Review: No One Else Can Have You

December 20, 2013 book review 7

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen HaleNo One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

Release Date: January 7, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: No One Else Can Have You #1
Pages: 384
Format: ebook ARC
Source: publisher

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.

When I read the summary for this book and saw that awesome cover, I just knew that I wanted to read this book. I’m loving the YA murder mystery genre right now and this seemed like something completely up my alley. Unfortunately though, NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE YOU fell a little short for me.

After the brutal and graphic murder of her best friend, Kippy is devastated. Ruth was her only best friend and they had been inseparable since they were little. Not only was Ruth’s murder a shock for the whole town, but it happened right outside Kippy’s own backyard. Kippy comes to believe it is her fault her friend is dead and is convinced that the local sheriff is taking one too many back doors in the investigation. Following the footsteps of her idol Diane Sawyer, Kippy does a little detective work that puts her in some dangerous situations.

While it was completely acceptable how destroyed Kippy was with this death–the 4th one to occur in her life–she came across as extremely awkward and never thought logically. She made decisions without thinking about the potential danger she could get in. She claimed to have read lots of books and seen lots of investigative television, but she didn’t exhibit any of the skills she should have learned. With that being said, there was a lot of the “telling not showing” syndrome. Kippy also couldn’t hold a conversation with anyone. Each one she tried to have with her neighbor, Ruth’s brother, the sheriff, and others in town was riddled with statements she wanted to retract, constant blurting out things before speaking, and it all came across as if she had no social skills. It was really awkward, really awkward. I’m an introvert most days but as Jess from Reading Nook Reviews said, it “will likely have readers cringing in secondhand embarrassment.”

On a more positive note, after Kippy does take matters in her own hands, so to speak, the plot picked up significantly and had me turning page after page to find out what happens. A bit of a warning, this book is a little graphic in terms of the murder(s) but that’s something I really liked about it! Hale didn’t sugarcoat anything. It made me shutter, which was exactly what I was looking for. The last 60 pages or so the plot takes a dramatic turn and I hated every time someone disturbed me while I was reading. I was completely absorbed. The killer was predictable and a little easy to figure out but the complete 180 this person’s personality took was shown really well.

Overall, what could have been an intriguing, suspenseful, and terrifying read became overshadowed by the main character’s awkward and unusual personality and her ill-conceived decisions. That, and the fact that the Midwestern stereotypes were overbearing, made it a read that wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been, in my opinion. I’m sure there is an audience out there that is going to love this and appreciate the Midwestern small town charm of the characters. So give it a shot for yourself!

3 Thought Clouds

I received an ebook ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


7 Responses to “Review: No One Else Can Have You”

  1. Cait

    Oh, no, not secondhand embarrassment. I can’t deal with that. It’s hard enough in movies when people are super embarrassing in their awkwardness. But I do like that cover. At first I thought, “What?!” But now that I’ve read the blurb, it fits really well, doesn’t it?

    • Christine P

      Haha I can’t take it in movies either. I just sit there cringing and wonder why on earth they are being that way. The awkwardness that Kippy exhibits does end up disappearing toward the end of the book, thank goodness. However, 3/4 of the book it just ended up being too much for me.

  2. NocturnalReader

    Mystery murder is not my type of genre but after reading the synopsis, it peaks my interest. I wonder who’s the murderer. This is like Nancy Drew but more brutal, I guess.

    It’s a series?

    • Christine P

      This isn’t exactly scary but it is creepy and makes you question the people around you in your own life. It was a bit easy to figure out who the murderer is but it was someone that Kippy would have never guessed.

      Apparently! I’m not really sure what the next book is going to be about but I follow Hale on twitter and she keeps mentioning that she’s writing the next one.

  3. Sunny Duvall

    Oh no. Sometimes it’s great to laugh at awkwardness or sympathize, but no. Just no. I HATE having secondhand embarrassment (so greatly put) because cringing while reading is the worst. My insides knot up and I want to put the book down. Ah, what a shame.

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