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You  By  cover art

You

By: Caroline Kepnes
Narrated by: Santino Fontana
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Publisher's Summary

How far would you go for the perfect love? A young man’s dark obsession with an enigmatic, gorgeous writer leads to murderous consequences in this erotic psychological thriller.

You walk into the bookstore and you keep your hand on the door to make sure it doesn’t slam. You smile, embarrassed to be a nice girl, and your nails are bare and your V-neck sweater is beige and it’s impossible to know if you’re wearing a bra but I don’t think that you are. You’re so clean that you’re dirty and you murmur your first word to me - hello.

When aspiring writer and recent Brown graduate Guinevere Beck strides into the bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: she's gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and sexy beyond his wildest dreams. Joe needs to have her, and he'll stop at nothing to do so. As he begins to insinuate himself into her life - her friendships, her email, her phone - she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom-made for her. So when her boyfriend, Benji, mysteriously disappears, Beck and Joe fall into a tumultuous affair. But there's more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect façade, and their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences.

Dark, masterful, and timely, debut novelist Caroline Kepnes' You is a perversely romantic thriller that's more dangerously clever than any you've heard before. A chilling account of unrelenting passion, this tale of love, sex, and death will stay with you long after the story ends.

©2014 Alloy Entertainment and Caroline Kepnes. All rights reserved. (P)2014 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Featured Article: The Haunting of Hill House—Book vs. Show


Shirley Jackson was inspired to write the novel after reading about a group of psychic researchers who spent time in a house believed to be haunted. In an essay, Jackson explained that she was less interested in the investigation itself and more intrigued by what could be learned about the people conducting the investigation. If you're a fan of the super creepy Netflix series, here's the lowdown on how the two chilling incarnations stack up.

Editor's Pick: Best of the Decade

Talk about a come-up in the age of cybersecurity!
"When I define best of the decade, I like to think it is for those that had one of the largest popularity surges I have ever seen. Brilliant author Caroline Kepnes came out swinging with her first ever novel, You. When I first discovered You, it was not because I was looking for it. Actually it was an accidental click, however it must've been fate because after reading the summary, I was intrigued instantly. Now a hit television show on Netflix, You was made for greatness plot-wise and narration-wise. Performed by the talented and dulcet tones of Santino Fontana, You couldn’t have set a higher bar for itself! If you’re not hip to the thriller greatness sprinkled onto this decade by Kepnes with her seemingly innocuous Joe Goldberg, I highly recommend You to anyone. As we come to the end of a decade of such technological advancements and surges in the topics of privacy and internet vulnerability, You is the eye-opener, Twitter-conversation-starter of the decade."—Nicole R., Audible Editor

What listeners say about You

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Em
  • 07-17-15

Wow. This. Book.

This is an awkward one to recommend to my close friends and colleagues. Not that I’m particularly prudish or haven’t read “Fifty Shades of Grey” (I have), but because not only is the content of “You” extremely explicit at times, the narrative perspective is also so uniquely dark, that there’s this moment of full-on anxiety when someone I’ve recommended it to starts listening (what will they think of me!?!?). But, while this book REALLY ISN’T for all audiences (and certainly not children), I’ve yet to have a friend not agree with me that there’s something totally brilliant happening here.

So, all disclaimers aside, here’s the deal. I have been an Audible Editor for seven years. I listen in full to – on average – five books a month. I sample and browse countless audiobooks all day long for work. This is the BEST narration I have ever heard, bar none. Caroline Kepnes has created a narrative voice that is intriguing, full of snark, complex, uniquely dark, and incredibly intelligent (all great literary things!), but still pretty hard to get on board with. How do you root for a stalker? How do you start to care for someone who, despite his protestations in chapter two, is a complete and total f**k-up? Well, Santino Fontana’s narration gets you there. He brings this character to life – and I don’t mean that in the way all good narration brings a character to life. I mean that Fontana resurrects an impossibly irredeemable soul and makes you love him. This book is frightening, gritty, edge-of-your-seat stuff that is so much fun to listen to, and it stays with you long after you finish listening to it. It’s the perfect summer listen – don’t miss it. And don’t judge me – or yourself - for loving it!

581 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I want Santino Fontana to narrate my life.

What did you love best about You?

This is the best audiobook I've ever listened to. It's hard for me to say that because there are some fantastic books out there. This one is now my favorite. I will listen to it again, and again.

What other book might you compare You to and why?

There is no other book like this one. Not that I have read, and I think the only thing close to it would be Misery by Stephen King.

Have you listened to any of Santino Fontana’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I would listen to him narrate a phone book. Seriously, all he has to do is change up the billion accents he can mimic and I'd be entertained for days.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Can't say no to Joe"

Any additional comments?

If you had trouble reading the second person point of view in print, this is the answer. You'll love it. Get this one. Seriously.

158 people found this helpful

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Not even the rain has such small hands...

The narrator is amazing and he is the one of two things amazing about this book. The prose is well-written and melodic. I absolutely loved how Caroline Kepnes used such ornate and beautiful prose. One of the most beautiful lines in the book is when Joe says, "Not even the rain has such small hands..." The book was so beautifully written and I appreciated Ms. Kepnes' writing style. Yet, I did not like this book.

We follow Joe through a descent from mad into more madness. The main character, you understand from the beginning, is not quite right. He describes his view of people and interactions. He justifies his treatment of others by painting them as awful, mean-spirited and shallow. His perspective, skewed as it was, only made me sicken for the people he is involved with. I was worried about them.

