Cover Image: Hidden Bodies

Hidden Bodies

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It felt like the same storyline from You, just with updated names and a different place setting. I still enjoyed Kepnes's writing style and look forward to reading more of her books.
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Oh, Joe! How do you get into these messes???? Just when things are looking up and Joe has finally MADE IT, well, no spoilers here....

Joe Goldberg, my favorite psychopath, has been duped YET AGAIN by another conniving female. He thought he'd found THE ONE, and then she stole from him and dumped him, disappearing into the night. But Joe's nobody's fool and he uses all his skills to track this bitch down! He winds up in Los Angeles, home of the stars and all the rest of the sycophants and wannabes. The bitch, also known as Amy, has joined an acting school and has been hanging around with some minor celebrities, including a television talk show host named Henderson who is all things trendy and cool. To go to a Henderson party is really a coup in this world.

Joe soon ends up getting sucked into the Hollywood lifestyle when he meets a woman named Love Quinn and her twin brother, Forty. Their parents are tennis fans and are also filthy-rich. The Quinns own a chain of grocery stores and Joe is immediately accepted into their inner circle. Love is a bit older than Joe and has been married twice (divorced and then widowed). She lives in a world of privilege and mingling with the famous is nothing new. Forty is an aspiring writer and producer whose aspirations are constantly thwarted by his drinking and drugging. Forty is charming and friendly and Love is everything a guy could want and Joe finds himself falling in love with Love and forgetting all about Amy.

But life has a way of fucking with Joe, and as you can imagine, there are lots of things that can go wrong living in LA. Drugs, booze, fast cars, duplicitous neighbors, lying friends, etc. A guy can only take so much and then the body count must begin. Then to top it all off, he gets an alert that the police have been asked to investigate the death of Peach Salinger, his former girlfriend Beck's BFF. Joe knows he needs to get back the east coast (and the mug of urine he left in Peach's closet before he killed her).

So many things happen, so much changes for Joe when he meets Love, and the ending is wide open for a third book to tell us what happens next. I can't say much more, don't want to give anything away. If you liked "You", you will love "Hidden Bodies". (And I agree that this book should have kept the original title, "Love").
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*** This ARC was provided by Netgalley for a honest review***

I want to start off with a warning that this book was intense. This is the second book in the You series that has been such a hit on Netflix. There’s a lot of violence, a lot of detailed murder, stalking and substance abuse just to highlight a few of the scarier things. The direction that the author chose to take Joe’s character in this book was really different than the first. He leaves his home in New York and heads to California. Although the book is written from the same first person perspective where he explains every psychotic choice that he’s making,  it makes it all the eerier. In the first book he spends a great deal of time explaining his thoughts. In the second book he seems to go off on tangents about why he’d like to kill this person and that person. This book was just deeply more disturbing than even the stalking of Beck in the first book. There is a third book to the series set to release on April 6, 2021.
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While I love the writing style and plot mapping by Kepnes, I feel that Hidden Bodies fell into the familiar pitfall of the sequel too closely mirroring the freshman novel. That aside, the character development was out of the park. Understanding the motivations, however disturbed the character may be, was always at the forefront of the story. That alone is a driving factor with whether a book will fall flat of soar, and in this case Hidden Bodies had wings.
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It took me quite a log time to review this novel as a friend that I had been reading the two books passed away.
It was a lot to have to finish and review alone.

Caroline is a phenomenal author and definitely gave us more of Joe that we all secretly wanted.
Although I prefer the first book, like with most originals in a series/duology, this wasn't too shabby.

I didn't think Joe could become more likeable but I was rooting for him to finally get a piece of normality in this novel.

Love may or may not have a chance to change a person, but to what extent? 
Could it be enough to cure one from sociopathic tendencies?
In Joe's case, I could only hope.

I wanted him to find his happily ever after that we all chase in novels.

