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No One Else Can Have You

de Kathleen Hale

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2362389,111 (2.99)2
Es mostren totes 23
There are many funny moments, especially dialogue, in this book, but Kathleen Hale isn't mature enough or experienced enough to handle the difficult subjects she tackles, like domestic violence, mental institutions, etc. This book needed an editor, maybe not someone from James Frey's YA pyramid scheme factory. ( )
  prunetracy | Jan 9, 2019 |
Seventeen-year-old Kippy Bushman is reeling from the murder of her best friend Ruth, not to mention the revelations in Ruth’s diary. Ruth’s boyfriend—Colt Widdacombe—seems like the perfect suspect—he has a history of violent behavior and a sense of entitlement that might lead him to believe he could get away with it. However, Kippy is convinced that the sheriff of her small town (Friendship, WI) arrested the wrong person. It seems the sheriff would rather the town feel safe with Colt in jail rather than follow the evidence. With Ruth’s older brother Davey as her only ally, Ruth doggedly investigates the murder, uneasy with the realization that the murderer could be anyone. Hale neatly captures the fear that a murder—particularly the brutal murder of a teen girl—would generate in a small town and expertly mines the dark subject matter. At the same time, the book has a healthy sense of humor, and no one is shielded from Kippy’s keen eye. There are elements of a murder mystery, teen drama and satire, which proves to be an entertaining combination. As a native of Wisconsin who grew up in a small town, the small town elements of the story rang true. Fans of teen sleuth Veronica Mars and the movie Fargo and likely to enjoy this book.

Rachel H. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
I've never given out a review for a book I haven't read, but in this case I feel it's completely merited. Kathleen Hale has stalked someone who gave her a bad review, something so bizarre and unsafe (for the reviewer) that I cannot even give Hale a fair shake on this. What's worse, she actually admitted it!

I probably would have at least given a book a chance, until I saw how terribly unstable Hale was at handling criticism. I would never, ever recommend this book to someone, and I would 100% warn off anyone who wanted to read this -- or any other of Hale's books, if she ever actually writes any more. ( )
  majesdane | Aug 8, 2017 |
Like Gone GIrl, I would not be surprised if this one didn't wind up on the big screen...:/ ( )
  tamarah71 | Sep 5, 2016 |
I heard about the author’s article in the Guardian about a hateful blogger and her reaction to that but I don’t let that affect my opinion of the book. This is a good story with a quirky character (which I liked very much, it makes her stand out and is special in the world of fictional characters) but the story itself did not really stand out from all the other murder mysteries that I have read. Girl tries to find the killer of her best friend is basically the plotline and almost nobody believes her. I also guessed who the murderer was so that part didn’t take me by surprise. But in my opinion it is a good first novel. ( )
  Ingstje | Jan 18, 2016 |
This review will go into great detail. If you're interested in reading this book and being surprised by plot developments, you shouldn't read this.

The novel starts with a killer premise – literally. Kippy Bushman, a sixteen-year-old who lives in a tiny town in Wisconsin, is in shock. Her best friend Ruth has just been murdered. And it happened when Ruth was on her way over to Kippy's house for a sleepover. Although Ruth's body was found hanging from a tree, we know this was a murder rather than suicide. Ruth's mouth was sewn shut with red thread after her mouth was stuffed full of straw.

Ruth didn't have a car, so Kippy keeps thinking about how she should have given Ruth a ride over. She obsesses over how close Ruth came to reaching Kippy's house safely – "They discovered her less than two hundred yards away from our back door. She almost made it." But Kippy also finds herself feeling annoyed at Ruth for not being with her when she's supposed to be. She feels "a sort of vague annoyance, like Ruth has gone somewhere and not invited me."

Ruth's last name is Fried, pronounced "freed." People were always calling her "Ruth Fried, like a fried egg."

"Do you think it would help if I put some of those pronunciation symbols next to my name in the yearbook?" she asked me once. "I'm yearbook vice president, so I could probably totally do that – Wait, sorry, does it sound like I'm bragging?"

"I think you're very conservative with your power," I told her honestly.


We're given a sense of Kippy's relationship with Ruth in such flashbacks. We're also told that neither of them are thrilled to live in their tiny Wisconsin town:

Ruth was the only person I ever knew who wanted to be somewhere else as much as I did. The only one who got what I meant when I said, "Friendship as in you and me is great, but Friendship, Wisconsin, sometimes feels like a bad dream that's too boring to be called a nightmare."

Kippy has been asked to deliver Ruth's eulogy by Ruth's mother, who also gives Kippy Ruth's diary. This isn't so much a gift as another writing assignment. Mrs. Fried wants Kippy to "redact the sex parts."

Kippy obediently begins to read the journal. Rather than looking for sexy-time entries, she searches for her own name. Ruth's handwriting is terrible. Fortunately, capital K's are distinctive, so she finds herself relatively easily.

