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Daniel (Y7), Colyton Grammar School

The Smell of Other People's Houses

PLOT:
The Smell of Other People's Houses has a very well-written but sometimes confusing plot. 4 young people living in Alaska, with very different backgrounds and very different wants. One journey to involve them all. Their lives will never be the same. The author, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcook, manages to tie up some of the loose ends but there are quite a few unanswered questions. The plot doesn't really make me see anything in a new light and it didn't increase my knowledge much but it was till a good and intriguing read. I wasn't really grabbed in by the story but the title and first part of the story was quite good. The most emotional connection I ha was towards Ruth, who I pitied.
CHARACTERISATION:
You get to know the characters quite well as each chapter is written from their point of view. Most of the time, they are quite life-like and believable, but some of the events are hard to imagine. I got particularly attached to Ruth and Sam because of their situations and that it is written in a way that almost emphasises the bad points of their lives. All characters speak and act the way I had expected to though, which was good.
WRITING STYLE:
The language in this book is sometimes, but rarely, hard to understand and there is the right balance between dialogue and narrative. Also, the information Bonnie-Sue uses is accurate (I think). The author's use of words conveys the setting, atmosphere and action very well, as with the characters and situations. Overall, it is very well-written.
YOUR FINAL COMMENTS:
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and I felt that I had become very involved with the characters' lives and stories. The recommended age is 10-14, I believe although many older people could read it and really enjoy it. A great read.
MARK OUT OF 10: 7.5

Posted on: 23rd April 2017 at 06:49 pm

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