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No One Else Can Have You

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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.

380 pages, Hardcover

First published January 7, 2014

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About the author

Kathleen Hale

5 books256 followers
Kathleen Hale was born in Wisconsin and graduated from Harvard in 2010. She is the author of two novels, NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE YOU and NOTHING BAD IS GOING TO HAPPEN (the latter is forthcoming from HarperTeen in 2015). She also writes pieces for places like Vice.com. One of her personal essays, "Quit Everything," will appear in the collection NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE, forthcoming from Simon and Schuster this fall.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,136 reviews
Profile Image for Beth.
300 reviews566 followers
March 23, 2015

I am not part of a Goodreads mafia. I am not trying to surreptitiously ruin Hale's career through some kind of Illuminati conspiracy. (Though I suppose it would suit somebody who has to stoop to those lows to think so, wouldn't it?) She has done something that makes me feel physically ill just to think about, something that makes me afraid to air my honest opinion because I feel afraid for my safety. Let that sink in - it's a big one. She invaded a reviewer's privacy and tried to villianise her for something that she herself validated, in my opinion, by STALKING HER BECAUSE OF A BAD REVIEW. I am being careful with my words here - I can't say what I would like to say lest I be dismissed as a troll.

For example: am I buying into her conspiracy myth if I rate this book one-star? By even writing this review at all, do I unknowingly prove her point?

The conclusion that I've come to is no. I am not doing this out of some desire to drive Hale out of business, and I do not have cronies to minister. I am writing a review because I am appalled by the fact that an author can treat a reviewer like this and supposedly provoke discussion. People will have heard of Hale's name and, by extension, her book, who never would have thought twice about it. This is not the Goodreads mafia -- this is a fact of human decency. So I'm writing this because, while a published author gets to air her grievances in one of our biggest newspapers, the reviewers do not. It's not the Guardian, but it's something.

Readers and reviewers are in a symbiotic relationship. Book reviewers love to read. I've never met one yet who doesn't - especially those who do it (profoundly, intelligently and articulately, in almost every incident) on the Internet, almost always for free. We all love to have opinions, too. Not all of those opinions will be good. Almost every person who reviews regularly on Goodreads has an array of ratings, reviews and opinions, and that's what a site like Goodreads exists for. When I say, "You wouldn't have a career without us," it's not a threat. It's a fact. Reviewers are not trolls. It is possible to have critiques without specifically hurting an author's feelings. It would never be my intention.

This is absolutely not intended as me blackballing Hale. Just answer me this: I buy something from a designer (somebody who inherently depends on my patronage to make money). I don't like it, I think it's ugly, I say so to the salesgirl. The designer is eavesdropping and takes this incredibly personally. They then follow me, exploit their position to get my incredibly personal information, presume to know my life, and write an article in which they slander me. On this basis, does that person deserve to take my money again? If I had a board where I could report their behaviour, wouldn't I? How do you think the rest of the company would respond to that? Would that person get a good reference? No. In fact, the odds of them working in that industry again is pretty small given the behaviour they have undertaken of their own free will. Why is this any different? That's not a rhetorical question. Please. Comment below and tell me why this is different.

For all you people saying, "well, she admitted she did something wrong": no, she did not. She made a faint shake at the concept of being 'crazy' while gloating about how "vindicated" she felt, imagining a conversation that she felt entitled to have. Vindicated when she was exposing the humiliating personal details of a woman who clearly did not want them to be exposed, like she was a detective in a story. She placed them on the Internet and is being treated as a defender of an artist's right to expression and our twenty-first century Internet culture. She was made righteous and spectacular by that Guardian article and it makes me sick. She does tons of magazine writing, and so she well knows that when you write an article like hers, you make yourself the protagonist. You command an immediate sympathy and importance -- once she has relentlessly and shamelessly exploited, (presumably) for her monetary gain. If she truly believed she had done something wrong, she wouldn't be throwing around words like this supposedly book-blogging 'mafia' who apparently considers her of such primary importance that they would persecute her above all else. It's classical rhetorical manipulation, again designed to make herself look like the victim (and yet still superior and more important than those who finance her beloved career and so-great-we-mustn't-criticise-them novels.)

For all you people saying, "there's wrong on both sides": no, there is not. I literally do not care about your name, your address, your job, because, frankly, who the hell am I to judge? I love your reviews. I love your writing. That's what's important to me. No, it's not right to bring up personal information from the author's past - but, equally, it was not right for her to invade another person's life the way she did, and you know what? Nobody should care. I do not. Reviews are art, too, and they should hypothetically be an integral part of every writing experience that you plan to make public. You have the right to be treated with decency and respect - but so do your reviewers. This is the double bind that reviewers find ourselves in. We cannot do to Hale what she did to us; otherwise we are "just as bad" (and, yes, we would be). We cannot discuss what happened in her past and we cannot throw the same accusations at her - then we prove her point. We are simply stuck. We must be restrained, and polite, and even-handed - luxuries that she did not give us. She opened a door, and yet she is still able to control what comes through it. Why - because she's a published author who can write this stuff in newspapers, and we're just nobodies behind a computer screen? Is that all there is to it?

When you put a book out there, you put it out there to be judged. I would never condone discussing a writer's appearance or any other non-pertinent fact of their life in a review. Exactly what Hale has done to another human being. What is it exactly about some writers that they consider themselves so spectacular, so special and important, that they think they can put a book out there for mass judgement and have it...not be judged? Why not just leave it in your shoebox for the rest of your life, where you will never be forced to endure the sad fact that not everyone will think you are a literary genius?

*an addendum: a lot of people, me included, have described what happened to the blogger as "humiliating." I'd like to explain a little by what I mean by that, because I don't think the blogger should be humiliated. She posted a review, which was well-argued and succinct - nobody had to agree with it - notice that not once in Hale's article does she reference specifically what was said about the book, and perhaps that is because, if Hale had quoted the review in full, she would've exposed the truth - which is that the review, while critical, was not the trolling character assassination she wishes to paint it as. It picked up problems with the book, MANY of which have been echoed in similar reviews - all of which was supported by the contents of the story.

But never let the facts get in the way of a good story, right?

And that is precisely why I - and many other reviewers - have been so disgusted by the article she wrote. I have 128 friends on Goodreads. This isn't the first Goodreads 'friend' who has been stalked to her home. One of my friends - actually a published author herself - closed her account because she was being so harassed for publishing her own honest opinions and opened another another an untrackable alias - all of which were entirely fair and subjective. That's not even getting into the number of people I know who have been cyber-bullied, followed by exes, abused by their family - how are we supposed to judge anybody's right to an alias? However much Hale would have it so, this reviewer did not invade her privacy or personally insult her on any level. I've never considered using a fake name or an address -- but, hell, now maybe I would. You think I'm the only person who feels this way?

What I mean by "humiliating" is that I saw Hale's article as a deliberate attempt to HUMILIATE the reviewer. That was the intention, with things were neither important, material nor anybody else's damn business. When I read her article, I felt that I was watching a kind of nightmare - a writer had done what all writers done best, and spun a story - a story for which she is now being lauded and celebrated. Hale has behaved illegally, immorally, has twisted and fancied up the story, and has succeeded in being treated like the victim. It's repulsive, one-sided and inaccurate. She's riding a popular wave of finding and punishing trolls - and, in cases like Robin Williams' daughter being chased off Twitter by trolls mocking about her father's suicide, who could blame them? That is not this. All writers love their angle. She has done a crafty thing, and made a personal vengeance a thinkpiece.

