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Paige, St Augustines Catholic College

The Smell of Other People's Houses

Wow, I hate this book. The characters are confusing, the story-line makes no sense, and the prologue made me want to chuck the book in the bin and forget it ever existed. So, I don’t sound like someone who just makes judgements, (and I assure you, I fully approve of the saying; ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’) I’ll give some reasons.
For one, I’ll talk about the prologue. The first page talks about cutting up dead animals, and still-beating hearts, which made me almost throw up. Granted, it has a deeper meaning in the final chapter, but when I first read it, I had no idea what this book was trying to make me think. I felt disgusted, and everyone I showed it to felt the same way.
To give the book some credit, I liked the plots for the individual characters, but I would’ve preferred it if the character stories were placed one full story after another, because then we can get emotionally attached to the characters, and slowly watch them interact and intertwine with one another.
Speaking of the characters, I didn’t really understand them too much. Take for instance Dora. First, she was the average girl, then a thousand-pound prize winner, then the daughter of a suddenly abusive father (I honestly believe that the author just decided to sprinkle him in), then mad at a girl she’s barely mentioned before, believing that that particular girl is responsible for her best friend (and daughter of her ‘not fully adoptive’ parents) fall into a coma! I’m not going to bother laying out the others, since they’re all as long and confusing as Dora’s. But you get my gist.
The above also explains one story-line. Some of the other characters are even more confusing! Ruth struggles to deal with a surprise pregnancy, Dora wants to forget her real parents ever existed, Alyce wants to be a fisherwoman her whole life, so she doesn’t feel guilty for really just wanting to be a dancer, and Hank deals with his brothers, and believes for most of the book that one is dead. And those summaries, barely cover it!
I’m going to finish up here, by saying that this book does not give me the tingle factor (and to be honest, this is the second book in my entire life that I’ve disliked, so this is a big deal for me) and I’m sorry to say that I won’t be recommending this book either.
I really don't like to be so negative, but this book is really not to my tastes. If other people like it, then great! But this is my own opinion, so it's told how I feel. Don't get annoyed that I don't like the book, even if it's your favourite. Please.
To get to the point, enjoy (or don't enjoy, I guess) reading this book! :)

Posted on: 10th May 2017 at 07:13 am

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