Ruth here. Kippy is so pathetic it makes me nauseous. She just told me that sometimes she gets lonely before bed and talks out loud to me like I'm there, like a fucking prayer, like I'm some god or something!!! If we lived anywhere else, like any place remotely interesting, I'd have way more options, and she and I wouldn't even know each other.

Stunned, Kippy reads more about herself:

Today I told Kippy to get a hobby so it's not so obvious she's crushing on me.

Kippy also learns that Ruth has been making time with someone other than her boyfriend Colt. She's also had a sexual relationship with local lawyer Jim Steele, a.k.a. Uncle Jimmy.

I assume this is what the reviewer Blythe Harris was referring to when she mentioned this book having statutory rape. But Ruth is 18. It's still completely disgusting for a fifty-year-old man to have sex with her, but sadly it isn't illegal.

Anyway. Kippy has lost her best friend twice in the same week: first to a murderer, then to the truth.

So when Ruth's older brother Davey insists that Colt couldn't possibly be the murderer, Kippy is skeptical. Colt is a jerk – everyone knows that. He's the gorgeous football player who can do no wrong, so when he does wrong he doesn't get in trouble for it. He smashes mailboxes for fun. Which is better than putting a dead skunk in one, which he also does. He defaces the homes of girls who say no to him. He starts a town-wide botulism scare. Suffice to say, he's bad news. So, football hero or no, people are willing enough to turn on him when he's arrested for Ruth's murder.

Davey insists Colt couldn't have done it, and Kippy is swayed by his arguments. He's older and much more intelligent than Kippy, but she's the one who figures out who really committed the murder. In the process, she continues to decipher Ruth's diary. She learns a lot about herself and her best friend, who – hey! – turns out to have been pretty fond of Kippy after all.

We learn a lot about Kippy, too. How for a long time she can't stop feeling guilty about Ruth's death:

What if I'd called earlier and Ruth was still alive? And then something even more terrifying hits: What if I keep asking myself that question for the rest of my life?

We learn that her mother died years ago, and that before the brain cancer killed her, it destroyed her mind and made her see terrifying things that weren't there:

I kept trying to see her monsters out of sympathy. I imagined them living in a creepy castle surrounded by storm clouds, and visiting our house in shifts. I spun my brain creating them, squinting until bright spots formed behind my eyelids and I could carve out creatures with the stardust. I'd pretend so hard that they were real – mostly to pretend she wasn't crazy, which she was.

Pretty good stuff, that.

So why didn't this book work for me?

A lot of reasons, unfortunately.

1. The awkward structure.

The first bit of the book is a third-person omniscient prologue – a conversation between a police officer and a woman he's trying to calm down so she can tell him what the matter is. Initially, I found this short prologue a little annoying because of all the "This is Wisconsin, don'tcha know" subtlety. Later I found them baffling. Why are they here? Who wrote them?

Yes, I know Hale did. What I mean is: The rest of the book is Kippy's first-person present-tense narration of events, or else writing she could get her hands on: a newspaper article, some Facebook postings, and Ruth's diary entries. So this book exists either as a story Kippy is supposed to have written, or a peek into Kippy's head.

Where does that initial narrative fit into either of those scenarios? For that matter, how are we seeing the sheriff's logbook later on?

Also, why have this material? It's not necessary to the storytelling. And even with the bits of Ruth's diary we're allowed to see, there's not enough falling into third-person to make it feel like an integral part of the storytelling. When the narrative does suddenly swing into third-person narrative, it's jolting.

2. Ick.

There was a lot of ick in this novel. The details of Ruth's murder were the least of my problems in this respect, even after I learned she'd been cut open and disemboweled.

I've never liked disgusting details, even as a kid. But I can deal. Especially if the story is compelling.

So I gritted my teeth and hung in there with all the details of deer hunting and gutting. I was all right when Kippy described being left alone with her mother's ashes and getting caught "elbow deep in remains." I was less than thrilled by the details of Kippy's friend Ralph's parents being killed when they hit a ten-point buck on the highway and were gored by its antlers. And then, yay! Same page, here's a description of Kippy being in the car with Ralph and hitting a deer. The blood, the sound of a dear screaming, the importance of aiming for the head when you shoot a deer – what fun.

It was one too many descriptions of human excretions that did me in so far as reading this at the table was concerned. And that's where I do a lot of my reading.

So far, these are minor quibbles. Let's get to a serious problem with the story.

3. How old did you say you are, dear?

The extended quotes I offered are from early in the book. In these, Kippy sounds like what she is: a sixteen-year-old girl.

Very soon, however, this book starts to feel as if it were written by a middle-grade student. There's a difference between being a little naïve and sounding eleven years old:

I thought love meant wanting all the time for somebody to be alive – I mean it's not like if you don't love someone, you want them to be dead, or anything. But if you've chosen somebody, like really picked them out, then death is kind of where you draw the line, right?

This is supposed to have been written by a college-bound sixteen-year-old. I guess it's supposed to be cute and artless, but it's rather disconcerting to have an alleged teenager dealing with some very dark doings and sounding like an anxious and whiny pre-teen. This gets creepy when she and Davey, who's 21, start kissing.