I am not kidding. Do not read this book. Please, please, please, do not read this book, not even out of morbid curiosity. If you have respect for your fellow Goodreads bloggers, do not. This is genuinely one of the most horrifying and disturbing things I've ever read - and, sadly, I'm not talking about the book. Maybe Hale should've, rather than what she has actually done.

I'm glad I live across the pond, but, hey, there's never such a thing as too careful. Shame on you, Hale. I would have read this eventually.

So let's finish off with every victim-blamers' mantra:

You've done this to yourself.

And, frankly, Kathleen Hale - in this one, special, solitary incident - you have.
Profile Image for Ceilidh.
233 reviews569 followers
August 28, 2013
Between the darkly humorous knitted nightmare cover and the comparisons to Fargo in the early publicity for the book, I was suitably intrigued. To be honest, I’ve been suffering from something of a YA slump for a while now and I was mostly glad to have a young adult read pique my interest after a long drought.

This review contains spoilers.

Let’s get this out of the way: “No One Else Can Have You” is otherwise a 3 star book. With a driven and interesting heroine who sticks to the right side of quirky, a claustrophobic small town setting akin to Fargo & Twin Peaks without the supernatural elements, and a seriously well considered take on grief and its varying effects on the bereaved, the book had a lot going for it. For the first half, I was enjoying myself. Granted, certain elements didn’t work and the central mystery is predictable but I didn’t mind so much because the intrigue of the journey far outweighed the obviousness of the destination (although it did begin to grate on me that Kippy clearly held the answers to all the mysteries in her hand – with Ruth’s diary, to which we are treated to sporadic readings from when the plot demands it – but such information is delayed to keep the story going).

Then it fell apart. Two things happened.

First, there is a domestic violence joke. To give the scene its full context, Kippy goes undercover to a therapy group session she previously attended as a child, dedicated to a non-physical approach for those prone to violence. She takes along her dead friend’s older brother, a former soldier who admits he suffers from PTSD and is missing a finger due to an incident which is disclosed later. The cover story she gives is that he is her boyfriend and he is beating her. The scene is played for humour, and there is later a punch-line along the lines of “Well, maybe next time you’ll hug her instead of beating her” (I won’t provide the full quote until nearer the release date due to possible restrictions placed on ARCs).

Domestic violence isn’t funny. It shouldn’t be used as a wacky plot point to get some laughs.

The moment that scene happened, I knew I wouldn’t be giving the book anything higher than 1 star. It completely tainted the rest of the book for me. It was a completely unnecessary scene and in hugely bad taste.

Sadly, it got worse.

Later on, Kippy is falsely institutionalised for supposed delusions. She is sent to a sanatorium populated with the kind of quirky and wacky patients you expect to see in a Will Ferrell comedy. Kippy’s roommate is a young woman who believes herself to be a middle aged male British police officer. Of course, her moments are played for laughs. Even in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, there was at least some acknowledgement of the terrible attitudes and treatment directed at the mentally ill. Here, there is nothing, and it’s honestly embarrassing. We as a society tend to label things as “crazy” or “loony” when what we really mean is “a bit odd” or “out of the ordinary”. This ableist attitude is something I myself have been guilty of and am trying to fix. The author’s dismissive attitude towards something as serious as mental illness really is unforgivable. To use a sanatorium as a cheap shock twist for her heroine is bizarre at best and cruel at worst.

I can’t overlook the problematic when I see it, no matter how many other positive elements I can find in a story. “No One Else Can Have You” is the perfect example of that. It’s a solid and often very entertaining read that will forever be the book with the gross ableism and domestic violence jokes to me. You may be able to enjoy the book while acknowledging its problems. Sadly, I can’t.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rose.
1,872 reviews1,055 followers
Shelved as 'not-my-cup-of-tea'
October 18, 2014
Simply stated, I will never read this book. Ever.
Profile Image for Ade.
126 reviews145 followers
Shelved as 'are-you-serious'
October 18, 2014
Wtf? You stalk someone because they wrote a bad review of your book? Does the author not realize how unbelieveably unhinged she seems now? I wanted to read this, but now I won't for fear of being stalked if I leave a negative review.
August 19, 2017
Review and Rant
I read the Kindle sample. If I had enjoyed it I would have bought the book, but it was really meh, not anything impressive at all. A shame really because if it had been good all the publicity might have generated real interest.

I read the Guardian, this was quite enjoyable in a car-crash kind of way. It did get me to read the Kindle sample, but it did not bias me for or against the book. There are plenty of authors I have no time for as people, like Oscar Wilde, whose books I love and stock in my shop.

Rant. Nothing to do with the book, the author, the newspaper. Just a rant inspired by the storm-in-a-teacup going on right now.

I was on Amazon criticising an electric knife and a blender I bought, contrasting it with the ones I'd had before. Among other things I was saying what I thought of the two manufacturers of the items. I can say that Moulinex products last a lot longer than Hamilton Beach and when something is shiny and silver it is real metal, unlike HB's shiny silver plastic that only looks like metal. I can say these things. I can say that I wouldn't buy Krups because they used slave labour from the concentration camps during WWII and they never made reparations. Is that relevant to the blender? No. Is it relevant to me purchasing from those companies, yes?

Why is criticism of companies but not authors allowed?

On the other hand, I wouldn't expect a Hamilton Beach employee to track me down and stalk me because I wrote a review they didn't like and even if one of the nuttier ones did, I would know for sure that Hamilton Beach executives would certainly not condone such appalling behaviour. Apparently this doesn't apply to publishers.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,577 reviews33.9k followers
October 23, 2014
I'm leaving my original review and rating as is, but hopefully interested parties are aware of the outrageous actions depicted here: http://www.donotlink.com/framed?565100

And there's a great analysis of the controversy here: http://alex-hurst.com/2014/10/21/kath... as well as great pieces on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Dear Author.

There's also a history of previous unprovoked reviewer baiting and outright, self-confessed stalking/assault (let's call it that when you pour a bottle of peroxide on a 14-year-old's head, okay?) and other disturbing behaviors involving animals.

I am glad that it seems GoodReads is leaving these review spaces alone--I suppose if the author confesses in an international publication that she's stalked a reviewer for over a year and shown up at her home, that's official enough documentation to stand as fact, and cannot be dismissed as reviewers ganging up to bully an author.

You know what's unfortunate? I may not have thought this book worked on all levels, but the voice is strong, and the author definitely has a compelling writing style. I even understood/enjoyed her humor to a certain extent, particularly in the brilliant piece she wrote in defense of YA a few months back. I hope she is never, ever picked up by another YA publisher, however. No one should have to go through what Blythe went through, but publishers should especially not be chancing the safety of their teenage readers by giving her another platform to engage with them.

And GoodReads, this is why DNR shelves showed up to begin with: because the potential for escalation in obsessive author behavior has always been there. I hope you'll continue to allow us the right to share information to do what we can to protect ourselves. It's not that much to ask.


2.5 stars Amusing satire, but its charms started wearing thin about halfway through. This would probably make a hilarious movie in the right hands, though.

