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The Books behind the Netflix hit TV show!
What is the Joe Goldberg series about?
Coming from the American writer, screenwriter, and former entertainment reporter Caroline Kepnes, the Joe Goldberg series is a thriller series that you may also know under the simple title “You.”
The story began when Guinevere Beck, an aspiring writer, went into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works. They quickly became obsessed with each other, but they both are more than they seem to be. In fact, Joe is capable of a lot to get what he wants, even murder… and he wants Beck.
Published in 2014, You is the first book of the Joe Goldberg series, but also the book behind the now extremely popular TV Show available on Netflix starring Penn Badgley as Joe. Elements of the sequels were also used in the adaptation.
How to read the Joe Goldberg Books in Order?
- You (2014)
- Hidden Bodies (2016)
- You Love Me (2021)
- For You and Only You (2023)
For more information about the books in the Joe Goldberg books by Caroline Kepnes, you’ll find below the official synopsis for all the books:
You (2014) – 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.
Hidden Bodies (2016) – In Hollywood, Joe Goldberg 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: true love. 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…
You Love Me (2021) – Joe Goldberg is done with cities, done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now, he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cosy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe. He gets a job at the local library – he does know a thing or two about books – and that’s where he meets her: Mary Kay DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won’t meddle, he will not obsess. He’ll win her the old fashioned way . . . by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town. The trouble is . . . Mary Kay already has a life. She’s a mother. She’s a friend. She’s . . . busy.
For You and Only You (2023) – Joe Goldberg is ready for a change. Instead of selling books, he’s writing them. And he’s off to a good start. Glenn Shoddy, an acclaimed literary author, recognizes Joe’s genius and invites him to join a tight-knit writing fellowship at Harvard. Finally, Joe will be in a place where talent matters more than pedigree . . . where intellect is the great equalizer and anything is possible. Even happy endings. Or so he thinks, until he meets his already-published, already-distinguished peers, who all seem to be cut from the same elitist cloth. Thankfully, Wonder Parish enters the picture. They have so much in common. No college degrees, no pretensions, no stories from prep school or grad school. Just a love for literature. If only Wonder could commit herself to the writing life, they could be those rare literary soulmates who never fall prey to their demons. Wonder has a tendency to love, to covet, but Joe is a believer in the rule of fiction: If you want to write a book, you have to kill your darlings.
What should you read if you like the Joe Goldberg novels?
If you like reading Caroline Kepnes’ Joe Goldberg stories, you may be interested in Colleen Hoover.This article was last updated on May 8, 2023.