You (2014 Novel) Background

You (2014 Novel) Background

There are as many different and varied routes on the path to becoming a best-selling novelist as there are novels, stories and plots; Caroline Kepnes' path was not the traditional, well-worn one of academia, but a slightly more glitzy affair. Kepnes was a staff writer on the television soap opera 7th Heaven before becoming a guest writer on the groundbreaking series The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Although she had written her debut novel, Steven Crane, prior to the start of her screenwriting career, it was after her work on both series that she became much better known as a novelist. You was her break-out novel and was published in 2014, a full decade after her debut.

It tells the story of aspiring writer Guinevere Beck who is working as a teaching assistant to support herself whilst she completes her thesis. She meets book store employee Joe Goldberg and has a life-changing effect on him; he is smitten with her in an instant. The two become obsessed with each other, but this passion becomes a dangerous and deadly game once the two reveal the people they are behind their public facades.

The book was an instant hit, and to date has been translated into nineteen languages. Critics praised it as a clever and gripping thriller that was very hard to put down despite the deeply unsettling feelings that it generated in the reader.

The novel was optioned for a television adaptation; a series based on the book was planned by the Lifetime channel, but this project gradually fizzled, and the series was picked up by Netflix in 2018.

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