No One Else Can Have You, by Kathleen Hale (2014)

Genre: Mystery
Interest Level: 16-21
No One Else Can Have YouKippy Bushman is 16 years old, living in small-town Wisconsin with her widowed dad. It’s the kind of town where the neighbours are friendly, but only to a point. They deliver casseroles at funerals and try to cheer you up, but are not interested in hearing about your problems. Crimes consist of mailbox baseball and a bit of graffiti. Until Kippy’s best friend Ruth Fried is murdered. Ruth had been on her way to Kippy’s for a sleepover, and Kippy is consumed with guilt. She’s assigned Ruth’s diary to redact “the sex parts” before her parents read it, and discovers clues that suggest the boy arrested for Ruth’s murder is innocent. Great premise, right? (And an awesome cover – a knitted moose sweater with one moose hanging.) The delivery falls flat though. The characters are over the top, particularly the bumbling, vindictive Sheriff. Ruth’s friendship with Kippy, two years her junior, never rings true, especially given her diary entries. And Kippy is downright nasty to her dad, all the time. I don’t see this story appealing to teens, even those who like mysteries, as the Wisconsin setting is just too quirky, including dialogue filled with Gahs, you betchas, and doncha knows. And Kippy’s poor judgment and behaviour is just irritating to adult readers. Pass on this one, though if you are a knitter, take a close look at that cover …
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18052934

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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