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.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 7th 2014 by HarperTeen
Two stars: A dark, quirky book with a solid mystery.
Kippy is devastated. Once again, death has snatched someone important from her. Ruth Fried, Kippy's best friend, was found murdered in the cornfield. Ruth was supposed to have spent the night at Kippy's but she never made it. In a small town like Friendship, murder is the last thing people expect. Now everyone is locking their doors and eyeing each other suspiciously. Friendship is anything but friendly these days. Kippy is struggling to make sense of the horrendous crime, but then she learns some startling truths about her best friend from the pages of her diary. It seems Ruth was hiding some big secrets. When a suspect is named in Ruth's murder, Kippy has doubts. Suddenly Kippy Bushman finds herself trying to uncover the truth about her best friend's murder. Can Kippy catch a killer?
What I Liked:
- This is a book I just had to have because I fell in love with the quirky cover. I love the cover and the way that it fits with the small town of Friendship, Wisconsin. In Friendship, everyone knows everything and there are hardly any secrets. It is town that is big on hunting and people carry rifles in their cars in case they hit a deer. I enjoyed the small town in the book and its eccentric inhabitants.
- The best aspect of this book is the murder mystery. It is a case that keeps you guessing until the big reveal at the end. I was stunned at the unmasking of the real murderer and was pleased that I was kept guessing throughout. I enjoyed the twists and turns and that this book was unexpected and full of quirkiness.
- While the overall tone of the book is rather dark, there are some tidbits of humor thrown in that lighten it up. I liked the wacky dialogue and sayings that are pertinent to the area. I especially enjoyed Kippy's father Dom and his unique sense of humor especially when it comes to his absurd nicknames for his daughter. I liked the father daughter relationship, it was funny and endearing. I appreciated that there was plenty of comedic relief in between some of the darker scenes.
- Ruth's diary was fascinating with its nasty secrets and betrayals. It was interesting to see how she honestly felt about the people surrounding her. She certainly presented an entirely different face to the world. I just wished that there had been more of the diary.
- Kippy was an endearing character. I liked that she was struggling with her identity and that she was trying to cope with all the awkwardness of being a teenager. She is plucky, humorous and determined. I appreciated that she didn't cave into the phoniness of the town and that she was relentless in uncovering the truth. She makes the book shine.
And The Not So Much:
- If you are looking for a realistic murder mystery this is not the book for you. The whole plot line with the bungling sheriff and botched investigation was unbelievable. The sheriff is completely inept and had no business running a murder investigation when he failed to thoroughly look at the evidence. He was lazy and sloppy. It was hard to swallow that a teenage girl was more capable of uncovering the truth than the local law enforcement, but that was what happened in this one.
- This book starts out interesting and I was drawn in by the odd little town, Kippy, the diary and the murder, but after awhile the book began to drag, and I struggled to stick with it. The middle portion felt like a lot of filler and not much happens. It does finally pick up at the end and then it moves at a brisk pace to a satisfying finish. It does take patience, though, to get there.
- While I enjoyed Dom's character, I struggled a bit with his quick turn of face when Kippy runs into some trouble. I just didn't quite believe that he was so easily swayed by the sheriff and that he turned his back on his own daughter. Furthermore, I couldn't believe that he would allow her to be placed in a facility that relies on heavy medication considering he is a psychologist.
- This is absolutely not a book for younger teenagers. The opening scene describing the murder is a bit gruesome and disturbing. Furthermore, there are some sexual references and a relationship with a teenager and a much older man. The tone and subject matter is dark and best suited for mature readers. I would not recommend this for anyone under sixteen.
- Overall, this was a bit of a disappointment. I was sucked in by the wacky cover and I was expecting a quirky mystery. While there were parts that I enjoyed, I thought that the book was too slow and that the content was a bit too disturbing for this to be labeled as a young adult book. It was an interesting read, but not one that I can recommend you rush out and buy. If you do read this, proceed with caution and check it out from the library.
No One Else Can Have You is a book that I had high hopes for, but it ended up being a miss. While I liked the eccentric town and the solid mystery, the unrealistic behavior from the local law enforcement, the dark tone, and slow pace held this one back. This is a book for mature readers only, and one best suited for borrowing instead of purchasing. I liked the book, but I didn't love it.
"I remember when Ruth was thirteen, she told everyone she wanted to be a vegetarian, and her parents kept offering her chicken, saying it was the lighter option----"Hardly even a meat," they kept saying. She had to revert back to being a carnivore just so she wouldn't starve."
"You don't age until you age, and then you age."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.