Release Date: January 7, 2014
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Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population:
689688) 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.
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.