No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen HaleNo One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Add it: Goodreads

Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 689 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.

Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.

A police officer comforts a woman on the shoulder of a rural highway.
I had a few issues with No One Else Can Have You, and yet I still ended up weirdly enjoying the book. Don’t ask me why, because I have absolutely no idea. No One Else Can Have Me offended me, made me roll my eyes, made me want to poke my eyes out, and yet there was something oddly captivating about it.

The overall mystery of who killed Kippy’s best friend was quite good, and the only part of the novel that I was truly invested in. You know me and my need to be a detective. It took me a while to figure out who the killer was, which is always good. I was suspecting everyone at one point, and by the time I had whittled my list down, it was almost time for the big reveal. I spent most of the novel suspecting someone else, and to be honest I think I would have liked my idea of the reveal way more.

The murder itself was deliciously creepy! The victim is murdered while walking across a field to Kippy’s house, and is left hanging from a tree after being stuffed like a scarecrow. Yeah. I got shivers when the body was discovered and described. Ermehgerd.

I was expecting the diary to come up a lot more than it did as well. Kippy is given her deceased friend’s diary, and she starts to read it and discovers a lot of truths about their friendship. This had a lot of potential to drive Kippy mad, and also to let us explore her character and background a bit more. Instead it was forgotten about pretty soon after Kippy received it, and only brought up when the larger plot called for it.

I wasn’t a fan of Kippy, or any of the characters at all, really. I found Kippy to be very unrelateable, and overly quirky. I’ve seen this book compared to Beauty Queens by Libba Bray due to the attempt at satire, and I have to say that much like Beauty Queens, No One Else Can Have You also failed in that respect. I don’t like overly quirky characters or books or personalities. They get on my nerves.

I also wasn’t a fan of the romance. It had the potential to be hot, but due to the stupidity of the characters, it was actually really boring, and bordering on ridiculous.

I’m not a fan of quirky stories or characters, nor am I a fan of satirical novels (maybe I have yet to find the right one?), so I might be biased but I don’t think the quirkiness worked with the storyline. In addition, the author’s attempt at quirkiness was actually pretty offensive at times. The way mental illness and domestic violence were included in this book in order to do nothing more than give the reader a laugh really got to me. I don’t think Hale handled those things well at all, and I would have preferred it if they had been leftout entirely rather than have jokes made about a man beating his partner.

I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy No One Else Can Have You, because for some unknown, unfathomable reason, I did. Despite these issues, I kept reading the book and really wanted to know how it would end. This might have just been my curiosity/inner-Sherlock talking, but there you go.

12 comments on “No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

  1. Charlotte @ Gypsy Reviews January 1, 2014 1:03 pm

    This book was definitely weird, I didn’t hate it either and kept on reading but it was so odd and I agree that mental illness and domestic violence wasn’t handled well in the book. I didn’t really like Kippy either and it did feel like the author was trying too hard to make Kippy a quirky character but the mystery was definitely really creepy. I mean the girl had her mouth stitched together ugh, just thinking about it makes me nauseous ><

    • Amber (Books of Amber) January 4, 2014 10:00 am

      The way I feel for this book is so weird! Such mixed feelings. I screamed internally when the body was discovered. It was horrible!

  2. Fahima M January 1, 2014 3:02 pm

    That first sentence? Sounds kinda meh. But oh man, I was so looking forward to this one :( Maybe I’ll still give it a go

    • Amber (Books of Amber) January 4, 2014 10:02 am

      I thought it was quite cool, haha. WHY DOES SHE NEED COMFORTING. I’d still suggest giving it a go, you might really enjoy it!

  3. tigerlilyrachel January 1, 2014 11:21 pm

    Oh man. Looks like I’m going to have a field day reading this one (and I actually have to read it so that’ll be interesting). I am not a fan of satirical novels, and I really DID NOT like Beauty Queens so I’m not holding out hope on this one. And the whole mental illness/domestic violence stuff? That will probably anger me. I guess at least I kind of know what to expect?

    • Amber (Books of Amber) January 4, 2014 10:34 am

      Haha, good luck with that! I HATED Beauty Queens, I thought it was awful. You will probably get very annoyed/offended by the mental illness/domestic violence bits. I was grinding my teeth.

  4. Courtney Kaz January 2, 2014 1:16 am

    I was also REALLY looking forward to this one (the cover is so great!) but this is the second negativeish review I have seen of it today. The other review also mentioned the poor handling of mental illness and domestic violence, and I’m not sure I could handle it. Great review! Happy new year!

    • Amber (Books of Amber) January 4, 2014 10:35 am

      I adore the cover! I hope the review manage to prepare people for the mental illness/domestic violence parts, because people should definitely go in knowing about it. Thanks! You too!

  5. caroline.taylor078 January 2, 2014 5:50 pm

    I’m still really interested in this book although your review does make me have more reservations about it, I might wait until it comes down in price!

    • Amber (Books of Amber) January 4, 2014 10:46 am

      I hope you enjoy it more than I did! Good decision to wait until the price drops.

  6. Michelle January 3, 2014 1:41 am

    I love the cover of this book and really want to read it, but yeah I’m not a fan of overly quirky characters. And a gruesome murder hardly seems like something that should be satirized? Well anyway, I’d like to give it a shot and see how much my eyes roll :)

    • Amber (Books of Amber) January 4, 2014 10:47 am

      The cover is brilliant, I’m so sad that the content doesn’t match up! I hope you like it, and I’ll look forward to hearing back XD

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