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

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
No One Else Can Have You
by Kathleen Hale
Series: Stand Alone
Published by HarperTeen
on January 7th, 2014
Genres: Mystery, YA


Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.

Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.

UGH! Guys. GUYS!! Why do I keep doing this to myself? I keep putting books on this pedestal that’s too high for them to even come close to reaching. It’s getting pathetic and annoying. No One Else Can Have You is THEE book that everyone is waiting on. The one that people flocked to goodreads and added when Epic Reads unveiled it during Tea Time. The one with the über creeptastic cover of a deer (moose?) being hung on a SWEATER for heaven’s sake! It’s the story that was supposed to be creepy and amazing and totally mind-blowing. But after enduring more than 50% of the book and wanting to rip out my eyelashes I just can’t bring myself to finish. In fact I’m walking away with a message to you folks:



I hate to be the evil bitch that crushes your hopes and dreams but this book just did nothing for me. I went in expecting a suspenseful, creepy mystery but what I got was weak characters, a boring plot and a totally unbelievable story. How could a story about a sick and twisted murder in a small town, be boring you ask?! Well let me tell you!

The story starts off strong and totally twisted with a body being found in a corn field. This opening, took me off my guard. It made me believe that I was in for a ride of plot twist, sick people and all around greatness. But then I was introduced to Kippy. Our MC, and the best friend to the victim. First off can we just all get out the fact that Kippy is totally a dog name and her dad should feel AWFUL?! Then again Kippy is 1,000x’s better than being called “Pimple” or “Chocolate Butt” or “Pickle”, which her dad does quite a bit. Anyway Kippy is the #1 reason I quit No One Else Can Have You. She had no spine, she was whiny and while I assume she was written to be quirky and “adorable” she really just came off as really sad and weird in a WEIRD way. I understand that trauma and shock play a huge part in Kippy’s personality; who wouldn’t be a tad different after having their best friend murdered?! But I don’t think Hale went about it in a way that was believable for the readers. Kippy was obsessed (and I mean that literally) withe Ruth (the BF/victim) in a way that really should have landed Kippy in some heavy therapy. All best friends say they are “joined at the hip” but every thought Kippy had revolved around Ruth, and not just because she was sad she died. She talked about how Ruth was her one and only friend. How she was upset Ruth wasn’t here anymore because she was the only person Kippy wanted. How she just loved her so much and she couldn’t stop hugging her to show that love. It got really creepy at parts. Even when Kippy’s neighbor and “back-up best friend” Ralph entered the picture it was all about Ruth. Ruth’s hair, Ruth’s many glaring faces, Ruth getting bitchy! I thought having another character in the picture (besides her middle school counselor dad) would help even out the weird. No. NO OCTAVIA!

Modern Family No


Hale has this way of making it so  that any “quirky” character behavior can be written off as their way of grieving. Kippy, Ralph even Ruth’s brother! Oh I didn’t mention that Davey (Ruth’s military brother) is “quirky” too?! Yep, even the brother is weird, pre Ruth’s death!They all have “quirky” characteristics but hey they’ve been touched by death and that’s that.  Which, in my opinion is nuts. In a town of 689 688 people what are the real odds that the only people who seem to be deeply affected by death are next door neighbors and sort of best friends, or related to the victim?

I mean seriously


Then things take a turn for the “what the hell is going on here?!”. Things come to light, and Kippy decides she wants to be like her idol (Diane Sawyer, whom she is also creepily obsessed with) and “get to the bottom of things”. There are so many things wrong with the “logic” displayed from this point on. From the “evidence” the police have secured, to the very real evidence Kippy has found and brought forth, everything just gets really sketchy and totally unbelievable. How much sense does it truly make for a high school girl, who is described as lanky, to go to wherever the hell and question grown men who may be sick killers? What kind of town would openly prosecute a man (even a demented little shit like Colby) when it’s obvious all evidence is total bull crap? What kind of SHERIFF allows the town to come into the station and harass a murder suspect? What parents would allow their teenage son to speak to law enforcement (who is being charged with MURDER!) WITHOUT A LAWYER?! What kind of SCHOOL COUNSELOR looks at their kid and spots grief but can’t see codependency?! And who the hell thinks it’s ok to charge someone with a crime and NOT tell that person what they’ve been charged for?! It made NO sense guys! NONE.

I’m so unbelievably disappointed. I wanted to love this book so bad. To sing from the mountain tops about its greatness but instead all I did was stay up till 2am and give myself a headache with all the tomfoolery contained within its pages. I may not have finished it but I made it far enough to tell that this book is NOTHING like what I was hoping or expecting and to be honest it was borderline horrible.

Signature 1

OH! And I totally see a romance on the horizon and all I have to say to that is:

JLo Bad timing


19 thoughts on “No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale”

  1. I have one problem with your review: I would totally believe that a school counselor would fail to spot codependency. 🙁 🙁 I have seen people with better qualifications make worse mistakes.

