Received a copy of You by Caroline Kepnes through the First Reads Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review
"Everythingship (n): a meeting of the minds, bodies, and souls."
Its been said that book lovers make the best partners in relationships. Mainly in part because of their emotional intelligence, compassion, and unselfish nature. Like everything there is always an exception to the rule. What starts in a quaint, unpretentious bookstore as a typical boy meets girl, boy entrances girl, boy keeps girl wanting more quickly transforms into a much more creepy affair. Once all of the pleasantries are exchanged and they go their separate ways boy starts to don costumes outside the girl's apartment, boy breaks into her home, boy steals her phone, boy infiltrates her online presence, boy saves girl from drunken stupor, girl is extremely thankful, girl wants boy...This book is a classic cat and mouse tale where at times it is hard to identify which role the characters are playing. Who is really in control? Over the duration of a relationship how much do you really know about the other person? And what makes them tick? And how can I use that against them?
Guinevere Beck is a twenty something year old female born and raised in Nantucket. She has had a privileged upbringing and comes from a family of farmers. Her father died from alcoholism and her mother has taken the torch not doing anything to buck the trend. Her brothers and sisters handled the death differently while Beck's response was to leave the environment altogether and enroll in the law program at Brown University. She currently resides in the safe and expensive apartment complexes in the West Village. From a psychological standpoint Beck uses seduction as a primary form of communication, has issues with men, loves attention, narcissistic, has a possible manic-depressive and/or personality disorder.
Joseph Goldberg is a twenty something year old male from Bed-Stuy, New York. Joe has had a rough upbringing with his mother leaving him at eight years of age with an emotionally-absent father. With this unexpected event Joe grew up knowing it was possible to leave people behind. He was hired on at Mooney's when he was fifteen, during the time of his employment he regarded Mr.Mooney as a father figure and the bookstore as his safe haven, his sanctuary, his playground. Psychologically speaking he uses manipulation as a primary form of communication, he excels in the power of persuasion, he has issues with everyone that doesn't offer him anything, he is narcissistic, suffers from delusions and has a penchant for violence.
"It's a sad and grotesque thing that you and your friends have become so accustomed to lies that the truth has to be prefaced because it's inherently surprising, a startling departure from the lies that comprise your lives."
In the midst of the global obsession with all things internet, social media has become a prevalent force in the majority of people's lives. With this revelation privacy has become a thing of the past, and social statuses have started to act as a public GPS. This reality has become a stalker's wonderland where chance encounters can manifest into so much more. After meeting each other in of all places, a bookstore, a struggling, yet still aspiring writer named Guinevere Beck and bookstore manager/owner Joseph Goldberg strike up a conversation in the F-K section of the fiction section at Mooney's Used and Rare. Conversation may be a tad misleading as we are subjected to a course of coarse one-sided diatribes with a focus on the hack known as Dan Brown, how e-readers will be the demise of the world, and how Kindle's themselves are comparable to internet porn. You would think that this exchange would be enough to send the customer Beck on her way, but ironically a certain non-verbal cue initiates a flame inside Joe that will be difficult to extinguish.
This book started strong and had me engaged right from the beginning. The problem was that the book maintained the same tone with very few moments that caused you to stir. I am not looking for cheap thrills but something different, something that causes you to alter expectations not one neverending rant. One thing that the author managed to do was have me dislike the majority of characters in the book. Well done!!! You deserve a slap, I mean pat on the book for turning an accepting man like myself into a complete "at arms length" type of person, (I hope this feeling doesn't last forever). From the outset you know you have to at least hate the crazy one, but over time you almost become desensitized to his mania and kind of feel sorry for him. Don't get it twisted the guy is still a nut job but when you have to deal with pretentious, sociopathic, J.D. Salinger relatives, hypochondriac yuppies, 90's bitches you can see why he needs to do a lot of biting his tongue and sitting on his hands to refrain from strangling people. Hold on a second, am I really relating to this dude. Natalie Portman is hot in everything she does but she was exceptionally-sexy in Closer, Magnolia was pretty crazy with all the frogs and stuff, I mean Hannah & Her Sisters is Woody Allen's best movie, no no no it's Mighty Aphrodite. I must admit that he has good taste and in a lot of ways very relatable, but where we drastically-differ is where the rubber meets the road. I would like to thank him for suggesting a few books to add to my future shopping list (tee hee!!!)
"You drop your phone and it lands in the yellow zone and you're lucky it didn't fall onto the tracks and I get goose bumps and I wish I could grab you by the arm and escort you to the other side of that pole. You're too close to the tracks, Beck, and you're luck I'm here, because if you fell or if some sicko had followed you down, some derelict rapist, you wouldn't be able to do anything. You're too drunk."
There is no doubt about it, Joe is neurotic to the bone when it comes to his successes and failures with Beck. It was fun watching him sweat throughout the book as he continues to massage his way through troubling situations. For a man of his character he deserves some credit for staying strong and steadfast when there was minimal contact between the two and desperation was most certainly settling in. There is something about pop culture references that make me feel all nostalgic, biased and gooey inside. Praise to the author for proving me to be a sucker, I hate you, I love you.
This is a cautionary tale on how a simple encounter can have life changing circumstances, I'm looking at you Evelyn, and for the last time I won't play Misty for you. Hold on one moment while I take a picture of you, post it to Facebook and let my friends know that if I end up missing you're the one responsible. Wait a minute, where's my phone? Where's Evelyn? Insert Ernest P. Worrell scream of death NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
" I know all about mirroring, Beck. One of the best ways to get someone to trust you is to focus on what you have in common. 'It's actually kind of funny,' I say. 'All the albums you got here. I don't know how or why, but I've become psychotically obsessed with this random video by the Honeydrippers.'
'I love the Honeydrippers,' he says. 'Tell me it's not Sea of Love.'
'You know it,' I say and he's my new best friend. And I'm good at this, I think. I tell him I can't stop watching the video (you) and thinking about the video (you) and wishing I could go living inside of the video (you). I tell him I've lost interest in everything because of this video (you) and I need to get some control."