Release Date: January 7, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, YA
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.
“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!~
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