December 19, 2013

REVIEW: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: January 7, 2013
Source: Edelweiss via publisher*
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
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 thoughts, feelings, and reactions
No One Else Can Have You started off with a great introduction to a quiet, yet strange small town and led into a mysterious killer on the loose with a young eccentric aspiring journalist turned investigator looking for the truth. I was pretty much sold on the creepy yet eye-catching cover and whole premise to match. This book was definitely unique, a different type of YA mystery that had its moments, but left me enjoying it nonetheless. 

I have plenty of things to say about Kippy. She was certainly odd, as was the rest of this book, and maybe slightly unhinged to some degree. She started off angry at her best friend, missing her and finding out maybe she didn’t really like Kippy’s company entirely, to becoming a good friend by discovering the truth about Ruth’s death. I thought it was brave (and probably crazy as hell) that Kippy was going around the town looking for some sick killer. Kippy, you see, was inexperienced, innocent, and irrational at the worst of times. At her best times, she was excited, very enthusiastic, and unwilling to just let something go when she got all riled up. At first she was totally clueless, but when things started to click, she would just light up and that made me smile. Kippy could act immature, but there was intelligence somewhere in her personality even though half the time I asked myself what the heck she was doing. She was a fun character and she sort of reminded me of SRB’s Kami from Unspoken.

While for me, the heart of the story was Kippy and the murder, the town and the people within the town were a sort of backdrop. They were behind the scenes and a few characters did play a major role in the forefront of it all. I have to say that the town was half creepy and half ignorant, especially the Sheriff. I think they were all clouded by their fear and how they wanted it to just end; they weren’t really looking into Ruth’s murder. I did however find that some of their customs had me rolling my eyes but I sort of liked the quirkiness of it all. There were lots of dark humor and some satire that I’m sure others would enjoy as well. Lots of the time, it seemed the small town and its residents were being made fun of. It was funny, but also frustrating too. The whole town was just a little too out there for me and a few times it got a little offensive when it came to mental illness other things.

I thought that the plot and the pacing needed work. It was a fun  and weird mystery novel for sure, but I found that some parts were slow or completely irrelevant. I also thought that some events were a little outrageous and unbelievable. And then sometimes things were just all over the place, so it was a little hard to follow, especially with Kippy’s erratic behavior. However, the ending really made this book better for me. It was so unexpected and it took a surprising turn. The ending really tied everything together and made it more understandable that I was glad I stuck through it. 

Overall, No One Else Can Have You was a strange YA mystery novel that I actually enjoyed despite its oddness and somewhat eye rolling plot line. It was surely out of the ordinary, a little charming, and as eerie as the moose hanging from that noose on the cover. 

*Thanks to Harper Teen for sending a copy for review purposes.
I was not compensated for my opinion. 

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