Hidden Bodies: A Novel by Caroline KepnesHidden Bodies: A Novel by Caroline Kepnes

Hidden Bodies: A Novel

byCaroline Kepnes

Hardcover | February 23, 2016

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“There’s something deeply insidious about the storytelling of Caroline Kepnes. As satire of a self-absorbed society, Kepnes hits the mark, cuts deep, and twists the knife.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Obsessed.” —Jessica Knoll, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive

“Delicious and insane...The plot may be twisty and scintillating, but its Kepnes' wit and style that keep you coming back.” —Lena Dunham

Hypnotic and scary.” —Stephen King

In the compulsively readable follow-up to her widely acclaimed debut novel, You, Caroline Kepnes weaves a tale that Booklist calls “the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman.”

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: truelove. 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...
Title:Hidden Bodies: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:February 23, 2016Publisher:Atria/Emily Bestler BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476785627

ISBN - 13:9781476785622

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book! I will be honest and say it is not as good as You, but still a good read. The story is a bit drawn out but overall it is worth the read.
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Twisted If you enjoyed the first book then you will enjoy this one as well. It keeps you guessing and wondering what will happen next. The protagonist is the kind of person you hate to love...but you do anyway.
Date published: 2017-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hidden Bodies: The Twisted sequel After YOU, I was not ready to give up on Joe. This novel was equally as twisted as the first. Joe is the stalker you love and hate at the same time.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Twisted and Compelling Actually rated 4.5/5 stars I loved You, which is the first book in this series, and Hidden Bodies didn't let me down. Joe was back in full force and will have you back on his side within a few pages. With a new cast of supporting characters and a few new locations, Joe had a whole new playground. At first I was unsure of Joe's new interest, Love, but after reading a few more chapters with her in it, I ended up liking her almost as much as Joe. Like You, there is a lot going on and you get to see the world from Joe's delusional perspective, I loved it. The last quarter of the book will have you on the edge of your seat screaming "NO FREAKING WAY!!" I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoyed You, as I think it was a great sequel!
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wicked. My thoughts are so scattered right now. This book is warped. Crazy. Unpredictable. It delves into the deep dark parts of the mind that are terrifying. Joe is manipulative, intelligent, and highly knowledgeable of human interaction and humans in general. He's the type of person that should be feared by everyone but is hardly suspected because that's just how intelligent he is. It's scary and makes you wonder about the people around you and the strangers you pass by. There were so many crazy as hell unpredictable plot twists that floored me and sometimes even one would be followed immediately by an even crazier plot twist. And it was great. Like with the first book, all the characters seem to be somewhat horrible people, whether that is just to show that some humans really are that horrible or to put Joe, the presumed protagonist, in a better light I am not sure. My opinion of Joe since the first book and while reading this book changed a few times. I didn't really like any of the characters but this story was wicked and crazy good and the messed-up characters can only add to the wickedness! I kind of hoped we'd see ultimately what happens to Joe considering the ending but maybe this means there will be another book in the series? I don't know but I really enjoyed this book (as much as it also made me uneasy haha) and I think it was a perfect sequel to "You" with much more action and tons more plot twists and downright insanity.
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Loved You, this one - not so much Caroline Kepnes's second book, Hidden Bodies has just released. I really liked Kepnes's first book You. (my review) You introduced us to Joe, a sociopathic, narcissistic bookseller who thinks he's found the girl of his dreams. But the path to true love is a very bumpy one..... Joe returns in Hidden Bodies. He's in love again. And again it's a bumpy road. You was told in Joe's unending, seriously disturbed stream of consciousness narrative. That narrative continues in Hidden Bodies. Kepnes had my attention in the beginning as Joe is up to his old tricks.... "You don't go to a party empty-handed and my reusable Pantry bag is stuffed with rope, my Rachael Ray knife, rubber gloves, plastic bags, duct tape, and Percocets from Dez." ....but I slowly found my attention wandering as the book progressed. (spoiler) Joe ending up in Hollywood was just - I don't know - too much of a stretch for me. I must admit, that plots involving stars, movies, Hollywood etc. bore me. A big part of Joe's life revolves around his sex life. In You it made sense and was an integral part of the plot. But I found it overdone in Hidden Bodies. Honestly, I just grew weary of Joe and his d**k. (His words not mine) His detailed sexual escapades, exploits and fantasies lost the sense of shock or effect with so much repetition. Again, I grew bored. I liked Joe in You and even felt sorry for him. As I read, I saw shades of Dexter. I didn't have the same reaction this read. Instead, I found Joe to be flat and just not as interesting the second time around. I already knew who and what he was - his actions weren't much of a surprise, but simply another helping of the same. I saw the book through to the end - which finishes up somewhat ambiguously - hinting at perhaps a third Joe book - one I won't be picking up. I think I'm in the minority on this one.
Date published: 2016-02-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Back in full force. First off, even though this is a sequel, you could easily read Hidden Bodies as a standalone novel because at the beginning, the author spends a few pages recalling the events of the first book. When Joe first gets to L.A. and starts acclimating to the new territory, joining social media, trying to make it in Hollywood and such, I was a little skeptical about what he was doing and what direction the story would go in. It seemed at first like Joe was going against everything he'd stood for in You. It didn't feel right. But as I got more and more into the story, everything came together and made sense, given the strange new setting. I ended up really liking the fish-out-of-water aspect of Joe being in L.A. Hidden Bodies is very different from You. There's no more second person narration, which was something major that I liked about the first one because it's so unique. I don't think it suffered for having a different kind of narration though, and it makes perfect sense with the progression of the story from the last book. There are also far fewer book references this time around; instead, there are a lot of references to movies and music, which I liked. Once again, I have a bunch of titles I need to check out after reading Joe's story! Overall I really enjoyed this sequel, even though I wasn't sure about the new setting at first. Caroline Kepnes does such a great job of building tension with regards to the events of the first book haunting Joe's thoughts, and by the end there was so much action and drama...I was anxious and exclaiming "Oh my god!" out loud. If you enjoyed You, I think you'll like Hidden Bodies as well, but you should keep in mind that this sequel is very different. Personally, I could read this series forever because it's interesting to read such a unique and, yes, disturbing perspective. Joe Goldberg is back in full force.
Date published: 2016-02-28

