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Literature / You Love Me

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Joe Goldberg is trying to be better.

Yes, he killed his girlfriend Beck back in You (2015). And yes, he killed some other people, stalked a new love interest, got her pregnant and ended up arrested for his many crimes in Hidden Bodies. But Joe's a good guy, dammit, and he's going to start acting like it.

So he's done with Los Angeles. He's done with the stalking and the murdering. After getting released from prison when none of the charges stick, Joe accepts a devil's bargain from his girlfriend's wealthy father: leave LA forever, leave the Quinn family alone forever, give up any chance of ever seeing his son, and in return he gets a huge amount of money.

Joe uses that money to move way up the Pacific Coast to Bainbridge Island, an idyllic enclave outside Seattle. He wants to start over. And he feels like he has a real shot at happiness with Mary Kay DiMarco, a beautiful librarian and mother of a teenage daughter. He's going to do it right this time. He's going to court Mary Kay honestly.

As Joe discovers that Mary Kay's life is more complicated than he imagined, he faces the old quandary: just how far is he willing to go for love?

Unlike the prior installments, this novel was not adapted as a season of You (2018), which diverged from the plot of the literary series. There are some very loose similarities between Season 3 and Book 3.


  • Character Development: Joe has developed into a slightly less loathsome figure in this novel, to the extent that he does not actually kill anyone personally in the entire book (he does cause the death of some people, but not directly or intentionally). He's still a stalker and a liar with plenty of old blood on his hands, but he's trying very hard to not be quite as bad.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Everyone else commits Joe's murders for him this time around.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Joe is guilty of a lot, but he's truly and sincerely horrified when Mary-Kate's daughter comes on to him.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Love named her and Joe's baby Forty after her brother.
  • Distaff Counterpart: The Meerkat is one to Joe. She was obsessed with him and was convinced that he loved her too despite him never meaning to give her that impression.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: After tormenting Joe via social media maybe, Love shoots Joe and commits suicide.
  • Lighter and Softer: The book still features plenty of sex and violence, but Joe's Character Development as described above does make the novel a bit less pointed than the first two entries in the series.
  • Monster Fangirl: MK's daughter is completely obsessed with Dylan Klebold. She's also in love with Joe.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Mary-Kate is called MK by everyone.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Mary-Kate is supposed to have had her (now-teenaged) daughter young, but it's 2021 and she and her husband were around at the same time as Nirvana.