4. Talking funny = characterization.

There's very little in the way of characterization in this book. We're told Kippy's dad is an old-fashioned Wisconsin Republican; but he never does anything conservative. On the other hand, he says things like "Is this a female body-image thing?" and "Everything you're feeling is valid," because he's a "trained psychologist."

Characters in this book have verbal tics rather than personalities. If you find the writing charming, this won't bother you. I was uncharmed.

5. You did what?

Kippy has an important "actually, come to think of it" moment after the announcement that Colt's been arrested for Ruth's murder. She's been thinking about Colt's past misbehaviors, and how he smashed her family's mailbox twice:

The more I think about it, destroying my mailbox wasn't the first time Colt targeted my house.

Kippy recalls that Colt once graffitied her home with a picture of a rattle and the words "MA-MA!" after her mother died. At the time, she told Ruth, "Only a psycho makes fun of someone for not having a mom." Later, when Ruth starts dating Colt, Kippy goes ballistic and asks what Ruth thinks she's doing, dating a guy who would do something like that to anyone, let alone Ruth's best friend.

Oh, wait. No. Kippy has no reaction at all.

Really? If your best friend starts dating a guy who did something like that to you after your mother died, it's not on like Donkey Kong?

Later, Kippy's cell phone rings. She looks down to see who it is.

Ruth cell calling...

Pretend this is you. You just looked down to see that you're getting a call from your dead friend's phone. Your recently murdered dead friend. What's your reaction?

I asked several people, and they all gave me the same answer: they'd feel freaked out because that's really creepy, and then they'd wonder who the heck had their friend's phone.

Well, that's what Kippy does, too!

Oh, wait. It isn't. Instead, Kippy gets excited because this means Ruth is alive. It's all been a big mistake! The newspaper article, the arrest of the suspected murderer, Ruth's parents sitting shiva, the funeral, the eulogy, the diary – all just some colossal mix-up!

No. Just no. I don't care how quirky you are. (More about the quirky in a minute.) That's so unrealistic, it yanked me right out of the story.

That kind of unbelievable action/reaction kept happening; and although I finished the book, it was a chore rather than a pleasure long before I finally reached the end.

6. Yep. Slut-shaming.

Lisa Staake, the daughter of the local sheriff, is described by the narrator as being "like some kind of blonde rabbit in heat." Later, she says to the sheriff, "Your daughter's a hoochie mama." Lovely.

If there can be a more generalized sense of slut-shaming, Kippy is the innocent girl in the horror movie who's completely nonsexual and survives, and Ruth is the one who enjoys sex and is killed. These do not seem unrelated. We keep getting flashbacks to conversations between Ruth and Kippy in which Ruth accuses Kippy of being jealous that Ruth has a boyfriend, or says they'll have to work on getting Kippy a boyfriend, or teasing her about being a virgin. It feels like Halloween all over again – thank goodness the innocent heroine keeps her pants on! That's how a girl stays alive in this big bad world, people!

And then there's Libby Quinn, a minor character who has "gigantic boobs." These seem to be her defining characteristic. Okay, her second defining characteristic. She has large breasts and she's a mean girl. Those two are inextricably linked in scene after scene, whether it's Libby pretending to be nice to Kippy at Ruth's funeral:

She's about a head taller than me in her heels, and when she pulls me toward her I land face-first against her gigantic boobs.

Or Libby pretending to be concerned about Kippy in front of the school's guidance counselor:

"You know exactly what I'm talking about." She shifts so that her boob is smushed against my shoulder and our thighs are touching all the way to the knee.

[Next page] "Libby, come on." I try to shrug her boob off me but it's too heavy.

[Page after that] Libby presses her boob harder into my arm.

Needless to say, Kippy is completely flat-chested and not only a virgin, but has "never experienced physical contact with a boy." Which I guess makes her as good as a girl can get.

7. The murderer

First I was annoyed because I guessed who did it early on. Then I was annoyed because the reason I guessed was that it's obvious that it couldn't have been a stranger, and it couldn't have been Kippy (though that would have been awesome). It wasn't Colt – that's why Kippy's doing all this investigating. And having it be the fifty-year-old guy Ruth was having the affair with didn't feel right, either.

So – who else hasn't the author mentioned in a really, really, really long time?

Last chance to be able to read the book yourself and be surprised by the ending.

It's Kippy's friend Ralph. And that ticks me off no end.

Because of course it's Ralph! I mean, look at him! He's weird! He's a gamer! Those people who play those online shoot-'em-up games are just bad news!

Plus he has a lazy eye! So he's creepy-looking!

Ralph gapes at me, and one of his eyes rolls slightly to the left.

And he's really intelligent:

Before Ralph got so into video games, engineering programs and tech schools all over Wisconsin and even outside the state were sending him postcards to apply. But Ralph dragged his feet, and then Mr. and Mrs. Johnston died, and Ralph inherited the house, and suddenly he wouldn't code at all anymore.