There are some pretty gory events in this book, but the most horrifying thing for me was learning that people cook hot dogs in mayonnaise and butter and eat that for dinner. *shudder* The stuff of nightmares.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,453 reviews7,562 followers
October 24, 2014
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Here it is, kids. Be gentle . . .

Let me apologize in advance, as this is going to be horrendously long and super rambly. I’m crossing my fingers I don’t get flagged or banned for daring to mention an author in my review, but come on - it’s like the giant pink elephant in the room. I have to address it.

By now, thousands of people have probably read this piece and a collective terror of sorts has arisen in the reviewing community. The obvious thought most reviewers had was “this could have been me.” I’m here to tell you it could have easily been me. You see, I’ve been named as one of the so-called “bullies” by a certain website. My crime? Writing honest reviews about books I don’t like, giving 1 Star ratings where I feel they are due, and having the nerve to create a “never list” for books written by BBAs and super-spammers. I’ve never contacted an author to tell them how much I hated their book – I’ve never told another reviewer their opinion was “wrong” (well, okay, I tell Anne she's wrong all the time, but it's out of love), and yet somehow I’m a bully. You know what has happened, though? I’ve been contacted by an author telling me to remove a bad review. I’ve been told my opinion was wrong . . . and called old . . . and fat . . . and stupid . . . and a bad mother . . . andonandonandon for posting reviews that dare to have an opinion opposite of that of the masses. And you know what? That’s cool. No one has ever come banging on my door, so sticks and stones and all that jazz.

I’m not here to condone anything Ms. Hale did, but I’m not here to villainize her any further either. My goal is simply to read and review books (and hopefully score some free ARCs here and there in the process - speaking of, I still owe you that favor, Neil Patrick Harris *wink wink*). I’m not a psychologist, but there must have been some kind of issue that caused rational thought to fly out the window and a person to rent that car in order to confront a complete stranger at their front door.

Like I said, I have a “never ever list” containing a lot of books that have come to light from circumstances waaaaay less extreme than this. Mind you, many of these books fall into the “special snowflake” category of stuff I probably wasn’t going to read anyway, but I want a shelf that reminds me what not to buy when I’m perusing the cheapies at Amazon or the local used book stores and see a title that looks familiar. The difference with No One Else Can Have You was that it was on my “to read” list already . . . and I was really looking forward to it. The title, the synopsis, the cover (gah (if you've read the book, you'll get that reference) that cover is still one of the best I’ve seen this year) all had me intrigued. But like books tend to do when your TBR is at “infinity,” No One Else Can Have You got pushed down the line with the addition of even more titles. Then the terrible awful happened and it popped back on my radar – and I promptly put it on the “never list” (along with about eleventy billion other readers) – but then I thought to myself: “Self, why don’t we just do an experiment and give this one here a looksee? After all, it was on your TBR for a reason.” I decided I’d read it if it were available through the library and by golly it was.

I went home last night and told my husband what I was doing and he said “WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU READING THAT? HOLY SHIT ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!?!?!?!?” which was pretty impressive since we’ve been married 126 dog years and he tends to tune out a bit when it comes to my stories of the trials and tribulations of Goodreads.

I cooked dinner (and read) – I let the dogs out (and read) – I broke up a fight between my two heathen children (bad mother, remember?) (and read) – I took the world’s fastest shower (and then read) – I updated that I was going to stop reading and go to sleep, but guess what? I didn’t (spoiler alert: I read). I couldn’t put this book down. I know it was probably partially driven due to the fact that I had people telling me they were waiting for my review, but it was also because I thought it was good. Surprisingly good. Especially for a first-time author.

Please note that I believe the old saying about opinions (in case you live under a rock and don’t know – they’re like assholes ‘cause everybody’s got one). I don’t fault another reviewer for having an opinion that differs from mine (and I suspect I’ll get some backlash for being an apologist of certain subjects contained in this book). Here’s the deal. I’m not easily offended –I actively seek out books containing offensive subject matter sometimes. No, I don’t mean stuff written by hate mongers and bigots – just “pushing the envelope” kind of fiction when it comes to the taboo. Some of my favorite authors push the envelope for a living – specifically Megan Abbott in the YA genre and Chuck Palahniuk when it comes to . . . well, just about everything (he’s pretty much an equal opportunity offender). Hell, my farking profile picture is me and my dead wild pig head/best buddy Mitchell reading American Psycho together - I’m pretty sure I offend WAAAAAY more people by that alone than will ever get the chance to offend me.

Also note I have zero triggers. Reading about a character doing harm to someone else (or an animal) or drinking or drugs doesn’t hit me on an emotional and/or psychological level. If a character hits a deer with their car and then shoots it to take it out of its misery I don’t think of it as animal abuse – I think of it as life in the Midwest (and I think of how I know people who would then load it in the back of their truck and take it home in order to eat it – blech). If a character says he’s “not going pretend to be some faggot crybaby” my brain doesn’t think the author is a homophobe – rather I think the author is telling me I really shouldn’t like this dude, no matter how good looking/athletic/popular/rich/etc. he’s described as being. If someone writes in their diary how “Lisa does it with everyone on the football team, but pretends she’s some sweet virgin,” I don’t immediately scream “slut shaming!!!” – instead I think boy Ruth’s a real bitch and it’s making it a lot harder to feel sorry about the fact that she’s dead. I read for my enjoyment, plain and simple, and sometimes that enjoyment comes from a “dark” style like No One Else Can Have You.

I’m not going to apologize for enjoying this book – and I don’t expect anyone to apologize to me for not liking it (or for not wanting to read it at all after recent events). I liked Kippy and I think I “got” her. (There’s another term that offends a lot of people – “you didn’t get it.” You know what? I “don’t get” a lot of books my friends like and vice versa – it is what it is). In my opinion – Kippy was . . . developmentally stunted maybe???? I’m not a doctor, so I have no clue what the official term for how Kippy came across to me would be. She lost her mother at a very young age and went through/still is going through some serious emotional problems because of it. Then you add in a psycho-babbly father who has nothing but good intentions, but instead has just made things worse rather than better over the years and you end up with Kippy – her thought processes and fixations are just a little different than most.

