by Caroline Kepnes
started in October 2016
Goodreads status: DNF
(DNF @ page 89)
I’m sad about DNF’ing You. I want to find out what is going to happen, but I absolutely hate the main character!
I’ve mentioned this a couple of times before: if I don’t like the protagonist, there’s a 99% chance I won’t like the book. Even in the case of You, where we are not even supposed to like Joe. I tried to keep that in mind, but everything he said bothered me, so I didn’t enjoy reading it anymore.
I won’t go into detail about why I don’t like him, since we are not really supposed to anyway. But he is such a sexist. He disgusted me. He constantly objectified Beck, yet ‘slut-shamed’ her the very next second. He is incredibly pretentious and looks down on anyone who isn’t him.
Because I wanted to make sure we were actually supposed to dislike him, I read some reviews. To my surprise, there are a lot of readers who root for him and someone even said that that he deserves better than Beck. Look, I don’t like to start any drama and don’t want to judge people’s preferences, but I do not understand how anyone could say that. He is a sexual predator. He is sexist. He drugs someone. He steals Beck’s phone. He breaks into her apartment. I could go on. I know it’s a fictional character, so we don’t judge him as we would an actual human being, but STILL.
I don’t know, maybe it’s me. Maybe I am too politically correct and don’t even want characters to say these kind of things. I constantly felt annoyed and even anxious. I don’t know why I can never seem to like books with unlikeable characters, but it is what it is.
However, I do think the story is very interesting and I want to know what’s going to happen (sadly, I won’t find out). If this were a movie, I’d definitely watch it. Watching an unlikeable character for two hours is much easier than reading about one for days or weeks.
I liked how Joe kept mentioning romantic movies, because it proves how unhealthy the portrayed behaviour actually is. They encourage creepy or abusive behaviour and send the message to people like Joe that what they are doing, is okay and even romantic.
conclusion: You is probably one of the best thrillers, but because of the main character, I didn’t enjoy reading this. I’d still recommend it because I know most readers are able to enjoy stories about unlikeable characters.