You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes (You #3)

Published by Random House

The highly anticipated new thriller in Caroline Kepnes’s hit You series, now a blockbuster Netflix show…

Joe Goldberg is back. And he’s going to start a family – even if it kills him.

Joe Goldberg is done with cities, done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now, he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cozy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe.

He gets a job at the local library – he does know a thing or two about books – and that’s where he meets her: Mary Kaye DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won’t meddle, he will not obsess. He’ll win her the old fashioned way… by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town.

The trouble is… Mary Kaye already has a life. She’s a mother. She’s a friend. She’s… busy.

True love can only triumph if both people are willing to make room for the real thing. Joe cleared his decks. He’s ready. And hopefully, with his encouragement and undying support, Mary Kaye will do the right thing and make room for him.

Publication Date: 1st April 2021

I absolutely love this series of books – Joe is such a devilishly complex main character.
He’s a narcissist and delusional, he can paint himself as a victim and justify any kind of irrational, violent or unacceptable behaviour to himself which makes him capable of doing anything.

He’s moved to a cosy island community in hopes of starting a new life for himself and soon finds a new woman to bestow all his obsessive affections upon. Obviously it’s convoluted and a headf* but I’m not going to give away any specifics.

We retread some old paths in terms of his behaviour and habits, but he also shows that he’s been changed by his previous experiences. He’s an obsessive stalker who idealises a specific woman and shoehorns himself into her life until he’s her everything, and then systematically destroys everything she cares about when she doesn’t see that he’s the best thing that even happened to him. Being a boyfriend is no longer enough for him, he now wants to be part of a family which is even scarier.

The book is written in the first person perspective and reads like a stream of consciousness directed to Mary Kaye, the new woman in Joe’s life. As ever, his inner monologue seems so very, very reasonable while he justifies his abusive and insane behaviours – this is the bit that makes him such an irresistible character, getting to see inside the head of a charismatic narcissist and being made to empathise with him even though you know he’s the villain of the piece. The author has the uncanny ability to make you dislike the other characters even though they’re just regular people with regular flaws.

The only critique I can possibly make about this book is that by upping the ante in the series, I started to feel like all of the events piling on him were starting to become a bit much. It stopped just before reading the level of ridiculous, but only just.

I’m so excited to learn that there’s going to be at least one more book in this series, I’ll be grabbing this one on audio the second it’s released to add to my collection.

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