22 February 2016

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

Series: You, #2
Publication date: February 23, 2016
Publisher: Atria
Genres: Adult, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: The publisher in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 448
Rating: ★★★.5/5

 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...

Unfortunately my review of the first book in the series; You is in Danish but it was one of my favorite reads of last year! I absolutely loved it and I was surprised by the amount of literature in the book I mean Joe Goldberg, our main character, works in a bookstore and loves to read! I basically loved that we liked Joe and didn't like Beck. You definitely need to have read You before Hidden Bodies, I'm not sure how much sense some of it is going to make if you haven't.

I thought You was a standalone so I was very surprised when I found out that it was a duology - as far as I know she only have a two-book deal. I'm quite happy that I was able to get my hands on an eARC of Hidden Bodies though - even though I wish I could have listened to it as an audiobook instead. I think this series is the perfect one for audiobooks!

As you know, Hidden Bodies is about Joe Goldberg. It hasn't shifted in narrators and for that I am grateful! This one takes place in Los Angeles opposed to New York and I'm going to come straight out and tell you guys; You is so much better! Joe of course goes after Amy Adams, as you'd expected from the ending of You. Their relationship is nothing like the one he had with Beck - but I still didn't like her.
Hidden Bodies is just as poetic as the first one and I just love the writing style! It's hauntingly beautiful so of course I highlighted the heck out of this one! He managed to write a story in 6 words;
She waves. She goes. The end. 
I kept reading these 6 words over and over. Even though it's now completely out of context it's more beautiful. Ofcourse some will be cynical about it, but that line is what I like the best about this series. The ability Kepnes has to write the creepiest story, with a compelling main character, and the book is still hauntingly beautiful - who does that?

Even though I wasn't Joe's biggest fan in this one, I loved watching him grow! He experiences love and he's definitely, well almost, a changed man. I also enjoyed learning more about him, for example;
I've never harmed an animal; I can't imagine being that sort of monster.
He somehow rates animals higher than humans! Because obviously he's killed a lot of people but he would never stoop so low as to kill, or even harm, an animal. I for one find that quite funny.

What I really missed in this one was all the literary goodness we got in You. I wanted the bookstore, I wanted literary discussions, I wanted books! I was expected by the lack of it when you compare it to You. There's next to nothing when it comes to literary references and it saddens me.

Going through my notes I made while reading Hidden Bodies have me laughing out loud. The last 15-20% is all WHAT!?... WHAT!? etc. Well, I'm going to warn you in advance. It's what, 50 pages?, of plot twists! I didn't know what was going on half the time and reading this on the bus made for quite an embarrassing ride. It's all worth it to read the last 20 percent of the books, it's quite literally a roller coaster ride and it's a crazy one!

I'm trying to be pretty vague about what happens in this one since these books are just better to read knowing as little as possible! So, it's worth the read, but You is much better.

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