I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is February 23, 2016.
Charmingly murderous anti-hero Joe Goldberg continues his twisted quest for the perfect love in this thrilling follow-up to the “deeply dark yet mesmerizing” You. When Joe follows the woman he wants to marry to the West Coast, he never imagines that his obsession will lead him to such tragedy.
" . . . the real horror of my life is not that I've killed some terrible people. The real horror is that the people I've loved didn't love me back."
Oh Caroline Kepnes. Once again, you have made me actually enjoy being inside the head of a madman.
Joe is back and he is even more twisted than before, if that is even possible. At the beginning of the book, Joe is happily in love with Amy, the girl he met at the end of the first book. There is lots of sex and lots of adventure and Joe is even (graciously) willing to ignore the few flaws that Amy has. He even trusts her . . . kind of. She seems perfect for him, but this is Joe so you know it will not end up perfectly. Amy ends up robbing him and taking off for the West Coast. Oh sweet Amy, don't you know what happens when you screw over Joe? NOTHING GOOD. I know I shouldn't blame the victim, but I can't help it. I just have to shake my head when someone gets in Joe's way because I know what's coming.
Joe is as unreliable a narrator as they come, but the genius of this book is that Joe is able to make the reader hate his victims almost as much as he does. So whenever Joe attacks or kills someone, I kind of understand where he is coming from. Yeah, yeah, I am sick. But it's true! I hate these people as much as he does. But then you have to ask yourself: are these people REALLY as bad as Joe thinks or are his twisted obsessions affecting how he sees people? Something tells me that it is a little bit of both.
"Los Angeles is full of places to hide a body, but when the person inside the body doesn't love you, it's not an easy thing, turning that breathing person into a dead one."
Joe just wants a woman who will love him as much as he loves them, but Joe loves so completely and is so obsessive that it is impossible to live up to his standards. I wanted him to be happy and to overcome his past so bad. When he meets Love, I WANT it to work out. Throughout the entire book, I was hoping he could forget about his vendetta against Amy and focus on the future. And I was really hoping that he would finally find love (literally and figuratively). The problem is that Joe keeps obsessing about his past and about all the mistakes he made that could allow him to get caught and could ruin his chances with Love. I just wanted to scream at him to CALM DOWN! But at the same time that I am rooting for him to succeed, I am also rooting for him to be punished. It's a wonderful contradiction that only Kepnes can provide. There is a certain resolution at the end, but there is also a lot left open. I don't know that Caroline Kepnes will write yet another sequel. but rest assured that if she does, I will happily devour it.
The only negative about this book was that there were a few places where the story kind of dragged a bit. It was a long book. But even when it seemed like nothing was happening. I still loved being inside Joe's head and hearing his opinions on everything going on in his life. Being inside his head is a very dark and scary place, but it is a place that I would visit over and over . . . as long as I am not the one who is on his bad side.