If you haven’t read No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale, go buy it on Amazon right now like, right now so you can get it to your door even faster after reading this review. I first heard about this book after reading this great interview with Kathleen Hale on Pop Culture Puke and bought the book without even reading the synopsis or having any sort of hesitation because I’m an adult and have my own credit card and Amazon account now! I honestly just loved Hale’s ~style in her interview and have this thing about good writing: if it’s written well it doesn’t even really matter if it’s about flying unicorns or a 500-page novel about a cat sleeping in a bed. I just love to read good writing.
I could have read this entire book in one sitting and would have had I not started it past 11 p.m. The only reason I stopped for any sort of reason for the first time at page 147 was that I realized it was 2 a.m. and physically my body needed to go to sleep. Mentally I wanted to continue not only because the book is brilliant but because I watched a few too many episodes of The Following during the day and the book is about a brutal murder so by that time I had almost resigned myself to being killed in my sleep.
The story follows Kippy Bushman, a sixteen year old girl from a small town in Wisconsin, learning to find her way after her best friend gets murdered. The writing is astoundingly honest and the cast of characters bring light to a rather dark story (clearly have nothing wrong with dark, having previously mentioned binge-watching a television show about a cult of serial killers, but it’s marked TEEN, so..), making No One Else Can Have You nearly impossible to put down. Kippy’s voice is incredibly real, I don’t know how to describe it any other way. There’s none of that fluff you can sometimes get in novels about teens, where problems seem to be too engineered to teach some kind of lesson or be wrapped up neatly in a box as if to make the author feel good about it. What I really like about the characters is that each character actually develops throughout the story. At the start, everyone is a surface character – to an extent, even Kippy has this one-dimensionality to her – in a way that makes it easy to lay the foundation for the story. As the plot unfolds, we learn more about each person in this town and issues are raised and addressed in a way I found relatable. I truly connected with Kippy, even stating so in one of my many tweets I gushed about the novel in.
Although the plot of the story can be convoluted and at times incredibly unrealistic, that’s what I like about it. Even when faced with incredible and ongoing acts of adversity, our utility-belt donning and incredibly sheltered heroine still thinks about how a font choice can make us think differently about the intentions of a band. I cried 8 times within the first 100 pages and laughed way more than that. My heart ached and bubbled and I was writing down quotes in my iPhone notes for later.
Something about [him] makes me want to raise my voice and talk in all caps. Like, NO MATTER WHAT I’M SAYING I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW I’M HERE AND VERY EXCITED.
I would give No One Else Can Have You 4.9 stars only because it was so engaging that I forgot to do things like sleep and eat, and because I apparently had a dream that all my internet friends were trapped in a bus that people’s hypothetical brothers were being axe murdered on (I watch a LOT of TV). It’s the honest to Gah best book I’ve read in a long time. I mean, I’ve got a half finished Jodi Picoult in my drawer so that’s really saying something from me.