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Leni, St Helen and St Katharine

The Smell of Other People's Houses

This book is in the point of view of four different teenagers; Ruth, Dora, Alyce and Hank, who become connected in different ways. It's set in Alaska, around in the 1970s.

Ruth is the oldest character in the book. Her mother has gone missing since her father died in a plane crash so now she lives with her grandmother and her sister.

Dora's parents are both alcoholics so she practically lives with her best friend Dumpling as her father is often in drunken rages.

Alyce dreams of being a ballet dancer but doesn't want to leave in the case of upsetting her father.

Hank is running away from home with his brothers.

I think the author made the characters believable and interesting. The writing style really seemed like a young person because the author really stuck to the plot and didn't waste time on long descriptions, which may have been why I (and most people looking at the reviews) finished the book so quickly. They each had different opinions and their separate stories were each individually different. The ways that they met each other were very creative and didn't seem similar. However, it would've been more interesting if the author had changed their writing style for each character. Also, perhaps some of the characters could have had accents or used slang.

The ending was slightly abrupt, and although it tied up all the knots, in just felt as though the author was rushing it. I prefer endings which leave you with things to think about when you've read it!

Overall, I found this a really creative and clever book which I really enjoyed as my first book reading the shortlist! I give it 8/10

Posted on: 26th April 2017 at 10:55 am

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