Caroline Kepnes’ third instalment of her You series has arrived – and with style. Joe Goldberg returns in You Love Me – a novel that reminds us that we can’t outrun our pasts no matter how hard we try, and there’s no such thing as starting over. It’s dark, twisted, and full of unexpected twists and turns… You Love Me will is a fantastically creepy story that is as insane as it’s predecessors.
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.
I loved the first book in this series – You was something different that I had never encountered before and I was hooked. The second novel – Hidden Bodies – frustrated me a little. I felt like Joe was become more careless and callous, and I felt like we lost a little bit of the essence that makes Joe, Joe.
Finally we have him back – thank you, You Love Me!
Joe was back to his usual self, or actually, his best behaved self. It was quite entertaining to see him itching to return to all his bad habits when he couldn’t. Especially when he wanted to get someone out of the picture. But the funny thing was, they did go out of the picture and he didn’t even need to do anything. It seemed that drama just seemed to follow him this time. Not the other way around.
It felt a little creepy at first reading from Joe again after having a break from him for a while. I forgot just how obsessive he was and reading about all the ways he wanted to have Mary Kay on the Red Bed was a bit… icky and creepy. Once we got past that though it was good to have him back.
Joe always makes me laugh. And it baffles me how each and every time he becomes obsessed with someone he thinks they are The One. I’ve never came across a character – or person, even – who becomes so convinced that each new love is the ultimate love of his life. It’s maybe the only thing that’s a bit annoying about Joe, because he moves on so quickly it can be a struggle to keep up.
I really enjoyed Kepnes’ story though – I never predicted the ending. Not at all. It was full of twists of turns. As I said before, this time drama seemed to follow Joe instead of the other way around. Which leads me to the message of the story: your karma will always catch up to you.
For so long Joe was getting away with all of his atrocities. Never looking back. This time though it’s like his past has caught up with him, and his luck finally changes. In a way it’s almost like he deserves it, because he’s done so much wrong and caused other people so much pain that now it’s finally his turn.
What Kepnes shows us in You Love Me is that we can’t outrun our pasts, there’s not really such a thing as ‘starting over’, and your karma will always catch up with you and get you when you think you don’t need to worry about it anymore.
Later in the novel, when Joe is happy, things come back to haunt him:
“Here’s the thing about us. It just gets better…– Caroline Kepnes, You Love Me
… And then my phone buzzes. I have one new text message, and that message is from Love F**king Quinn: We need to talk.
She never writes to me and my legs fill with pins and needles. I put my phone on the counter and no. This is not happening.”
No matter what you do, or how far you go, to get away from your past, it will catch up to you and you can’t escape it. As Joe finds out when he thinks he’s settled down and happy. There is no starting over, you just need to hope you can handle it when it comes back around.
“You know I love you, but you don’t know that I can’t avoid Love Quinn. I pull the covers back. I get into bed and you are in a deep sleep, but even in this state, you are drawn to me, moving into me as you make room for me. Such a good fit. The only true fit I’ve ever known. I hate that you’ll wake up tomorrow and realise that RIP Melanda was right all along, that men always let you down, that they bail on you because men do f**king suck. But so does Love, Mary Kay. So does love.”– Caroline Kepnes, You Love Me
You Love Me is a powerful, but dark, psychological thriller that will keep you shocked and surprised at every second chapter. And the ending sets us up perfectly for a fourth novel.