Read from the Book

Hidden Bodies 1 I buy violets for Amy. Not roses. Roses are for people who did something wrong. I have done everything right this time around. I’m a good boyfriend. I chose well. Amy Adam lives in the moment, not in the computer. “Violets are the state flower of Rhode Island,” I tell the guy wrapping up my flowers. His careless, dirty hands graze the petals, my petals. New Fucking York. “Is that so?” He chuckles. “You learn something new every day.” I pay cash and carry my violets outside to East Seventh Street. It’s hot for May and I smell the flowers. Rhode Island. I’ve been to Rhode Island. I went to Little Compton last winter. I was lovesick, petrified that my girlfriend—R.I.P. Guinevere Beck—was in jeopardy because of her emotionally unstable friend—R.I.P. Peach Salinger. Someone honks at me and I apologize. I know when something is my fault, and when you walk into a blinking crosswalk, it’s your fault. Just like it was my fault last winter. I go over the mistake in my head a dozen times a day. How I was hiding in a closet upstairs at the Salinger house. How I had to pee but couldn’t leave. So I pissed in a mug—a ceramic mug—and I put the mug down on the hardwood floor of the closet. I ran when I had the chance, and there is no way around it: I forgot the mug. I’m a changed man because of that day. You can’t go back and alter the past, but you can go forward, become a person who remembers. Now, I’m committed to the details. For example, I recall with total precision the moment that Amy Kendall Adam returned to Mooney Rare and Used, to my life. I see her smile, her untamed hair (blond), and her résumé (lies). That was five months ago and she claimed she was looking for a job but you and I both know she was looking for me. I hired her, and she showed up on time for her first day with a spiral notebook and a list of rare books that she wanted to see. She had a glass container of superfruits and she told me they help you live forever. I told her that nobody gets to live forever and she laughed. She had a nice laugh, easy. She also had latex gloves. I picked one up. “What are these?” “So I don’t hurt the books,” she explained. “I want you up front,” I countered. “This is just a basic job, mostly stocking shelves, manning the register.” “Okay,” she said. “But did you know that there are copies of Alice in Wonderland that are worth over a million dollars?” I laughed. “I hate to break your heart, but we don’t have Alice downstairs.” “Downstairs?” she asked. “Is that where you keep the special books?” I wanted to place my hand on the small of her back and lead her down to the cage, where the special books are preserved, boxed, saved. I wanted to strip her down and lock us inside and have her. But I was patient. I gave her a W-9 and a pen. “You know, I could help you go yard-sale-ing for old books,” she said. “You never know what you’re going to find at yard sales.” I smiled. “Only if you promise not to call it yard-sale-ing.” Amy smiled. The way she saw it, if she was going to work here, she was going to make a dent. She wanted us to travel uptown to estate sales and hunt library clearances and jam our hands into empty boxes on the street. She wanted to work together and this is how you get to know someone so well, so fast. You descend into musty vacated rooms together and you rush outside together to gulp the fresh air and laugh and agree that the only thing to do now is get a drink. We became a team. An old woman pushing a walker looks up at me. I smile. She points at the violets. “You’re a good boy.” I am. I thank her and keep walking. Amy and I started dating a few months ago while we were on the Upper East Side in a dead man’s parlor. She tugged on the lapel of the navy blazer she had bought for me—five bucks—at a tag sale. She pleaded with me to drop seven hundred on a signed, wrinkled edition of The Easter Parade. “Amy,” I whispered. “Yates isn’t big right now and I don’t see a resurgence on the horizon.” “But I love him,” she begged. “This book means everything to me.” This is women; they are emotional. You can’t do business like this but you also can’t look at Amy with her big blue eyes and her long blond hair out of a Guns N’ Roses song and say no to her. “What can I do to change your mind?” she wheedled. An