Book Review – For You and Only You

#4 in the You series.

Joe decides to take his writing to the next level and gets invited to a fellowship at Harvard. Here, he’s surrounded by other writers but only one of which is also an autodidact like himself. Unsurprisingly, she becomes the center of his creepy attentions. The book follows his attempts to steer her into seeing herself through his eyes (that she’s a great writer and destined for fame), and as usual, things go horribly wrong.

While in previous books, Joe has been surrounded by people he feels are inferior to him and his high intelligence, at Harvard he meets someone who is quite possibly his match and the only equal in psycho-ness that we’ve seen so far. It’s not Wonder (his new obsession), but someone much more dangerous and probably even smarter than he is. What goes on in this book is only a set up for what is going to happen in the next. Wonder is a stepping stone and honestly, this book felt like a bit of a let down.

A let down? Yes, and here’s why.

While Joe has evolved a bit during the series, going from total whack job in the first one with his level 10 stalking of RIP Beck to a more reserved, less creepy-but-still-murdery weirdo with Wonder (he actually shows some levels of empathy now and seems to have some boundaries), none of the female characters in the story have changed. They are all written to be these terrible stereotypes of women with bad attitudes, issues with men, and self-esteem/confidence problems that make them the most annoying characters to read about. I actually hope the next book features the new psycho-chick because at least she seems to be cut from a different pattern. We don’t know a ton about her yet, but she comes off as smart, successful, rightfully arrogant, self-assured, and extremely confident and proud. She’s also a control freak. If book 5 ends up with women like the previous books, I just won’t read any more of them but if it ends up with this new chick as the second to Joe, I’m totally for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the Joe story, it’s like a car crash you can’t look away from, but I am getting tired of the beaten-down woman with daddy issues who covers up her self-esteem problems by being intentionally unreasonable and annoyingly arrogant in the wrong ways, all of the time. Caroline Kepnes, you’re doing women a disservice by writing the same ones over and over. Sure, Joe might “have a type” but please include some stronger women in the mix to change it up a bit.

I also felt that while the story took place at Harvard, Kepnes totally missed out on creating the right kind of atmosphere for such a prestigious place. This story could have taken place at <insert literally any college town here>.

The best part of this story was the narration done by Santino Fontana.

Overall, I give it a 3 out of 5.

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