Review: No One Else Can Have You-Kathleen Hale

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2/5 Stars

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

Release Date: Jan 7, 2014

HarperTeen 

So I get it in a way-I mean, I still think that love is mostly about wanting someone to be alive forever, even though that’s impossible-and I’m not saying that Ruth brought it on herself for being huggable, or anything, just that the whole Colt thing makes sense to me now on more than one level. I mean there’s real evidence, for starters-all that DNA. But also if you really like someone, and want to really lay it on them, well, you could turn into a monster probably.

***

The whole idea of people, like, weeping while holding fire seems irresponsible to me. Whenever I imagine vigils, I think of a hundred ponytails bursting into flames. 

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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.

via Goodreads


After the disturbingly brutal murder of her best friend Ruth, Kippy Bushman wavers between a world of devastation and uncertainty. Kippy is suspicious about Ruth’s murder and torn up with guilt, blaming herself for Ruth’s death. Uncertain what to do with herself, Kippy becomes obsessed with the merits of Diane Sawyer, idolizing her heroic efforts and ‘real’ news reporting. Kippy is on the prowl for her best friend’s murderer but when Ruth’s mother asks Kippy to edit Ruth’s diary, Kippy finds that the task is much harder than she could have ever expected. It turns out, Kippy didn’t really know her best friend at all. Deciphering Ruth’s cramped language, Kippy is forced to face the deepest and most private of Ruth’s thoughts about her and not all of them are nice. She discovers that Ruth was playing a dangerous and lurid game that could have potentially been the cause of her death. Teaming up with Ruth’s brother, recently back from the war, Kippy sifts through clues, bordering on madness to get at the truth but will the truth set Kippy free and bring down the bad guy? Or will the reality be too much for her to handle?

PROS:

  • The violent scenes, the grotesque and nauseating descriptions of the murders and the bodies are truly creepy and written it a sometimes blatantly graphic and horrific way. The brute, in your face style really increases the overall horror of the story.
  • The obsessive paranoia and suspicion, the notion that anyone could be the killer gets to the heart of trust and knowing your neighbors. The chilling, odd looks Kippy is sometimes given, the random things she picks up on that she never noticed before will leave the reader questioning everything and adding up hints to find the killer before he/she strikes again. The need to unearth the killer and the helplessness that Kippy feels when people refuse to believe her is crushing. You’ll desperately need to know and be livid at how quickly the evidence is dismissed.

CONS:

  • Some of the comments are overly lewd and read really awkwardly. They don’t quite fit in with the tone of the story and come off wrong and forced.
  • The plot points feel random and too eclectic, like the smaller characters are just there as novelties and not real contributors to the plot. Eventually they do have a stronger part but their attitudes are just so warped that they feel unrealistic and wrong for the overall story.
  • The small town is so exaggerated in some aspects that it feels like a satire. Is this a satire? If so this might be more understandable but still just eyebrow arching odd.
  • Kippy is eccentric. She’s random and naïve and babyish and just so oblivious to how the world works. She seems much younger than 17 and if the off sex commentary wasn’t in this book, Kippy could totally fit into lower YA as a coming of age character. Kippy’s inability to socialize and her random, rude behavior is just unlikable and off-putting.
  • Ruth is such a horrible, bitchy person who outright insults and mocks Kippy and she doesn’t even feel bad, she glosses over it. It’s ridiculous and doesn’t make sense. Plus, when the damsel in distress (i.e. Ruth and capturing her real murderer) is such a terrible person, it kind of makes you not care about getting justice for her, other than nabbing a potential serial killer and saving others.
  • The romantic elements are embarrassing and just cringe-worthy awkward in that avert your eyes because you can’t watch this travesty any longer way.
  • The plot is slow after the intial murder and continues at this pace until the last 5% of the book.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading,

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