No One Else Can Have You

( 7 )


Friendship, Wisconsin, used to be as friendly as its name suggests, but all that changes when high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is murdered. Unfortunately, Friendship's police are more adept at finding lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth's best friend, Kippy, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth's secret diary, sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.

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Friendship, Wisconsin, used to be as friendly as its name suggests, but all that changes when high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is murdered. Unfortunately, Friendship's police are more adept at finding lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth's best friend, Kippy, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth's secret diary, sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sixteen-year-old Kippy Bushman lives in Friendship, Wis., population 688—about half of whom seem to make an appearance in this thriller/murder mystery. When Kippy’s best friend, Ruth, is brutally murdered, the town is certain that Ruth’s football star boyfriend is the culprit. But Kippy—who has been given Ruth’s revealing and unflattering diary—and Ruth’s recently discharged brother, Davey, aren’t so sure. They team up to find the real killer in an idiosyncratic and sometimes puzzling whodunit. Hale’s over-the-top characters will make readers both cringe and chuckle, including painfully awkward Kippy herself, who is like a prettier version of the dorky, clueless Sue Heck on The Middle. Hale doesn’t let readers forget they’re in a quirky, small Midwestern town, don’tcha know, and the colloquialisms wear after a while. But the mystery behind Ruth’s death (and behind Ruth herself, whose hard and soft edges come through in her diary) are enough to hold interest. A sweetly amusing romance between Kippy and Davey is another nice touch, and the last few pages are nail-biters, you betcha. A Full Fathom Five property. Ages 14–up. (Jan.)
VOYA, February 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 6) - Suzanne Osman
If you work with adolescents hungering for a succulent murder mystery, Hale’s No One Else Can Have You is a decadent literary meal that will satisfy even the pickiest reader. Written with a simple yet chilling grace, the book begins with the horrifying discovery of a high school homecoming queen, Ruth, fatally hanging in a small-town cornfield and stuffed like a scarecrow. In order to assist the police in solving the heinous crime, the murder victim’s best friend, Kippy, studies her diary for clues; interviews important people from her life, including her nervous brother, abusive ex-boyfriend, and arch nemesis; and reflects on her final memories of Ruth. As Kippy explores the clues to her best friend’s murder, her own mysterious past and complicated relationships with her therapist dad, the part of herself still grieving over her mother’s death, and her orphan neighbor help her not only to piece together the story of Ruth’s grisly demise but her own story as well. And, like Kippy, the reader will never guess who Ruth’s murderer is. Recommend this book to patrons who relish haunting suspense; delicious murder mysteries; and intricate relationships between friends, family members, and boyfriends. Reviewer: Suzanne Osman; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—The tricky trifecta of murder mystery, dark humor, and satire doesn't quite pay out in this novel. The murder is that of Ruth Fried, protagonist Kippy's best friend, though the two have little in common by junior year of high school: Ruth is a local party girl, sexing up not only the local town vandal but also a middle-aged lawyer. When Ruth turns up violently murdered, strung up in a cornfield, the slow-witted sheriff locks up Colt, the boyfriend. Nobody knows about Ruth's other exploits except Kippy, who is given Ruth's journal, full of nearly indecipherable handwriting and lots of "sex stuff" that the deceased's mom has asked Kippy to censor. The dark humor revolves around Kippy's awkward and naïve interactions with the world-she's been a bit off-kilter since her mother's death during her early childhood and still marches to a different drum. Kippy and Ruth's older brother, a soldier suffering from PTSD, are determined to find out who really killed Ruth. Small-town Wisconsin is satirized: the culture of potluck and bratwurst, saccharine niceness, and a Ruth Fried Foundation Brigade that wants Colt's head on a platter. The plots trails a bit through Kippy's investigation, and readers may find themselves in a walk, not a run, to finish Hale's story.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-10-23
Murder has hit Friendship, Wis., (population once 689, now 688) hard; Kippy Bushman hits back harder to find the murderer in this Fargo-like debut. The 16-year-old is still grieving her mother, who died years ago, when BFF Ruth Fried is found killed in a local cornfield. The grisly details are immediately offset by small-town quirkiness and a thick Wisconsin accent, don'tcha know. While the community's long list of scorned female teens and the father of one of those teens, inept Sheriff Staake, are ready to indict the high school's resident scoundrel, Kippy has other theories. When Ruth's mother gives her Ruth's journal "to redact the sex parts," Kippy learns more about Ruth's clandestine escapades, as well as Ruth's sometimes-disparaging remarks toward her. The only person who shares Kippy's desire for the truth and who understood Ruth's difficult personality is Davey, Ruth's older brother, who's returned from active military duty, dishonorably discharged and without a finger. As Kippy goes undercover, her wry humor helps her cope with her touchy-feely, middle school–guidance-counselor father (whose pamphlets and self-help groups don't seem to cover serial killers), her feelings for Davey, her complicated relationship with Ruth and some harrowing situations that leave the heart pounding. The small town's big secrets provide enough red herrings to keep readers guessing. Can a murder mystery be funny? You betcha! (Mystery. 14 & up)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Hale nimbly manages a satisfying blend of chills, suspense, and laughs in this dark comedy.”
“A super-duper mystery...snort-inducingly funny, from start to finish.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062211194
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 110,305
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 850L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen Hale was born and raised in Wisconsin. She graduated from Harvard in 2010. This is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2014

