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Erin, Backwell School

The Smell of Other People's Houses

The Smell of Other People’s houses is one of my favourites from the books I have read from the shortlist. I like how the novel is written from four different viewpoints I sometimes find this annoying however in this book it works. The way that all the different characters have something they want and secrets they have to keep makes for an interesting read. I like how at the start of the book all of the characters aren’t particularly connected but as the book goes on all of their stories become entwined together. I really liked how different the characters were: Ruth was dealing with a teen pregnancy, Dora wanted to be loved by a family and not have to deal with her abusive father, Alyce wanted to do what she loved but was scared to ask her father about it and Hank had to take on responsibility for both his brothers and their survival.
I think that the way everyone’s secrets and lives unravel as the book goes on is really clever and very well written. The way all of their lives come together and work out in one way or another creates a good ending to the book. My favourite character was Jack as although he’s a minor character in the book he sees the good in everyone and can sense everyone’s feelings which gives the qualities of someone who’s seen the world change while still being naïve about the wrong that’s happening.
The style of the book isn’t quite unique, however it is very well written and covers topics that are relevant today; teen pregnancies which many girls have to go through alone, domestic abuse which people will often refuse to acknowledge and children running away from home which parents aren’t always concerned about. Overall I think this is a very well written book and highlights things we often either take for granted or look over. I would recommend this book as it is enjoyable and quite an easy read.

Posted on: 7th June 2017 at 02:20 pm

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