if you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to watch the show first, read the book later and then mentally thank yourself for finishing neither of them, “you” is it.
the hype behind everything that had to do with this book was definitely the only thing that prompted me to read this. however, umpteen things in this book just failed to deliver. you know one of those moments in award shows where the outfit in its entirety is glamorous and the person donning it looks stunning as well, but when they clamber up the stairs, they end up slipping and falling flat to the floor?
“you” is the bookish epitome of that exact moment.
our MC, joe, works in a bookstore, gives excellent customer service, the actor playing him also played dan in gossip girl, has a nice voice, is charismatic and has good taste in the arts. what more would anyone want in a guy?
except he’s a stalker. i don’t think we want that.
i’m glad this is fiction. truly.
in the span of 450-ish pages, joe goldberg goes on to commit practically every single crime in the dictionary of crime with no remorse whatsoever. he’s a master at covering up his tracks, is insanely hilarious and somehow that makes up for his lack of moral code.
joe goldberg, the stalker, also happens to be our narrator- his delusional viewpoint of the world around him and the fact that he unironically critiques everything around him- was the primary reason this book could even be redeemed readable. let make it clear, i dislike his actions but i do not dislike his narration.
“everybody in new york is faking illnesses”
in a nutshell:
- joe makes an assumption and/or judges someone he knows practically nothing about
- suprise! joe is right
- events 1 and 2 take place continuously.
barely any other comments can be made about the other characters because all you’re exposed to for the majority of the book is joe. beck, peach etc etc come and go, but all we’re able to discern about them is all that joe states. joe is obviously a textbook unreliable narrator, but something about his narration is lacking.
he is unreliable, but uncomfortably so. his narration is a constant cycle of vicious attacking and dreadful self-victimisation with the main goal being to garner sympathy.
detaching from joe himself for a minute, the other aspect that led me to rating this a three star was the creation of joe. his narration isn’t a first person narration where we see things through the narrator’s lenses and nothing less, this is joe directly addressing beck with every single move he makes.
even the littlest things about him scream stalker, and despite how this entire book was just a “wtf” moment, the intricate attention to detail that has been put in creating the avatar of joe was amazing.
analytically, the creation of joe the avatar was amazing. as a highschooler secondly and human firstly, i had trouble sleeping at night.
skimming through joe goldberg’s prominently deranged mind was riotous. my entire experience of reading this book was ironic. plainly, the netflix show depicts both the characters and plot better.
if you’re like me and have had the absolute horror of reading “you”, a penny for your thoughts? did you actually enjoy it or was did the whole experience leave a bitter taste in your mouth?
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4:57 PM ]