Hello, friends! Hope all is well. Today I am back with another book review. I read this book a month or so ago, so bear with me if it’s even more vague than normal. Ha!
Ah, Joe Goldberg. We meet again. I have written a blog post on the first and second book of this series, so it only seemed right that I continue on with this tradition, despite my fairly negative review of Hidden Bodies. I seem to be a glutton for punishment when it comes to the Joe Goldberg universe.
In my Hidden Bodies review, I mentioned that it seemed to be a parody of You, but this book felt like an even more extreme departure from the first book, like the transition from a major motion picture to its made-for-tv sequel. In a strange way, I enjoyed reading it, but truly, it had absolutely none of the horror that the first one had and somehow even less than the second one had, but before we dive too much into that, let’s give a quick summary.
Joe Goldberg, our bookish narrator has decided that he’s done with the big cities and instead chooses to move to a small town, getting a job at the public library. He falls in ‘love’ and is doomed to repeat the same cycle that we’ve seen time and time again for him. Insert stalking, delusion, and plenty of off-putting narration.
I think that one of my least favorite things about this book series is that Joe’s actions have no permanent consequences. In the last two books, I really got a sense for this. So many events happen throughout the book and then the last few chapters change everything completely, especially in this last book. The whole book is building up, building up, building up and then something [being vague to avoid spoilers] happens and seemingly unravels everything that the story had been building up. I struggle to see what a fourth book would even be about, if not just to be the same story, but in a different location.
I mentioned in my Hidden Bodies review that even though I didn’t care for it much, I would most likely read the third and fourth one if they came out and I probably would still read the fourth one, even if I did it begrudgingly. I’m committed to this book series, even if I don’t want to be!
One thing about this book in particular was that I loved the idea of Joe Goldberg being in a small town. I liked that it wouldn’t afford him the same anonymity that New York or California would, but the small town nature of it all ended up not being as much of a hindrance for Joe as I was looking forward to. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, I suppose.
Caroline Kepnes is, as always, fantastic at creating characters that feel very true-to-life to how people are, but I think my issue is that these books have become quite formulaic and seem to have lost the spark that they once have. It’s almost like meeting up with an old friend but realizing that you now have nothing in common.
It was an enjoyable read overall, but in my opinion, nothing to write home about it [but I suppose worth writing on the internet about, ha!]
PS I’ve read online that season three of the show is coming out soon and I must admit that I am excited about that! From what I’ve read, season three of the show is going to be vastly different than the book, which, could be a good or a bad thing. I will definitely be watching it, because despite myself, it seems I cannot get enough of Joe Goldberg’s universe!
Thank you so much for reading.