By: Melanie | December 29, 2013 | (28) Comments

Review: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen HaleNo One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, YA
Pages: 384
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.

My Review

“Maybe I’ll kill you so no one else can have you.”

I found myself totally surprised when I put this book down, and had a feeling of satisfaction. After reading many reviews from my friends, and hearing that there is slut-shaming, a boring and weird protagonist and gory details about animal deaths, I was pretty much 100% certain that I would downright hate this book’s guts. I even contemplated on not reading No One Else Can Have You all together before I saw Faye @ The Social Potato Reviews’ review. You see, she convinced me that I Had To Give This Book A Chance. And I did. No One Else Can Have You is a one of a kind read and cannot be paralleled with any other. It’s weird (in a great way), entertaining and sarcastic.

When high school sweetheart, Ruth Fried, is found savagely murdered; stuffed and strung up like a scarecrow in a cornfield, the small town Friendship doesn’t to seem as friendly as it was before. With all the astonishment that swept quickly across the town, the police are more than eager to point fingers at a suspect that may be innocent just to suppress the fear that lingers. But Kippy Bushman, best friend of Ruth is determined to find the real killer and prevent the population of 688 people to decrease once again.

Kippy Bushman was definitely not the lead character I was expecting to find in a mystery thriller. When she is given Ruth’s journal from Mrs Fried to redact all the sex parts with a sharpie marker so she can read it, Kippy soon later discovers that maybe Ruth didn’t like Kippy as much as she thought. So when it’ time to give her eulogy at Ruth’s memorial service…things get a little awkward. (Including accidentally giving out cookies that may have been made with salt instead of sugar.) I think I bonded really well with Kippy throughout No One Else Can Have You. Her imperfections outline her. I laughed at her bluntness and honesty to speak out what she’s thinking (like randomly stating that she liked someone’s finger. Not only once…but twice) and I snorted at her exaggerations and I understood her feelings because her narration is so open towards us readers. She tells us everything. The weird bits, and the weirder bits. I don’t think there are enough words in the dictionary to explain coherently what kind of brilliant and quirky person she is. I loved her, and that’s all that matters, right? She can be another one of my weird friends. (Is it me or do I just attract all weird beings on Earth to come to me?)

“…occasionally taking off my clothes to cry my guts out.”

Example right there above people. Either she’s being sarcastic…or she’s being outrageously weird. Or both. O_O

Kippy is a unique character, and the author’s idea of creating a personality that rare and odd was mainly what drew me in. She’s utterly different, and she’s no Mary Sue. She also grows in this book. While she may have only had one real friend from the start, her journey results in her finding many more.

Secondary characters are not just lurking in the corner like homeless drunks. Being a strongly character orientated read, the other characters were just as well illustrated. The benefit of a story set in a small town is that nearly all reoccurring characters have a history that we get to hear about—which also opens up more leads on finding out who actually did murder Ruth Fried. There’s Libby—who never really knew Ruth and is a Christian who insists on only saying Gah, not God. (Oh my Gah, Libby! Oh my Gah!) After Ruth’s death, Libby soon starts a Ruth Fried Foundation Brigade where they go protesting at the accused killer. There’s also Colt, Ruth’s boyfriend who was known for ruining people’s lawns when he didn’t get it his way and slept around. A d-bag in general. We also have the town’s sheriff, Staake who doesn’t really know what he’s doing majority of the time. And then there’s a self-help group where the people are battling against each-other, very violent. Some of these characters left me in fits of laughter, and others made me want to squish their tiny little brains.

Before I wrap up this review, I must point out some flaws that were somewhat problematic and unavoidable. 1) Slut-shaming. “Blonde rabbit in the heat” and words like that are offensive and quite frankly irrelevant things to point out. 2) Animal deaths and the gory details. I honestly couldn’t handle it at times when I came across a moose or deer death with the addition of foul details. Also stuffing animals? *shiver*

No One Else Can Have You is a brave debut by Kathleen Hale that will certainly be loved and hated amongst readers. Personally, I think this novel is worth a whole-hearted try because Kippy’s unique voice was hard to not love, in my opinion. Original, humorous and satirical, I am looking forward to some more of Hale’s writing style.

~Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy!~

4 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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28 Responses to Review: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

  1. Shai W says:

    Wow fantastic review! I was convinced that I wasn’t going to try this because of the reviews I’ve read lately. Kippy sounds like a MC that I would love, quirky ones are the best.

  2. Renu says:

    This one certainly has been getting mixed reviews. Personally, I wasn’t a fan – the characters were a bit too quirky/bordering on annoying for me. Have to admit I love the cover, though!

