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.
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!
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?
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.
OH! And I totally see a romance on the horizon and all I have to say to that is:
IDIOTS! I’M SURROUNDED BY PURE STUPIDITY!