When Kippy and her dad withdraw and behave in weird, sometimes destructive, antisocial ways after Kippy's mom dies, that's just how they grieve. When Ralph pulls inward and starts playing video games nonstop after both his parents die – and it's been less than a year since that horrible car accident – it's an early sign he's a psycho killer.

Plus – and I almost can't believe the author would plant such an obvious clue so early on in the book – not only does Ralph buy lots of "collectibles and weird figurines," many of these are based on Norse mythology.

Yes. Can you believe it? The guy might as well run around wearing a shirt that says "IF I DIDN'T KILL HER, I SURE WANTED TO. (P.S. I did kill her.)"

Because, DUH. Think about it. Who's totally famous for loving Norse mythology?

Okay, aside from J.R.R. Tolkien.

I'll give you a hint. His initials are ADOLF FREAKIN' HITLER.

Yes. The author has Ralph describe Kippy in Nazi-rific terms – very late in the book, and bear in mind he's never said anything like this before:

Between her easy smile and Aryan features, she has an angelic quality.

And that's what tips Kippy off.

Ralph is racist...ish. All of his Thor dolls and Norse mythology – that's Nazi stuff, isn't it?

Um. I guess.

Other than the fact that I know plenty of gamer nerds who like Norse mythology. And non-gamers, thanks to the Thor movies.

The fact is, it's ridiculous and forced to have Ralph be the murderer. Really forced. Remember Kippy's "Oh, hey, I totally just now remembered something that would have been really important to a real person" moment about Colt? 320 pages into a 380-page book, she has another delayed memory incident:

He did kind of have a thing for Ruth. I hated her for thinking he was creepy. But now I remember how she was the only one he paused his video games for. Ruth even told me once that he was always staring at her, and that it made her uncomfortable. Only back then I figured she was just being full of herself.

Why? Why, when this is your best friend whom you love so much it's understandable she thinks you're "crushing on" her, would you brush something like that aside? Especially when your dad's a freakin' psychologist and you're supposed to be intelligent and observant?

Colt, the one who "kind of tortured everyone, come to think of it," turns out to be just fine. Not a murderer, anyway. Just a prankster! Silly Colt, who "had this weird habit of pranking all the girls he hooked up with, as a way to embarrass them for not going far enough, or just to break up with them"! What a kidder!

And last but so not least my brain's been screaming with it since I started reading this book:

8. Quirky! Quirky! Quirky!

The novel starts out with a scene from the motel Kippy and her father are staying in:

My name is Kippy Bushman, and I am bereaved. Right now I'm bereaved on the toilet. Well, not like going to the bathroom or anything, more like using it as a chair. For some reason the motel put a television in here, so I've got the seat down and my pajamas on with my knees pulled up toward my face.

My first thought on reading this was, "Really? The TV's in the bathroom? Um, okay."

That's a sign of things to come. In Friendship, Wisconsin, even the motel bathrooms are quirky.

So are the people. Every last one of them.

And not just bathroom-TV quirky. WAY quirky.

Look at Miss Rosa, the instructor at the local anger-management class! She's Polish, so she talks funny! (See point 4, above.)

"Once I raise the puppies for money," she said. "The splendor make me wild. I squeeze too hard – poof! – many dead."

I think this is supposed to be funny. As is this:

One time during a meditation session I let myself fall asleep on her shoulder and she pinched me. "Don't be closer please," she said. "I am wanting for to strangle."

Kippy returns to this class, bringing Davey with her. She's convinced this will help them learn the characteristics of a killer. She says they're there because Davey's abusive:

"I keep hitting her," he says. "But I want to stop."

"You can't see the bruises because they're under my clothes," I add.


And, oh, yeah – Davey lost part of his hand while he was in the military, so Kippy goes along with it when Miss Rosa decides Kippy must have bitten off Davey's finger and that's why they need to take this workshop.

Quirky!

Kippy and her dad used to have a pet cat named Mother Peanut Butter. After the cat died, they got her professionally stuffed and mounted:

And when she's not situated on her favorite spot on the couch, we even make her the centerpiece at our kitchen table.

QUIRKY!

She keeps Mother Peanut Butter out of the way when Davey comes over for dinner one night, though:

Dom is frying hot dogs in mayonnaise and butter, breaking up white bread into a bowl with his free hand.

QUIRKY QUIRKY QUIRKY!

Kippy is briefly committed to a mental institution. Her roommate is a twelve-year-old American girl who's convinced she's a forty-year-old male detective from Scotland Yard.

Friendship, Wisconsin: A place where even the mentally ill are adorably quirky.

There's little room for mild response to the humor in this novel. If you don't love it, you'll loathe it.

I didn't love it.

One star, and please let me forget this book quickly. ( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
Kathleen Hale be like....






Goodreads reviewers be like....




Then she writes an article being all like...


And then she thinks she's all like...


But really she's all like....


And now her career be like...


THE END
( )
  IvieHill | Aug 6, 2015 |
So, here we go

2.5 Stars

I'm a little so-so with this book,

Was it good? .. not the best I've read this year, but it wasn’t worst either.

