Sep 12, 2018

Review--Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

Hidden Bodies marks the return of a voice that Stephen King described as original and hypnotic, and through the divisive and charmingly sociopathic character of Joe Goldberg, Kepnes satirizes and dissects our culture, blending suspense with scathing wit.

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…

Hidden Bodies is Caroline Kepnes’ sequel to her smashing hit, You. In this one we see Joe trying to move on with his life from the terrible way things ended with Beck. He has a new lady love in his life and things are going really well, until they don’t. I’ll admit up front that this one didn’t turn out the way I expected. I went back and forth with wanting Joe to succeed and for him to fail. The end result was completely unexpected and it’s left me with mixed feelings! Lol.

Joe had built a new life for himself with Amy, but then the unthinkable happens and Amy betrays him. He’s now out for revenge and travels across the country to Hollywood to track her down and show her why you don’t make Joe angry! Joe is starting a new life from scratch here and has very little to go on, but he knows what to look for when it comes to tracking Amy down. The only thing he doesn’t expect was to fall in love, again.

This time the woman is different, Love—yup, her name’s really Love—is everything he could hope for in a girlfriend. She’s perfect for him and we already see him planning their life together. Love though comes with a bit of baggage, an ex-boyfriend who remains a really good family friend, a druggie brother who just wants to make it big in Hollywood. But Joe is willing to look past all that just to be with her…until things start to get in their way of happiness.

Trouble continues to brew when his past comes back to haunt him. He’s forever remembering the bit of evidence he left at Peach’s place that fateful weekend so long ago. He tries to forget, but it haunts him still. And yet more problems continue to appear and interfere with the life and happiness Joe is trying to build.

I guess when I picked this one up, I was expecting to see the same Joe Goldberg we met in You, and while we might see that Joe in the beginning, his change was unexpected. Sure, he doesn’t change completely, not right away, but I feel like the creepy-stalker-murderer Joe has turned a new leaf. It was odd in some ways because can killers really change? I don’t know what this is saying about my own morale and all that, but it was just odd to see things playing out the way they did in t end.

Another surprising turn was that his mission to hunt down Amy gets waylaid when he meets and falls in love with Love. His whole mission gets tossed aside because he’s found love, again. And that just didn’t really feel like Joe to me. I mean, he’s Joe! You don’t make Joe angry, yet this new side to him allowed him to forget his mission, his revenge.

This one doesn’t quite have the same tone as You did either. Joe is still narrating to us in his usual first person point of view, but it feels less like he’s talking to someone specific. So basically he’s telling us the story versus whoever he was falling in love with, which was kind of odd to in that sense, but it definitely made it easier to read at times! Though I did kind of miss the language that was pure Joe.

The ending was unexpected either! You kept thinking this would happen or that was going to happen but in the end, you are taken completely by surprise! It definitely wasn’t an ending I foresaw in my thought process! I can’t quite be sure how I feel about it either. I guess I don’t really know what I wanted to happen. As I said I went back and forth with this one a lot. While Hidden Bodies definitely had its merits, I found that I enjoyed You a lot better than this one! This is still a worthy read if you enjoyed the first book, because one has to know, what will Joe do next?

Overall Rating 3.75/5 stars



  1. I personally don't believe that Joe can turn a new leaf. Dude needs help and finding a new GF isn't going to fix it!

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Uh oh. Hope I never meet Joe, except through the written word.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. I have actually never read You! But I want to, soon. I watched the first ten minutes or so of the pilot episode on Lifetime, and was really enjoying myself. Hopefully I'll feel the same about the book. :)

  4. Everyone loves this series and it really does sound great. Joe sounds so intriguing. Great review!


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