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Alex & Will, St Katherine's School

The Smell of Other People's Houses

-- SPOILERS --

'The Smell of Other People's Houses' is the only book, bar one, that made me want to crawl under the bed and cry in PAIN. The characters are flat and boring, I could empathise with none of the situations, the pace was all over the place and we found it hard to remember what was happening after one or two chapters.
The entire premise of the book, or so we thought when we started reading it, was smells and the concept of family, and we are sad to say that Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock has presented none of these themes. They are set up at the start of the book, but are never expanded on. It feels to me that Hitchcock was over-ambitious with her interlocking themes and storylines.
The characters are bland and boring. The writing is so obvious, it doesn't let us figure anything out without telling us straight out. Could we assume that Ruth is pregnant, by her getting morning sickness and craving chocolate milk, or does Hitchcock think her readers are SO stupid, they can't figure out if someone is pregnant or not.
We find it unbelievable that such a poignant and emotional scene about sexual abuse is reduced to a single phrase that never gets mentioned again. Hitchcock either tells the reader straight up, or adds in the most subtle hints to the subject you have to psychoanalyse every word in the book like a fanatical English teacher. As well as that, things just… happen. We can’t remember any significant plot point that carried on for more than one chapter, or that carried significant weight. The flatness of the characters and the bare plot made this book completely boring but still made us grind our teeth and pull our hair out by the roots.
Overall, we give this book a light 4/10. We do not recommend this book.

Posted on: 28th April 2017 at 02:11 pm

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