You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes Review

Settle in lads. This one is a long one.

Just when you think things couldn’t get crazier for Joe, he is thrown into the small town of Bainbridge where all he wants is his librarian but there are so many people standing in his way. Naturally. But this time it’s different for Joe, he’s a different person than he was before, he has a son now and he is a better person. He will not kill anyone.

Spoilers from here on out, although anytime I do a blog post review there’s always spoilers but I feel like I need to start warning people so yes. All the spoilers here, stop reading now haha.

You know, I thought it was kind of crap that Joe said he wouldn’t kill anyone this time around, but he didn’t! That’s not to say there wasn’t a lot of death though because there definitely was, but none of it was at Joe’s hands! Hooray! Proud of him, this is growth lol.

So yeah, we are with Joe out there in the world after getting out of prison. I was confused when I first started reading because I thought I had missed something but I hadn’t. Joe got out of jail with the help of the Quinns but they paid him off so he would disappear and so now he is in Bainbridge, pining after a new girl while stalking Love’s Instagram to check up on his son. Also Love named their son Forty and that is so gross.

Naturally, getting this new girl Mary Kay is not going to be easy for Joe. There are always obstacles and by that I mean people in his way to getting his “prize”. First of all, the overbearing best friend, Melanda. Joe does not exactly hit it off with her and she immediately becomes annoying af. So maybe Joe should just kill her and it will all be fine right?

No he can’t. He’s reformed. He’s not that person anymore. But then when Melanda catches him hanging around outside Mary Kay’s house she ends up kidnapped and in Joe’s whisper room. Sounds so familiar right? No it was a misunderstanding, Melanda thought Joe was after MK’s daughter, but he wasn’t and now he has his future girlfriend’s BFF hiding out in the basement. Cool.

Surprisingly Joe doesn’t kill Melanda, but he knows he can’t keep her in the basement forever. He spins some story about her moving away and finding love and ditching Mary Kay. Which Joe thinks is good for her because they are too co-dependent and Melanda doesn’t even like Mary Kay.

While Melanda is locked up in Joe’s basement, he finds out there’s another huge obstacle in his way to Mary Kay – she’s MARRIED. And worse, he’s a musician and an ex-drug addict. Bad news. And also again, potentially someone Joe might kill off?

But he doesn’t kill the husband either, he just pretends to be a huge Philstan – yeah probably the worst thing I’ve ever heard of – to try to convince Phil to divorce Mary Kay. Seems straight forward enough and so different in comparison to the old Joe. Proud of him, yet also itching for him to just kill the low life? I mean I don’t know why I’m rooting for a serial killer to kill people but like everyone in this book was SO ANNOYING that I wanted them gone as much as Joe lol.

Some time passes and Joe thinks he is beginning to win over Mary Kay and maybe everything will be alright for them. Until there’s another complication. Enter Oliver, he was hired by the Quinns to spy on Joe. Super fun. Joe has a stalker. Now he definitely can’t get caught killing anyone because otherwise Oliver could report back to the Quinns and Joe will never get the chance to be with his son.

Too bad for Joe, as he decided to be nice to Melanda and finally move the TV into the whisper room for her to be able to see more clearly. That was his mistake. I knew there was a reason that Melanda was begging for the TV, she ended up smashing it and using the glass to kill herself. Bad news for Joe, he now has a dead body in his house and he has to get rid of it. Even though he didn’t kill her, he can’t just leave her here or call anyone because it’s hella sus she was there in the first place.

So Joe tries to get rid of the body, only to be caught by his buddy Oliver. This is when he strikes a deal with Oliver so that he doesn’t tell the Quinns what he saw. Basically if Oliver wants something, Joe buys it for him. Turns out Oliver got screwed over by the Quinns and isn’t getting paid as much as Joe. And this is when Oliver literally becomes the worst and most annoying person in the book and I kind of just want Joe to kill him. But he can’t, if he does then Oliver’s brother will kill him and no one wants that. So Oliver sticks around.

Meanwhile, Joe is still trying to worm his way in with Mary Kay and he thinks it’ll be easier now her BFF is no longer in the picture. But there’s still the husband. Although turns out he didn’t have to worry about him too much because he does win over the girl in the end, but they’re seeing each other on the sly until Mary Kay can get the divorce sorted.

But it’s not over for Joe just yet because while he and Mary Kay are hooking up, Phil overdoses. So I guess Joe is getting lucky with everyone offing themselves so he doesn’t have to lol. Although this time everybody knows about it and Mary Kay is shutting Joe out because if she hadn’t have been with him then maybe her shitty husband would still be alive. Yikes.

And just when Joe thinks he’s back in with MK after all the grieving and what not, Phil’s brother rolls into town. And honestly, does Joe never catch a break? I mean I guess I shouldn’t be rooting for Joe to be happy but I always secretly am, I thought he would’ve been happy with Love but that wasn’t working out, but it looked like him and Mary Kay had a real chance…but no all these people be getting in the way.

Phil’s brother hangs around for a while, he’s annoying and is a life coach who tries to tell women that their feelings aren’t real and to think with their head and it sounds like the worst thing. Yet Joe still ain’t about to kill anyone so he tries to find other ways to take down the brother and then he hits the jackpot. Turns out Phil’s brother is a creep and has forced himself on multiple women and so he gets taken out by the #MeToo movement. Woo! Goodbye brother, hello Joe and MK forever.

