Review: You by Caroline Kepnes


When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.
There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder

3 out of 5



Trigger warnings: extremely sexual content, violence and stalking

I gotta hand it to Caroline Kepnes–for a debut novel, You is very, very, well-written, especially when considering the subject matter. The narration is the best part about this book–despite the unbelievably and disturbingly sexual language that Joe uses, despite the way he blames everybody but himself for his actions and his choices, despite the cold and calculating way he makes his plans without any thought to who he is harming, there were many instances throughout the story when I forgot that he was the bad guy. I am not gonna say that I ever rooted for him or supported his thoughts, but there were times when I found myself reading the book and thinking of him as just another regular male protagonist who is madly in love with a woman who does not love him back. That is not the story here though, and Joe’s obsession with Beck was something that will probably haunt me for a long time. I also loved the unreliability of Joe’s narration. Because of the way he perceives others and the world itself, and because we are reading the story from his perspective, I often had to figure out myself what the reality really was because Joe’s reality is extremely deluded.

However, despite the strong narration, the plot was flimsy at best. Everything was too easy for Joe–from stalking Beck to being able to interfere in her life the way he did–he was able to do all of it because of the carelessness of both Beck and the other supportive characters. I truly do not mean to blame the victim, but there are certain things you know not to do no matter how screwed up you are or how safe you feel in your neighborhood, especially when you are a twenty-something adult living all by yourself. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realize that it wasn’t really that much of a challenge for Joe to do the things that he does in this novel, because all the characters are so incredibly stupid and reckless about their own personal safety.

In fact, this book has a plot simply because the characters lack common sense and intelligence. If the characters here did not make the mistakes that they did, the plot really would not have progressed very far.

Speaking of the plot, although Joe’s narration made it really easy for me to fly through the book, halfway in to the story I became extremely bored because of how repetitive and predictable everything was. I feel like this book should have been shorter, and several chapters here should have been simply cut, because they just were not necessary. The predictability and repetitiveness of the story made it difficult for me to finish this book, because after the 50% mark, every time I picked up the book I put it down again thinking “meh I know what’s gonna happen.” And I did. There really was no element of surprise after the 50% mark.

All in all, this was a good read, but not good enough that I would recommend it to anyone.

Image 6

Have you ever read a book that gave you nightmares? Or haunted you for a long time? Which one was it and what made you want to read it?


Review: Queen of the Tearling

Queen of the tearling

Ratings: 3/5 3 out of 5


Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother – Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding…

And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea’s story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance – it’s about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive..

I’ll be honest, I had very low expectations for this book, partly because of the abundance of negative reviews this book has on Goodreads and partly because of Emma Watson’s apparent obsession with this book. Now that I have finally read it myself, I am pleasantly surprised: Queen of the Tearling is an intriguing, entertaining, well-written piece of fantasy and a classic example of why we should all read a book ourselves in order to form our own opinion instead of listening to what the mass people are saying. The characters were very interesting and well developed–Kelsea is by far one of my favorite female characters; she has her flaws like any nineteen-year-old but what sets her apart Continue reading

I Am Stepping Away From Book Blogging

((NO I AM NOT QUITTING EXACTLY. I am just going to be posting less often and here is why))

So for the past few months, I have been trying my best to get my life under control one baby step at a time, by first setting small goals for myself and rewarding myself every time I completed a particular goal. It really has been a good decision, and over the course of the past four months, I learned the most valuable lesson this year: how to prioritize.

It seems like such a simple thing to do, doesn’t it? I mean, how hard can it be to know what is more important? The basics are easiest: obviously, family and friends and loved ones come first, and then comes your grades (especially if you are South East Asian…my fellow Asians will understand the struggles I am referring to), and then comes you and all the things that give you joy.

But sometimes, it can be hard to remember what is most precious to you when you are caught up in multiple personal projects that are very, very dear to you. Take my October Resolutions post for example. One of my resolutions for this month was to post four times a week, because this book blog is important enough to me that I wanted my blog to get more views and comments. I wanted to increase my stats, because I thought that was important to me. But it’s not. It’s not something that I enjoy, something that I love doing, but it’s not important.

Somewhere in the midst of the excitement of receiving feedback and interacting with so many people in the community, my hobby turned into a goal that I had to accomplish. I love my blog because I love voicing my thoughts here, because it is an extension of myself, but becoming a “big blogger” was never something that I aspired to be or even wanted to be when I first created Bookish Freaks. And this month, I have been thinking a lot about what I do want and do not want, and I realized that while I do not exactly want to quit blogging anytime soon, it’s not something that I want to take too seriously nor do I have any obligation to take it seriously just because I am blogger. This blog, and everything that I write here, is something that I do for myself. For the release and peace that always comes after I have put my thought into words and let them out.

What I do want is to be a published, best-selling author someday. One day, I want to write stories that will move people’s hearts and make them feel less alone in this world.

What I do want is to finish my undergrad with at least 3.5 CGPA so my parents can be proud of me and so I can prove to myself that I am more than what I believe myself to be.

What I do want is to have a successful career with a hefty paycheck so I can take care of my parents, do the charities I want to, and create a better future for my unborn children.

Once I realized…or should I say, remembered…my priorities, it was easy to understand what I needed to do and what could wait. I need to finish my first draft as soon as possible. I can wait to post on this blog until I have something incredibly important to share.

I guess what this means for you, my dearest readers, is that you’ll be seeing even less of me in the future. I am not quitting exactly, I’ll just post when I feel like I have something to say. And I think that’s what is best for me right now. Book blogging requires a nightmarish amount of time, effort and energy that I would rather invest elsewhere.