No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Never trust a town named Friendship.
Interests/Topics: friendship, mystery, PTSD, betrayal, murder, mystery, secrets
Curriculum Connections: English
Blurb: Do you keep a journal? I was about 12 years old the first time I read The Diary of Anne Frank. I decided that I, too, should be writing in a diary and began recording my thoughts on a regular basis. I don’t think I ever talked about anything other than my favourite music or what I had been up to that day, and my interest in diary writing waned over time.
I’ve written in a couple of journals since then, but I’ve always been careful about revealing too much about myself. For some, journal writing is a comfort; for me, it requires a bit of vulnerability that I don’t wish to face. After all, a journal is a place for recording your deepest thoughts and feelings. Therapeutically, this can be a good exercise; I’m just not comfortable with the idea of someone else getting a hold of that information. I’m in no mood to be blackmailed.
Ruth, in No One Else Can Have You, wrote about everything in her journal: her feelings, her frustrations, her sexual escapades. Unfortunately for Kippy, Ruth’s “best friend,” she also wrote about how annoying and clingy Kippy could be. Kippy had no idea that she was anything but adored by Ruth until she was forced to read through her journal in an effort to find clues. You see, the person Kippy considered her very best friend, Ruth, has been found murdered, and her journal just may hold the key to who killed her.
In order to find the truth, Kippy must face her friend’s betrayal. And in a town with fewer than 1,000 people, chances are good that she’ll know the killer.
Flavour: “The memorial service is in three hours and I’m all out of ideas [for the eulogy]. I mean, Ruth was my best friend, but what are you supposed to say about someone who lies and sometimes secretly hates you and also hooks up with old men? Someone who you’ve already been trying not to be mad at for being dead in the first place?” (21)
“[My dad] is scheduled to give a talk at some PTA meeting the day after the memorial service. It’s for parents of high schoolers, and he wants me to go with him. Apparently, most people are bringing their kids. I guess they don’t want to risk leaving them at home to be murdered.” (41)
“The idea that local police are trying to figure this out is pretty crazy. I mean, you’d think they’d get the FBI. I’m not saying Friendship cops are stupid, just that they’re not used to something this serious. It feels like most of the time they’re either stalking out the dam for radical Islamic terrorists or perpetuating false rumors about razor blades in apples. The only time I ever really saw them hustle was when I got my hand stuck in a tampon dispenser. The whole squad turned up, Jaws of Life and everything.” (56)
“Then I see an old, familiar pamphlet—Non-Violent Communication Group (NVCG): Learn How to Speak Giraffe—and turn bright red. NVCG was my support group after Mom died—back when I was so convinced everyone was going to die that I kept accidentally hurting people. I’d hold on too tight or forget not to use my nails when I hugged. Throw myself at people. Knock them down. It was a complicated mental process that [my dad] has since explained to me.” (198)