Review: Hidden Bodies (#2, YOU) by Caroline Kepnes

My Thoughts

Chilling, charming, fascinating—Kepnes delivers another
unputdownable chapter in psychopath Joe Goldberg’s life.
An absolute must read.

5stars

Synopsis

Hidden Bodies YOUIn the compulsively readable follow-up to her widely acclaimed debut novel, You, Caroline Kepnes weaves a tale that Booklist calls “the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman.”

Hidden Bodies marks the return of a voice that Stephen King described as original and hypnotic, and through the divisive and charmingly sociopathic character of Joe Goldberg, Kepnes satirizes and dissects our culture, blending suspense with scathing wit.

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: truelove. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…

My Review

As first appeared on USA Today

With Hidden Bodies, Caroline Kepnes delivers a more riveting, more chilling, more fascinating sophomore novel as our favorite sociopath Joe Goldberg takes on Hollywood. What makes Kepnes’ voice so remarkable is her ability to imbue satirical wit into a narrative that is suspenseful, charming and unexpectedly poetic.  This rare combination of elements makes her brand of thrills distinctive and unputdownable.

After learning his lesson with Guinevere Beck, Joe finds himself in love with a woman nothing like the former. Amy Adam loves literature, lives off the grid and boldly grabs life by its reigns. She eats superfruits, doesn’t fight about “stupid shit” and gets Joe in a way no one else has. Certainly not Guinevere Beck. They’re deliriously happy and life is looking up for Joe.

“She kisses my cheek and life is a fever dream and I wonder if I’m in a coma, if all this is a hallucination. Love fucks with your vision and I have no hate in my heart. Amy is taking all of it away, my healer, my Bactine beauty.”

Until they’re not. In a twist of fate, Joe leaves leaves New York behind, trading in the fast bustle of the city for the vapid, nonsensical LA life.

“Making it in Hollywood is the most disgusting phrase in the English language. It’s more disturbing than prolific serial killer and rare terminal illness.”

He’s determined to make his four kills five, but he quickly finds himself unexpectedly entrenched in the glitz of Hollywood’s circus. Joe finds love again with grocery chain heiress and Hollywood socialite, Love Quinn.

Before he knows it, Joe is on fire… drinking champagne, going to Cabo, talking with famous producers, meeting actors and living a wonderful life despite the moments when his mind wanders to the one mug-shaped mistake of his past.

“I captured the flag. I moved to Los Angeles. I found Love; I fell in love. And now this, the hardest thing to do in this world, one of the hardest things, and I’m about to do it. I’m going to make it in Hollywood.”

But Joe being Joe, when complicated gets more complicated and a clingy neighbor, an intrusive ex, a corrupt cop, a Cocaine-snorting brother, and others all threaten his newfound idyllic life, he must remedy the situation the only way he knows how. More bodies hide in Joe’s wake.

And as his body count rises, the past begins to rear it’s intrusive little head and it’s unclear whether Love will trump all or once again leave his heart in ruin. Because in the end, all Joe wants is to be loved, to be a part of something that is wonderful and wholly his.

“The real horror of my life is not that I’ve killed some terrible people. The real horror is that the people I’ve loved didn’t love me back.”

Getting into Joe’s psyche is hypnotic and fascinating, especially as you experience him weaving a dream-like alternate reality for his life. He’s charming and quick-witted and delusional and you can’t help but love him despite his psychopathic tendencies. With her singular style, endearing antihero and captivating social satire, Kepnes will leave you entirely satisfied and ready for more.

Reading Order

 

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