Review: No One Else Can Have You - Kathleen Hale

Release Date: January 7th 2014
Published By: Harper Teen
Pages: 384
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: 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.

Review: How wrong was I to assume that just because this book involved a murder mystery that it would be a serious contemporary novel? This book was frigging amazing though, I can’t even word it in a professional manner. If I could be a book - this would be me. This book is dripping in sarcasm and dark humour (also Batman) and is almost satirical but written in the best of ways.

In hindsight, I feel the title of this book is perhaps too serious for it’s content - seeing as I did initially think it was going to be a serious style novel and ended up with something else. The cover is amazing. One of the best covers I’ve seen in YA, and clever too because it actually ties into Kippy’s dress sense with the knitted turtleneck jumpers that Ruth makes fun of her for wearing.

No One Else Can Have You tells the story of Kippy Bushman, who’s BFF Ruth was murdered out in the cornfields. Kippy was asked to give the eulogy, but just prior, she’s given Ruths diary by her mother and asked to redact all the “sex stuff” out of it before she reads it herself. Upon reading Ruths journal entries, she comes to realise that maybe Ruth wasn’t such a good person at all, and perhaps Ruth didn’t even like Kippy all that much either. After delivering what ends up perhaps the most awkward eulogy I’ve ever encountered and giving all the guests at the wake cookies laced in salt (instead of sugar - oops!), Kippy realises that the boy accused of Ruth’s murder is obviously innocent and goes on a hunt for the real killer.

There were parts of this book that I actually laughed out loud, which is quite the accomplishment for an author to have that effect on me. But I feel like Kathleen Hale has exactly the same sense of humour as me.

Kippy Bushman is this really quirky, odd sort of a girl who doesn’t have very many friends and she’s such an individual and not ashamed of who she is in the slightest. And this is why she’s also an extremely awesome protagonist, because she’s unapologetic about how she is. Kippy’s father Dom is a psychologist (or high school counselor), and the relationship Kippy and Dom has is quite amusing also.

There’s entire scenes of this book set in a self help group for people that are violent towards each other that had me crying from laughter, because the characters are just completely dysfunctional, and the characters trigger each other and bounce off one another. There’s also Libby, who never really knew Ruth all that well who starts up the Ruth Fried Foundation Brigade leading organised mourning sessions for Ruth every week and picketing her accused killer. She is that real stereotypical goodie two shoes with a darker side to her. I love that throughout the whole book she continues to call Kippy “Katie”. We all know someone like this. lol I also loved “Sir Albus” in the mental institute. She is a 12 year old girl who thinks she is a 40-something British male sergeant. This book has so much of the random to offer, and I loved it.

I could visually see each scene rolling through my mind like a movie - and in fact, if this book became a movie, it would make me entirely too happy to buy a ticket. Extremely entertaining. For those of you that have read the Libba Bray book Beauty Queens, it’s a very similar sense of humour to that book. Satirical and sarcastic, but a really good story line throughout. Guaranteed to entertain you.


“For starters, I immediately ran into some very mean insinuations about my hygene - which, even though I sometmes have chocolate around my mouth, is actually just fine thank you.”

“Your daughter’s a hoochie mama,” I blurt. “And you’re just made because Colt did it with her.”

“It’s true. I’m wearing my utility belt again. I used to wear it a lot in elementary school because I was always drawing animals back then and it was a way to have constant easy access to my markers. Also I may or may not have thought I was Batman.”

“You’re very welcome.” It comes out sounding too loud. Something about Davey makes me want to raise my voice and talk in all caps. Like, NO MATTER WHAT I’M SAYING I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW I’M HERE AND VERY EXCITED.”

“Unicorns are cool.”

What do you think?

  • Desnica Kumar says:

    Okay wow this book sounds very different from what I thought it would be…can’t wait to read it for myself now!
    Thanks for the review!

  • Cait D says:

    I’ve read raving reviews about this one so far! I was kind of dubious…something about the cover? But I love quirky stuff! And I love laughing. Seriously, who doesn’t?! I think I need this book now…

  • Not as creepy as I thought it would be, but it’s still sounds so hilarious! And the ‘Sir Albus’ thing? Oh and “Also I may or may not have thought I was Batman.”

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