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Daniel (Y7), Colyton Grammar School

The Smell of Other People's Houses

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.
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.
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.
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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