There was some filler, I did seep read,( A lot ) but I did enjoy some of real emotions that came through at the beginning.

I lost my best friend 5 years ago, so I know that heart barking pain. I also lost a cousin to murder when I was 12, so I know that side of the house as well. To put it in point, my hometown has less than 300 people, so I understood the small town mentality.

I would like to point out, I'm in the military, and you will not get discharged for a severed fingered. It happened to one of my buddies. He's still in and can shoot just fine.

In all, this could have been an awesome book, the filler needs to be removed, and some fact checking needs done but, this wasn't all that terrible, I fully enjoyed the mystery and the cover up.

Happy Days

Emily
( )
  E.A.Walsh | Jun 11, 2015 |
Sometimes a book receives notoriety and it’s tempting to read it to find out why. And sometimes that turns out to be a mistake.

No One Else Can Have You is billed as a darkly comic tale of a 16-year-old coming to terms with the death of her best, and only, friend in a dull and creepy town. Her mother died several years ago so she’s had experience with it.

Earlier this year, Hale’s novel gained attention when she tracked down a person egging on negative reviews of her novel and wrote about it in the Guardian. Then that received a backlash. So I had to find out what had caused all the fuss and fortunately had an ARC of the novel.

Fortunately, because I didn’t have to pay for it. Hale’s protagonist has a sardonic voice and the author has a dark view of small-town Wisconsin, where everyone is a hypocrite, drunk and a hunter. The protagonist, Kippy, had one friend, Ruth. But Ruth was killed and her body left in a corn maze after horrible things were done to it. Was the deed done by her vandalizing, womanizing boyfriend? Was the killer the middle-aged attorney in town who also was shagging Ruth? Or was it someone else?

Ruth’s brother comes home from serving in Afghanistan; he shot his finger off when Ruth was killed in an attempt to be sent home and now has a dishonorable discharge as the least of his problems.

Kippy’s father is a school counselor, calls her ridiculous names and keeps her close by. Their friend across the street lives by himself ever since his parents died in a truck accident when it collided with a deer. He mostly plays video games and collects stuff, but he was Kippy's babysitter and seems to be about the calmest, rational character in the bunch.

When Ruth’s boyfriend is arrested, despite every indication that he didn’t do it (especially when there is a subsequent murder), Kippy decides to find out who really killed Ruth. The sheriff doesn’t care who really did it because Ruth’s boyfriend also tried to have his way with his daughter and he hasn’t forgiven the kid.

All the relationships in the book are tainted in similar ways. The language used throughout is very fond of certain Anglo-Saxon terms. Everyone lives on beer and meat; the one time Kippy asks her father for a salad is sad and typical of the way Hale's story condemns everything Kippy sees. After Kippy’s father catches her trying to solve the murder, he has her committed to a mental hospital.

This novel disappointed on so many levels -- characterization, plotting, who the killer was. But overall, the biggest disappointment is that Hale's novel would have been so much more with some finesse and restraint. The sardonic tone is wonderful but the world is describes is so OTT that it doesn't matter. Not much of anything matters in Kippy's world. If you care, you get sent to the looney bin.

Ironically enough, that original review's complaint about the book apologizing for rape that set Hale off to stalking the reviewer? Didn't see that part in the actual ARC, unless the reviewer meant the subplot where the middle-age attorney shags the teenage murder victim in a consensual relationship. For fiction that's far worse in that regard, there's always a certain novel by Greg Iles. ( )
  Perednia | Dec 28, 2014 |
I found this book strange - at times I wasn't sure if it was meant to be taken seriously! The characters and situations are weird and over the top and yet the book suffers from a lack of humour. Maybe the author is the one laughing at us for reading it? I can't quite figure it out. If you are looking for a straight-forward story about a teenage girl who struggles with the murder of her best friend, this book is not for you. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
The horrible writer. Bad writer that stalked reviewer.

Horrible writer, horrible behavior.

I agreed totally with the other reviewer Harris.

“F–k this,” Harris said in her review. “I think this book is awfully written and offensive; its execution in regards to all aspects is horrible and honestly, nonexistent. I can say with utmost certainty that this is one of the worst books I’ve read this year, maybe my life.”

Totally.

