Can a character be creepy and charming? The answer is yes. That’s what makes this book and main character so chilling and realistic. The most notorious criminals aren’t the guys who stand out or have “creeper” written all over them. It’s the good looking, charismatic, intelligent ones that go under the radar that are the scariest. Let’s be honest, no hitchhiker is getting into a car with someone wearing a hockey goaltender’s mask or dressed like a clown. They trust the normal guy, the guy who could be their neighbor or co-worker. Joe is a good looking, intelligent, well-read young man, but make no mistake about it, he is a manipulative, devious, and dangerous man. While he gives the impression of being an average guy, trust me, he is not your average Joe.
I’ll admit that it took me a couple of chapters before I really got into my reading groove. The book is told entirely from Joe’s perspective, and Joe’s mind is definitely a busy, disturbing, eerie place to be. He was a fascinating character to become acquainted with. He was as charming as he was delusional. He obsessed, stalked, and made himself right at home in Beck’s life. He fully believed that she was “the one,” and he was determined to remove anything or anyone who got in his way.
In this share-all age of social media in which people divulge their whereabouts and far too many personal details, this book should scare the bejesus out of readers. Joe used information and tools that were right at his fingertips to track his prey. It was easy to do. Beck wanted and needed to be noticed at all times and, congratulations, Beck, Joe noticed you and found out all he needed to know. She unknowingly left him all of the breadcrumbs he needed.
You is a smart, well-written, creepy reading experience. While the story itself is unnerving, the author was able to infuse humor into it as well, providing a good dose of levity to an otherwise twisted story.
Since the story is told from Joe’s perspective, I believe it gives the reader a more intimate portrayal of him. I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but despite his depravity, it made him seem more human and sympathetic. When an author can do that with a villain, I chalk that up to talented writing!