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Sarah, Glossopdale Community College

The Smell of Other People's Houses

"The Smell of Other People's Houses" by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock has by far been my favorite Carnegie novel, this year. This book contains four separate stories - which bleed into each other like a watercolour painting- creating one outstanding tale.

It is set in Alaska in the year of 1970 and is focused on the lives of four teenagers: Ruth, Alyce, Dora and Hank. Each chapter, the perspective changes between the protagonists without it becoming confusing. This means you get more of an insight as to what each character is feeling.

Personally, I hated the character Dora since she came across slightly selfish when her friend Dumpling started helping out Ruth. However, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her because she had a hard family life.
One thing I love about this book is that all the characters have their own troubles, whether that's domestic abuse, teenage pregnancy or not knowing who their parents are; not one of them leads a "normal" life. I think it is important for authors to write about these hardships because they aren't talked about enough even though they can be massive problems. If more people read this book and are educated on these issues, more people would understand what it is like facing these problems. Therefore, they could be solved more easily.

Overall, I give this book five out of five stars because the writer manages to successfully connect four short stories together without it becoming confusing or complicated. Every character is fully developed; it makes you realize the hardships that many people face and includes what it was like to live in Alaska during this time. I would advise you read this in big chunks so that it is easier to understand.

Posted on: 1st May 2017 at 03:53 pm

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