Horrible writer. Crap book. Waste of paper. ( )
  XOX | Nov 6, 2014 |
First off – how awesome is the name Kippy? No joke, my cousin’s childhood cat was named Kippy, so I had that in my head the whole time. But for those of you without the association of a relative’s long-dead pet, this book is still great. It reminded me of the movie (and now tv show) Fargo. A murder in the middle of nowhere, a small-town police force that isn’t capable or willing to solve the murder, and dark humor throughout. Pick it up for the weird Wisconsin expressions and for Kippy’s reaction to Ruth’s diary. A laugh out loud read. ( )
  SharonLong | Jul 9, 2014 |
When I first saw this cover, I was like whoa…that’s…different. But in a good way. I love a gorgeous and eye catching cover but was getting tired of the ‘girl in pretty dress’ covers that were so popular last year. The more I saw this cover, the more I liked it. To me, it screams ‘I have 50 cats’ or ‘I’m gonna murder you in your sleep.’ I have to admit, this made me want to read the book. After seeing some DNF and low rating reviews, I almost didn’t read this one, but once I checked out the authors Twitter and Tumblr feed, I started to get a feel for her kind of humor and started thinking this book is mostly misunderstood. I love that Harper Teen took a big chance on this book because it’s not your typical YA book and it’s definitely not for everyone because of its dark humor and quirkiness. I went to into this with a ‘fine, I’ll give this a shot’ mentality and was surprised at how much I ended up liking this. To me, this book has a Napoleon Dynamite vibe to it. It has that same kind of weird and awkward humor (and characters) to it that is the same reason of why I liked the movie.

When Kippy Bushman’s best friend Ruth is murdered, she doesn’t know how to deal with it. This is one of her thoughts:

But the weirdest part is when this other feeling creeps in: a sort of vague annoyance, like Ruth has gone somewhere and not invited me.

When Ruth’s mother gives her Ruth’s diary to ‘redact all the sex parts’ Kippy finds out that she didn’t know her best friend as well as she thought, especially when she reads the mean things she wrote about her. This makes it harder to cope with her death and to plan the eulogy for her service. Of course, in true Kippy style, she ends up butchering the eulogy with a whole lot of cringe-inducing moments and even an Amen thrown in there. When Ruth’s murder gets pinned on her jerk boyfriend, everyone is happy to go back to their normal lives. Even though it’s clear that he didn’t murder Ruth. But nobody, especially the sheriff is willing to believe Kippy. When someone else close to the case end up dead, Kippy knows she has to catch the killer before she ends up the next victim.

What makes this book stand out are the characters. Kippy is so awkward and weird but I could totally picture a real person that way. She says the wrong things all the time and she has some…odd quirks. When her mother died, she was so scared of people leaving her that she developed a severe hugging condition, squeezing people too tight and didn’t let go. She had to go to therapy for that. She’s a biter when she gets excited, and yeah it happens when she kisses a boy. Almost rips his lip off. But Kippy isn’t the only odd character here. Her dad, Dom and his never-ending advice, Ruth’s brother Davey who is just as lost and awkward as Kippy, her friend Ralph and his video game addiction, popular girl Libby who refuses to use the Lord’s name in vain and says ‘Oh my Gah’ instead, the sheriff who pretty much has his head up his won ass the whole time, and pretty much everyone else in Friendship, Wisconsin. When Kippy’s dog died, they decided to stuff him instead, as is tradition in Friendship:

Dom and I got Mother Peanut Butter mounted after she passed away. And when she’s not situated on her favorite spot on the couch, we even make her the centerpiece at our kitchen table.

There were so many hilarious and cringe-worthy moments in No One Else Can Have You. I have so much of this book highlighted to come laugh at it again later. I was surprised to see that this actually had a pretty damn good murder mystery to it, because I wasn’t expecting this. There is also a love angle to it, although like Kippy, it’s awkward. While some of the things in this book were inappropriate, it fit with the book. The language is also more on the mature side, which I had no problem with. My one complaint was that this book was a little bit too long. It started dragging out towards the end, but that’s a personal preference because I just don’t like longest books. I was never bored and Kippy and crew never failed to entertain me. While I can see how this is not for everyone, I really think more people should give it a chance.

I was debating between a 3.5 and a 4 star rating for this. 3.5 because it was a little bit long for me, but ended up going with a 4 because it’s just so damn unique and entertaining! ( )
  NathaliePolanco | Jun 30, 2014 |
This book was ok. The cover sold me and the fact that it said Fargo meets Pretty Little Liars.
I'm from Fargo so, boom, sold.
This was a book about a teenage girl named Kippy from Friendship, Wisconsin who's friend gets murdered in a pretty terrible way. Kippy's mom's friend gives Kippy her daughters journals and said to clean it up a bit so she can read it someday and remember her daughter. There's a lot of mean words in the journal about Kippy and their friendship and it irritated me how they were supposed to be inseparable best friends and how this girl (geez, I think her name is Ruth) was basically a vain bee-yotch.
Anyway the whole town is STUPID. Like really dumb. Her dad however is not too quick himself but he is so adorable, I liked him a lot. But the town basically pins the murder on a teenage boy that has the worst reputation and who was dating Ruth. Kippy doesn't buy it and starts her own investigation with the help of Ruth's older brother who seems to like Kippy's company and she has always had a big crush on him.
The thing that really bothered me was that the town was gullible and ignorant. I realize Fargo is kind of done in that light as well, but for me, it only works in movies. I don't like unbelievable books unless they're fantasy.
Not to mention this book has so many similarities to Jennifer's Body, the movie by Diablo Cody (good movie and done well!)…but I still enjoyed it. ( )
  KatieHeflin | Jun 16, 2014 |
"No One Else Can Have You," is hard to describe. Its understandable why it would only have a 3.6 star rating, but the book has the makings of a classic campy film. Taking place in a small town, featuring the death of a beautiful teen girl, and the general characterization of the townspeople reminds me of Twin Peaks. While it doesn't venture into the supernatural quite the way Twin Peaks did, this novel definitely fits into the small town full of big secrets genre that Twin Peaks helped to establish.

