Wed, January 8, 2014

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale Review

No One Else Can Have You book cover

No One Else Can Have You book cover

No One Else Can Have You
By Kathleen Hale
Publication date: Jan. 7, 2014
HarperTeen, 384 pages
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.

— Goodreads.com description

No One Else Can Have You is set in Friendship, Wisc., the small town just a 40-minute drive from the family home where I spent my summers growing up. So maybe my familiarity with the setting helped, but the setting and voice of this book just POPPED off the page. I could just hear Kippy’s deep Wisconsin accent in every one of Kathleen Hale’s words. (Think Fargo or Bobby’s mom — this is how my family sounds.)

The story is equal parts hilarious — I mean, truly, Kippy just cracked me up — and pee-your-pants scary.

I think it’s that combination that really got me on this one: I could be laughing one minute and seriously grossed out by the twisted murder mystery the next.

So good, you guys. At one point I think I threw down the book and shouted “I LOVE READING,” which scared my husband and makes me a huge nerd, but you know how it is. If you’re into thrillers, this one’s a stunner.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

PS: OMG THAT COVER.

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: friendship, kathleen hale, mystery, thriller
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24 Comments

  1. Jillyn said:

    Glad to see you enjoyed this one, it’s one that I definitely need to get. That cover is so pretty, and the story sounds great. Being set in Wisconsin is a huge plus- it’s where my girlfriend lives (and I don’t tease her accent at all…)

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    That cover is so perfect for the book, too! Definitely give it a try.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 8, 2014

  2. Allie @ Little Birdie Books said:

    I’m seeing a few reviews scattered around about this and they all seem to be saying the same thing … DO NOT READ THIS BEFORE BED haha.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    OMG yeah, no, definitely don’t read before bed!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 8, 2014

  3. Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader said:

    I’m so glad to see that you enjoyed this book as much as I did! I fear we’re in the minority on this one, but I do hope that our accumulated positive reviews will encourage even a few reluctant readers to pick it up 🙂 This novel was unlike anything I had in recent memory and I found it so inspiring in its creativity. Like you, I was reminded why I love to read. Hale transports you into this quirky, surreal town that managed to be haunting and hilarious all at the same time. I think what upset me most about this book’s release and subsequent press is that many people are dismissing this novel outright without ever having read it because of a few early, negative reviews. While I can understand that some readers might find the character’s behaviour offensive, I think it’s important to note the difference between a character advocating a certain viewpoint, and a novel doing so. No One Else Can Have You is clearly a satirization of small town society, and the character’s behaviour reflects that, as unpalatable though it sometimes may be. I think that’s why I found the accusations of slut shaming and the trivialization of mental illness so confounding.

    Anyway, to make a long story short: I adored this novel, and I’m so happy to see that you did too! Hopefully more people will be encouraged to give this novel a try because of reviews like yours 😀

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I’m so excited that you are as excited as I am about this book!!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 8, 2014

  4. Sarah/appifanie said:

    I can’t wit to read it!!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Hooray!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 8, 2014

  5. Nikki said:

    Ooooh. This sounds so good! I love a book that’s funny and scary. So going in my list!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Hope you like it, too!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 8, 2014

  6. Kristin said:

    My new years resolution is to read more books outside of my comfort zone and this book looks perfect. That cover is amazing. Can’t wait!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Oooh, do it! That’s a great resolution.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 8, 2014

  7. Sue said:

    Can’t wait to read this…

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Happy reading!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 8, 2014

  8. Tara said:

    I’m so happy we both liked this one! Dontcha know.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    HAAA good accent!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 8, 2014

  9. Rachel said:

    I’m so happy to be seeing a positive review for this one. I’ve been putting off reading it because I hadn’t been seeing the greatest things about it, but I think a lot of people didn’t totally get the humor. It sounds amazing, and I know it’s going to be extra creepy since I’m from WI. I’m definitely excited to read it now 🙂

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I didn’t know you’re from WI! My guess is the voice will totally shine for you, too, then.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 8, 2014

  10. Rebecca said:

    I have heard good things about this book and I am really looking forward to reading it. I really like mysteries. I love that cover.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    It’s gorgeous, isn’t it?

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 8, 2014

  11. Alexa S. said:

    I’ve been hearing that this one is funny, although in a darker way than most things. I’m still not sold on whether or not I should read it, but it’s great that you enjoyed it!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I think it really depends on your own sense of humor. I loved it, but I can totally see how it would go the other direction for someone else.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 8, 2014

  12. Betty said:

    I don’t read many murder mysteries but with a good one I do love trying to guess the murderer’s identity, and No One Else Can Have You sounds great in that department. I’ll be checking this out, and thanks for the review!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    This one is especially fun for guessing the whodunnit

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, January 8, 2014

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