A few weeks ago, I reviewed the utterly bizarre You, by Caroline Kepnes. I wasn’t quite sure about the story, but I adored the narration of the audiobook (BEST GREG 4EVA), and immediately wanted MORE.
So, here I am, doubly confused after having listened to Hidden Bodies, the sequel to You.
Joe is terrible, and I kind of love him a little bit.
For the first part of the book, Joe and his new girlfriend, Amy (who he started dating in You, after murdering Beck and blaming it on Dr. Nicky, AS YOU DO), spend time in New York and at the beach in Rhode Island. They con a bunch of rich New Yorkers and have a generally great time. But Amy finds Joe going through her phone, and the next thing you know, she’s gone. Along with a whole bunch of rare books from the store where they both work. Folks, Joe can’t believe it. He is not having this.
But never fear! Joe is a massive stalker, and retraces her steps via her search history to find that Amy has moved to Los Angeles to join the UCB and sell copies of Portnoy’s Complaint.
He uproots his tiny life and heads out west after her. He packs up his apartment, quits his job, books a flight, grabs his duffle bag, and is all ready to kill Amy.
Thanks to social media, he figures out where to look for her. He rents an apartment in her new neighborhood, finds a new job, and a drug dealer – all before he even lands at LAX. Joe gets things done.
Joe meets some new people, falls in love with his new grocery store, kills a super popular late night comedian, and struggles as a New Yorker in Hollywood.
“There is nothing remarkable about this ‘guac’, about any ‘guac’, and California needs to calm the fuck down.”
“Angelenos need beauty sleep. They need energy to make storyboards for web series and hike and talk about movies they’ll never make and walk their dogs that hate them.”
“In a way I think it would be terrible to live in LA devoid of aspirations. How would you do it? How would you put up with the traffic and the monotony of the sun, the way people use the word hella and lie so freely?”
Then, Joe meets a girl that he thinks could be “the one”.
And here the book changes course. We kind of forget about Amy for a while, which admittedly, is fine with me. And the story becomes about the love story between “regular guy” Joe and gajillionaire heiress (TO THE AMAZING GROCERY STORE NO LESS), Love. Joe pretty much joins Love’s family, and is quickly swept up into their lifestyle and Hollywood drama. Joe and Love’s twin brother, Forty (YES, her parents were into tennis when they were born), decide to write screenplays together, and even though Forty is a massive A-hole, Joe is pretty sure this decision is a good one.
While Joe and Love are trying to figure out their relationship and their future, Joe is still up to his old murdering ways. I felt sorry for one of his victims, but totally supported the demise of another. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Santino Fontana is clearly sending me straight to hell.
In the last quarter of this book, it goes completely off the rails. Not only is Joe crazy, but Love doesn’t act like a human woman, and Forty is more or less just a caricature of the douche from an 80s movie who grew up. I’m not quite sure I understand the motives and actions of anyone.
Joe Goldberg is still human garbage. He is pure evil.
Why was I always rooting for him to get out of whatever jam he was finding himself in?
Why was I hoping he would get away with the AWFUL things he was doing?
Really, what is wrong with me?
I blame the voice.
Santino Fontana is just so damn good here. While I would hate to encounter a “Joe Goldberg” in real life, I certainly wouldn’t mind talking to this one for a little while. I hope BESTGREG has a massive insurance policy out on his vocal chords. They are a national treasure.