Title: No One Else Can Have You
Author: Kathleen Hale
Genre: YA Mystery
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062211196 (HarperTeen)
ISBN-13: 978-0062211194 (HarperTeen)
Reviewed by: Bridget
Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 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
Quick & Dirty: Interesting young adult mystery with a great premises. It started out slow and I had a hard time with some of the characters, but overall it was a good read.
Opening Sentence: A police officer comforts a woman on the shoulder of a rural highway.
Kippy Bushman lives in the tiny town of Friendship, Wisconsin. She has grown up there her whole life with her best friend Ruth Fried. In small towns everyone knows everyone and they trust each other. So when Ruth is found brutally murdered in the middle of a cornfield everything is thrown into chaos. People no longer trust their neighbors and everyone is afraid they are going to be next.
The police are a bunch of incompetent men that don’t have a remote idea on how to solve a murder, so Kippy takes it into her own hands to find out what happened to Ruth. As Kippy starts to dig into her friends past she finds that she didn’t really know Ruth at all, and she had a lot of enemies that would want her dead. The list of suspects if constantly growing and the more Kippy learns the more unsure she becomes on whether or not she even wants to solve this murder.
Kippy is a very awkward girl that grew up without her mother. Even though she is naturally beautiful, with her weird sense of style and shyness, she doesn’t have a lot of friends. Pretty much her father, Ruth and the much older neighbor boy are the only people in her life that she considers friends. Losing Ruth has been a big blow to Kippy and she’s not sure she can handle losing anyone else in her life. Honestly, I felt bad for Kippy, but she was a really hard character for me to connect with. She was very naïve and her voice was slightly irritating. I liked her determination and she was actually very intelligent, but it seemed like her intelligence went to waste a lot of the time. Overall, she was just an ok character for me.
I really liked one of the secondary characters, which made up a little bit for not liking Kippy as much. Davey is Ruth’s older brother. He just recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan and has PTSD. He wants more than anything to find out what happened to his sister and he helps Kippy with her investigation. Davey was sweet and interesting to get to know. I thought that his character had a lot of depth and I found that I could really sympathize with him.
No One Else Can Have You was an interesting read, but it was really hard for me to get into the book. The beginning was really slow for me, but once I got about half way through it got a lot better. I’m not going to lie, I figured out pretty much the entire mystery in the first few chapters, and sadly I was 100% correct on all my predictions. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy this book, I just would have liked to have been a little more surprised by the plot. The author tried to add humor to lighten the tone, but personally it wasn’t my type of humor, so I didn’t really find it very funny. I do have to admit that I adore this cover and it fits this book so perfectly. This is Hale’s debut novel and I think that she has a lot of potential as an author and I am interested to see what she comes out with next. Overall, this was a good read for me but it did have a lot of flaws. I would recommend you give it a try if you like quirky characters and a good mystery.
“She was alive when it happened,” Davey says. “She probably had to watch her killer take out that needle and thread. They only dropped her from the tree branch after the fact–after she’d already suffocated on her own teeth and bile and straw. Then they did her like a buck from a basketball hoop.”
In Friendship, people go hunting, then tie up the kills by the hind les disembowel them so they can bleed out on the pavement. On the way over, I leaned against Dom’s passenger window and counted the number of dead buck tied to people’s basketball hoops. I got to seven before we pulled into Cutter Funeral Home. My stomach lurches.
I grab Rut’s diary, flipping through it the back. I can feel Mr. Fried giving me a warning look, but I ignore him. I can’t believe I didn’t think to check the entry for the day Ruth died. Maybe there’s something there that I can decipher without going letter by letter.
I turn to Friday and there’s nothing. The last entry is Venn diagram. I can’t read it, but I’m pretty sure it’s comparing Colt’s and Jim Steele’s penises, which are both apparently huge (the overlapping part says “=huge,” with penis drawings). I shove the diary back into my bag.
“But the thing that really gets me,” Davey is saying, “is how my sister was a solid, surly girl–the kind of kid I could punk around, you know? But they could tell by the lack of marks on her body that she didn’t fight back. When it came down to it, she let herself be dragged. Just went limp and let herself be pulled out to that big old tree.” Davey starts to cry so he can hardly get the words out. It’s a crappy, violent sight. “She must have been so scared…. It must have been so bad that she just gave up.”
FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of No One Else Can Have You. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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