Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

Source: Audible/Gift from Friend
Audiobook, 13+ hours;
Hardcover, 448 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes is the second in a series of books about Joe Goldberg, a serial killer who is no stranger to love, obsession, and death.  If you haven’t read You, you need to because without reading it, you miss way too much.  I read this in hardcover and listened to the audio — the narrator of the audio, Santino Fontana, owns the role of Joe Goldberg and that of Forty.

***Spoilers for previous book***

Goldberg loves books and considers himself a writer, and after killing his latest girlfriend, he finds himself in love with a new girl who loves books and is eager to play games, like he is.  However, when Amy, who met him through a fake credit card, screws him over, Joe has little choice but to leave his bookstore managerial post in New York to head out to California to take care of her.  Along the way he gets sucked into the California dream of fame and fortune and finds himself opening social media accounts, something he would never have done in New York.

He meets Love and falls in love, but she has a twin named Forty who sucks the life out of everything with his addictions and his tantrums. Then, there is Milo, the third twin. At the same time he’s living the high life, he sees Amy and tries to catch her and fails and gets tangled up with a star-struck actress wannabe. His tangled web nearly unravels several times, as the story gets more twisted up and the body count rises. Readers will want to check reality at the door, you just have to go along for the ride.

Written and Directed by Joe Goldberg
Love is laughing and clapping and I hug Forty and shake his hand and thank him but he tells me not to thank him. ‘This was all you, Old Sport!'”

Joe is a character you love to hate.  He is creepy, calculating, and scary, but he’s also logical and rational and makes you want to believe he’s doing the right thing and helping the larger world. Kepnes’ story is twisted and crazy, but there is some great humor in these encounters, particularly when Joe corners police officer Robin Fincher who has his own Rolodex of celebrity encounters. Joe is in a city where everyone is obsessive.

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes makes readers wonder just how many obsessive and self-obsessed people are in the world and how on Earth people like Joe don’t kill more of them for us. Joe has evolved — somewhat — in this book, but don’t expect him to become a Boy Scout or a hero.

RATING: Quatrain

Other Reviews:

About the Author:

Caroline Kepnes is the author of You and Hidden Bodies. She splits her time between Los Angeles, California and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Find her on Facebook.

Mailbox Monday #382

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Bukowski in a Sundress by Kim Addonizio for review from Penguin for review.

Kim Addonizio is used to being exposed. As a writer of provocative poems and stories, she has encountered success along with snark: one critic dismissed her as “Charles Bukowski in a sundress.” (“Why not Walt Whitman in a sparkly tutu?” she muses.) Now, in this utterly original memoir in essays, she opens up to chronicle the joys and indignities in the life of a writer wandering through middle age.

Addonizio vividly captures moments of inspiration at the writing desk (or bed) and adventures on the road—from a champagne-and-vodka-fueled one-night stand at a writing conference to sparsely attended readings at remote Midwestern colleges. Her crackling, unfiltered wit brings colorful life to pieces like “What Writers Do All Day,” “How to Fall for a Younger Man,” and “Necrophilia” (that is, sexual attraction to men who are dead inside). And she turns a tender yet still comic eye to her family: her father, who sparked her love of poetry; her mother, a former tennis champion who struggled through Parkinson’s at the end of her life; and her daughter, who at a young age chanced upon some erotica she had written for Penthouse.

At once intimate and outrageous, Addonizio’s memoir radiates all the wit and heartbreak and ever-sexy grittiness that her fans have come to love—and that new readers will not soon forget.

After Alice by Gregory Maguire for review with TLC Book Tours.

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?

In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings — and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is After Alice.

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes from a friend in Book Club!

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: true love. 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…

The Totally Gnarly, Way Bogus Murder of Muffy McGregor by Teddy Durgin, my friend and colleague, from another friend.

High school is out for the summer of 1986. Unfortunately, mega-popular cheerleader Muffy McGregor won’t live to see the fall. While most people in the small town of Laurel, Maryland, see tragedy in the cheerleader’s gnarly demise, her unpopular classmate, Sam Eckert, sees a most excellent opportunity. In between shifts at his new job at the mall, Sam works with a local P.I. to try and solve Muffy’s murder before the police do so he can finally get in good with the cool crowd. But the suspects are many. Was it Brent, Muffy’s way emotional jock boyfriend? Was it Chet, the super slick record-store manager she was carrying on a not-so-secret affair with? It couldn’t be Sam’s dream girl, Barbara, could it? Or was it someone far more dangerous? Who killed Muffy McGregor? What was the motive? And did it have anything to do with Bobby Ewing in that shower?

What did you receive?

You by Caroline Kepnes

Source: Public Library
Hardcover, 422 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

You by Caroline Kepnes is creepy, obsessive, and twisted, and Joe Goldberg and Guinevere Beck are certifiable.  This thriller will pull you in and suck you dry, as Beck walks into a bookstore and flirts with the wrong man.  Kepnes has created two downright sinister characters who are perfect for each other and when circumstance brings them together, everyone around them better watch out.  Check your morals at the door with this one; these two are not redeemable, but you can’t help but watch how everything unfolds between them and how it impacts those around them.  Truly one of the unsettling novels out there.  Kepnes’ prose easily draws in the reader, making them wonder who this obsessive man is and why he’s so drawn to this particular girl.

“‘This will sound crazy, but I’m saving it.  For my nursing home list.’
‘You mean bucket list.’
‘Oh, no, that’s totally different.  A nursing home list is a list of things you plan on reading and watching in a nursing home.  A bucket list is more like … visit Nigeria, jump out of an airplane.'” (pg. 8)

Through careful manipulation of social media and a few lucky breaks, this relationship begins to take a life of its own, and while both parties have their demons, it’s clear that they cannot keep away from one another.  Even though you know throughout what will happen in the end, readers will be up late and turning pages in this psychological thriller.  Joe sees himself as a protector, someone charged with saving Beck from predators, but those predators are not who you’d expect them to be.  Meanwhile, Beck loves new things, and this love of wanting and being wanted is something that drives her incessantly.

“‘There’s no such thing as a flying cage, Joseph,’ he said.  ‘The only thing crueler than a cage so small that a bird can’t fly is a cage so large that a bird thinks it can fly.  Only a monster would lock a bird in here and call himself an animal lover.'” (pg. 47)

Joe is her opposite in that he obsesses over old things and continuously covets old books and collects old and broken typewriters.  He’s waiting for social media to overheat and die, he prefers anonymity, but is it only because he feels unworthy or is it because it enables him to stalk and obsess more freely?  He hates pretentious people who live their lives for others and share everything with everyone, but he too is pretentious in that he’s a book snob.  Dan Brown is not a good enough author, and people should be reading Paula Fox, and they should never pretend to read books.

For those who do not like graphic violence or sex, you should stay away.  You by Caroline Kepnes is riveting and disturbing.  What does it mean to be you?  What is your true self and do you share that with everyone or only a special few?  And what if the real you is scary?  Do you share that self with anyone? Lock it up? Or simply let it out?

About the Author:

Caroline Kepnes is the author of You and Hidden Bodies. She splits her time between Los Angeles, California and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Find her on Facebook.