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Franco, Aylsham High School

The Smell of Other People's Houses

The Smell Of Other People’s Houses

The Smell of Other People’s Houses is a unique and gripping read that undoubtedly captures the reader’s attention with its deep and emotional plot, it’s intricate and well-structured characters and its overall absorbing atmosphere.
The smell of other people’s houses starts in Alaska 1970 and it follows the story of different characters all in the same town the first is Ruth who is made to live with her gran after the passing of her father, Ruth makes a bad decision that is very significant in the book which leads her to carry round a big secret. Another character is Dora, she is a very likable character who you may strongly sympathise for due to her hard and abusive home life, and however a stroke of luck does come her way. Furthermore there is another character called Alyce who lives a good life but has a hard decision to make due to her parents splitting up will she go for her dreams or will she stay with her father? The last character whose story we follow is called Hank, Hank has a bad home life, he is poor and he has no money or food. This significantly leads to him and his brothers stowing away on a ship for a better and safer life, however not all goes to plan. Ultimately I believe that when you start the book the chapters are confusing to read because the structure of the book is so complex, however as you progress through and learn more about each individual character the book becomes clear as crystal and it becomes easy to understand the plot.
The genre of this book is unquestionably coming of age because the plot allows the character to make certain realisations based upon their lives and they begin to understand a deeper meaning about themselves. The plot is over all interesting, however certain aspects of the book are very predictable and not as exciting as I had hoped they would be, this was the books only real downfall because I would have loved Alyce’s storyline to be much more grasping because that it what the book mostly lacked.
The style of writing that Bonnie Sue Hitchhock uses is very clear to understand and it always sets the scene so it becomes very engaging, not once does the book ramble or just go on, the chapters are very clear in what they are trying to issue or describe which therefore makes reading the book captivating and charming to the audience.
The Smell Of Other People’s Houses is a book that is suited towards older readers, this is down to the hard hitting topics it deals with, furthermore it also includes graphic content, definitely too much for young readers. However this book is very enjoyable for older readers because it is addressing things teenagers really want to know about rather than childish topics that are overdone.
Overall I thought this book was incredibly beguiling due to its funny characters who had hints of sarcasm to them but they were also portrayed as very lovable people that you grew to love as the story progresses because of their quirks and problems and how they have been described to deal with them. I would strongly say that I would read this book again, multiple times because of how exciting and generally how deep and interesting it is. I would most defiantly read books written by Bonnie-Sue Hitchhock again because I loved this one so much because it really captured my attention. I would also recommend this to anyone who wants a thrilling teen read who wants some drama because this book has certainly achieved this.

Posted on: 5th June 2017 at 10:20 am

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