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