn has actually been carefully orchestrated by East Village bookstore owner Joe Goldberg, who had Googled the name on her credit card when she visited his shop. Beck’s social media profiles are all public and tells Joe everything he needs to know without doing much besides scrolling through her posts. Joe begins obsessively taking over Beck’s life by choreographing event after event to make Beck fall into his waiting arms over and over again, and wedging himself so deeply into her life that he becomes her boyfriend. There is no limit to what Joe will do to remove any obstacle standing in his and Beck’s way, even if it means murder.
Reminiscent of Humbert Humbert of Lolita, You will have you darkly rooting for Joe while also being kind of terrified by how easy it is to stalk people (or be stalked!) in today’s world, where lots of your information is readily available with a simple Google search. The Netflix show is equally creepy, if not more so because Joe’s actions are placed directly in front of your eyeballs.
Psychological thriller fans (and anyone who uses social media) will love being creeped out by this duology by Caroline Kepnes. Be sure to look for the second book, Hidden Bodies, which continues Joe’s story.
Happy Reading (and Watching)!