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Freya, Dame Alice Owen\'s School Library

The Smell of Other People's Houses

This tale is told through the voices of young adults trying to reach their dreams and overcoming obstacles, such as home life, longing and duty. I found it particularly satisfying that their stories link earlier during the book than most do. This means you see different parts from different viewpoints, and you get a whole idea of what is happening. Furthermore, bias is eliminated mostly, because all the main characters in the situations have a voice.
Modern issues such as early pregnancy and isolation because of race are dealt with in this young adult book.
Nostalgia plays a key role during the book, especially with Ruth, who lost her parents as a young child, and was sent to live with her severe Gran.
Also, the setting is important in creating atmosphere. Alaska is portrayed as an exotic, joyful and wild place to live, in the beginning. However,later on the author shows it as a strict and prejudiced place, with restrictions which can heavily affect young people.
Even though the plot can be slightly confusing at times, it is worth reading. After all,it shows the inspiring story of a young woman overcoming her shame, a girl fulfilling her ballet dream, a boy who is running away with his family and someone who feels like her friend is being pulled further away.
Give this book a try, because it is different and there are characters and situations you can relate to or sympathise with.
The time period and setting provide it with vitality and originality, so this book certainly has something special.

Posted on: 3rd May 2017 at 12:51 pm

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