When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he decides that he must find a way to be with her. Joe moves from stalking her on the internet to stalking her in real life, staging a series of encounters until he becomes her very creepy boyfriend.
The plot of You is inherently disturbing, but Kepnes’ writing style makes this a deeply disarming read. Told from Joe’s point of view, You immediately draws the reader into Joe’s twisted mindset. Joe views everything that Beck does as a sign that she must want him ... It takes serious macabre creativity to convincingly portray how a narcissistic personality like Joe would view the world, and Kepnes hits the nail on the head. Joe is totally believable, and utterly terrifying ... You is a compulsively readable, quietly terrifying thriller. This book won’t haunt you with blood and gore, it will haunt you with possibilities.
Written in the second person, You is the story of one man’s life, a life where love becomes obsession, and obsession becomes murder, experienced and perpetrated by a character who is strangely likable despite his bad behavior. Kepnes, a television writer and journalist, has written a deeply dark yet mesmerizing first novel of two people caught in a romantic tangle with an ever-tightening knot.
With this debut novel, Kepnes becomes one of the best writers of obsessed, creepily self-absorbed, narcissistic stalker characters. ... Kepnes's writing has the push-pull of the repulsive and chilling personae in a compelling and relentless narrative. Much as listeners might cringe at some of the twists and turns, it's nearly impossible to stop ... Recommended for thriller collections.