Book Review: Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

If you haven't read You  by Caroline Kepnes , this may contain some minor spoilers for that book (the book prior to this ...

If you haven't read You by Caroline Kepnes, this may contain some minor spoilers for that book (the book prior to this one), however, there aren't spoilers for Hidden Bodies, so if you've read You, you should be a-okay with this review. 

Brief synopsis: Joe Goldberg is back, with a new girlfriend, who just so happens to be using him just to get to his collectible books to sell for money to make it to (and in) Hollywood. So of course Joe, being the stalker that he is, follows her to to California to do some unthinkable things. But Hollywood has quite the effect on him. 

If you read my review of Kepnes' prior novel You, you'll know how much I absolutely freaking loved it. And while I still enjoyed Hidden Bodies, I felt like it was definitely hit by the sophomore slump. I didn't love it as a follow-up, but I think I would have enjoyed it more as it's own novel.

One of the things I really enjoyed about the novel that brought Joe to life is that books were such a major focus - though most of them (all of them?) I haven't read. I appreciated Joe's creepy sociopathic tendencies and his particular obsession with one person. There was a major focus for You, and I didn't feel that same kind of focus in Hidden Bodies.

I felt Joe's focus shifted completely - from books to movies and celebrities; from one obsession to many. It just overall felt a bit scattered to me, especially in relation to its predecessor. I was overwhelmed by the celebrity name-dropping and honestly thought it was kind of weird. Not to mention, in many ways I felt that Joe's character was a bit inconsistent with his character traits in the previous novel, which was disappointing. He was certainly still sociopathic, but something definitely felt skewed.

I honestly think this one could be read as a pretty terrific standalone, but compared to it's predecessor, I was ultimately a bit disappointed. All in all, it almost read like a Joe Goldberg fan-fiction.

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