Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hidden Bodies Book Review

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

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In the compulsively readable follow-up to her widely acclaimed debut novel, You, Caroline Kepnes weaves a tale that Booklist calls “the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman.”

Hidden Bodies marks the return of a voice that Stephen King described as original and hypnotic, and through the divisive and charmingly sociopathic character of Joe Goldberg, Kepnes satirizes and dissects our culture, blending suspense with scathing wit.

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: truelove. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice...

Review by Brittany:

So I loved You, the weirdness and all. In fact, it was one of my favorite reads of 2015, so picking up this one was an obvious choice for me.

How can I possibly love Joe Goldberg so much when I know he's a freaking psycho?! There's something about him that I find so shamefully appealing. And now he's in  LA, making fun of the people with aspirations while becoming one of them.

What I liked about this one was that Joe becomes more human in this book. He begins to want things and to care about people, something that didn't seem to happen in the first book. He figures out that he actually enjoys writing screenplays and maybe this could be his thing. He falls in love with Love, a woman he meets while trying to chase down Amy to kill her, and begins to want a future with her. He notices how her brother tears her down constantly and starts dreaming about making her life better, even if that means getting rid of her brother. Joe's still Joe, twisted and willing to murder if that makes life easier, but he's developing a little bit of humanity this time around.

It was the other characters in this book that made it less of a favorite than the first one. Forty, Love's brother, was so annoying and obnoxious. I reached a point where all I could think about was how he was thirty-five and still a childish mess. I needed him to get his stuff together, and that just didn't happen. Love was similar in that she was always forgiving Forty's behavior. Like everything he did was fine because they were twins and you have to love your family.

I did like this book, but I think You was better. Joe just didn't have the same spark in this one, and I liked the characters from the first book better. However, if you're a fan of Joe Goldberg, then you should still pick this one up.

Notable quotes:

This is what all the love songs are about, the moment when you find your own way forward with someone and there is no turning back. 

I wonder when the wondering will stop. I hate this part of the split, when that girl just lives in your head.

Sometimes, what you do for one night destroys your future.

It's an ugly thing, the inside of a family, the disappointments, the disgust...

I don't know any perfect couples, true partners who share the load equally.

...most of the time in life, I'm starting to realize, love is not the problem.

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