Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Review: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

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I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen HaleNo One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Published by HarperTeen on January 7th 2014
Genres: Mystery, YA
Source: HarperTeen
Buy on Amazon

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.

There’s something scary about going into a book like No One Else Can Have you. I mean, maybe I do it to myself, but I always take a peek at the ratings (not reviews) kicking around Goodreads before I start a book and the ones for this book are incredibly polarizing.  I knew going into it that I would either love it or hate it with every bone in my body. Luckily, I fell into the former group and I had an absolute riot reading this book!

Not only is this book funny but it also features a pretty good murder mystery to boot.  The person who was responsible for the murder was someone that I did have pegged at one point in the novel, but I had moved on so far from that by the time the big reveal came that it still managed to surprise me in a great way.  What’s also fun about the mystery here is that the book doesn’t make everyone seem guilty.  That always takes my interest away in finding out who really dunnit because it could just as easily be this person or that.

The characters really shine through here. The novel is packed with quirky characters, the most memorably so being our MC Kippy.  This girl has lost her marbles and she definitely isn’t the brightest crayon in the box but that is what is so endearing about her. She has absolutely no filter and says incredibly inappropriate things at all the wrong moments and she had me busting a gut so often in the novel.  Her bluntness had me loving her from the get-go.  Her dad, Dom, is hilarious as well. He’s a school guidance councillor and is all about talking about feelings and working through emotions, the amount him and Kippy butted heads about this was great and I adored their banter.  Everyone from the characters that are front and centre in the novel to the town drunk, who had the smallest of appearances, were hilarious in their own right and great additions to the novel.

A lot of what is funny in this book could definitely be seen as inappropriate but if you sit back and take the novel for what it is, a parody, it is so funny and one that I definitely think is worth the read.  There were many parts of this novel that I laughed out loud at which prompted my husband to get me to read him the passage and then he was laughing along as well. Brace yourself for some slut shaming, animal deaths (this is a hunting community don’tcha know!) and the odd R word here and there and just go along for the ride.  The charm is in the books ability to make fun of itself and go to places for a laugh that few authors in YA are willing to go to.


4 Hot Espressos

39 Responses to “Review: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale”

  1. Siiri

    So glad that this managed to surprise you! I think that it’s really important with murder mysteries and can either make or break the book. For instance, the reason why Agatha Christie is still my everfavorite murder mysterie’s writer is because I can never guess the murderer’s identity. I love that you laughed with your husband and had great fun reading this book. Also, the ratings? Gahhhh. I do this every time, too. It’s like I’m setting myself up for a failure. They’re either really bad and I’m so hesitant I may evn put the book down or they’re really good and I have HUGE expectations or you know, polarizing as you said. I really ought to stop goodreadsing (LOL) books before I start them, heh. Lovely review, Jenni 🙂

  2. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I love this review, Jenni! I was worried that you wouldn’t like it when you mentioned you were reading it, but I’m excited you loved it. I had a blast with this too and yes, I didn’t figure out the murderer as well. It was such a surprise and a reason why I ended up loving the book. Also, the MCs quirkiness was definitely endearing. I couldn’t help but love her for her awkwardness. Great review, Jenni!

  3. Maya

    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!

  4. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    I love that you thought this book was a Riot Jenni. I have tried to steer clear of goodreads ratings lately for that reason, because i don’t want to get my hopes up too high before reading a book that has been getting rave reviews (or polarizing ones) but it is hard to do sometimes.

    I love quirky characters so that is a huge plus too. This looks like a book that I will probably enjoy.

    Thanks for the great review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  5. S.Huston

    I have heard so many not-so-good reviews on this that I’m glad to have found someone who liked it. Personally I thought it sounded like a good book but I always scout out Goodreads before getting a book and obviously that left me questioning if I wanted to risk it. Great Review!

  6. Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader

    What a great review, Jenni! I was so excited when I heard you were reading this book, and I’m even happier to hear how much you enjoyed it. It was one of my favourites of the novels I read in 2013, primarily because of how much I was able to identify with Kippy and how unique and creative the concept and narrative voice was. Kathleen Hale is an absolute sweetheart too, which is yet another thing to love about both the book and its author!

    It’s a shame that the initial controversy and a handful of early negative reviews dissuaded a number of people from reading it. I acknowledge that it won’t be the right book for everyone given that it’s a little quirkier than most, but it bothers me that some people have dismissed it outright without even reading it! That said, I’m happy to see that our positive reviews might have changed a few people’s minds and inspired them to give it a try. I just want to press it into the hands of everyone I know 🙂

  7. Tina

    Hi Jenni! I believe this is my first review I’m reading by you. This book sounds awesome! Murder, humor, and quirky characters? I’m in! Great review 🙂

  8. Kelsey

    This book sounds so cute and funny! And I absolutely love the cover. I agree with what you thought, though. I’ll either like it or hate it. I think I might just want to try it, though. Great review!

  9. Alexia @ Adventures in Reading

    This is a book that you either love or hate and while you fell into the former category, I fell into the latter category. I love a good YA murder mystery but I really didn’t like this one. Kippy was definitely the highlight of the book as she was super quirky (which I liked)

    Glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I struggled so much with this one. I must have started and dropped it around seven times. But in the end, I really appreciated the satire, and I learned to love all the characters. While it wasn’t the best book ever, it wasn’t nearly as horrible as I thought it might be.
    Lovely review, Jenni!