    Could not put it down....awesome

    Incredible new author. Very creative writing. I am very picky and I loved this book. Reminds me of early james patterson but even better. Wish there were more books by this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Before I get into my review, let's just take a minute and enjoy

    Before I get into my review, let's just take a minute and enjoy that cover, shall we? My word, that's a great cover. I love it. 

    I only wish I had loved the inside of the book as much. 

    No One Else Can Have You was dark. Really dark. It was also incredibly quirky. But, what I appreciated most about it was that it was unique. While it may not have been a book I enjoyed as much as I hoped I would, I appreciated the uniqueness of the story.

    This book was chock-full of off-the-wall characters. Kippy was charming and awkward. After her best friend was murdered (horrifically, by the way), she set out to discover who really committed the murder. Because Friendship was a town full of some seriously nutty folks, I never had a strong feeling of who killed Ruth. While Ruth never made an appearance in the book, aside from her journal entries which led Kippy to learn *a lot* about her friend, I have to be honest and say she truly was a spectacularly unlikable person. While I found myself sympathetic to Kippy for losing a friend, the more that was uncovered about Ruth, the less I cared that she was gone. 

    No One Else Can Have You made me nostalgic for the Fear Street, Nightmare Hall and Christopher Pike books of my youth. I loved those books. Sure, they scared the hell out of me and, at times, gave me actual nightmares, I was addicted to them. This book had a healthy dose of mystery and unexpected twists and turns. But it also had some things that kept me from truly connecting with the story. The regional dialect was overdone. I got so tired of reading "don't cha know." The quirkiness factor felt forced. It was just too much. The story was slow and I had a hard time sticking with it. 

    All in all, I have to say it was "ok." It was unique and it kept me guessing until the end, but the pace of the story and the unrealistic characters kept me from ever truly connecting with the book. I finished it because I needed to know who killed Ruth, not because I was really invested in the story or the characters. 

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2014

    I loved a *lot* about this book, and laughed a lot too. Definite

    I loved a *lot* about this book, and laughed a lot too. Definitely some of the more unique characters I've read in YA, and the setting was a lot of fun. I was pleasantly surprised by the way it plumbed the depths of complicated friendship, reactions to traumatic events, and grief, while maintaining character consistency within its unique cast. There were parts here and there, mostly toward the end, where the story went a little too far off the rails for me, but on the whole, I really enjoyed. The mind of Kathleen Hale seems like a very fun place to be.

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  • Posted February 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    No One Else Can Have You was one of my most anticipated books of

