Title: No One Else Can Have You (#1)
Author: Kathleen Hale
Published by: Harper TEEN
Summary: Murder doesn't happen in rural Wisconsin very often. In a town where everybody knows everybody, a death can be shocking. That's how Kippy Bushman feels, shocked, when her best (and only) friend Ruth Fried ends up dead in a cornfield. Ruth's boyfriend is arrested, mainly on the premise that he's a town nuisance and man whore.
Kippy is at a loss. Ruth was pretty much her only friend. In order to feel some sense of closure, Kippy starts reading Ruth's diary. It's a surprising read, and Kippy finds out more about Ruth than she ever wanted to. Kippy doesn't think Ruth's boyfriend did it, so she decides to investigate on her own, with a little help from Ruth's brother Davey. There's a killer in Friendship, Wisconsin, and they need to be caught.
My Thoughts: Meh Meh Meh and Meh. That's what I'm thinking of this one. Now, when I started reading this, I was already aware of the controversy surrounding the author. How she essentially stalked a reviewer over a negative review. That's messed up! But, I was determined to separate author from work, and judge the book on its own merit. Did I succeed? I don't know. In the back of my mind, I kept remembering the crazy, and that could have led to me not having as open of a mind.
Honestly, I just thought this book was average. Not the best thing ever, not the worst. I didn't really like any of the characters. Most of them felt like stereotypes. The crazy Christian girl. The over-enthusiastic therapist. The crazies. I don't know. I just felt a lot of judgement, like, look how ridiculous these people are, they are so much lower than me.
I also felt a lot of judgement to small town life. It felt like all the good things about living in a small town were ignored. There was just this sense of haughtiness, like I can't wait to get out of here. Now, I don't know if this was just based on my opinion of the author, but that's what I got from it.
I also got tired of the overly Wisconsinite speech. Went a little overboard. All the You Betcha's and Ooofs. I wasn't a fan.
There were also a whole lot of ridiculous situations in here. Some were funny, but most made me question Just Why?
I kind of spoiled myself on the reveal of the murderer by reading ahead. It's a problem I have. I can't really explain why I do it, but I do. And I just kind of felt meh about it. The reasoning for why they did what they did was again just based on stereotypes, which I didn't enjoy.
As for Kippy Bushman, I'm just meh on her too. I didn't think she was particularly clever, or funny, or skilled at being an investigator. And I didn't even really like the murder victim. I mean, I should at least feel something about her. The only one I halfway liked was Davey, and he got turned into a bit of a stereotype too.
Just a meh, average read for me. Nothing special, nothing extraordinary. I've got the sequel handy, so I'll probably give that a read. Just so you guys don't think I'm just a Negative Nancy, I really like the cover. That's all I've got.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3/5
One Big Meh.