A solid read and sequel..
Now to watch the tv show and compare
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I did not enjoy this book nearly as much as I did the first book, You. It seemed very forced and I did not connect with Joe this time around. I gave it 3 stars because I didn’t DNF it.
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Hidden Bodies is a roller coster of narrative.
Joe after the events from YOU is now in luv. But the as the same that happens with him she does not love him back and BOOM she disapears or not. She goes to LA and he plans to kill her as usual.
Nothing goes according to the plan because the girl is more smart than he thinks.
Joe being joe falls  in Love his sidekick is LOVE slas her name.
Rich girl who is an actress plus activist. She also has a brother who is Forty that is an addicted,selfish-destructive asshole.

The plot is nothing like YOU Joe here is more rational and he can do anything. How much a person can get away with murder?? There are a lot of nonsense subplots that adds noyhing to the book andis the same author who have write YOU?? I could not believe that after a lot misdirections and Joe believing that he is better than anyone he still has a get away plan.

I am very disappointed and expected more from Joe and the characters.
Can Joe be back as the Joe and WTF Love is a bitch.
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I really enjoyed this book, but after I had time to think about it I realized that you really just have to take the book for what it is and not try and dissect it.  There were some things that happened that had me shaking my head and saying, "Really?!"  And the first part of the book started off a little slow for me, but then around 60% I couldn't put it down.

This book, to me, was not as dark and twisty as You.  It seemed a little lighter and not so serious.  Overall, it was still a great book.
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GAH!  This book is brilliant.  I actually need to reread it with season two of You out on Netflix.  But I love this story.  Joe is "almost" likable.  He's so brilliantly written and he comes across like a total psycho but a psycho who cares?  This story makes it seem almost like he knows what he's done is actually wrong but it may be too late.  Brilliant read!
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Joe Goldberg is back and he has been double-crossed by the woman he thought was the love of his life, Amy.  His fury that this woman got the best of him knows no bounds.   He leaves New York and follows her to Los Angeles with one intention - to kill her.   It doesn't take long for Joe to realize just how different in California is compared to New York City.  He gets close to finding Amy, but not before his body count climb even higher. However, when Joe meets Love Quinn he starts to forget all about Amy.   Love is older than Joe and from a wealthy family and he finds it quite easy to get accustomed to living a privileged life. The only thing overshadowing his newfound happiness is Love's twin brother, Forty.  An addicted, lost soul, who uses people every chance he gets.  And the "mug of piss" left behind at the Salinger house.  When Joe gets an alert that the local police are opening an investigation into Peach's death he knows that he has to go back, face his past, and get rid of that mug.  Will Joe be able to take care of his past before it destroys his future with Love?

Hidden Bodies is a continuation of the hit book/television show You. You really do need to read the first book to get everything in the second book. Joe Goldberg is an interesting character for the reader to figure out.  On the one hand, he is a psychopath.  But on the other hand, it is easier than I thought possible to kind of root for him.  I have to admit that I took a little pleasure in seeing Joe get screwed over by Amy at the beginning of the book. When Joe moves to California he was very clearly out of his element.  I didn't really like him in California, he seemed more comfortable in New York City. BUT I did like Joe with Love.  He seemed to want to be a better person when he was with her.  He tried to keep her happy and fit in with her family, even her crazy twin brother.  I was really surprised at just how far Joe took his relationship with Love.  -- CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS -  They way the story ended made it very clear that Joe's story is not over.  And I can't wait to see what the author has in store for him.

Bottom Line -  Joe Goldberg is getting a place in pop culture as one of America's favorite serial killers.    He has this captivating way about him that makes it impossible to stop reading.  Another great book from Caroline Kepnes.

Details: 
Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
On Instagram
Pages: 448
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler
Publication Date: 2/23/2016
Buy it Here!
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I requested this when I was riding high on You hype and in the middle of it and scaring myself silly.

Unfortunately, it ended up not working for me and Hidden Bodies fell by the wayside. Very grateful for the chance to read it early. Joe just wasn't my cup of tea as a narrator.
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After reading You I feel like this book was such a let down and such an unnecessary addition. It felt unlikable as a whole and honestly I dnfed it at about 65% I just didn't really care for it.
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YOU completely blew me away with Joe Goldberg. I couldn't believe I was sympathizing for him and I wanted more of him so I was excited to read HIDDEN BODIES. Unfortunately, it didn't do much for me.

