Thursday, 5 February 2015

Review: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

No One Else Can Have You the debut novel from American author Kathleen Hale is a quirky black comedy set in a small town in Wisconsin. Sixteen year old Kippy Bushman is determined to find out who murdered her best friend Ruth. Unfortunately, she is having a hard time convincing the local police that they have arrested the wrong man ...

From the moment that I picked up No One Else Can Have You, it was very obvious that this was going to be a book that would divide readers. It's quirky, dark moments are the kind of thing that you will either love or it will end up being one of those things that gets on your nerves completely. Pretty much every character in this book has an annoying, exaggerated personality trait and Kippy herself is far from a sweet, avenging angel. Most of the adults are complete morons. From reading extracts of her diary, we can see that Ruth is a spoiled brat and, perhaps, a borderline psychopath. And, you know what? I thought that all of it was brilliant. I found myself roaring with laughter as Kippy's friends with a fetish for violence helped her escape from the local mental hospital, cringing any time Dom said or did anything (seriously, who gives their child 'chocolate butt' as a nickname,) and cheering for Davey. The book isn't terribly realistic, though the author nails the icky, uncomfortable nature of adolescence.

Highly recommended to readers who enjoy black comedy or who are willing to try something a little bit different. Excellent, but not suitable for all tastes.