  2. But aside from that–can I just say that it is nice to hear someone be so brutally honest sometimes?

  3. You totally have a point (1st comment) it just grated my nerves that he was pushing pamphlets and shoving psychiatric recommendations down everyones throats but couldn’t see what was going on in his house. But hey, I’m happy to give an honest review. Even if it was a bit brutal here. 🙂

  4. Oh no! You can’t do this to me Ocativa! LOL, I guess it’s be expected though. Books with this much hype and a cover that awesome seem to fall on the disappointing side more often than not.
    I’ll probably still read it, especially if Harper lets me review it, but I KNOW I need it on my shelf just for that cover.
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  5. I know! I hate to break everyone’s heart but what kind of person would I be if I didn’t warn my fellow bookish folks!? 😉 I hope you have better luck with it than I did.

  6. Oh no! Maybe it’s because I read it with very low expects but No One Else Can Have You exceeded my expectations. I really like it. I figured out who done it pretty early on, but still. They’re a really powerful scene at the end, that got me so worked up (in a good way).

    I’m definitely sticking around for the series, but I can understand why this isn’t for you. I just wrote it all off as small town syndrome but at first I found it incredulously annoying.
    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books recently posted…What’s Left of Me (Review)My Profile

  7. Wow, I’m usually pretty tapped-in when it comes to upcoming releases and somehow have never heard of this one before. I LOVE the cover, and the synopsis sounds pretty good too. That really sucks how much you ended up not liking it 🙁 There are a lot of similar negative reviews on Goodreads too…ugh. I hate it when this happens.
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  8. I’m quite sad to hear you didn’t like this book enough to DNF it, it had so much potential!! But to look on the bright side, one book less to grab as soon as it comes out, it frees some reading time for… let’s say more series reading for the challenge! 😉

    Thanks for your very honest review, Octavia!
    Pili recently posted…NetGalley November: ARC Review of Covenant From Hell by Priscilla Royal!My Profile

  9. Of all the books I’ve read this year, I’ve added 15 in my absolute-favorites shelf which is quite a leap from the 38 books I had on there before 2013.

    Having said that, despite not having high expectation for this book, I think I now have none. I might like it but that doesn’t seem like a possibility because Kippy (a dog’s name, like you said) sounds like the epitome of careless selfishness I abhor in books and real life.

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile recently posted…Monthly Recap: NovemberMy Profile

  10. Ugh she was so careless! So was driven by a half thought out plan and didn’t think of the consequences that would befall her OR the people around her! I hope other people have better luck with it, but I really can’t see how. 🙁

  11. This book did interest me, but I was a bit wary because 2013 has not been a year of great mysteries for me. Kippy sounds like the person I would hate in real life – whiners annoy me, all they do is react and pity their situations. I am afraid to even read this one now. My interest has certainly fizzled.
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  12. Oh I definitely wouldn’t rec it to you! If the MC doesn’t destroy it for you the writing would have. And yes I am claiming to know you that well now. ;P

  13. This is the 2nd negative review I’ve seen of this one, which actually makes me curious to try it. Let’s call it September Girls syndrome. I’ll give it a whirl, but expectations are way low now.

    The name Kippy makes me laugh, btw, b/c Kippy is also a character in She’s Come Undone, in my top 5 of all time, and she is a whore-ish mean girl, lol.
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  14. Ugh, I’m so sad to hear you didn’t like it. I remember there was talk on twitter about how bad some aspects of the book were (though if you ask me who said what, I’ll have to admit I have no clue *blush*). I did like the idea of the book and that cover is just awesome! I thought it was going to be the perfect book to read during Christmas Break *pouting* Plus that title is creepy enough to make me want to read it. I’m sad now 🙁
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  15. I can understand your reasons for the DNF – definitely don’t continue to read a book that is grating on your nerves! But I also had to laugh because some of the things you questioned are actually addressed in the second half of the book. All of the “craziness” is put in the spotlight and questioned and it elicits some unpredictable reactions and “turning of the tables” from just about everyone in that loco town.

    I personally enjoyed Not a Drop to Drink. In my review of the book, I compared it to that of an independent dark comedy. If you can picture the crooked police force dressed up in, say, the Reno 911 police garb, Kippy’s dad as some middle-aged sweater-vest wearing coot, Kippy as the geeky, unknown, somewhat grubby teenaged actress – and are someone who really likes indie dark comedy – you may have more of a taste for this book. (I’m not saying you don’t like indie films, but it almost takes that sort of person to really “get” No One Else Can Have You.)

    If only you knew what Kippy goes through in the second half of the book. Her “craziness” doesn’t go unnoticed. But still, please don’t force yourself to read it just to find out! I can totally understand why you had to DNF. 😉
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  16. And, of course, I meant “No One Else Can Have You” and NOT “Not a Drop to Drink” at the start of my second paragraph. Same publisher, though, right? That’s what I get for speed-editing after typing it all up…

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