The anticipated third novel in the YOU series by Caroline Kepnes is finally here. It’s a whoop! moment for me to finally meet the deliciously addictive Joe Goldberg again.
The highly anticipated new thriller in Caroline Kepnes’s hit You series, now a blockbuster Netflix show . . . Joe Goldberg is back. And he’s going to start a family – even if it kills him.
Joe Goldberg is done with cities, done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now, he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cosy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe.
He gets a job at the local library – he does know a thing or two about books – and that’s where he meets her: Mary Kay DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won’t meddle, he will not obsess. He’ll win her the old fashioned way . . . by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town.
The trouble is . . . Mary Kay already has a life. She’s a mother. She’s a friend. She’s . . . busy.
True love can only triumph if both people are willing to make room for the real thing. Joe cleared his decks. He’s ready. And hopefully, with his encouragement and undying support, Mary Kay will do the right thing and make room for him.
Obsessive, narcissistic, unpredictable, however you see him, Joe Goldberg is all that and so much more. I don’t believe anything can top book one: YOU. It’s still vivid in my mind and so are the characters. Some of these are mentioned in book 3, flashback moments that slide into Joe’s screwed up mind — faces haunt him, voices taunt him — he can’t expect to escape his past.
The beginning of the book gives us a lot more head-play than the last two. I yearned for more action at the outset, but parking inside that complex mind wasn’t a bad thing. After a stretch in prison, we meet Joe again, but this time he’s living on an island in the pacific North West. There’s no Love Quinn, no baby, but true to form he has gravitated towards getting a job in a local library — something he’s ace at. He’s comfortable around books, knows them inside and out and can talk books all day. What he doesn’t anticipate in his bachelor state is falling for Mary-Kay DiMarco, a librarian. She may need to look his way a little more, but he promises not to obsess or privately investigate her. He promises to do it all the right way this time. But inserting yourself into the lives of all those who surround MK is just too good to miss. But can Joe be happy in Cedar Cove? We already know we’re in for a wild ride.
Stalking is what he’s wired to do. He can try to fight his inner psychopath, but that may take several more books. Just like old times, something in Joe’s psyche warns us that his dark side may erupt when things go disastrously wrong. And that’s what makes us read on. Mary-Kay is neither here nor there even in her own mind. If I was hoping her interest/disinterest wasn’t going to play on a loop, I was out of luck. Her friends (the circle) are holding her hostage and in some cases as certifiable as Joe. I was hoping they’d be a little more routine and believable. Shortus, heroin snorting Phil, best friend Melanda, gambling addict Ivan. I have a feeling Joe will be long gone after the end and we’ll be able to follow him to another state where he will start all over again.
If you watched this series on Netflix or read the books, you’ll love this third instalment. Kepnes keeps her story arcs spontaneous and keeps her readers guessing. We can’t anticipate how her characters evolve. There are too many twists and dark holes to fall down with a smattering of humour along the way. Joe is bound to be hit and miss as he yearns for love. Will he navigate life’s obstacles in the ‘normal’ way or will he manipulate, manoeuvre and outplay his opponents to get what he wants?
A powerfully addictive read that will keep readers up at night. Thank you Simon & Schuster UK, Netgalley and author Caroline Kepnes for the privilege of reading this ARC.
About the Author:
Caroline Kepnes is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Her first novel YOU was translated into 19 languages and shortlisted for a CWA New Blood Award. Her second novel HIDDEN BODIES is a sequel that Booklist describes as ‘the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman’. Caroline earned a BA in American Civilization at Brown University and worked as a pop culture journalist on Entertainment Weekly and a TV writer on 7th Heaven. She now writes full-time and lives in Los Angeles. A 10 episode TV series based on YOU will premiere on Lifetime Network in 2018.
Other Books by Caroline Kepnes