Hi! A handful of months ago, the Lifetime series, YOU, turned into a phenomenon once the premiere season was added on to Netflix. I absolutely jumped on the bandwagon and enjoyed the smart, sexy, and oh so creepy episodes staring a Mister Penn Badgley as the super stalker Joe Goldberg. I admit that I was caught up in all of the excitement of chit chatting about it with friends in person and on Facebook that I didn’t even know the show was derived from a book! Shame on me.
Usually, I always prefer to read the book before watching the show or movie that it’s based on. But, when it came to YOU, I did things backwards. I finished the book a week or so ago and I enjoyed it even more than the TV series, which is pretty common. However, I will say that the show did an excellent job of keeping close to the book, minus a few liberties and I definitely appreciated that.
YOU tells the sickening saga between obsessive Joe and oblivious Beck, a customer who he met one time at his book store. The book is told completely from Joe’s point of view, which was really interesting. If you watched the show, you know he was a total creepazoid. But, reading all of his perverted and violent thoughts as he narrates his story created a bone chilling sense of disturbia.
Desperate to get close to Beck, Joe plants himself in just the right places to run into her or just watch her from a distance. As he discovers more about his dream girl and falls deeper into his obsession, he is willing to eliminate or do anything that stands in his way of the relationship he so desperately wants.
Set in bustling New York City, such a highly populated location, you can literally feel the spine tingling sense that somebody is watching you through the massive crowd. Joe locked his sights in on Beck and through master manipulation and deception hones in on the girl of his dreams, which becomes a nightmare for her.
YOU was a book that I could not put down, which surprised me, because none of the characters are particularly likeable. Joe was a psychopath, Beck was a downright horrible person despite Joe’s fantasizing about her, and all of Beck’s friends were nightmares in their own right. But, the story line and the expert writing of Caroline Kepnes was so intense that none of this mattered. Because the story was told by Joe, you got an intimate peak into his twisted brain and it felt impossible to not keep turning the page to find out what he was going to do next.
I rate YOU with a ten out of ten. It was delightfully reminiscent of one of my favorite books, The Collector, but it still felt original and fresh. It was horror and suspense and it really tuned into the modern world of cyberstalking gone horribly wrong. I have the sequel on hold at the library and cannot wait to get it so I can see how Joe works himself out of the dilemmas that he created in YOU as well as all of the creepiness to come!
Did you watch or read YOU? What were your thoughts about the book or series? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
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