  11. Bonnie

    This one has received such horrible reviews it’s nice to see that SOMEONE enjoyed it. lol Sounds interesting, might have to check it out to see where I stand on opinion. Great review!

  12. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I started this book last night and just don’t know how I feel about it. Irritated by a couple of things that are making it hard to move forward, though I’m interested in where the story’s going to go. Don’t *think* this will be a DNF but it’s skating the edge. You’ve encouraged me to keep moving with it, though!

  13. Molli

    Wonderful review, Jenni! I’ve been really curious about this one, and still am. I know it’s a packaged book, but I had an interesting discussion with the author some time back that convinced me to give this one a try, someday. I was hoping to read an e-arc but I may not have time to get to it right now.

    I’m glad you liked the main character and the others. It sounds like everyone was really well developed in this book, which doesn’t always happen. And hmm, with the author sort of pushing the envelope – I like that sometimes. Very curious about this one!

  14. Melliane

    I don’t think I heard a lot about this one but I confess I could buy it only for the cute cover! I’m glad you liked it too, lol it’s a plus. It sounds like a great story.

  15. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    Glad to see a blogger I trust that likes this! I don’t think it’s for everyone though. Luckily, I have the perfect morbid mind and twisted sense of humor that I think I will really like this one too. Plus, that cover just gets to me. That sweater SCREAMS serial killer 🙂
    Starting this one later tonight!

  16. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    This is the second positive review for this book that I’ve heard, and now I’m considering possibly trying it. I think strange books like this one always turn me off, and how you described Kippy certainly made me wary at first, because Wild Awake was another one of those weirder books that I didn’t enjoy either, although the hilarity of this book is still really intriguing to me. I love the concept of how this is a parody with how strange and funny it is. Fantastic review, Jenni! <33

  17. Pili

    This one is still in my list of books to give a try because I’ve seen equally bad and good reviews, and that is making me curious about what my reaction to this one would actually be!
    Great review, Jenni!

  18. Haley @ YA-Aholic

    YAYYYYY! So glad to hear you liked this! I have been DYING to get my hands on this book, but was worried it would end up a disappointment, after your review I am definitely going to pick it up soon (: Great review hun!

  19. Sydney

    This book has been on my TBR for a long time. I didn’t actually know what the book was about, I just thought the cover was so adorable! I’m glad to hear that it’s a good book as well!

  20. Nova Lee @ Out of Time

    It’s super great that you liked this book! I’m looking for more positive reviews, as I’ve heard a balance of them in the negative zone. I’m hoping that I’ll like it too, only because I’m still having doubts about it.

    Lovely review, Jenni! <33

  21. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    Yay! I am so delighted that you ended up enjoying this one 😀 Sure, the slut shaming and animal deaths felt a little excessive and stretching it but the humour and overall quirkiness totally makes up for it!

    Brilliant review, Jenni! <33

  22. ShootingStarsMag

    I really want to read this one! I’m so glad that you ended up loving it. It sounds like something I’d really enjoy. I don’t mind books that poke fun at genres, etc. and one that does so while still including a pretty good mystery? Sounds perfect!

  23. Megan

    SO glad you enjoyed this one Jenni. I’m still totally on the fence about whether or not I would enjoy this one. Maybe if I go in expecting a few things, it will be ok.

  24. Amanda @ Book Badger

    I’ve been seeing this book around a lot and considering it, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’ll definitely be putting this on the list of ones to buy in 2014 if I can find the monies. Great review Jenni, it’s nice to see you and Giselle working well together here 🙂

  25. NicoleLynn

    Thank you for the review! I was intrigued by the novel beforehand and now I really want to read it. I’m excited to pick it up at some point! Thanks again! 🙂

  26. Charlotte

    I am really confused whether to pick this book or not. On one hand, I’ve read two negative reviews about it. On the other, I’ve also read two positive reviews about it, 3 if I am going to include your review. So 2 against 3? Hmmn.

    Still, I’m a bit wary about that synopsis and oh the names of the characters are really weird. Even the town’s names. Hahahahah. I am not so sure if black comedy stories are for me since Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy was a meh for me.

    Perhaps I’m gonna pick this book up once I’ve seen at least more than 5 positive reviews.

    Thanks for the great review, Jenni!

  27. Alexa S.

    This book sounds positively irreverent, but in the best way. I’m still hesitant to read this, as it’s not usually my sort of thing. But it makes me glad to hear that you liked it and found it funny!

  28. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    I’m glad that you enjoyed this one. I was just so offended reading it. I know that it’s supposed to be funny and that that’s the way the town people are, but I just couldn’t get past it. Perhaps at a different time I would like this more, but I DNF’d at 54%. I do think this is a love it or hate it book. Sadly I was not a lover of it. I do love your review though.

  29. Betty

    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.

  30. Kate

    Jenni, this turns my world upside down. I thought everyone said this book was terrible! Remember? Such a cute cover, blah blah, but all the misogyny! Everyone…said…but…you…