Author: Caroline Kepnes
Genre: psychological thriller
Pages: 422 (listened to audiobook)
Goodreads: When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.
There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.
I listened to this on audiobook and I think its the best way to read this book. Since the book is told in second person, YOU walk into the bookstore and you keep your hand on the door to make sure it doesn’t slam, it sounds like Joe is talking it you, the reader. Listening to the narrator tell his story was so much more interesting. Since it’s told in second person I found that there were many long winded sentences that go unnoticed while listening but might have bothered me while reading it.
This book focuses on two characters; Joe and Beck. After meeting Beck in the first page, when she walks into the bookshop that Joe works in, they share some flirtation banter and that’s all it takes for Joe to be in love. He becomes obsessed with her and does everything he believes is necessary for them to be a couple. All his actions are followed with him saying that he did it for you Beck and other similar statements. The tricky thing about this book for me was that even though as a woman you feel bad for Beck and what she doesn’t even know is happening to her, I couldn’t stand her. She was such an indecisive character, she never knew what she wanted. There were times where her actions annoyed me and I had to remind myself that Joe is a stalker here but I felt like even if he wasn’t she would have treated him the same because she wasn’t aware that he was a stalker. Joe, scary as he is, if he wasn’t an obsessive stalker could be a very charismatic person. He’s very smart and talks really fast and a lot, he’s even a little funny. Too bad hes crazy.
In the end, this is one of those thrillers that really stays with you because its so realistic whether you’ve experienced it or not. You get into the head of a stalker and how they think and how they justify their actions. He truly believes he’s done nothing wrong and that they are meant to be together after one interaction.
I only had 2 minor complaints; why is he like this and what the heck kind of person is the store owner (forgot his name). I feel like it wasn’t exactly addressed how he became this way, there wasn’t much information about the life he lived prior to the book that can help you assume that there was cause for this. Now with the shop owner, he doesn’t exactly make appearances but he is mentioned a lot and it makes you wonder what hes all about. Maybe a novella (short one) on his story would be nice.