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review 2019-03-25 19:12
Crazy in LA
Hidden Bodies - Santino Fontana,Caroline Kepnes,Simon & Schuster Audio

This was so much better than book 1. I enjoyed the characters, they were off beat, needy and greedy smart and vulnerable without being TSLT. I believed, I could see these events happening, I may not have liked the characters mostly but I believed their stories. It starts off right when book 1 ends, but the story moves to a different location, Los Angeles. Rich and fabulous meet up and coming, rules are different here, depending on who you know and your bank account. This was an E ticket ride up and down with steep curves at every turn. Oh that ending, let's say I wanted more finality.

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review 2019-03-07 17:33
Sometimes You Don't Have to Write a Sequel
Hidden Bodies - Caroline Kepnes

Woo boy. The sequel to "You" was just flat out terrible. I read it immediately after finishing "You" and was disappointed. Kepnes decides to not have Joe tell his story directly to his love interest in this one. Also we ended up with Joe kind of all over the place. It seems like he is in love one minute and then ready to toss it all away the next. This isn't the same Joe who couldn't bear to be away from Beck for even more than a second. This Joe seems to be mimicking the guy in the last book. Also Kepnes weirdly throws Joe in a Hollywood setting and meeting famous people and I just lost all interest after a while. Eventually Kepnes remembers the first book and that pushes in here and there, but we don't get back to the events in "You" until really the end of the book. I also didn't like the love interest in this book (Love) because she didn't seem real at all. Maybe that's what Kepnes was going for, but I thought she was delusional as anything. The only person that seemed to have any sense and saw Joe for what he was, was Amy.


"Hidden Bodies" picks up almost a year after the events in "You." Joe is happy and in love again. He has met someone new, Amy, who is just as crazy about Joe as he is with her. They work in the bookstore together and even though Joe isn't a fan of Amy's grooming habits he is happy and in love. 

Quick aside #1 the Joe we met in "You" would never have put up with Amy's grooming habits. He would have either made her change or talked about it enough to make her do something about it. This was one of the instances while reading that I felt like Kepnes had switched around Joe's character. 


After a quick getaway back to one of Joe's crime scenes, Joe is shocked to realize that Amy has been playing him for a long time and managed to get away from him to become an actress in Hollywood. 


Quick aside #2, so Kepnes tries to explain this away by the fact that Amy is totally off the grid and Joe can't snoop on her the way he wants to. He does still get into her phone, but doesn't see anything there that alarms him. Frankly there are red flags galore around Amy and Joe isn't a stupid person (recall how he sussed out Dr. Nick) so him being shocked by the fact that Amy was planning on ripping off the store and getting away from him didn't seem realistic to me. 


Joe realizes that he needs to get away from New York, follow Amy, and kill her. Yup, the same guy who was in love with her a minute ago is now just straight up going to kill her. 

Quick aside #3, it would have made more sense for Joe to want to track Amy down to make her love him again or work on things, etc. because once again, see You book #1 and the events with Beck.


Joe is not in top form in this one to me and is written so inconsistently. He makes assumptions about mostly everyone he meets and most if not all, are incorrect. He is also weirdly obsessed with getting a blow job every five seconds. I found "You" to be in your face about sex, masturbation, and how much Joe loved sleeping with Beck. But in this one he seems like an oversexed frat boy. And when Joe finds another love in this one (via a character named Love that made me hard cringe) it didn't feel the same. He seemed ready to give up any time the road got tough with her. When once again, this is the same guy who straight up murders someone because he thinks the guy was making fun of him via his ex girlfriend. 


The secondary characters in this one don't breathe for me as a reader like Beck did to me. Love was insipid and one wonders why she would even look twice at Joe considering the other men she was with prior him. Joe's next door neighbor seemed sad and once again we don't find out much about her except Joe hates her because she's needy. In fact, in this one it seems like all of the women are needy harpies that just need to be told what to do via Joe and have hot sex with him. There's seriously a scene where Love tells Joe she doesn't like to have oral sex and Joe is upset about it and my brain just tried to run away from me. 


Love's family seemed one dimensional and even her twin brother Forty (why God, why?) just seemed like a rich boy stereotype. Kepnes was going in a different direction slightly with Forty and Joe and then she punted things and I thought that would have worked better than what we ended up getting in the end. 


The writing wasn't as engrossing in this one. I found myself getting bored reading about Joe following around his rich girlfriend and her family. It didn't seem to matter and his contempt for Beck and Amy throughout this book didn't ring true. Switching up the narration from Joe talking to Beck (the object of his obsession) to Joe just talking about random things and how much he hated and wanted to kill everyone he met was just boring. The flow wasn't good either. I think I fell asleep a few times here and there and finally at one point started to skim because I just wanted to get the book over with. 