    Glad you were able to enjoy this, Mel. Great review!
    Renu recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (#14)My Profile

  3. Pili says:

    Hmmmm, after reading some very negative reviews from other bloggers that I really trust and then reading yours, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to give this book a try on my own and see if it’ll work for me or not, since it seems like such a polarizing book.
    Great review!
    Pili recently posted…Showcase Sunday #19!!My Profile

  4. Amazing review Melanie. You are so right reviews are all over but you have convinced me to give this a whirl!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Sunday Post #88 Blog news and book haulMy Profile

  5. Before I was sure that I wouldn’t like this one, but after your review, I may have to change my opinion about this one. I usually am not a fan for outrageously weird books like this one, no matter how unique they are, but I can definitely see where you liked it. Making cookies out of salt vs. sugar? That is definitely a little kooky to me, but the rest of Kippy’s blunt character seems sooo entertaining. Fantastic review, Mel! <33

    Have a great new year!
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Accomplishments and Resolutions for 2014My Profile

  6. Stephanie B says:

    Excellent review, Mel. I haven’t been all that drawn to this one but it doesn’t really sound like my type of book anyway. I’m glad you enjoyed it though.
    Stephanie B recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #2My Profile

  7. Kiersten says:

    I was also kind of discouraged about this book because of all the negative reviews, but after reading your review, I think I’ll still keep it in mind, although I still have TONS of books to read before I get to this one. Great review! 🙂
    Kiersten recently posted…Best of 2013My Profile

  8. Alise says:

    It’s an awesome feeling when a book you thought you would dislike turns out to be a good read 🙂 I’m in the same boat with this one-all the negative reviews discouraged me but yours definitely has intrigued me. I believe I will try this one out!
    Alise recently posted…Review: Scarlet by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  9. Megan says:

    Still on the fence about this one.
    Megan recently posted…2014 Monster Reading Challenge PostMy Profile

  10. I heard a lot about this one. A lot of people refused to like it because of the slut-shaming and other innappropriate way things were written. I’m glad you like it, but I’m still on the fence with it. I don’t deal very well with books that personally piss me off.

    – Nova
    Nova Lee @ Musings of a Blogder recently posted…Musings of 2013: Jessi @ Novel HeartbeatMy Profile

  11. Lovely review, Melanie. I was convinced that I wouldn’t like this book either, and about 20% into the book I was unsure, but the characters and the story really grew on me. I adored Kippy because of her awkwardness. She was refreshing because she was so unique and so unlike any YA protagonist. The mystery was also really well-done and I loved that I couldn’t figure out who it was. I’m glad that I gave this a shot and that I’m not the only one who enjoyed it, Mel!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : Defy by Sara B. LarsonMy Profile

  12. Jillyn says:

    I’m glad to hear that you liked it. This is one book that I’ve been dying to read for awhile now!
    Jillyn recently posted…Review: Divergent by Veronica RothMy Profile

  13. I do like quirky, weird and sarcastic characters. I am not easily discouraged by gory stuff, but I think the killing animals bit will give me the shivers, too. I will give this book a try and see if I will add Kippy to my book bffs. Fantastic review!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Book Review 108 : Finding Cinderella (Hopeless #2.5) by Colleen HooverMy Profile

  14. This one sounds really, really creepy, Melanie. And I like creepy 🙂 Great review! I’m glad you gave it a chance even if you thought it wouldn’t be your cup of tea! That must kind of feel like you found a treasure 🙂

    Happy New Year! I hope 2014 will be filled with laughter, joy, happiness and, of course, great books 🙂
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Sidekick Showcase #31 – Christmas-yMy Profile

  15. Tanja says:

    I get that many people don’t like this one because it has some weird things there it seems, but that’s just the main reason why I need to read it so badly. I mean I need something out of the typical as I’m tired of reading the same old stories all over again. I think this one will shake me up. Great review and I’m so glad you enjoyed it Mel! 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…ARC Review: The Sharpest Blade by Sandy WilliamsMy Profile

  16. Celine says:

    Like I said earlier, it’s so interesting to hear your opinion on this! Basically everything I’ve heard about it was negative, so this is definitely interesting to read. It sounds as thought NOECHY (that sounds pretty cute actually. Like smoochies.) is a… particular read, and that it’s one of those books you just have to ‘get’. I can definitely understand that there are so many people who dislike it, but I can also understand that you might like this.

    Great review, hun! <3
    Celine recently posted…End of Year HiatusMy Profile

  17. thank you for this review. this book is now added to my to-read list 🙂

  18. Abbe Hinder says:

    I actually disliked this book a lot. I’m glad you liked Kippy though! I actually found the mystery to be boring and predictable but we can both agree that animal deaths are a big no-no. They suck and a few were pretty gory in the book. Nonetheless, great review!
    Abbe Hinder recently posted…Book Review: Avalon (Avalon#1) by Mindee ArnettMy Profile

  19. Fatma Shahin says:

    sounds like a really good contemporary! also love the cover:3

  20. Nara says:

    woah that first quote O.O slightly creepy lol
    I’ve seen a lot of crappy review for this one, but I have seen a few good reviews, so I think I might have to give it a chance. Sounds a bit like it’s one of those books that you have to read for yourself 🙂
    Nara recently posted…Readiculous End of Year Celebration: Books I Should Have Read in 2013My Profile

  21. I loved this book Mel, and I’m glad you did too! I can see how it isn’t for everyone, it’s quite dark and weird, but I loved it myself because of Kippy’s voice. Your review accurately tells how weird and awesome she really is, I read it all in a few hours! What a great flight book lol. Happy new year Mel ^^
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…DNF Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole – Sure, if you like creepy bulliesMy Profile

  22. Betty says:

    I don’t read many murder mysteries but with a good one I do love trying to guess the murderer’s identity, and No One Else Can Have You sounds great in that department. I’ll be checking this out, and thanks for the review!
    Betty recently posted…Certified Nursing Assistant Job DescriptionMy Profile

  23. Carolyn says:

    Just wondered if you read any SEO agencies?
    I can’t find useful help on practical tasks
    I will surely be coming back, ’tis a great site!
    Carolyn recently posted…CarolynMy Profile

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