Add in a stream of familiar (but not copycat) characters from some of my faves:

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(like the voice of William H. Macy in Fargo for Kippy’s father)

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(and the über –Christian/pure awful classmate like Mandy Moore in Saved)

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(and the Dianne Sawyer obsessed Kippy)

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(and the bumbling cops who you just know could be convinced to do a desk-pop)

and my enjoyment level went right through the roof. Yeah, I knew who did it right away, but guess what? I didn’t give a shit ‘cause the ride to the end was so much fun. That’s not to say I found this book to be 100% problem free. No, I thought it was probably 50 pages too long and the accents really grated on me, but they were minor problems that didn’t lessen my pleasure all that much. I found myself giggle-snorting out loud a couple of times (yes, more than likely at inappropriate things) and read the entire book in one evening. Now that I’m done with the book and this review all I can think is “whyyyyy??????” Why would someone with so much talent shoot herself in the foot like this? Why that review/reviewer? Why not ignore the mediocre and flat-out bad reviews and focus on the nearly 1,000 5 and 4 Star reviews here on Goodreads instead? Why????? It’s just a shame : (
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,645 reviews5,110 followers
February 4, 2015
so Fargo and Twin Peaks knocked boots and had this kid No One Else Can Have You. on the outside the kid seemed like she really had it going on, smart and funny and strange and even stylish, all the good things. well you know the phrase Don't judge a book by its cover? or Pretty is as pretty does? kinda relevant here.

spoiler fail : if you are planning on reading this one, I advise you to go no further. but you probably will. sigh.

mystery fail : there's no "mystery" if the mystery can be solved by the reader within a few chapters. and I'm no genius either. with no suspense, the only thing remaining is the frustration of a reader snorting in derision at a heroine who is blatantly ignoring so many obvious clues.

homage fail : there's a difference between an "homage" and a "rip-off". so this book has all those Fargo-isms repeated again and again. and then again and again. and then some more. it also has a mystery right out of Twin Peaks, complete with a beautiful dead girl with a scandalous diary and a scandalous affair; it even has kooky-sinister characters and crying cops and a sadistic torture-murder. and that faux-naïf tone is all over the place too. but what does it bring to the table of its own? I dunno. but there's a couple things it doesn't bring that are both included in Fargo and Twin Peaks: depth and resonance.

satire fail : there were many satiric moments and stylized characters in Fargo and Twin Peaks. it seems like Hale was trying to do the same thing, what with her cartoonish characters saying and doing all sorts of cartoonish things. the main difference: the book is not very funny. the humor is strident and Hale's jokes land with all the sharp and subtle wit of a sledgehammer blow to the head. was there no editor in the house to call attention to all of the excruciating bits of tryhard "comedy"? comedic or otherwise, the dialogue in general was cringe-worthy, reaching an early low in a scene between the heroine and what I assume was an attempt to satirically depict a boorish lawyer. ugh, the lines that came out of that character.

characterization fail : a killer who has all the heavy-breathing hallmarks of a killer from some cheap 80s slasher... oh shit he even has a lazy eye and he's one of those freaky awkward gamers, what a weirdo... uh, no. his monologue at the end is so asinine, so hilariously bad that I sort of want people I know to read it just so we can roll our eyes at each other and make it some kind of running joke in our conversations.

but wait, there's more! so much more fail. a murder victim whose diary entries are supposed to come across as smart and sassy Laura Palmer-ish but instead read like the mean-spirited slobberings of someone so dick-hungry that they can barely see straight. a repulsive, pathetic cop who is suddenly and preposterously "humanized" in the last few pages? a repulsive, pathetic father whose bizarre behavior is only there to provide wince-worthy eccentricity and a stupid plot twist? fail and fail again. worst of all, the heroine: a 16-year-old intended to be quirky-clever-awesome but who talks and thinks like she's a dull-witted 10-year-old buffoon. such a laughable gap between authorial intention and the actual execution.

empathy fail : I'm not one of those reviewers who are looking for their ideal boy or girl within the pages of a book. because that's what The Real Fucking World™ is for, that's where I get to pick and choose. even though I'm probably not going to find my perfect ideal there either. anyway. within the pages of a book, I'm looking for interesting and hopefully at least semi-realistic characters, not dream dates, so if one character refers to another as a "pansy" and another character uses the word "faggot", I'm not going to wet my pants in dismay because, well, that's how some people actually talk and think. in life and in this book. an author can put those words into characters' mouths and that should be fine because it doesn't mean the author is condoning such things, it means they are trying to reflect reality. I'm talking to YOU, fellow reviewers. this book is not homophobic.

but Hale fails the sensitivity test in another regard: mental illness, which is mocked crudely and mercilessly. the very idea of "mental illness" is apparently a joke to Hale because she repeatedly sets up scenes that are obviously meant to be full of lolz. hahaha mental illness is so retarded, amiright? that's the impression I'm getting from Hale the author - NOT just from her characters. and fuck, that was really disappointing to realize. like on a human level. an author can write about complicated or negative characters who casually display insensitivity and that's fine. but for the author to also display that casual insensitivity, that lack of empathy? ugh, gross. and speaking of insensitivity...

YA fail : the target audience is clearly the young adult market. at least that's the section of the bookstore where I found this book. the uncluttered, straightforward, even simplistic prose also make this clear. (that last phrase was not meant to be insulting to the genre, one in which I have many favorites.) so... if you are an author who is gearing your book towards presumably impressionable youth who are right in the middle of growing up and trying to figure out who they are and what their place in the world is and what sorts of lives they are living and are planning to live... WHY ARE YOU MAKING UNFUNNY JOKES AND COMING UP WITH CREEPY SCENARIOS ABOUT PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL SPOUSAL ABUSE LIKE IT'S ALL SO LULZY AND NOT ACTUALLY A SERIOUS, REAL ISSUE?

what. the. fuck. now I know that teens are not cloistered little nuns and I'm not about Protect Teh Children. but come on, a little responsibility towards the market that you are trying to extract dollars from would be nice. is that too much to ask?

tl;dr? ok then, here's a synopsis of my take on the book:

and because this is a YA review, here's my gif synopsis:

 photo FAIL_zpsvtogbfgw.gif

hey if you are going to comment on this review, please do me a solid by not talking about the real life behavior of the warped troubled author and her victim. I know it is a fascinating and/or infuriating topic but I'm not too interested in those kinds of things when I'm talking about an author's book. and there are other reviews you can do that on. thank you in advance!
589 reviews1,031 followers
October 19, 2014
And that was the last straw. Stalking a reviewer by driving to their house because they gave you a negative review? There's something wrong with the world and now it just got even more messed up. I've deleted my review and rating.
Profile Image for Debbie.
295 reviews128 followers
October 20, 2014
My reaction to this book from beginning to end.

Was reading this book worth my time? Nope, not at all. Maybe it's the fact that I've read a stream of serious topic books lately that I had high hopes for this one but it fell so flat. Flat on its ass. I can't count how many times I've fallen asleep while reading this.

The writing style feels too forced and awkward which made Kippy too awkward to even try to like. Readers are constantly told that she watches many TV shows and journalists yet she' s constantly making childish mistakes while investigating crime scenes. I felt like the author was trying too hard to make the killer mysterious that she didn't care that kippy is a horrible character who leaves her car in front of crime scenes, gloats about all the secrets she knows to suspects, and leaves evidence where people can just take it. I mean, come on! Did I mention that she treats her super nice dad like shit? Because she does every time she's around him. In the story, there are a few eyebrow raising scenes because of the way they're handed as jokes, whether it was Hale's intention or not, it's angering and disgusting the way abuse and mental illness es are treated in the book.

The cover is so creepy! I love it. That's all I liked about this book.

No One Else Can Have You feels like a complete stupidly boring joke that's more awkward satire than gritty and dark. I don't recommend this to anyone unless you enjoy boring stories with a pretty predictable killer. Mystery novels should never be read one after another or else trends are easy to spot. I have learned my lesson.
Author 5 books589 followers
September 6, 2015
This review will go into great detail. If you're interested in reading this book and being surprised by plot developments, you shouldn't read this.

The novel starts with a killer premise – literally. Kippy Bushman, a sixteen-year-old who lives in a tiny town in Wisconsin, is in shock. Her best friend Ruth has just been murdered. And it happened when Ruth was on her way over to Kippy's house for a sleepover. Although Ruth's body was found hanging from a tree, we know this was a murder rather than suicide. Ruth's mouth was sewn shut with red thread after her mouth was stuffed full of straw.

