Saturday, 18 January 2014

NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE YOU

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 689 688) 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.
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(I originally posted this review on Goodreads. I don't have anything more to add because I'm still not really sure how I feel about this book, but I thought I ought to have a review of it here too)

I'm not giving this one a rating because I really don't know what to give it.

I was really not happy about some of the comments made relating to mental illnesses. Take this excerpt from page 158 for example - "Libby Quinn = sociopath? Reasons: I know she has some kind of serious learning disability but she really seems to have it out for Colt."

What does that even mean? Why is the fact that she has a learning disability in any way relevant to anything? I don't see any reason for that to be dropped in here, if anywhere, and it just really bothered me.

There are numerous examples of this happening but, otherwise, I did actually enjoy the writing. I liked Kippy, her slurs against various others aside, and found her actually quite relatable. The story was interesting enough as well, until about 100 pages before the end. I didn't enjoy where the plot went after that, and the resolution wasn't especially satisfying for me.

I did enjoy chunks of this novel, I really enjoyed parts of it, but there was just too much other stuff going on that was an issue for me. The way Kippy talks about Davey's PTSD was a problem, for example. I'm not going to rate it today because I'm not sure how it fits with the ratings I'd usually give, but I might come to a decision later on.



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