‘You Love Me’ by Caroline Kepnes

Author : Caroline Kepnes
Title : You Love Me
Series : You #3
Pages : 385
Publisher : Simon & Schuster UK
Publication date : April 1, 2021

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Joe is done with the cities. He’s done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now, he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cozy 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. 

| MY THOUGHTS |

Joe Goldberg is back. This time, Joe is determined to be a good person. He has moved to a small island a ferry ride away from Seattle, where nothing bad ever happens. He has his own house, he has money and he has a job at the local library. This is where he meets Mary Kay. Joe will not fall back into old habits. There will be no stalking, no meddling or obsessing. Joe will win Mary Kay the old fashioned way. How long can Joe keep up this good persona behaviour?

I’m probably one of very few who hasn’t watched the Netflix show featuring Joe Goldberg. I tried but Penn Badgley was just too charming for my liking. It felt all kinds of wrong being somewhat attracted to the creep that is Joe Goldberg. So it had been a while since I had last spent any time in Joe’s world. The previous book, Hidden Bodies, is after all five years old. Most days I can barely remember what I had for breakfast, never mind what I read years ago. All that to say I think I could have done with a bit of a refresher course. You Love Me sometimes references events from its predecessors. Some I remembered perfectly well, others were lost in the dark abyss that is my brain.

That said, Joe is still easily recognisable. Sure, he’s trying to be good but you can’t help but wonder how long he’ll be able to keep it up. Winning Mary Kay over isn’t as straightforward as he hopes, despite being on his best behaviour. On top of that, there’s that nasty little thing called a past that will catch up with him and if you’ve met Joe you know bodies will start dropping at some point. Even though it sounds as if there’s quite a lot going on, it took a surprisingly long time for the story to actually pick up.

All in all, You Love Me is entertaining but the tension of the first book was definitely lacking. You can’t help but think if You Love Me would have seen the light of day had it not been for the massive success of the Netflix series. While You Love Me offers a slightly different Joe altogether, there are only so many ways you can keep this character and the circumstances he finds himself in refreshing and that didn’t happen here at all. Same stuff, different town. And, in an odd sort of way, this “new” not-as-creepy Joe doesn’t even quite work. In my most humble opinion, You still remains the best one and I’m not entirely convinced it needed any of the sequels. Not as good as You, slightly better than Hidden Bodies but overall I feel it has run its course.

My thanks to the publisher for the complimentary review copy. All opinions are my own.

You Love Me is available to buy!

Bookshop UK | Bookdepository | Hive UK | Kobo | Waterstones

  1 comment for “‘You Love Me’ by Caroline Kepnes

  1. April 8, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    *sigh* This was my fear. The first book was just…no words! I liked Hidden Bodies, a lot because I switched to audio and the narrator is outstanding. I’ve this one on audio so maybe it’ll be a better reading experience?

    Excellent review, Eva💜

    Like

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