Monday, February 3, 2014

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

Series: No One Else Can Have You (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Realistic Fiction/Murder Mystery

Subjects: humor, comedy, murder, mystery, friendship, death 

Setting: Friendship, Wisconsin (which is north of the Wisconsin Dells) before Halloween 

POV/Tense: 1st person present tense. Kippy’s POV.

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 380 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/product description: “Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 689 688) 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.”

My Review: No One Else Can Have You was a hilarious book. It was chomp full of ridiculousness and completely un-put-downable. It felt like I was reading a comedy movie, like one of those parodies? Like Scary Movie? Maybe this could be Murder Mystery Movie? This book was a comical teen murder mystery set in the small town of Friendship, Wisconsin. 

Friendship is an actual town in Wisconsin, and it’s north of the Wisconsin Dells. I never actually visited Friendship, but I’ve been through some of the nearby towns. I have family in Wisconsin, near Madison, Milwaukee and even in the north woods near Park Falls, where my grandma grew up. I’m very familiar with the state and have been there like a hundred times. This book makes fun of the state’s stereotypes, but not in an overly offensive way. Not many people there actually say “Don’t-cha know” or “You betcha” all the time. Some people there do have an accent, but some sound just like the people here in Illinois and Chicagoland or just the general Midwest. There are a lot of deer, but not many moose unless you’re way up north. 

The characters are all pretty interesting and have their unique quirks. Kippy has some very odd obsessions. She always watches reports by Diane Sawyer, her idol. It’s constantly mentioned.  She thinks some pretty random things and we get a lot of background and phases she’s gone though. Kippy seems very smart, but does some very dumb things. She completely messes up her eulogy speech at Ruth’s funeral. Ruth was her only friend, and she receives her diary. Ruth has said some very mean things about Kippy in her diary. Ruth’s brother, Davey, who came home from Afghanistan with a missing finger, also freaks out at the funeral/memorial service. The popular guy who was dating Ruth, Colt Witacomb, is charged with murder, but Davey doesn’t think Colt did it. 

When Kippy is finally convinced that Davey is right, she helps him by looking into Ruth diary for clues. She goes into investigation modes and lists suspects. She also compiles a list of attributes for people to qualify suspects. I a small town where everyone’s friendly, anybody can be a suspect, but only few have motive. The books turns into a crazy thrill/laugh ride full of twist and improbable turns. 

Most of the book does read as a comedy and it isn’t until the end that it becomes more like psychological horror, but still funny. There’s even some romance! It’s a really fun and bizarre book. It maybe be “realistic fiction” but it’s so random that it didn’t feel like the real world. It was never boring or dull. It’s light and fun and really easy to read really fast. The characters are relatable in an awkward way. Small-town America is strange, and truth is stranger than fiction sometimes. Anyways, so I can relate to Kippy in some ways. This book can make you feel good about your self. It’s worth reading. I recommend it to people who love watching comedies, or reading books by Heather Keeble or Gretchen McNeil.

Cover Art Review: I love this cover. It’s funny and quirky like the story. It’s like a knit sweater and there’s a deer that hanging. It’s pure genius. 

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