Joe Goldberg is back! Classical music to some ears, taunting ice cream truck music to others. I’m somewhere in between. I really enjoyed the TV show, and I liked the first two books as well–but I’m also fascinated by books that use the second person, so it already had me there. The third book in the series–You Love Me--is out April 6th, and if you want more weird-ass Joe Goldberg in your life, he’s ready for you.
I can’t remember exactly where the second season of the show ends vs the ending of the second book, but book 3 (You Love Me) starts with Joe post-prison. The Quinns have bailed him out, but now he’s separated from Love and his son. He’s taken up residence on Bainbridge Island in Washington state. And, of course, he’s got a new love of his life, he’s just got to meet her. Her name is Mary Kay, and she’s a librarian. So Joe makes a large donation, moves into the house the Quinns originally bought for him and Love, and begins his quest to woo her. There’s book talk, a lot of Thai food, and Joe’s slow but steady installation of himself into her life. But there are complications, as you can imagine: a husband, for Mary Kay. Mary Kay’s overzealous feminist best friend. Mary Kay’s daughter, Nomi. Someone who works for the Quinns. A casino hotel room. A hospital trip. But Joe will do what Joe has always done: whatever it takes.
This book has the same flare the others have–the same fascinating language, weird characters, and addictive nature, but I feel like it took the reality factor to a new low. A lot of things happen in this that just compound and compound and compound and i KNOW it’s not about “well this would never really happen” but it almost feels like TOO MUCH happens to Joe in the course of one book, even compared to the other books in the series. Especially in the case of Mary Kay’s best friend AND husband AND the dude friend AND the daughter–it just felt like “really? come on?” at times
Plot aside, I think the one thing that bothered me most about this book wasn’t the inevitable death, stalking, or misogynistic behavior–it was referring to Mary Kay’s vagina as her Murakami. That is unforgivable.
Overall, I’d give this book like 3.65 stars. It’s very vibe with the rest of the series–and my plot critics aside, it was a compelling read. Not sure if there will be a fourth one–I think the ending was good closure, but could open up another fascination for Joe.
You can buy You Love Me wherever books are sold.