    No One Else Can Have You was one of my most anticipated books of 2014.. have you LOOKED at the cover? the synopsis? I love murder mysteries so all those things looked promising. Unfortunately as soon as I started reading it.. I noticed myself disliking so many things in this book and the best way for me to do that is to just rant. Brace yourselves people, this may be long: What raised red flags for me initially were all the psychotic characters in this small town: Every single character in this book had issues. I don't think there was a single character that was normal by human standards, but what annoyed me was that for them that was normal. How can a sheriff blatantly ignore clues that are right in his face and convict some dude just because he screwed with his daughter? how can a girl take advantage of another girl's death and bluntly start a fund in the name of the dead girl just to spruce up her application for colleges. How can a dad send his daughter to a mental institute just because she was grieving for her friend and tried to takes matters into her own hand and find the killer herself? how can everyone call everyone by their full name? WHY IS EVERYONE SO FREAKING WEIRD? There is also the writing & plot: Both just didn't sit well with me. Everything was written in a nonchalant way, as if we aren't in the middle of a murder mystery. Also, I can't really explain it well, but everyone acts in such a childlike way.. I could only attribute such behaviors to sociopaths.. the whole plot was SO weird.. and it was way too long and so many unnecessary detours were written up that had me scratching my head in confusion. oh! think the Joker and the way he behaves in The Dark Knight.. that's how everyone behaves. I honestly could not feel any sincerity or true remorse from any of the characters, including the main protagonist. Who the hell says for the eulogy that their friend was "Super duper".. during the FUNERAL? just.. *shakes head*  Then there is the dad.. he seriously needs a whole paragraph on his own because he wins the award for the most infuriating character in book history. He was so overprotective of Kippy, the main protagonist, and always called her the weirdest nicknames that made me want to throw up. Some include "Pimple" (????), "Chocolate butt" and "Cactus".. like what the hell? and his vocabulary is mostly limited to "YOU BETCHA!" if I hear or read that word one more time, I am ready to go kill someone. If the author tried to make him look cool.. she failed because he was such so lame, annoying, and the last person I would label as a father figure. Lastly, is the overabundance of swear words and explicit talk in this book as well as Kippy's friend who passed away, Ruth. We get to read a couple of passages from Ruth's diary through Kippy and I have to say that is the only enjoyable part in the whole book. Ruth said it like it is but was also pretty messed up (having an affair with someone that is three times her age). It is a horrible combination.. the feel that this book might appeal to younger readers more because of the immaturity of everyone but not being able to recommend it because of all the swear words and explicit talk. This book gave me the weird uncomfortable shivers. I honestly won't be recommending this book to anyone and I'm quite sad that a murder mystery was wasted, since there are so little of those in the YA world. 

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  • Posted January 25, 2014

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a re

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
    When her best friend Ruth is discovered dead in the corn field behind her house, 16-year-old Kippy knows that the police have the wrong man behind bars, and is determined to catch the real killer.
    Who really killed Ruth? Can Kippy work it out in time? And how many crimes will she commit in the process?

    This was quite a quirky story, with plenty of dark humour, and I actually found myself laughing!

    Kippy was a bit of an odd girl. I don’t get how anyone could put up with the ridiculous nicknames her father used for her like ‘chocolate butt’, and ‘pimple’, but for some reason she never seemed all that embarrassed. I also didn’t quite get why she wore a utility belt everywhere, I mean, it’s not likely to make you very popular at school when you’re wearing a utility belt stuffed with notepads, pens, and a Dictaphone!

    The storyline in this was pretty good, but I really wished that the mystery could have been better. I liked the fact that Kippy was trying to find the murderer when nobody else seemed to be, but her detective skills just seemed to get her in trouble rather than actually get her closer to finding the murderer which was frustrating. There also seemed to be a lot of back-stabbing in this book. The whole thing was very small-town-esque, and it seemed at times like everyone was just out for themselves, and quite happy to stab someone in the back if it would help them get what they wanted, or would make them more popular!
    The police work in this book was also very small-town-esque, with things like a bad reputation, or name calling resulting in people saying – ‘he trashed my lawn, he’s obviously a murderer!’, ‘he called me a prude for not wanting to have sex with him so it’s obvious that he killed Ruth!’. Just ridiculous.

    I have to say that I liked the dark humour in this one, I know it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but I actually really liked it. I must have driven people nuts with my updates on Goodreads because I kept finding bits that I thought were really funny! Even the very beginning of this book was funny when the woman who discovered the dead girl told the police about the vandalism of her tree before mentioning that oh yes, there was a dead girl hanging from it!
    The ending to this was okay, I liked the little twists, and I didn’t guess who the murderer was! I did find that the story dragged a bit after the 50% mark, but overall I enjoyed this book.
    Overall; Quirky, with plenty of dark humour!
    7 out of 10.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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