Kippy Bushman, our main character, is at once a bumbling idiot and a genius. Understandably, everyone seems to think she is insane for those traits as Kippy often puts her foot in her mouth. Her murdered friend that sets the story in motion, Ruth Fried, also 'comes to life' in the pages of the diary she left behind and her lasting impression on those still alive. Along with a quirky, and sometimes creepy, cast of characters reading this book made me want for it to be a TV show.

This is a definite must read for those into the small town big secrets type genre. ( )
  WiseYoungFools | Apr 26, 2014 |
I often tell aspiring writers that you can't teach voice. You have it or you don't, and hopefully if you need it you'll find it. Kathleen Hale has it. And in her debut novel NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE YOU, the protagonist Kippy Bushman is a voice to be reckoned with.

Set in rural (and I mean rural) Wisconsin, Kippy is the girl who doesn't fit in and doesn't really know how to fit in. When her best friend is brutally murdered, the town -- filled with happy-faced, nosy neighbors and cops who say things like "you betcha!" at the end of every sentence -- is certain they have their guy after the Sherriff arrests a popular jock. Given, this guy had been known to a) have his way with girls and b) vandalize things, but Kippy knows it wasn't him. She knows the real killer is out there. And no matter how much the Sherriff -- and her dad, and her neighbor Ralph -- try to keep her from investigating, nothing can stop her. Not even a squad of bible-thumping cheerleaders.

NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE YOU is a black comedy, a murder mystery, a laugh riot, and also a touching story of friendship. Part Pretty Little Liars, part Veronica Mars, but 100% your new favorite girl Kippy, NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE YOU is a must-read and definitely a contender for fancy awards. (Ahem, hello Edgar Committee!) ( )
  EKAnderson | Mar 23, 2014 |
After her best friend, Ruth, is brutally murdered, Kippy Bushman is not convinced that Ruth's boyfriend is the one responsible and she will stop at nothing to uncover the truth. Armed with only her tenacity and the help of Ruth's brother, Kippy must struggle against the blind ignorance of her small town in order to catch the real killer--before he catches her. While the plot for "No One Else Can Have You" was intriguing, the characters themselves really put me off for most of the book. Kippy was a spineless doormat for the majority of the book and Ruth's diary entries revealed her to be a nasty mean girl who did not even care about Kippy all that much. I was frustrated and disappointed by the characters, but still give this novel 2.5 stars for the mystery itself. ( )
  TheMadHatters | Feb 24, 2014 |
The general consensus seems to be that you will either love or hate this book. I broke the mold only because I stopped reading before I could move into full-fledged hate. This was NOT a Shae book.

READ THE FULL DNF REVIEW AT: http://www.shaelit.com/2014/02/dnf-reviews-no-one-else-can-have-you-and-love-let...
  Shelver506 | Feb 13, 2014 |
I wanted to read this book the moment I saw the cover, it's pretty awesome. The book was very interesting and I flew through it. Kippy's best friend Ruth was murdered and she teams up with Ruth's brother, Davey to find out who killed her. There were many suspects that could of done this and Kippy and Davey decide to investigate on their own, which is pretty stupid in my opinion. There were some creepy suspects and it was hard to believe teenagers would not be afraid. I enjoyed reading about it though. ( )
  BeckyGandee | Jan 24, 2014 |
This might be my favorite YA cover ever. And it's the sole reason I picked up NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE YOU since I'm not typically drawn to mysteries. I've never seen Pretty Little Liars or Fargo, so I can't say whether or not the claimed comparison is accurate or not, but I can say that this book is wacky and darkly humorous with a better than average mystery.

NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE you is often random and very voice driven. It helps that Kippy has a bizarrely blunt voice that is uniquely hers, but that didn't keep the pacing from being slow in places. Still, I laughed and cringed at her antics while being shocked and horrified by most everyone else's. I did enjoy the mystery, which was unpredictable and engaging, until the very end when a couple clues were revealed that would have totally revealed the killed had we known them earlier.

There is so much about this book that is seriously twisted in a farcical way, but it's hard to know whether to laugh or cringe most of the time. Everything is well done from the characters to the mystery to the sprinkling of authentic Wisconsin 'you betchas' but it's definitely going to be the kind of book that a lot of readers won't click with. ( )
  pollywannabook | Jan 21, 2014 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

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.

The Review:

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.

Notable Scene:

“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. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jan 8, 2014 |
Another well crafted story that I enjoyed, full of mystery and drama, this story is good.

