I can’t even. This is going to be a rambly gushing review about this book because I am unable to CAN, with forming pithy quotes and character analyzation.
I got a message from Atria that this book was coming out last week and I thought ehhh, we’ll give it a shot. I settled in with it on Saturday afternoon and read it straight through, which happens infrequently, if you can believe it.
First of all, there’s a TON of pop culture in this book.. a lot of musical references, HEAVY references to twitter and facebook, something I find abhorrent but it kind of works.
It’s also in second person present tense, which I became accustomed to rather quickly. The first quarter of the book was a bit dry and ho hum…. knowing that things get awfully crazy later kept me hanging on so I’ll tell you the same. Just………just hang on, reader.
I started out feeling kind of sorry for Joe. He seems like a nice guy– intelligent if a bit ‘trying to hard to show it’, what with mentioning all the time that he didn’t go to college. Endearing, kind of a romantic– the little things mean a lot to him, like a passage in a book or an inscription or the way the perfect girl looks at him. And he works hard, always putting forth the effort, showing interest without seeming like he’d literally bend over backward for this girl.
Except that he would. Joe is desperately obsessed with Guinevere (who goes by Beck because that’s a totally cool hip name to go by when your name is Guinevere). She walks into his bookstore and into his heart and takes up space and doesn’t leave, except she doesn’t know she possesses this space. Over time, Joe moves from endearing and thoughtful to slightly creepy.
And then REALLY CREEPY.
And THEN KIND OF PSYCHO.
But here’s the thing. I don’t much feel sorry for Beck. She’s so oblivious and she’s such a user and I don’t think she knows herself at all. During an intensely retrospective part of the novel, she comes completely clean about the fact that her efforts to obtain an MFA are fraudulent. She can’t write and never really could and all of her pieces are mostly diary entries– dreams and fantasies. She uses people– men especially and she is the biggest girl sized lap dog in history.
NOTE TO READER: Just star hating Peach early on and save yourself the trouble!
I really vacillated as to whether or not I sided with Joe, which is crazy. There are parts where he’s so nonchalant about what he’s done, or what he’s about to do…. but then Beck leaves an awesome, romantic date to pander to Peach and her neurotic obsession with her fake stalker. Joe gives her the world and treats her like a Queen but then she doesn’t answer calls or emails….until she needs him to do something.
I think I concluded that for the majority of this book, these fools deserve each other. But then Beck finds out that Joe has been stalking her and Joe finds out that he’s not the only man Beck has been seeing and things just get really ugly.
You was stellar novel and I HOPE the last page is a nod to a sequel. There’s no way Joe can be contained in one book.