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Bethan, John Mason School - Abingdon

The Smell of Other People's Houses

This was a book woven with broken dreams, difficult lifestyles and new beginnings. It faced the realities of life and on the people that would usually be discarded or ignored, like the poor or homeless.
It was written in the perspectives of four different people- Dora, Ruth, Alyce and Hank.
Ruth lives in a strict household with her Grandmother and sister, Lily. Her father had been killed in a plane crash and her mother, after giving birth to Lily, had ran away and hadn’t been seen since. She is now sixteen and dating a boy named Ray.
Alyce is a ballerina, but is forced to spend the summer with her father, who no longer lives with her mother, fishing at sea. She would much rather rehearse and practice for her audition that was to determine whether or not she would get a place in a dancing college.
Meanwhile, Hank and his brothers, Sam and Jack, are stowing away on a ship. Suddenly, Sam goes missing and Hank and Jack are forced to rely on one of the guards on the ship in order to find him.
Dora also lives in the same area as Ruth. She goes to the same school, but goes home to a troublesome and dangerous household. Her father was an alcoholic and often abused her, but, after Dora had run to them for refuge, Dumpling’s father agreed to take her in.
Further on in the story, Ruth discovers she’s pregnant, Alyce has to row out to sea to save a boy who has fallen off a boat, Dora’s sister almost dies and Hank and his brother are forced to travel the country in search of their lost brother.
Their stories intertwine and become one after they are all forced into more and more difficult situations.
It was an interesting book that made you grip your seat with anticipation as the characters put themselves in situations that are destined to fail.
It could have been a little less confusing because the sections were too long and often left you wondering whose perspective you’re looking through. It could also have been a little more descriptive just to bring it to life instead of leaving it as 2D.
Overall, I would probably give this book a 7/10 because although it was filled with different and imaginative scenarios, it was also a bit flat and confusing.

Posted on: 3rd May 2017 at 01:54 pm

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