Most times I am a huge believer in the fact that the book is always better than the movie. In most cases I am still a huge believer in this. However, this book series seems to be an exception to the rules. The first book started out really strong and used to be one of my favorites. The second one was good, and I loved the addition of Love, yet it had still lost the charm of the first book. This one especially seems to have lost what I loved most about the series. This review will contain spoilers so please do not read ahead if you have not read the series.
You Love Me follows Joe after the choices he made in Hidden Bodies. He moves to a small town away from everything he knows and is being paid off by Love’s parents to have no contact with both Love and the baby. After getting a job at the local library he meets Mary Kay DiMarco the head librarian. Joes determined not to obsess over her like he did the others trying to prove that he can win the old-fashioned way. However, the added challenge of Mary Kay having a daughter and a husband may bring Joe back to his old ways.
In the first book I was truly interested in how it was portrayed as though Joe was constantly watching the reader. Through the use of writing in the second person it made the reader more immersed within the book and was something I had never read before. Two books later and I feel as though the story lines and the writing has become too repetitive through the constant change in love interests. Although this one brings in the aspect of Joe going through his life in a small town and having a family to contend with within the love interest the narrative felt lost and confusing. Usually, I love Caroline Kepnes’ writing yet this book felt so repetitive to me in terms of the words used with special mention to ‘Meerkat’ and ‘Murakami’.
The family aspect of this book is one of the unique things that has happened within this series, and I am still unsure of how I feel about this. The daughter in the book really was not my favourite aspect, however it was interesting to see how she impacted the story. The added edition of the husband was what really made me dislike this dynamic of the novel. I feel as though it just made the main character Mary Kay even more unlikable because even though her husband is not a great person Mary Kay seems to often forget about her daughter and none of her decisions seem to reflect what is the right decision for her. However, the daughter is the most unlikable character in the entire series especially when she tries to seduce Joe despite the fact, she is only eighteen and he is dating her mother.
Usually in books I do not like, the side characters often save it for me however, Melanda was the unlikable version of Peach. She is the psycho best friend who tries to ruin Joe and MK however, Joe just kills her off as he does with every other character. As well as the other side character who kidnaps Joe and tries to kill him who Joe thinks is also in love with MK however he is actually sleeping with her daughter which is where I think this book fully lost me.
The one thing I do love about this entire series is Joes inner monologue. Some of the comments that he makes within the book makes me laugh out loud because they are so strange and wonderful. The way he just views his actions and how he truly believes that he never does anything apart from in the interest of the woman is really interesting and funny to read about.
Overall, this book was not one of my favorites and I ended up giving it 2 stars out of 5. Despite usually loving Caroline Kepnes writing style I found this book repetitive and lacked in keeping my interest. Unfortunately, despite loving Joe Goldberg’s inner narrative I do not think I will be continuing with the book series and instead just sticking with the TV show. If anyone would like to see a post about all the differences between the TV show and the book, please comment down below and let me know your thoughts on the book!
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for my review copy!