Ruth didn't have a car, so Kippy keeps thinking about how she should have given Ruth a ride over. She obsesses over how close Ruth came to reaching Kippy's house safely – "They discovered her less than two hundred yards away from our back door. She almost made it." But Kippy also finds herself feeling annoyed at Ruth for not being with her when she's supposed to be. She feels "a sort of vague annoyance, like Ruth has gone somewhere and not invited me."

Ruth's last name is Fried, pronounced "freed." People were always calling her "Ruth Fried, like a fried egg."

"Do you think it would help if I put some of those pronunciation symbols next to my name in the yearbook?" she asked me once. "I'm yearbook vice president, so I could probably totally do that – Wait, sorry, does it sound like I'm bragging?"

"I think you're very conservative with your power," I told her honestly.

We're given a sense of Kippy's relationship with Ruth in such flashbacks. We're also told that neither of them are thrilled to live in their tiny Wisconsin town:

Ruth was the only person I ever knew who wanted to be somewhere else as much as I did. The only one who got what I meant when I said, "Friendship as in you and me is great, but Friendship, Wisconsin, sometimes feels like a bad dream that's too boring to be called a nightmare."

Kippy has been asked to deliver Ruth's eulogy by Ruth's mother, who also gives Kippy Ruth's diary. This isn't so much a gift as another writing assignment. Mrs. Fried wants Kippy to "redact the sex parts."

Kippy obediently begins to read the journal. Rather than looking for sexy-time entries, she searches for her own name. Ruth's handwriting is terrible. Fortunately, capital K's are distinctive, so she finds herself relatively easily.

Ruth here. Kippy is so pathetic it makes me nauseous. She just told me that sometimes she gets lonely before bed and talks out loud to me like I'm there, like a fucking prayer, like I'm some god or something!!! If we lived anywhere else, like any place remotely interesting, I'd have way more options, and she and I wouldn't even know each other.

Stunned, Kippy reads more about herself:

Today I told Kippy to get a hobby so it's not so obvious she's crushing on me.

Kippy also learns that Ruth has been making time with someone other than her boyfriend Colt. She's also had a sexual relationship with local lawyer Jim Steele, a.k.a. Uncle Jimmy.

I assume this is what the reviewer Blythe Harris was referring to when she mentioned this book having statutory rape. But Ruth is 18. It's still completely disgusting for a fifty-year-old man to have sex with her, but sadly it isn't illegal.

Anyway. Kippy has lost her best friend twice in the same week: first to a murderer, then to the truth.

So when Ruth's older brother Davey insists that Colt couldn't possibly be the murderer, Kippy is skeptical. Colt is a jerk – everyone knows that. He's the gorgeous football player who can do no wrong, so when he does wrong he doesn't get in trouble for it. He smashes mailboxes for fun. Which is better than putting a dead skunk in one, which he also does. He defaces the homes of girls who say no to him. He starts a town-wide botulism scare. Suffice to say, he's bad news. So, football hero or no, people are willing enough to turn on him when he's arrested for Ruth's murder.

Davey insists Colt couldn't have done it, and Kippy is swayed by his arguments. He's older and much more intelligent than Kippy, but she's the one who figures out who really committed the murder. In the process, she continues to decipher Ruth's diary. She learns a lot about herself and her best friend, who – hey! – turns out to have been pretty fond of Kippy after all.

We learn a lot about Kippy, too. How for a long time she can't stop feeling guilty about Ruth's death:

What if I'd called earlier and Ruth was still alive? And then something even more terrifying hits: What if I keep asking myself that question for the rest of my life?

We learn that her mother died years ago, and that before the brain cancer killed her, it destroyed her mind and made her see terrifying things that weren't there:

I kept trying to see her monsters out of sympathy. I imagined them living in a creepy castle surrounded by storm clouds, and visiting our house in shifts. I spun my brain creating them, squinting until bright spots formed behind my eyelids and I could carve out creatures with the stardust. I'd pretend so hard that they were real – mostly to pretend she wasn't crazy, which she was.

Pretty good stuff, that.

So why didn't this book work for me?

A lot of reasons, unfortunately.

1. The awkward structure.

The first bit of the book is a third-person omniscient prologue – a conversation between a police officer and a woman he's trying to calm down so she can tell him what the matter is. Initially, I found this short prologue a little annoying because of all the "This is Wisconsin, don'tcha know" subtlety. Later I found them baffling. Why are they here? Who wrote them?

Yes, I know Hale did. What I mean is: The rest of the book is Kippy's first-person present-tense narration of events, or else writing she could get her hands on: a newspaper article, some Facebook postings, and Ruth's diary entries. So this book exists either as a story Kippy is supposed to have written, or a peek into Kippy's head.

Where does that initial narrative fit into either of those scenarios? For that matter, how are we seeing the sheriff's logbook later on?

Also, why have this material? It's not necessary to the storytelling. And even with the bits of Ruth's diary we're allowed to see, there's not enough falling into third-person to make it feel like an integral part of the storytelling. When the narrative does suddenly swing into third-person narrative, it's jolting.

2. Ick.

There was a lot of ick in this novel. The details of Ruth's murder were the least of my problems in this respect, even after I learned she'd been cut open and disemboweled.

I've never liked disgusting details, even as a kid. But I can deal. Especially if the story is compelling.

So I gritted my teeth and hung in there with all the details of deer hunting and gutting. I was all right when Kippy described being left alone with her mother's ashes and getting caught "elbow deep in remains." I was less than thrilled by the details of Kippy's friend Ralph's parents being killed when they hit a ten-point buck on the highway and were gored by its antlers. And then, yay! Same page, here's a description of Kippy being in the car with Ralph and hitting a deer. The blood, the sound of a dear screaming, the importance of aiming for the head when you shoot a deer – what fun.

It was one too many descriptions of human excretions that did me in so far as reading this at the table was concerned. And that's where I do a lot of my reading.

So far, these are minor quibbles. Let's get to a serious problem with the story.

3. How old did you say you are, dear?

The extended quotes I offered are from early in the book. In these, Kippy sounds like what she is: a sixteen-year-old girl.

Very soon, however, this book starts to feel as if it were written by a middle-grade student. There's a difference between being a little naïve and sounding eleven years old:

I thought love meant wanting all the time for somebody to be alive – I mean it's not like if you don't love someone, you want them to be dead, or anything. But if you've chosen somebody, like really picked them out, then death is kind of where you draw the line, right?

This is supposed to have been written by a college-bound sixteen-year-old. I guess it's supposed to be cute and artless, but it's rather disconcerting to have an alleged teenager dealing with some very dark doings and sounding like an anxious and whiny pre-teen. This gets creepy when she and Davey, who's 21, start kissing.

4. Talking funny = characterization.

There's very little in the way of characterization in this book. We're told Kippy's dad is an old-fashioned Wisconsin Republican; but he never does anything conservative. On the other hand, he says things like "Is this a female body-image thing?" and "Everything you're feeling is valid," because he's a "trained psychologist."

Characters in this book have verbal tics rather than personalities. If you find the writing charming, this won't bother you. I was uncharmed.

