#ATBR2021 – You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes

Happy release day to the third installment in the YOU series!

Thanks to Random House for the free early copies in exchange for our honest reviews

YOU LOVE ME – Caroline Kepnes (Released April 6th, 2021)

Book Description:

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.

Chandra’s Thoughts: 2/5 stars

Joe lovers, don’t kill me for this rating… I absolutely loved You, and Hidden Bodies was a fun sequel where I felt like Joe didn’t particularly feel like *him* and if I’m being completely honest, and after much thought, I preferred the season two of the adaptation better than the read.  BUT, I also knew I had to continue the series so here I am. I couldn’t help myself and read this one as soon as it showed up on my doorstep.

Unfortunately, it was fun to be in Joe’s head for only a few minutes.  I enjoy his inner monologue that weirdly makes sense, even in his own twisted way.  But it seemed to take forever to get to any *fun* part of this read.  A lot of back and forth and repetition and well, it’s exactly what you would expect.  More Joe doing what Joe does… in a new town, reminiscing over Love and Forty while concentrating on the new *love of his life*.  You can probably figure out what’s going to happen because it’s basically the same story in a new spot with a new woman and new people getting in the way.  I was hoping it would go completely sideways and kept waiting for that shoe to drop but instead… whatever dropped, I wasn’t picking up. 

Listen, you cannot take away the sheer brilliance that is Kepnes and the way she brings you a story.  She’s truly talented and I will read whatever she puts out there.  And yes, most likely will pick up the next in this series, if there is one.  Joe is like that ex-boyfriend you just can’t shake, even when you start to think he’s tired and not worth it. If you’re a fan of his and love being in his head, you’re gonna love this read.

My Thoughts: 3/5 stars

The highly anticipated third installment is here and I was so excited to get back into Joe’s head! YOU LOVE ME is the next book in the YOU series, and while I loved the first books and the adaptation series, I did like this one but I didn’t love it. I’m not quite sure what it was, but there just seemed to be something missing for me. If you’re expecting a psychological thriller then you may also be disappointed as I would probably classify this as more of a domestic suspense/drama.

I think it felt a little too predictable when it comes to the story. It’s almost exactly what you would expect when it comes to Joe and his choices. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I can’t really get into detail without potentially spoiling something, but this is exactly what you should expect with this series. I feel like I was waiting for things to pick up and it just wasn’t happening. There’s no denying how well Kepnes weaves a story and the incredible character she has brought us in Joe Goldberg. If you haven’t picked up this series, then I recommend you start at the beginning! I know I’m in the minority with this book, I have seen countless glowing reviews for this installment, so don’t let me deter you. Without a doubt, if there’s a fourth book in the series, you better believe I’m going to be picking it up.

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