The setting change to California actually wasn't a good idea. I don't know, it didn't seem real and Kepnes name dropping real celebrities after a while turned me off. Everyone in Hollywood is fake but Joe. Yes, murderous Joe is the only real person there. 

The ending was so weak. We don't know what future is ahead for Joe, but Joe sees his life as pretty perfect and one wonders if he isn't right. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-04 10:43
Some Secrets just can't stay buried
You: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes
Hidden Bodies - Caroline Kepnes

Have now read  You twice now  and have to say it is just as good and fun the second time around as it was the first.Have only read Hidden Bodies once so far but will be honest though and say  I am glad she changed to the third person point of view in the sequel.  I was both a fan and not a fan of the second person perspective in You.Though maybe she changed it because well the "You" is now dead  in the sequel so can't really use that "You" again now can she? Now don't get me wrong when done correctly, especially in You, is jarring and just makes you feel slightly weird reading it . Think the jarring nature of it was what made reading You so much fun. Thing is the jarring nature of it also takes you out of the story at times. That and well second person usually for me only works really well in choose your own adventure sort of novels . It works in those sort of novels because the YOU they are referring to there is actually you. Descriptions of the you in them is none existent because  well the point is  that the reader is supposed to be so lost in the story they actual feel they are along for the adventure and the second the writer adds any descriptions the more people that will not match that description and thus not be able to see the themselves in the story any longer. The thing that makes You different is that the You Joe describes is not you the reader but a character in the story and you are more or less sort of living in her body for the story I guess is the best way to put it. I think You works and is way creepier , least to me, when he does mention the character he is stalking by name. Course get why he does because well she is a character in the story so unless the you was actual the reader be strange if not mentioning her name but again the effect is way better when the character's name is not mentioned.

Then came to the sequel , which if anything I think is even better than the first one.I am a bit sad she changed the title from love to Hidden Bodies since I think Love is a far better title and just  feel would have been better if all the books in this series had one word titles. Just like the first  novel, the sequel makes you root for Joe even though he is a horrible person who does some really horrible things.Will mention if books have to have likeable characters that you can relate to in order for you to like them will say to stay far away from You and Hidden Bodies. I personally like unlikeable characters and have no issues liking characters even if certain things about their personalities or things they do are really messed up. Just found myself  tons of times while reading it found myself not wanting him to get caught even though by now he should clearly be in prison or if not on death row.


Will admit I took my ratings down a bit for both mostly for the fact I thought he fell into the just too damn lucky camp . Now I realize there are tons of real life serial killers who get away with horrible things , go uncaught even though when they are caught everyone is just confused how they were not caught earlier since when caught it seemed so obvious it was them or how could anyone believe the lies and shit they feed to them.  Realize too there are real life causes where strange luck or whatever you want to call it factors in and people go uncaught far longer then they should(Cops miss clues because they are human, witness don't want to come forward, etc).  Even with that in mind though I still thing there were a few cases especially in Hidden bodies where just he surpassed luck in my opinion. The most notable example is when he admits everything to Love, his now new obsession and love interest. Now we as the reader don't know if he actually told her everything thing that happened as it happened. We sort of have to take his word for it that he did.I for one think he told her his version of events , leaving out details and such. Then again he is also our eyes so who is to say we know all of the truth either.  Now Love is again not a completely likeable character and even if she was say one of the many women that fall in love with serial killers , who I think if faced with someone like that for real and not just in a fantasy would head for the hills since the fantasy of being in love and helping a killer is not as scary as the reality, I just don't think she would be able to process that as fast as she did and even go so far as being totally down to just go help him gather evidence that he left behind Not saying that she wouldn't help at some point since there are tons of examples of serial killer couples or least lovers that help out a spouse that kills I  just  still think she would have a bit more time to fully process all she told her and have more a reaction to what he had than she did. Now after saying that even if was sort of forced to further the plot still happy she did just so he stayed free for longer in the novel.