5. You did what?

Kippy has an important "actually, come to think of it" moment after the announcement that Colt's been arrested for Ruth's murder. She's been thinking about Colt's past misbehaviors, and how he smashed her family's mailbox twice:

The more I think about it, destroying my mailbox wasn't the first time Colt targeted my house.

Kippy recalls that Colt once graffitied her home with a picture of a rattle and the words "MA-MA!" after her mother died. At the time, she told Ruth, "Only a psycho makes fun of someone for not having a mom." Later, when Ruth starts dating Colt, Kippy goes ballistic and asks what Ruth thinks she's doing, dating a guy who would do something like that to anyone, let alone Ruth's best friend.

Oh, wait. No. Kippy has no reaction at all.

Really? If your best friend starts dating a guy who did something like that to you after your mother died, it's not on like Donkey Kong?

Later, Kippy's cell phone rings. She looks down to see who it is.

Ruth cell calling...

Pretend this is you. You just looked down to see that you're getting a call from your dead friend's phone. Your recently murdered dead friend. What's your reaction?

I asked several people, and they all gave me the same answer: they'd feel freaked out because that's really creepy, and then they'd wonder who the heck had their friend's phone.

Well, that's what Kippy does, too!

Oh, wait. It isn't. Instead, Kippy gets excited because this means Ruth is alive. It's all been a big mistake! The newspaper article, the arrest of the suspected murderer, Ruth's parents sitting shiva, the funeral, the eulogy, the diary – all just some colossal mix-up!

No. Just no. I don't care how quirky you are. (More about the quirky in a minute.) That's so unrealistic, it yanked me right out of the story.

That kind of unbelievable action/reaction kept happening; and although I finished the book, it was a chore rather than a pleasure long before I finally reached the end.

6. Yep. Slut-shaming.

Lisa Staake, the daughter of the local sheriff, is described by the narrator as being "like some kind of blonde rabbit in heat." Later, she says to the sheriff, "Your daughter's a hoochie mama." Lovely.

If there can be a more generalized sense of slut-shaming, Kippy is the innocent girl in the horror movie who's completely nonsexual and survives, and Ruth is the one who enjoys sex and is killed. These do not seem unrelated. We keep getting flashbacks to conversations between Ruth and Kippy in which Ruth accuses Kippy of being jealous that Ruth has a boyfriend, or says they'll have to work on getting Kippy a boyfriend, or teasing her about being a virgin. It feels like Halloween all over again – thank goodness the innocent heroine keeps her pants on! That's how a girl stays alive in this big bad world, people!

And then there's Libby Quinn, a minor character who has "gigantic boobs." These seem to be her defining characteristic. Okay, her second defining characteristic. She has large breasts and she's a mean girl. Those two are inextricably linked in scene after scene, whether it's Libby pretending to be nice to Kippy at Ruth's funeral:

She's about a head taller than me in her heels, and when she pulls me toward her I land face-first against her gigantic boobs.

Or Libby pretending to be concerned about Kippy in front of the school's guidance counselor:

"You know exactly what I'm talking about." She shifts so that her boob is smushed against my shoulder and our thighs are touching all the way to the knee.

[Next page] "Libby, come on." I try to shrug her boob off me but it's too heavy.

[Page after that] Libby presses her boob harder into my arm.

Needless to say, Kippy is completely flat-chested and not only a virgin, but has "never experienced physical contact with a boy." Which I guess makes her as good as a girl can get.

7. The murderer

First I was annoyed because I guessed who did it early on. Then I was annoyed because the reason I guessed was that it's obvious that it couldn't have been a stranger, and it couldn't have been Kippy (though that would have been awesome). It wasn't Colt – that's why Kippy's doing all this investigating. And having it be the fifty-year-old guy Ruth was having the affair with didn't feel right, either.

So – who else hasn't the author mentioned in a really, really, really long time?

Last chance to be able to read the book yourself and be surprised by the ending.

It's Kippy's friend Ralph. And that ticks me off no end.

Because of course it's Ralph! I mean, look at him! He's weird! He's a gamer! Those people who play those online shoot-'em-up games are just bad news!

Plus he has a lazy eye! So he's creepy-looking!

Ralph gapes at me, and one of his eyes rolls slightly to the left.

And he's really intelligent:

Before Ralph got so into video games, engineering programs and tech schools all over Wisconsin and even outside the state were sending him postcards to apply. But Ralph dragged his feet, and then Mr. and Mrs. Johnston died, and Ralph inherited the house, and suddenly he wouldn't code at all anymore.

When Kippy and her dad withdraw and behave in weird, sometimes destructive, antisocial ways after Kippy's mom dies, that's just how they grieve. When Ralph pulls inward and starts playing video games nonstop after both his parents die – and it's been less than a year since that horrible car accident – it's an early sign he's a psycho killer.

Plus – and I almost can't believe the author would plant such an obvious clue so early on in the book – not only does Ralph buy lots of "collectibles and weird figurines," many of these are based on Norse mythology.

Yes. Can you believe it? The guy might as well run around wearing a shirt that says "IF I DIDN'T KILL HER, I SURE WANTED TO. (P.S. I did kill her.)"

Because, DUH. Think about it. Who's totally famous for loving Norse mythology?

Okay, aside from J.R.R. Tolkien.

I'll give you a hint. His initials are ADOLF FREAKIN' HITLER.

Yes. The author has Ralph describe Kippy in Nazi-rific terms – very late in the book, and bear in mind he's never said anything like this before:

Between her easy smile and Aryan features, she has an angelic quality.

And that's what tips Kippy off.

Ralph is racist...ish. All of his Thor dolls and Norse mythology – that's Nazi stuff, isn't it?

Um. I guess.

Other than the fact that I know plenty of gamer nerds who like Norse mythology. And non-gamers, thanks to the Thor movies.

The fact is, it's ridiculous and forced to have Ralph be the murderer. Really forced. Remember Kippy's "Oh, hey, I totally just now remembered something that would have been really important to a real person" moment about Colt? 320 pages into a 380-page book, she has another delayed memory incident:

He did kind of have a thing for Ruth. I hated her for thinking he was creepy. But now I remember how she was the only one he paused his video games for. Ruth even told me once that he was always staring at her, and that it made her uncomfortable. Only back then I figured she was just being full of herself.

Why? Why, when this is your best friend whom you love so much it's understandable she thinks you're "crushing on" her, would you brush something like that aside? Especially when your dad's a freakin' psychologist and you're supposed to be intelligent and observant?

Colt, the one who "kind of tortured everyone, come to think of it," turns out to be just fine. Not a murderer, anyway. Just a prankster! Silly Colt, who "had this weird habit of pranking all the girls he hooked up with, as a way to embarrass them for not going far enough, or just to break up with them"! What a kidder!

And last but so not least my brain's been screaming with it since I started reading this book:

8. Quirky! Quirky! Quirky!

The novel starts out with a scene from the motel Kippy and her father are staying in:

My name is Kippy Bushman, and I am bereaved. Right now I'm bereaved on the toilet. Well, not like going to the bathroom or anything, more like using it as a chair. For some reason the motel put a television in here, so I've got the seat down and my pajamas on with my knees pulled up toward my face.

My first thought on reading this was, "Really? The TV's in the bathroom? Um, okay."