hour later, I was the owner of an overpriced Easter Parade and Amy was sucking my dick in a Starbucks bathroom in Midtown and this was more romantic than it sounds because we liked each other. This was not a blowjob; this was fellatio, my friends. She stood and I pulled her boyfriend jeans to the floor and I stopped short. I knew she didn’t like to shave; her legs were often bristly and she’s all about water conservation. But I did not expect a bush. She kissed me. “Welcome to the jungle.” This is why I smile as I walk and this is how you get happy. Amy and I, we are sexier than Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo on the cover of The Freewheelin’ and we are smarter than Tom Cruise and Penélope Cruz in Vanilla Sky. We have a project: We are amassing copies of Portnoy’s Complaint. It’s one of our favorite books and we reread it together. She underlined her favorite parts with a Sharpie and I told her to use a more delicate pen. “I’m not delicate,” she said. “I hate delicate.” Amy is a Sharpie; she’s passionate. She fucking loves Portnoy’s Complaint and I want to possess all the dark yellow copies ever made and keep them in the basement so that only Amy and I can touch them. I’m not supposed to overstock a title, but I like fucking Amy near our yellow wall of books. Philip Roth would approve. She laughed when I told her that and said we should write him a letter. She has an imagination, a heart. My phone rings. It’s Gleason Brothers Electricians about the humidifier but it can wait. I have an e-mail from BuzzFeed about some list of cool indie bookstores and that can wait too. Everything can wait when you have love in your life. When you can just walk down the street and picture the girl you love naked on a mound of yellow Complaints. I reach Mooney Books and the bell chimes as I open the door. Amy crosses her arms and glares at me and maybe she’s allergic to flowers. Maybe violets suck. “What’s wrong?” I ask, and I hope this isn’t it, the beginning of the end, when the girl becomes a cunt, when the new car smell evaporates. “Flowers?” she asks. “You know what I want more than flowers?” I shake my head. “Keys,” she says. “A guy was just here and I could have sold him the Yates but I couldn’t show it because I don’t have keys.” I toss the flowers on the counter. “Slow down. Did you get a number?” “Joe,” she says, tapping her foot. “I love this business. And I know I’m being a dumb girl and I shouldn’t tell you how into this I am. But please. I want keys.” I don’t say anything. I need to memorize it all, lock it away for safekeeping, the low hum of the music—the Rolling Stones’ “Sweet Virginia,” one of my favorites—and the way the light is right now. I don’t lock the door. I don’t flip the OPEN sign over. I walk to the other side of the counter and I take her in my arms and I dip her and I kiss her and she kisses me back. I’VE never given anyone a key. But this is what’s supposed to happen. Your life is supposed to expand. Your bed is supposed to have enough room for someone else and when that someone comes along, it’s your job to let her in. I seize my future. I pay extra to get ridiculous theme keys, pink and flowery. And when I place these pink metallic things in the palm of Amy’s hand, she kisses them. “I know this is huge,” she says. “Thank you, Joe. I will guard these with my life.” That night, she comes over and we watch one of her stupid movies—Cocktail, nobody is perfect—and we have sex and order a pizza and my air-conditioning breaks. “Should we call someone?” she asks. “Fuck it,” I say. “It’s Memorial Day coming up.” I smile and pin her down and her unshaven legs scratch against mine and I’m used to it now. I like it. She licks her lips. “What are you up to, Joe?” “You go home and pack a bag,” I say. “And I’m gonna rent us a little red Corvette and we’re gonna get out of here.” “You’re insane,” she says. “Where are we going in this little red Corvette?” I bite her neck. “You’ll see.” “You’re kidnapping me?” she asks. And if this is what she wants, then yes. “You have two hours. Go pack.”

Editorial Reviews

“Kepnes' writing style has gotten rave reviews from a ton of acclaimed authors including Stephen King, who calls it, 'hypnotic and scary.' If Stephen King finds it scary, you know it's going to be a wild ride!”