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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

You Love Me

You Series Book #3

ISBN: 0593133781

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 4/6/2021

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars +++

The highly anticipated new thriller in Caroline Kepnes’s hit You series, now a blockbuster Netflix show—a compulsively readable trip into the deviant mind of the uniquely antisocial, savvy bookseller . . . Joe Goldberg.

Joe is done with the cities. He’s 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 Kay 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 Kay 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 Kay will do the right thing and make room for him.


“I will read anything Caroline Kepnes writes. She’s one of the smartest, most insightful writers out there with a true gift for crafting flawed, complicated characters that force us to reckon with our own flaws and complications. Joe’s back (and so are all the reasons you love to hate him), but in You Love Me, Caroline delves even deeper. She subverts our idea of who Joe is and who he can be. In so doing, she forces the reader to ask themselves, Can Joe change? Can anyone ever really change?” —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Is Also a Star

“I absolutely loved it. It’s completely addictive, razor-sharp writing from Kepnes. Internet creeping at its most darkly humorous. Joe’s back, and this time it’s definitely real love.” —Catherine Steadman, New York Times bestselling author of Something in the Water

“Caroline Kepnes is that peerless author who makes me laugh and glance over my shoulder on the very same page. Thank the reading gods that Joe Goldberg is back and just as seductive, dangerous, and witty as ever.” —Jessica Knoll, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive

“Caroline Kepnes’s original magic trick was getting readers to root for the murderous Joe Goldberg; now, in You Love Me, her mastery deepens in making readers love him. Filled with her signature wit, incisive social commentary, and pathos, this is Kepnes’s best yet.”—Andrea Dunlop, author of We Came Here to Forget

“A strange delight . . . Series fans will eat this up.” —Publishers Weekly

“Kepnes’s series continues to be a sly, subversive exploration of what people choose to reveal and what they hide in their relationships, and just how difficult it is to truly know another person. That Kepnes manages to limn such heady subjects in such a compulsively readable way while serving up twists aplenty is the reason the series still feels fresh three books in. . . . There's never been a better time to get acquainted with Kepnes’s dangerously appealing leading man.” —Booklist

(starred review)

“[Caroline] Kepnes’s savage takedowns of pretentious blowhards continue to make Joe a more culturally aware Dexter, or perhaps a more romantic and humorous Hannibal, as he pillories the bad taste of his rivals and victims.” —Literary Hub

My Review

OMG! YOU LOVE ME is the BEST in the YOU series! If I could give this ten stars, I would. Caroline Kepnes is a writing Goddess!!

She exudes so much confidence in her writing, keeping you entertained with every page turn, it is difficult to tear yourself away once you start reading. She keeps getting better and better.

If the (King) Stephen King, had a baby with (Queen) Caroline Kepnes, it would be —JOE GOLDBERG!

A massive fan of both the author and the character Joe (and this series), I have read every book in the series and devoured, and of course, the Netflix series (and anxiously await the next Joe installment in print and the third season on Netflix.

Please do NOT let this series end!

OK, readers, we all know Joe is a crazy sociopath narcissistic stalker. However, in this installment, he starts out stalking as usual and sets his sites on his new love, a librarian with a 17 yr old daughter. This book is fresh and unique. He soon receives all kinds of interference from characters that are getting in the way of his happiness.

For once, these characters have as much baggage as he does and maybe even more disturbed than he.

In YOU LOVE ME, you will empathize with Joe.

Honestly, you will. He has finally found his true love, and he shows remarkable restraint and patience. He is not killing the people who get in his way. However, he is set up to look so in many ways and is in danger at every turn.

He wants to be Good Joe, not Bad Joe.

He wants that happily ever after.

He wants his Cedar Cove.

He wants a family.

But he finds himself in very compromising positions, and there is someone in his way at every turn. I was feeling sorry for him. I wanted him to find happiness. He turns a curve and is quite likable and funny. He is tenacious, and he does not give up easily.

Joe has left the big city life of LA and New York. He now is the proud owner of a home in Bainbridge Island, Washington. Life is very laid back and small-town (there are many fun nicknames, and I had a blast reading this one). Oliver was a funny character.

To get where he is, he had to make some big sacrifices, sign a few papers, and agree to stay away from the wealthy ex-family the Quinn's and his son. He has money and is now volunteering at the local library, where he meets Mary Kay.

Of course, he keeps his past a secret. He wants a fresh start.

Yes, (the librarian) Mary Kay's mother was a Mary Kay cosmetic rep back in the day. Mary Kay has lots of baggage and secrets; however, Joe does not know just how many.

He wants to win her over. However, this time there is a 17-year-old daughter, Nomi. He befriends her and knows he will make a good stepfather.

Being younger than Mary Kay and having a daughter does not deter Joe. He is seeing this ready-made family and begins envisioning his own Cedar Cove. However, it is not that simple. Just when he thinks it is almost a reality he is blindsided. (more than once).

From Mary Kay's obnoxious friends, former high school dirt-bag, and others I will not mention because I do not want to give anything away, plus Oliver, the man the Quinn's hired to follow him, a nosy neighbor, and more. He does have a Whisper Room downstairs (former audio studio) and a guest house.

Fast-paced, hilarious, and riveting, you do not want to miss a thing! You will laugh out loud with Kepnes brilliant Joe thoughts and comebacks.

Full of great pop culture, movie and book literary references, and authors Seattle (Sarah Jio) and Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove as well as Stephen King, etc. Your jaw will drop many times, going "no, no, no" and "yes, yes, yes!"

You will not see the final blow coming.

The book wraps up (no spoilers here) with Joe in a different location, but I think there will be more to come. (fingers crossed)

Cedar Cove meets Dexter.

Too funny. I was reading along and thinking I must put this in my review: "Cedar Cove meets Dexter." As as I moved ahead further reading the book, Caroline used this exact phrase in the book. I had to smile.

This knock-out killer thriller was my guilty pleasure Easter read, and I used as much restraint as Joe in the book. My ARC wish from the "book heavens" was granted thank you from NetGalley and Random House last fall. I downloaded and saved it for my binge-read, and trust me; it was well worth the wait. It exceeded all my expectations and more!

Masterful! Caroline Kepnes dazzles. Well done! Razor-sharp —A top book of 2021 and a must-read! She is a writing machine and I love her dark humor. She is like no other and no other character like Joe out there today.

Bloody Good! I always pre-order the audiobook (always highly entertaining) and the hardcover, a given. Now, in reference to the movie (2004) CLOSER, I must go back and watch it again.

About the Author

Caroline Kepnes is the New York Times bestselling author of You, Hidden Bodies and Providence.

The hit Netflix series You is an adaptation of her debut novel and follow-up. She’s currently writing the third book in the Joe Goldberg series. After graduating from Brown University, Caroline lived in New York and wrote about pop culture for Tiger Beat and Entertainment Weekly.

She moved to Los Angeles and wrote episodes of 7th Heaven and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts Caroline now splits her time between Los Angeles and Cape Cod. Website







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