Characters: I’m going to start off with the character since they themselves have so much to tell. What would you do if your entire friendship is a lie? Kippy faces the unforeseen death of her “best friend” only to be given her journal. A journal that tells horrific and detailed things Ruth did as well as her true feelings toward Kippy. I have to admit that reading these diary entries made me feel like, Who was Ruth anyway? She meant so much to Kippy but everything that Ruth said and did is all a lie. Throughout the story, Kippy’s greatest asset is growth. From the reading the first page of the diary to the last, Kippy overcame many fears and doubts about herself, proving herself otherwise. She learns Ruth’s true colors allowing her to solve Ruth’s mystery murder. The other character is Ruth’s brother. He too, I felt, didn’t really know his sister as he thought he should. Still, there were a few things about Kippy that he knew his sister knew. Both of these characters are flawed yet they need each other to solve the mystery and move on.

Mystery: I love going on a mystery. I love it even more, piecing the pieces together. Every chapter gave more diary details which lead to more clues. I did my best to piece together the mystery before the author reveal it to the reader and yet, I didn’t catch on till the last few chapters. Well done Ms. Hale! This author did a fab job in portraying lies on top of lies, full of drama and of course a girl with dark secret. Every secret revealed only made me want to know Ruth. Want to know who the real girl was. The girl in the diary was nothing that Kippy described. This girl was someone different. It was great to read and have the reader watch it unfold before their eyes.

Friendship: Despite all the things Ruth said about Kippy, Kippy remained a good friend till the end, solving Ruth’s murder. Even though the friendship that Kippy thought they had was not even close to what Ruth saw, she became a better friend and person by sticking by Ruth’s side. In the end, Kippy is a way better person and friend than Ruth ever was.

This is a fantastic book! Entailed with lots of good mystery and drama, No One Else Can Have You overtakes the reader. A well written mystery that is powerfully charged with emotion, No One Else Can Have You is intense and chaotic. A white-knuckle mystery that moves with passion, No One Else Can Have You is great. ( )
  Bookswithbite | Oct 22, 2013 |
Between the darkly humorous knitted nightmare cover and the comparisons to Fargo in the early publicity for the book, I was suitably intrigued. To be honest, I’ve been suffering from something of a YA slump for a while now and I was mostly glad to have a young adult read pique my interest after a long drought.

This review contains spoilers.

Let’s get this out of the way: “No One Else Can Have You” is otherwise a 3 star book. With a driven and interesting heroine who sticks to the right side of quirky, a claustrophobic small town setting akin to Fargo & Twin Peaks without the supernatural elements, and a seriously well considered take on grief and its varying effects on the bereaved, the book had a lot going for it. For the first half, I was enjoying myself. Granted, certain elements didn’t work and the central mystery is predictable but I didn’t mind so much because the intrigue of the journey far outweighed the obviousness of the destination (although it did begin to grate on me that Kippy clearly held the answers to all the mysteries in her hand – with Ruth’s diary, to which we are treated to sporadic readings from when the plot demands it – but such information is delayed to keep the story going).

Then it fell apart. Two things happened.

First, there is a domestic violence joke. To give the scene its full context, Kippy goes undercover to a therapy group session she previously attended as a child, dedicated to a non-physical approach for those prone to violence. She takes along her dead friend’s older brother, a former soldier who admits he suffers from PTSD and is missing a finger due to an incident which is disclosed later. The cover story she gives is that he is her boyfriend and he is beating her. The scene is played for humour, and there is later a punch-line along the lines of “Well, maybe next time you’ll hug her instead of beating her” (I won’t provide the full quote until nearer the release date due to possible restrictions placed on ARCs).

Domestic violence isn’t funny. It shouldn’t be used as a wacky plot point to get some laughs.

The moment that scene happened, I knew I wouldn’t be giving the book anything higher than 1 star. It completely tainted the rest of the book for me. It was a completely unnecessary scene and in hugely bad taste.

Sadly, it got worse.

Later on, Kippy is falsely institutionalised for supposed delusions. She is sent to a sanatorium populated with the kind of quirky and wacky patients you expect to see in a Will Ferrell comedy. Kippy’s roommate is a young woman who believes herself to be a middle aged male British police officer. Of course, her moments are played for laughs. Even in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, there was at least some acknowledgement of the terrible attitudes and treatment directed at the mentally ill. Here, there is nothing, and it’s honestly embarrassing. We as a society tend to label things as “crazy” or “loony” when what we really mean is “a bit odd” or “out of the ordinary”. This ableist attitude is something I myself have been guilty of and am trying to fix. The author’s dismissive attitude towards something as serious as mental illness really is unforgivable. To use a sanatorium as a cheap shock twist for her heroine is bizarre at best and cruel at worst.

I can’t overlook the problematic when I see it, no matter how many other positive elements I can find in a story. “No One Else Can Have You” is the perfect example of that. It’s a solid and often very entertaining read that will forever be the book with the gross ableism and domestic violence jokes to me. You may be able to enjoy the book while acknowledging its problems. Sadly, I can’t.
( )
  Ceilidhann | Sep 20, 2013 |
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