I felt more enthralled by Joe in the previous book, but this time around, I just couldn't really deal with him. There was something missing from his character and the story that didn't let me enjoy it as I had hoped.

Hidden Bodies was just an okay-read for me. I mostly pushed myself to finish it.
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When I first read 'You' by Caroline Kepnes, I was enthralled with everything about it, to say the least. I found Joe to be such a fascinatingly creepy character - one who had the ability to spark engaging discussion among readers. It was a strange reading experience to have, given that at the same times that Joe's narration was making me laugh, he was also scaring the hell out of me. Kepnes's creation of not only Joe, but Becks and Peach as well, was ingenious to me. Needless to say, when I found out there was a sequel to 'You', I jumped at the chance to read it as soon as possible.

Which is why it saddens me so much to say that, upon reading 'Hidden Bodies' I felt very underwhelmed by the book. I'm not sure what exactly caused it, perhaps the author felt rushed to churn out a sequel considering how well the first installment did, but I didn't feel like the creepy charm of Joe was present in this book the same way it was in 'You'. Nor did I find myself caring even half has much for the new characters involved as much as I cared about those in the first book.

It's neither a short book nor a long book, yet I felt like I really struggled to get through it. I can definitely see how some readers may like it, may even like it better than 'You'. But for me, I feel like 'You' ended at the perfect spot, and 'Hidden Bodies' was not needed as a sequel. I'm glad to have read it, but I know that in the future it's not a book I will return to.
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From my blog: Always With a Book:

As dark and twisted as You, the first book in this series was, I knew that I just had to keep going with this series, even though I didn't really feel that there needed to be a sequel. I would follow Joe Goldberg to the ends of the earth - just to see what he does next...crazy, right? But he is just that type of character.

I think what brings you back to this series, what makes you want to follow Joe Goldberg is the way this series is written. You are completely inside Joe's head the entire time. I love that!!! And despite the fact that Joe is completely, totally insane, and I mean he is 100%, absolutely, without a doubt a psychopath, you just cannot walk away from him. Once you start reading, or in my case, listening to these books, you just get sucked in, you become fully invested in what he is going to do next. 

Caroline Kepnes has managed to create a serial killer that is charming, crazy smart and at times, wickedly humorous. You want to dislike Joe because he is a serial killer and a psychopath, but there are times when you end up liking him. I ended up rooting for him and wanted things to turn out right for him. It's weird and it makes you feel a little guilty about it.  But oh well - that's how it is and I don't care. That's a testament to the author's writing...and it's that good!

Once again, we have another obsessive tale that is just as addictive as the first one. While it has a bit of a different feel than the first book, it's still just as binge-worthy and compelling and I can't wait until the next book - oh yeah, there is going to be another!!!
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Loved, loved, loved!  While I hated myself just a bit for rooting for a serial killer, Joe is so interesting that you just can't help it.  His snarkiness and spot-on criticisms of the modern world make him pretty lovable at the same time he is doing despicable things.  I hope Caroline Kepnes has plans for more Joe in the future because I  missed the guy once I finished the book.
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West coast Joe. Joe is a man you hate to love. Joe is motivated and driven. He finds someone and goes after them. He's an intellectual and this is damn sexy in a man. He wants to feel connected, he wants love. But is love enough? Caroline captivates me with Joe. I feel Joe's soul calling for him to fix the "road blocks" before he acts on them. What does this say about me? The suspense, psychological thrill, and the feels I got from Joe was a vacuum to my heart. Sucking me in. Clinging to the walls of the vacuum like a dust particle instead of falling like the other debris into the trash. I wanted to remain in my vacuum, heart-sucked, cage. Caroline's words did this to me. Joe's journey was not just read, it was experienced. I want more Joe. This can't be the end. Caroline's writing is superb, her mind full of her twisted "Joe" thoughts is beauty brought to the page.
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I didn't like this one as much as the first, but it was still a good sequel. Joe gets creepier and more intriguing the more I read about him.
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I went into this book with high expectations. I absolutely loved You and couldn’t wait for more Joe. Unfortunately, I think my expectations were too high. It just wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be and it felt forced.
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