Review: “You Love Me” by Caroline Kepnes (You #3)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Addicting, thrilling, and darkly funny, “You Love Me” is the third installment in the popular “You” series and — holy smokes! — it’s good, good, good. I couldn’t put it down.

About the Book

“You Love Me” by Caroline Kepnes

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 Review

Joe Goldberg is back, and he’s turning over a new leaf. This time around, he’s determined to be a good person. All Joe has ever wanted was to love and be loved in return. In the past, he killed for it. No more, though. Relocating to Bainbridge Island in the Pacific Northwest, he meets librarian Mary Kay DiMarco. The love he feels for her is instant, real, and stronger than anything he’s felt before. He’s convinced she feels the same. Not to be stymied by her hesitation to be with him, he vows to be patient, understanding, and not a killer — three things he’s never been good at. But when Mary Kay’s family and friends get in the way of his future with her, will Joe return to his old, murderous ways?

Addicting, thrilling, and darkly funny, “You Love Me” is the third installment in the popular “You” series and — holy smokes! — it’s good, good, good. I couldn’t put it down. Every bit the same high octane, omg-Joe thrill ride as the first two books, I raced through the pages, simultaneously devouring and savoring every word. Joe Goldberg might be trying to turn over a new leaf, but he’s still the same disturbed, charming guy who hooked me back when Beck was still alive (in “You”).

Written as Joe’s stream of consciousness, “You Love Me” takes you into Joe’s deviant thoughts and obsessive heart as he starts his new life pursuing Mary Kay. Joe’s a psychopath. A serial killer. Yet, the way Caroline Kepnes writes his story also makes him extremely human. Perhaps even appealing and (dare I say it) sympathetic. All Joe wants is to love and be loved. But dammit if people don’t keep getting in his way! Caroline Kepnes is flat out brilliant in the way she writes. While reading “You Love Me”, I actually surmised that Joe might need to kill again in order to be with Mary Kay. (How messed up is that?) Maybe I even rooted for him a little. (Okay, I did.)

Full of tension and suspense, “You Love Me” is an effortless and enjoyable read, simply because of the way it’s written. Four hundred page fly by faster than most books half the length. It’s the perfect book to read if you like edgy, fast paced thrillers that grab you by your attention span. It’s the perfect book to read if you love “You” and have spent the past few years pining away for more Joe Goldberg. The only downside is that, once you finish, you’ll be left to wait again for the next book in the series. (Please let there be a next one!)

Thank you to the publisher Random and author Caroline Kepnes for a complimentary eARC of “You Love Me” in exchange for for a fair review.

About the Author

Caroline Kepnes is the author of “You”, “Hidden Bodies”, and “Providence”. The hit Netflix series You is an adaptation of her debut novel. The upcoming second is based on her sequel “Hidden Bodies”.

Caroline was born and raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. When she was in high school, Sassy Magazine gave her short story an Honorable Mention in their Fabulous Fiction Contest. They also gave her a Smith Corona typewriter.

After graduating from Brown University, Caroline continued writing short stories (on her computer, sorry typewriter) while embarking on a career in pop culture journalism first at Tiger Beat, then at Entertainment Weekly. She also worked as a TV writer on 7th Heaven and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Caroline now lives in a quaint neighborhood in Los Angeles. She goes home to Cape Cod every chance she gets.