Hidden Bodies (You #2)
by Caroline Kepnes
Summary: In the compulsively readable follow-up to her widely acclaimed debut novel, You, Caroline Kepnes weaves a tale that Booklist calls “the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman.”
Hidden Bodies marks the return of a voice that Stephen King described as original and hypnotic, and through the divisive and charmingly sociopathic character of Joe Goldberg, Kepnes satirizes and dissects our culture, blending suspense with scathing wit.
Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.
In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: truelove. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…
Source: I received a digital copy from Netgalley.
You was such an amazing and addicting story that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. You ended well, so I wondered what the sequel would consist of, but was eager to get more of Joe’s addicting narrative.
Hidden Bodies was good and difficult to put down. Joe’s narrative was great, but the story itself fell a bit flat for me. Joe was no longer obsessed with someone and actively stalking her. While he did go to LA on a mission, he got distracted and wasn’t as focused and on point as he was in the first book. He grew as a person and I think he actually fell in real love. I did enjoy the ending and the fact that he seemed to kind of grow and learn something (like you can’t just murder people who piss you off and you also don’t know everything). But it just didn’t come anywhere near the awesomeness that was book one.
Maybe this is weird, but I kind of preferred psychopath stalker Joe who talked to Beck instead of the reader. I didn’t want this Joe who didn’t stalk people and stay a step ahead and judge people. (He still judged people, but it wasn’t nearly as fun.) Hidden Bodies just reeks of second book syndrome, as if the author couldn’t let a good thing go without beating it a few times just for good measure. Joe made mistakes and wasn’t nearly as good at being a murderer. He lost his psychopathic nature a bit when he wasn’t obsessed with something. He fit in really well and started to want things. Normal things. That’s not the Joe I wanted to read about.
If you can pick up Hidden Bodies at the library or borrow it from a friend, then it’s not a bad idea to pick it up because it was good. It’s not worth rushing to the bookstore to pick up a shiny new hardcover, though. It’s not You. And if you’re satisfied with the ending of You and the tiny loose end he left behind and don’t want to see what he’d be like without Beck and his obsession, then I wouldn’t even bother with this one. Hidden Bodies was fun to read and Joe’s point of view was compelling, but it was nowhere near as captivating as You.