You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes – Review

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.

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I have been waiting for this book so long that I had started to fear I had made it up and that two ‘You’ stories is all we would get– but as my audiobook preorder was filled, I was hit with such a feeling of blessed familiarity while falling back into the shoes of Joe Goldberg. This novel has a bit of a time jump from Hidden Bodies, and yet there is no awkward stop and start; You Love Me grabs your hand and takes off running.

We catch back up with Joe after he has been released from prison and exonerated by the Quinns on one condition: that he severs all contact with his son. So, with hush money in tow– he moves to a quiet island inhabited by a well-knit small community. There, he meets Mary Kay DiMarco. I don’t want to ruin any of the twists and turns in this WILD sequel, but I will say that Joe has grown and changed through all of his hardships, and he faces trials that maybe Job would even balk at. Our favorite stalker does have occasional slip ups, however, and it’s this tension that carries a heavy suspense for those of us who want our protagonist to live happily ever after.

It has been really amazing to see Joe’s transformation through this trilogy, and I’m not sure if we’ve seen the end of him or not, BUT if we have– I take comfort in knowing that he will only continue to challenge the systems and traditions around him. He is one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever read about, and his inner monologue both terrifies and enthralls me. Caroline worked her way into my heart with this collection, and I absolutely cannot wait for whatever she writes for us next.

5/5 stars

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