That's a sign of things to come. In Friendship, Wisconsin, even the motel bathrooms are quirky.

So are the people. Every last one of them.

And not just bathroom-TV quirky. WAY quirky.

Look at Miss Rosa, the instructor at the local anger-management class! She's Polish, so she talks funny! (See point 4, above.)

"Once I raise the puppies for money," she said. "The splendor make me wild. I squeeze too hard – poof! – many dead."

I think this is supposed to be funny. As is this:

One time during a meditation session I let myself fall asleep on her shoulder and she pinched me. "Don't be closer please," she said. "I am wanting for to strangle."

Kippy returns to this class, bringing Davey with her. She's convinced this will help them learn the characteristics of a killer. She says they're there because Davey's abusive:

"I keep hitting her," he says. "But I want to stop."

"You can't see the bruises because they're under my clothes," I add.

And, oh, yeah – Davey lost part of his hand while he was in the military, so Kippy goes along with it when Miss Rosa decides Kippy must have bitten off Davey's finger and that's why they need to take this workshop.


Kippy and her dad used to have a pet cat named Mother Peanut Butter. After the cat died, they got her professionally stuffed and mounted:

And when she's not situated on her favorite spot on the couch, we even make her the centerpiece at our kitchen table.


She keeps Mother Peanut Butter out of the way when Davey comes over for dinner one night, though:

Dom is frying hot dogs in mayonnaise and butter, breaking up white bread into a bowl with his free hand.


Kippy is briefly committed to a mental institution. Her roommate is a twelve-year-old American girl who's convinced she's a forty-year-old male detective from Scotland Yard.

Friendship, Wisconsin: A place where even the mentally ill are adorably quirky.

There's little room for mild response to the humor in this novel. If you don't love it, you'll loathe it.

I didn't love it.

One star, and please let me forget this book quickly.
Profile Image for Jasmine.
250 reviews330 followers
October 19, 2014
You know, I was very much excited to read this. I even tried to read it last night in a failed attempt to separate the art from the artiest. But I'm afraid I cannot do this. I can't read a book by someone who stalked a reviewer.

I don't CARE how bad that review was. You don't go to someone's house over it! You don't breach their privacy and phone them at work over it!

I cannot continue with the book. And if that makes me seem like a bitch, then so be it. I'm sorry for being a bitch with moral grounds.

Profile Image for Has.
268 reviews148 followers
Shelved as 'books-to-avoid'
October 20, 2014
No one will want you.
Not when you hunt them down.
Hide your wives,
Hide your husbands,
Hide your kids,
Hide your pets,
cos hell is in town.

reason why this book is not for me is this:
Profile Image for Becki .
353 reviews111 followers
January 28, 2014
1 Star

This was a DNF. This is not a proper review. Just my thoughts on why I couldn't finish it.

The gist of the story is we have two best friends. One gets murdered and the other has to look for the killer because local police are about a useless as tits on a bull. How typical.

The best part of the book was the prologue. That was awesome it just reeled me in and slapped me that's how good it was. Unfortunately little did I Know the prologue was on the precipice of a mountain. It went down, way down from there.

Characters: Kippy irritated me to no end. It's like she was trying too hard to be weird and different. Oooh I'm the daughter of a psychologist I have to be. It's like shut the hell up.

Everyone else was just so stereotypical. The dopey cop. The ever understanding parent. The kooky neighbour, bad boy boyfriend and obvious suspect etc....

What really pissed me off is the blatant lack of respect for people with PTSD. as well as those abused.

example- " Must be a post war flip out" Yah. No. You don't make snide comments like that. PTSD is a real issue that shouldn't be used for comedic relief.

How about when Kippy and Dave pretend do be an abusive couple, Fuck no!!! that is were I draw the line okay. You do not fake something like that. Not only are you trivializing it, if you ever got caught your are helping to discredit actual victims. FUCKING HELL!!

If any of the issues you read here will offend you, just avoid the whole clusterfuck of a book. You will save yourself a lot of trouble.
Profile Image for Kath S.
354 reviews249 followers
Shelved as 'no-thank-you'
October 19, 2014


Esta mujer stalkeó a una bloguera. La siguió en sus redes sociales (las revisaba TODOS los días) Y FUE HASTA SU CASA!! Sorry, puede que estuviera ofendida por la reseña negativa (APRENDE A LIDIAR CON LAS CRÍTICAS, MUJER!), pero eso no le daba NINGÚN DERECHO a ACECHAR a una persona.

Y sobre la bloguera siendo una catfish:

Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,365 followers
December 11, 2013

Being a huge fan of thrillers and mysteries like these I was really excited to start this one, though I wasn’t very far into it when I realized it was not at all what I expected. For one I could not stand the protagonist at all. She was so very awkward and kind of ridiculous. The best she could do at her best friend’s eulogy was to say Okie Dokie. Gah! Then there’s this small town setting and its annoying quirks that were probably supposed to be charming and atmospheric instead it was simply... weird, I dare say even exaggerated – being from that small a town myself. I only read a little bit of it before I was convinced it was not for me, so feel free to take this semi-review with a grain of salt, maybe I simply wasn’t in the mood for the kind of nonsense story this was already starting to be.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Jay.
514 reviews369 followers
September 6, 2016
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 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.
Profile Image for Cathryn.
334 reviews65 followers
October 18, 2014
I originally put this book on my "reviews say no" shelf because after reading SEVERAL reviews I decided that this book was not for me. The fact that several people DNFd it and the subject matter was not appealing influenced my decision.

However, after reading how utterly batshit fucking crazy this author is I can safely say I will never, EVER buy anything this author produces and this book is definitely getting one star.


Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,954 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
October 19, 2014
*edit* this book has jumped onto my 'no-way-in-hell' mental list. If you want to know, ask. I will leave the review space for book thoughts, according to GR policy.

*original DNF review* I keep trying to get into this book, but will put it down every time to pick up something else.

The small town murder mystery sounded interesting, and the cover amuses me every time I see it (yes, that is a grandma-knit sweater with a hanging moose on it).

Maybe my mood was just off.
Profile Image for Shannon.
3,090 reviews2,361 followers
August 11, 2016
I don't always one-star books I haven't read, but when I do, it's because they fucking deserve it.
Profile Image for Michelle {Book Hangovers}.
453 reviews186 followers
March 18, 2014
Review: No One Else Can Have You  
(I read this back in January and forgot to post my review on booklikes. So here it is. I guess because this book was so, eeehhhhhh, I forgot all about the review. Whoops)

It took a lot for me to finish this book. Thank GAH, like one of the character's says, it was a really easy book to read! "Don't cha know"I was interested at first because it was about a murder in a small town. I like some mystery and suspense, a bit of a thriller. So I checked it out from the library. Glad I didn't buy it b/c I was happy to return this one!
It's about a murder in a small town called Friendship, Wisconsin. Kippy Bushman's best friend, Ruth has been murdered and with the help of Ruth's diary, Kippy does her own investigation to find the real murderer.It was so cheesy right from the start and I basically knew who the killer was a couple chapters in. I found the characters to be really immature. You'd expect that, maybe, from the younger characters but from the adult characters too??!?!?! What was up with all the nick names Kippy's dad gave her. Pimple? Pickle? Cactus?!! 
This book was definitely not my cup of tea and I really wouldn't recommend to anyone.
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,889 followers
November 14, 2014
A quick note: I firmly believe in separating the book from its author. Once the book is published, it belongs to itself, to other texts, and to the readers, not to the person who wrote it. However, the fact that I moderately enjoyed this book months before the whole stalking debacle does NOT mean that I condone the author's behavior. In fact, I am thoroughly disgusted by the whole sordid affair. I'll leave my original review intact because frankly, it's not the book's fault. But I will never again read or in any way support anything written by Kathleen Hale. As a reviewer whose full name and face are available to anyone willing to google, I invite you all to do the same.