But it still ain’t over hahahaha. Honestly even writing this it’s wild. But in comes LOVE. Yeah that’s right Love wants to see Joe. And that’s weird, because I thought she never wanted to see Joe again and I’m wondering if this is following a little along the lines of the TV show and how Love is also crazy and the same as Joe. Although somehow on the TV show I think it’s way more escalated and Joe’s more afraid of her on the TV show.

Anyway, Love demands Joe fly out to LA so he does and he finds Love in a hotel room with a GUN. Yikes. I thought Joe might die but I didn’t think it would be at the hands of Love. Turns out she is mad that Joe has moved on from her and their son. And she knows that Joe would have preferred to watch them from afar which is why she was always posting on Instagram, but then Joe stopped watching them and he moved onto a new family.

Love is clearly crazy and depressed and Joe can’t talk her down and next thing you know, Joe is shot in the head. Oh my God. Honestly thought this might have been where it ended, but it didn’t because there was still some book left so Joe lives, HE LIVES! But unfortunately Love committed suicide. Yep another suicide. This book is wild, why does death follow Joe everywhere he goes? He’s cursed for sure.

So Joe wakes up in hospital to find out Love had post-partum depression and she didn’t really want Joe to leave her she thought he would fight for her and their son but he didn’t. So she tried to kill Joe and then she killed herself. Super dark Love. Like I didn’t think she had this in her, but depression does bad things to people.

After Joe finds out from Love’s dad that he will never see his son again he goes back to Bainbridge to try to win MK back one last time. She isn’t happy that he bailed on her even though he literally got shot like come on sis, give him a chance. But she sends him away so Joe goes back home to rest, because he got shot so he should rest.

LOL NO REST FOR JOE. He’s being kidnapped by Seamus, MK’s other friend who is all about CrossFit and the definition of toxic masculinity and I hate him. Seamus is going to kill Joe because he came back for MK and he can’t have that. Seamus was finally gonna get the girl after Phil left but nah, Joe got there first. And so here we are with Joe trapped in the forest and possibly going to die AGAIN. And seriously, Joe can’t catch a break.

This time it’s worse though because I so did not want him to die at the hands of Seamus, of all people. Like what? Nah. Joe deserves to be taken out by a true villain and not just some annoying dude who has been waiting in the wings for years. I mean no doubt Joe deserves to die after everything he’s done but like not like this. I mean I guess exactly like this but not because of Seamus lol.

Luckily Joe gets rescued by Oliver! Yay! Oliver has a purpose! Sort of. I mean glad he came to Joe’s rescue but he’s still annoying af and talking to Joe about this TV show he’s gonna pitch about Joe’s life (lol sounds familiar You on Netflix much). And so Joe is safe but he’s still paying for Oliver’s crap and again, if Joe was gonna make one kill this book, could it be Oliver?

Finally, after ALL of that. Joe gets the girl. He and MK get married and it’s cute and I’m finally like yes, this is it. They live happily ever after, Joe deserves it he literally escaped death twice and he should definitely have some PTSD or something but he’s fine and he’s with his girl…

And then MK’s daughter tries to put the moves on Joe and it’s weird and uncomfortable because she is a CHILD. And this is when Joe learns that Seamus was sleeping with the daughter this whole damn time and so when Seamus kidnapped Joe it was actually about the daughter and not MK and it’s so so so gross. And then it makes me think this is why Melanda attacked Joe in the woods and assumed he was after MK’s daughter. Maybe she knew about Seamus…hmm well can’t ask her because she’s dead.

But anyway, MK comes in and finds her daughter trying to seduce her new husband and is furious. And then there’s a lot of mother daughter fighting and next thing you know…MK has been pushed down the stairs by her daughter.

Cut the epilogue, Joe has moved to Florida, and opened the bookstore him and Mary Kay always talked about opening. Turns out Mary Kay went into a coma but they are going to be pulling the plug on her. And Joe is once again alone, the daughter packed up and went off to college so at least Joe didn’t have to deal with that. But yeah…he opens the bookstore and naturally there’s a women who walks in and you’d think that Joe might give up by now but no, he wants to know this girl…

And that is where we end it. Finally. Honestly the end was a roller coaster, after the Love thing it just kept going and going and I didn’t really like it? I mean yes okay the whole series is far fetched and wild and crazy but this really was next level. And I really don’t like when books do that, like ramp it up to 100 at the very end and just keep throwing in things last minute like hi I didn’t need Nomi (the daughter) to suddenly come out and throw herself at Joe like nah, gross.

I guess it would make sense that Joe would end up losing another girl and in line with this book he didn’t even kill her. Sad. I would’ve been fine with him riding off into the sunset with Mary Kay in their bookstore. It would’ve been cute but life can’t be that simple, not for Joe.

I wonder if there will be another book or if this is the end. I think I would be fine if this was it, I mean Joe’s been through a lot and there’s only so many of these books you can do before it becomes too much. I mean it’s always going to be Joe chasing after a girl and probably killing the odd person here and there, so it makes sense to end it here. Especially because so much craziness happened this time around it felt like the end.

So yeah, I’m fine leaving Joe here but because I enjoy the writing style so much I would also be okay if there was another one lol but I think four is the limit. But we see what happens.

On the bright side there is always season 3 of the Netflix show. I’m not sure what it will be like because I believe it was written before or at the same time as the third book so it will probably be different. Especially since Joe didn’t go to jail in the TV show and Love is still around and crazy too lol. So I’m excited to see where that goes and if it will be just as wild.

In the meantime it’s time to go on and probably read something lighter haha. Hopefully something that doesn’t have six plot twists at the end would be nice.