When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.
There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.
This was a really difficult book to read and even more so to review. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone because it’s disturbing, explicit, and violent. But at the same time I think every woman should read it.
And sometimes you have to play around with the facts to get the girl. I have seen enough romantic comedies to know that romantic guys like me are always getting into jams like this.
This book is told from Joe’s pov, and it’s like he’s telling Beck their story. The way it’s written is perfect to represent the obsession that he develops for this girl, because it’s all about her. It’s alway “you did this” and “you were there” and “you think”. And this style is what makes this book feel so real, and so raw, and disturbing. Joe, at times, feels like a normal guy, or at least, when he talks with Beck, but everything he thinks is twisted and sick.
You’re too close to the tracks, Beck, and you’re lucky I’m here, because if you fell or if some sicko had followed you down, some derelict rapist, you wouldn’t be able to do anything.
He starts following Beck everywhere, reading her e-mails to know everything she’s up to; and he knows that it’s wrong, because he doesn’t want to be caught, although he believes that she’d eventually find it all romantic. But what’s worse, it’s that he believes that he’s somehow Beck’s hero, because he can protect her from other people, and from herself. Because, to him, she has no secret. He knows what’s best for her.
You pull my face to yours and hold me. You pause. You drive me crazy and then. And then. Your lips were made for mine, Beck. You are the reason I have a mouth, a heart.
Everything gets even darker, and scarier, when Joe makes his way into Beck’s life. He becomes her friend, and eventually her lover. And it’s so scary how clueless she is of everything he’s done. She’s not stupid, it’s just that there aren’t signs of who he truly is. This is why I think every woman should read this book, because the majority of stalking cases happen within a relationship, and that’s what really made this book so disturbing to me.
How does my anger with you always soften into love?
I think the mood swings were his only telling, but for Beck it was literally impossible to guess what was happening. Plus, Beck is a woman with her own issues, she wasn’t costant in her relationship, she wanted what she couldn’t have, and wasn’t very honest. And Joe gets so mad when he finds out about her lies, and he goes from loving Beck, from adoring every word she says, to calling her names, to hating her, and then back again. But that all happens in his mind, because in front of her he’s always collected and calm. Until he isn’t anymore.
“What’s wrong with you”
“I love you.”
“This isn’t love. This is sick.”
Overall, I really loved this book, as I said before, it wasn’t easy to read, I had to take breaks from time to time, because it’s really intense. It scared me, it disgusted me, and it made me realize how little information there is about stalking, and how much it could help to know more about it.