Can sadly also  see the way she helped him working in real life since so many people even now would be like Peach's parents and rather bury a gay child in secret(After Joe kills Peach on a beach and throws her body out to sea her parents now in this one believe it was not suicide . It is shown in the first book that most likely Peach is a lesbian in love with her best friend . In this book her parents have a feeling it was not suicide and  decide to reopen the case but when love burst in acting like her lesbian lover they tell the cops to close the case again to hide the fact that their daughter was a lesbian and avoid family scandal.) than admit to the public that their child was gay and start some sort of a family scandal, which as someone who lgbt myself I find fucked up to all hell but just like in real life it is still a sad reality for so many families. So again Joe is not the only messed up character since the people he kills, encounters , etc include a Psychologist who cheats on his wife with patients , well least the main character of You, Peach , a lesbian who comes on to her best when she is more or a bit passed out , Love's brother who is more or less a walking flesh suit pumped full every drug he can get his hands on, and course Love who has her own issues.Will say too if you dislike semigraphic sex scenes in your mystery/suspense novels would avoid these books as well.  I think though if you can get over the unlikable characters, if that is usually not your thing, the books are full with enough twists and turns to keep you reading.

For that fact alone would recommend them since they are probably some of the fastest reads. You keep wanting to flip the pages want to find out if Joe will get caught or what other messed up crap is going to happen. Then with much frustration, there is one hell of a cliff hanger for Hidden Bodies, which makes me want a third book like now even though have seen the author saying several times will be awhile til ten.Will admit was surprised when Joe walks out of the restaurant with the place surrounded by the cops  and Love is gone that she was not part of a set up to catch him. Was sure one of the cops got to her, fed her lies to give to Joe and that she lead him on til they could strike. Even Joe was certain of this for a bit. Now maybe she still is and it will be brought to light in the next  book of the series.Am still also on the fence whether her being pregnant is true on not so guess will have to see about that too. Think though it seems like so far she is not involved in helping him get caught and again it was just one of those terrible mistakes that got people questioning and digging too much. Course with the way Joe is able to pretty much talk himself out of anything and not sure he will face any jail time as of yet. Besides that is no fun for the killer , least to me, to get caught too early and have a feeling this is going to be more than a three book series. Had the same feeling when reading the first few Dexter books along with the Showtime show of the same name, a book series I would highly recommend if you at all enjoyed these books since those have very similar vibe to those .

So in short if you like high paced, readable books in which characters and most importantly a narrator are very very unlikeable , don't mind quite a bit of in semidetail sexual content in your mysteries , and books that have enough twists and turns to keep you guessing   would highly recommend both of these books. 

(spoiler show)


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review 2017-09-18 18:43
Hidden Bodies
Hidden Bodies - Caroline Kepnes

Well, I really enjoyed the first book, You, so I had high hopes for Hidden Bodies. Happily, Joe was just as twisted in this book as he was in the first. I will say that he didn't creep me out as much as he did in You, but maybe that's because I'm familiar with him now. He wasn't as much of a surprise. I did feel the book might have been a bit drawn out in some parts, but it still read quickly so I won't complain much. 


I was happy that Joe continued to be a complex character for me. I still pulled for him at times and wanted things to work out for him, yet I didn't want to like him at all. There's this part where he says something to the effect that he would never hit/hurt a woman -- yet he was where he was at that moment because he intended to kill a woman... The odd part is that I totally bought it. To put this into perspective - I cried when my husband killed a mole in our yard a few years ago. I cried when I hit a opossum with my car. I don't like killing of any kind. And yet, I found myself rooting for Joe at times... that's some great writing and characterization. 


It was a great sequel.

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review 2016-08-22 18:41
Hidden Bodies
Hidden Bodies - Caroline Kepnes

Oh, I love a sick, twisted guy and Joe definitely fits the bill. In this second book in the series, Joe has fallen for Amy as Amy is the girl of his dreams; she is everything he has ever wanted. She played the part well, she had him were she wanted him, he was like butter and she was molding him. They were too much alike, he should have seen this as a warning sign but Joe was in love. Now it’s back to reality, back to their normal lives and Amy makes her move, she skips town with items from his store and reality slaps Joe in the face.   She leaves a note, sorry? Who will be sorry one when Joe brings her down for he’s on a mission, and people die when they get in Joe’s way. It’s about murder, revenge and sex, did I mention there is an abundance of sex occurring in this novel. Joe likes attractive woman and with his numerous desires and uncontrollable thoughts, Joe never misses an opportunity to act. He stalks, he plays his part and he tries to find someone to keep him entertained.   Joe is a thinker; he tries to think ahead of any possible scenario.   People should learn to leave Joe alone, they should know that Joe likes to be in command and that he doesn’t like to be messed with but sometimes people don’t know this until it’s too late. This novel is just as intense as the first one in the series and I suggest you read the first novel before you read this one as there are references to some of the characters in the first novel in this one. It’s a twisted, thrilling novel that I’m sure many individuals will be glad that they picked up.

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