Book Review for HIDDEN BODIES by Caroline Kepnes
HIDDEN BODIES by Caroline Kepnes
☕ ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕
Joe’s darkly humorous insights and positively twisted point of view is back in Hidden Bodies. Caroline Kepnes delivers an unabashedly honest reflection on our society through the eyes of a deeply flawed character who you will love to hate.
Joe is back. I have been waiting a while to talk to you all about the follow-up book to YOU and now I can finally do it. You may be seeing some reviews that say this book is more of the same or that there is something missing in this book that doesn’t make it as good as the first. I will not be one of those people. I loved it. I loved getting back to Joe’s deeply perverse rationalizations and his hatred of just about everything about Pop Culture. So, buckle up people, I am about to tell you why you should read Hidden Bodies.
The story opens up a little after where we left off in the previous book. Joe and Amy as the happy couple or at least as happy as Joe can be in a relationship. The two seem to be a good fit, though the reader does get a sense that it will hit the fan soon. And it does. Amy winds up leaving New York after stealing from the bookstore in order to make it big as an actress in Los Angeles. So Joe does what any other ex-boyfriend/dumpee would do. He goes to LA and hatches plan to kill her. Normal reaction, right?
As Joe experiences all the “glory” of Los Angeles, he makes some strides toward normalcy. He joins social media, makes a few friends, and meets Love. Love...this is where things start to get interesting. However, don’t get too excited that our friendly neighborhood serial killer has turned over a new leaf just yet. Or has he? This book tests Joe’s beliefs as well as his inner instincts. He has to deal with his past as he processes his desires to find true love. Can the hidden bodies of one’s past ever truly stay hidden? Will Joe ever be able to live a normal life and will he make it in Hollywood?
Caroline has the ability to weave together prose like I only wish that I could. There is a gritty eloquence to her writing that I find both refreshing and disturbing. And the way that she makes me actually like a sociopath blows me away. I cannot express how much I loved experiencing the next chapter of Joe’s life in this book. When an author allows you inside the thoughts of a character like this, there is something both disconcerting and entertaining about it. You want to hate him, but there is something about him that you just can’t help but hope that he will turn it all around. I can’t believe she did it to me again. I am justifying Joe’s crazy! Damn it Caroline!
So…read the book. Embrace the warped world that Joe lives in, because whether you want to admit it or not, it is going to be good.
Audio Book Note: Alright people, the audio books of the YOU series are a must listen. Even if you read the books (like I did), you still have to listen to the audio books. Read by Santino Fontana, Joe comes alive. The speed, tone, and overall experience of listening to this audio book is exactly what you want if you know the character and the author. Also, the variations of his voice when he talks about the other characters is both mocking, hilarious, and a truthful depiction of how Joe perceives these people. Brilliant! When the first book came out, I read YOU and loved it. It was one of my favorite books that year, so I decided to re-read it by listening to the audio version. What can I say? I love this book. Then I got the advanced reading copy of Hidden Bodies and dived right in. The funny part was that as I was reading it, I could almost hear Santino Fontana voice in my head. Freaky, right? The narrator just embodies the character so well, that you can’t think of any other voice being Joe. Simply stated, the Hidden Bodies audio book, as well as YOU, is perfection.
About the Book:
In 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.”
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: true love. 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…
About the Author: Caroline Kepnes is the author of You, Hidden Bodies and Providence. She has worked as a pop culture journalist for Entertainment Weekly and a TV writer on 7th Heaven, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and the upcoming adaptation of You. Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts she now writes full-time and lives in Los Angeles.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.