Even when told from his perspective, I could not find any feeling for him. From the beginning, I was hopeful, but even then, I never rooted for Joe. I just wondered why no one else he met was creeped out by Joe. When he admitted to having stolen a cell phone, I could not understand the reasoning of the main victim/heroine. One thing I can say is that everything about this book is intense. I am still disturbed by the happenings in the story. I just found myself feeling the emptiness that I felt before after watching Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler.

I was not involved with the character--I was involved by with the people in contact with Joe. I wondered if he was supposed to be some kind of anti-hero, but he had no redeeming qualities.

Despite not liking this book, I have to let people know that Ms. Kepnes is a brilliant writer. I just did not like this book.

130 people found this helpful

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Loved it

The "stalker" theme seems to be all around us lately and is, quite frankly, not my favorite. Would probably not have even considered this had it not been for a post on Facebook by a friend whose tastes on books I usually share (the fact that this is how I came upon this book is actually ironic). So glad I followed her advice! And so glad I listened to "You" rather than read it on paper. Mr. Fontana is PERFECT as the first person narrator--the stalker who becomes increasingly obsessed with his prey. And Ms. Kepnes keeps your interest throughout, with the lies and deceptions becoming more and more involved, preposterous...and believable. It will make you want to reset all your social media privacy settings. It will make you cringe. And it will make you laugh! Yes, there's a lot of humor here. (Considering the theme, it is actually a pretty light--if riveting--read). Well done! I can't wait for her next one.

107 people found this helpful

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why editors and critics choose horrible books

This is a well written and read book.Kepnes is truly gifted and Santana was born to narrate this novel. I was fascinated and engrossed with characters I hated. This is a great example of why I hate editor's picks.

The charaters, to a person, are people most of us know to avoid. They are emotionally immature adults who know everything about the acts of sex, running, eating, yet are clueless when it comes to any semblance of character. They are more animal and less human. They are smart, but only enough to compete with each other. In other words, the characters act exactly like editors and critics.

Here is a note to the author and those editors, publishers and critics who suddenly find Stephen King worthy of literary praise. He was great in the 70s when you sneered at the very idea a great writer could write horror. I remember the sneers, though it never bothered me or dterred me from discussing his work in public.

Did you like that rant? Because this book is one last long snob fest of a rant. I wouldnt be surprised if King himself didn't like this book. But unlike his novels and short stories, I could not relate to any of the characters. That is a huge disappointment for me.

Should you give it a whirl? Its clever, well written and certainly unique. It is also pretentious and utterly emotionless.

81 people found this helpful

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Excellent narration of garbage writing

You has been compared favorably to Gone Girl. The comparison is apt only in that the main characters of both novels are psychopaths. In You Caroline Kapnes takes on the difficult task of writing as a young male in the first person. She fails utterly and completely; she should have written in the third person. The Joe Goldberg character, unlike Amy Dunne, is cartoonish rather than credible.

I have no issue with crude language because it is realistic, but Kapnes takes it to gross excess even when the character speaking is not the psychopath. All of her characters, not just Joe, consistently use the crudest word or term possible in all situations. It is simply unrealistic and the excess use of crude language detracts from the realism of the novel.

In summary, Caroline Kapnes attempted to write a psychological thriller in the first person with a main character of the gender opposite hers, a very difficult task for even the best writers. She chose to spice it up with grossly excessive use of crude language by all of the characters (I suspect the incidence of "fuck", "motherfucker", "asshole", etc, in the book may exceed the use of "the"). The result is cartoonish literary trash that has more in common with the movie Porky's than with Gone Girl. But Porky's and American Pie are better literature than You because they are successfully examining the humorous aspects of horny male teenagers while You has no redeeming literary value whatever.

I gave the audiobook two stars rather than one because the narrator is so good that he was able to read some of the worst lines ever written without laughing or gagging. His voice range is impressive.

81 people found this helpful

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Honest review

I got this because I wanted something different. The story starts off great! The narrator, who is Hans' voice from frozen btw, is amazing. But back to the story. It was like a whiny psychopath complaining a huge chunk of the book. Chapter 1-15 are good and then chapter 44-53 are good. The middle is mindless nonsense. I am really disappointed I wasted an audible credit on this.

77 people found this helpful

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Obsessed with this book.... and the narrator!

Would you listen to You again? Why?

This book was addicting... I became obsessed with the story and the narrator. You have to read this book if you like dark, obsessive, compulsive, all encompassing love/tragedy real life, first love stories.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Joe, the main character is in my mind night and day... I had to keep listening.. could not get this book out of my mind. I became obsessed with his obsession. Also, the narrator’s voice captured the book so perfectly... I felt like I was in his head... very well done!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Love it - I have never been more obsessed with a character and wanted to read more.

Any additional comments?

This novel is dark but in all the good ways.

63 people found this helpful

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Brilliantly Creepy

Reading "You" was like reading someone's twisted, sociopathic diary entries...which, ironically, is exactly what the anti-hero Joe does throughout the story. I couldn't stop listening as each chapter got darker, and yet still wanting to hear this "relationship" unfold. I often found myself sympathetic to Joe and hating the "victims" as the story progressed...not sure what that says about me! The narration from Santino Fontana (BTW, what a killer name) was stellar, and I'm definitely planning to pick up Kepnes' Hidden Bodies in 2016.

51 people found this helpful

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This is not a love story

What made the experience of listening to You the most enjoyable?

I loved the narrator and the character Joe. You want to hate him....But you can't.

What did you like best about this story?

Everything. I think the author did a fantastic job portraying Joe and his obsessions.

Which scene was your favorite?

His interactions with Dr. Nicky

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Love is a sick and twisted game

47 people found this helpful

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  • johanna
  • 07-09-19

Enjoyed it

The way the narrator read was breathtaking, it wasn't boring and felt that the book itself kept you on your toes.