“You” by Caroline Kepnes Show vs Book

It seems there’s a show on Netflix, based on the novel by Caroline Kepnes’ You. If you haven’t seen the show or read the book….you might want to skip this post because there will be spoilers…  You have been warned…XOXO Gossip Girl

I don’t usually write posts like this but I have had one heck of a week. This was supposed to go up yesterday but my not so good friend Lupus decided I needed to feel so fatigued that I literally slept for almost 20 hours straight. I can live with the pain, it’s the not being productive that brings me down. So… Let me fill you in.  I went to my rheumatologist for hip pain. He found out that I had bursitis, so he gave me a shot of cortisone. It didn’t hurt when it happened but by the time I left his office I was dizzy and nauseous.  I shouldn’t have driven home yet but I did. Needless to say for anyone who has ever had a cortisone shot. They hurt. Like stepping on a Lego level pain. Monday I had another doctors appt. to get tubes and tubes of blood drawn and x-rays taken. Again I shouldn’t have driven home, but I did. Well, they found something interesting on the x-rays. It now appears that I have some kind of Spondyloarthropathy. So basically the antibodies in my body are attacking the connective tissue that connects the bones of my spine with the muscles in my back. This is what has been throwing my hip off kilter. We aren’t sure what the doctors are going to recommend as I just found all this out on Friday. So to make a long story less long. I was in terrible pain throughout the week and just got more bad news on the medical front…not going to lie, it bummed me out. So what did I do? I binged watched “You” on Netflix because I had read the book and I was skeptical that it would be as good. Well, it wasn’t the book I had read but…it was really really good. So I thought. Well, I did vow to share the good, the bad and the ugly on this blog. So this is part of the ugly. Well not so much anymore because now I get to do this… and to me, this is great fun.

I was one of the lucky people to get Caroline Kepnes’ You as an ARC (advanced readers copy), and I have read a lot of books that were supposed to scare me, but didn’t, this one scared the bejeezus out of me. Not because it was overly violent, it wasn’t. Not because I was in suspense as to what was going to happen and who was going to get killed next. I knew who was going to get it and I knew when it was going to happen. Normally if a show had that much predictability I would have turned it off and ended up watching something else. But in “You”, it totally works. What makes is scary is Joe. Joe works in a book store, he has a great personality, and in the show, he is played by a very familiar face, Penn Badgley from Gossip Girl. That alone I think adds to the whole “this is really scary” feeling. Joe is just likable. I couldn’t help but like him. Yes, he was stalking, imprisoning, and murdering people, he was a total psychopathic monster. But I liked him anyway.  I couldn’t help it, and by the end of both the book and the series, I found myself justifying the horrible things he was doing. And that, my friends, is what scared me shitless.

If you haven’t read the book, read it.  If you haven’t watched the show, watch it. Do both because the show was different in so many ways, that I will point out below, but each will leave you with the thoughts I had after watching, and reading, You.  The fact that I was sitting there mentally justifying the crimes committed by a psychopathic murderer, scared me. What kind of person does that make me?  Kudos to you Miss Kepnes, you used Joe to scare us into realizing that inside we all have the potential to be scary.

So let’s look at the differences between the book and the movie, shall we?

In the book, Claudia, Ron and their son Paco didn’t exist. Which is good because it allows Joe to murder one less person.

In the book, Joe merely burns Benji’s body, in the show he has Paco run off to get supplies to do just that. So either way, Benji was toasted to a crisp.

In the book, Mr. Mooney is coherent and allows Joe to borrow his car so he can go stalk Beck in Bridgeport. In the show, Joe takes Beck to meet Mr. Mooney who is unable to communicate. Both the book and the movie show the life that Mr. Mooney raised Joe into.

Now the Bridgeport scenes in the book have Joe following her to a Dicken’s Festival, in the book this festival was held on a boat. In the book, she (Beck) never finds out that Joe is there, in the show she runs into him and they end up having dinner with her father and his new family.

The special night that Joe plans for Beck, the horse-drawn carriage, the whole nine yards are ruined by Peach before it can happen in the book, in the show, she calls during the special date and ruins it then.

The scenes in the show where Peach introduces Beck to a publisher friend and then he (the publisher friend) tries to get fresh with Beck in the limo… none of that happened in the book.

Peach’s little trick of having Raj show up at their vacation house and then getting them all wasted hoping to get Beck into bed with herself and Raj, just didn’t happen in the book. Peach makes a pass at Beck while they were in dressing gowns and was swiftly rebuffed. Now that did happen in the book.

After Joe hits the deer on his way to find Beck, he is taken to the hospital and gives the hospital staff a fake name. This is what happened in the book. In the show, he has a conversation with the police officer and the officer lets him go, but not without suspicion. He (the cop) later runs his plates.

In the scene where there is a confrontation between Peach and Joe, where they are fighting over a handgun, the gun goes off and Joe retreats home to his neighbors who help him manage his wound. Hate to say it, but none of that happened in the book.

In the show, we see a few times where Beck notices that Joe if following her, especially in the central park scene where she confronts him and accuses him of stalking and not trusting her. Yeah again…didn’t happen in the book.

In the show, Joe starts dating his neighbor’s friend Karen Minty (ok I admit this name cracks me up) but in the book, since the neighbors didn’t exist, neither did Miss Minty (fresh).

In the book Curtis a book store employee (who isn’t in the show)  is the person who beat Joe up, in the show it’s Ron. Yep, the nonexistent Ron beats the heck out of him in the show.

Beck didn’t have a book deal in the book, because while she was locked in the cage, Joe made her read The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, and not write a book on an old typewriter that we saw on the show.

Ok here’s another difference, Beck’s death. In the book, there were two whole chapters dedicated to just that. Her death included sex, ice cream, her pretending to be dead in an attempt to escape when Joe is choking her.  It’s a messy business where she dies on the floor in the bookstore, not in the cage like in the show. Also, there is no hope of Paco saving her in the book because he simply doesn’t exist.

And lastly, at the end of the first season of the show, Candace walks in, which couldn’t have happened because, in the book, she was already dead.

Those are basically all of the differences I could find and most of the articles on the subject confirm and added too what I had found.  If there is anything I missed. Please let me know.

Either way, I loved both of them, and the still the scariest part of both the book and the show was that I not only liked Joe, but I also found myself justifying his actions. Now that is scary.

Let’s hope tomorrow is a better day so that I can get back on my newly minted schedule.

Just a few more things.

If you want to read “You”, which of course you do. You can get it here.

If you want to sign up and join me in the 24in48 readathon next weekend…you can do so here.

I am working on a Special Addition Newsletter, and my next planner centric blog post. Those should be up this week. Also I am writing an article for another blog…I will give you the details when I can. The whole keeping my mouth shut is probably the hardest.

Keep Reading, Planning and Writing.



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