3.5 stars
Like every satire ever written, No One Else Can Have You is destined to polarize readers. I doubt there will be people with lukewarm feelings for this book. Either this type of dark humor is something you enjoy or not, but either should be clear after only a couple of pages.

Through Friendship, Wisconsin and its colorful inhabitants, Hale cleverly points out all the shortcomings of a small community. Her criticism is as sharp as it is funny, and she spares no one in the process: not the protagonist, not the grieving parents, not the war hero, and certainly not the victim herself. To Hale, everything is fair game, and that’s precisely what makes her prose acceptable and entertaining. Had she been picky with her disparagement, the value would have been lost, but her tone remains unchanged whichever way you look.

Like everything else, the murder mystery is designed to both entertain and ridicule the small town mentality. Everyone involved in the investigation is basically a blithering idiot and the only two people with a modicum of sense are Kippy and Davey, Ruth’s older brother, just returned from a tour in Afghanistan. Davey has secrets he’s doing his best to hide and the entire town believes that he suffers from PTSD, so the fact that he’s the sanest one around is plenty ridiculous all on its own.

Despite the quirkiness that is, on occasion, exaggerated and annoying, Hale strikes just the right note with her secondary characters. The people of Friendship, few exceptions aside, are funny and instantly lovable, in that entirely unrealistic, unbelievable way. Kippy’s dad in particular has no trouble finding his way into the readers’ hearts, with his silly nicknames and his unrelenting support.

While I strongly recommend reading a sample first, just to see if this is something you might enjoy, I think everyone should at least give this one a chance. It’s a novelty, a breath of fresh air in an overly saturated market, and as such, it’s worthy of attention.

Profile Image for The Library Lady.
3,596 reviews525 followers
December 27, 2014
This book reminds me of a long ago patron who would have me looking for stuff for her for 45 minutes, then say"Well, I thought I was going to find something wonderful today, but I guess not."

What an awful book. Despite the grisly murder that begins it, it looked like it was going to be funny in a quirky way. Maybe something like the movie "Fargo". But the humor just became irritating, the plot got more and more ridiculous,and I figured out whodunnit early on. Language and lots of talk about sex make this a very YA book, but they don't make it a good book.

Note to the author: you make excuses for the typical two pages of acknowledgements because "this is my first book." Well,I am sad to know that you've got another one coming out, because if I had my way you wouldn't be allowed to publish anything else. Ever.

And shame on whichever asshat editor did allow this to be published.
April 21, 2014
When I first saw this cover, I was like whoa…that’s…different. But in a good way. I love a gorgeous and eye catching cover but was getting tired of the ‘girl in pretty dress’ covers that were so popular last year. The more I saw this cover, the more I liked it. To me, it screams ‘I have 50 cats’ or ‘I’m gonna murder you in your sleep.’ I have to admit, this made me want to read the book. After seeing some DNF and low rating reviews, I almost didn’t read this one, but once I checked out the authors Twitter and Tumblr feed, I started to get a feel for her kind of humor and started thinking this book is mostly misunderstood. I love that Harper Teen took a big chance on this book because it’s not your typical YA book and it’s definitely not for everyone because of its dark humor and quirkiness. I went to into this with a ‘fine, I’ll give this a shot’ mentality and was surprised at how much I ended up liking this. To me, this book has a Napoleon Dynamite vibe to it. It has that same kind of weird and awkward humor (and characters) to it that is the same reason of why I liked the movie.

When Kippy Bushman’s best friend Ruth is murdered, she doesn’t know how to deal with it. This is one of her thoughts:

But the weirdest part is when this other feeling creeps in: a sort of vague annoyance, like Ruth has gone somewhere and not invited me.

When Ruth’s mother gives her Ruth’s diary to ‘redact all the sex parts’ Kippy finds out that she didn’t know her best friend as well as she thought, especially when she reads the mean things she wrote about her. This makes it harder to cope with her death and to plan the eulogy for her service. Of course, in true Kippy style, she ends up butchering the eulogy with a whole lot of cringe-inducing moments and even an Amen thrown in there. When Ruth’s murder gets pinned on her jerk boyfriend, everyone is happy to go back to their normal lives. Even though it’s clear that he didn’t murder Ruth. But nobody, especially the sheriff is willing to believe Kippy. When someone else close to the case end up dead, Kippy knows she has to catch the killer before she ends up the next victim.

What makes this book stand out are the characters. Kippy is so awkward and weird but I could totally picture a real person that way. She says the wrong things all the time and she has some…odd quirks. When her mother died, she was so scared of people leaving her that she developed a severe hugging condition, squeezing people too tight and didn’t let go. She had to go to therapy for that. She’s a biter when she gets excited, and yeah it happens when she kisses a boy. Almost rips his lip off. But Kippy isn’t the only odd character here. Her dad, Dom and his never-ending advice, Ruth’s brother Davey who is just as lost and awkward as Kippy, her friend Ralph and his video game addiction, popular girl Libby who refuses to use the Lord’s name in vain and says ‘Oh my Gah’ instead, the sheriff who pretty much has his head up his won ass the whole time, and pretty much everyone else in Friendship, Wisconsin. When Kippy’s dog died, they decided to stuff him instead, as is tradition in Friendship:

Dom and I got Mother Peanut Butter mounted after she passed away. And when she’s not situated on her favorite spot on the couch, we even make her the centerpiece at our kitchen table.

There were so many hilarious and cringe-worthy moments in No One Else Can Have You. I have so much of this book highlighted to come laugh at it again later. I was surprised to see that this actually had a pretty damn good murder mystery to it, because I wasn’t expecting this. There is also a love angle to it, although like Kippy, it’s awkward. While some of the things in this book were inappropriate, it fit with the book. The language is also more on the mature side, which I had no problem with. My one complaint was that this book was a little bit too long. It started dragging out towards the end, but that’s a personal preference because I just don’t like longest books. I was never bored and Kippy and crew never failed to entertain me. While I can see how this is not for everyone, I really think more people should give it a chance.

I was debating between a 3.5 and a 4 star rating for this. 3.5 because it was a little bit long for me, but ended up going with a 4 because it’s just so damn unique and entertaining!

 photo blnooneelsecanhaveyou_zps82f428da.jpg
No One Else Can Have You
by nereyda1003

Read full review & more of my reviews at Mostly YA Book Obsessed
Profile Image for ♡Karlyn P♡.
605 reviews1,211 followers
Shelved as 'books-i-wont-support'
October 18, 2014
For my own sanity - and possibly my own safety - I best not read and review this one.

This book keeps getting mentioned in the oddest of conversations, and no one is recommending it.

So it's a big pass.
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