Review: The Smell Of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

What do I even begin to say about this impactful, gorgeous book? My faith in humanity and my love for found family has been absolutely restored. 

The setting developed here is just as awesome. Yes, I'm a little biased, because I've been in love with the idea of Alaska since I was really little. But this book made me feel like I was there.

The writing is also a strength. It's lyrical and subtly gorgeous. It's not showy, but it's gorgeous. It's sensory in the perfect way. 

The characters here are amazing. We have Ruth, with possibly the most emotionally cathartic teen pregnancy story ever written; Dora, who's full of anger and wants to find a forever home after her abuse; Alyce, who wants to pursue her dreams without forgetting her family; and Hank, who just wants to run away. 

I can't begin to express how much I loved all four narrators. Each one has their own story and journey, and all four stories are fleshed out, despite how short the book is. Alyce, Ruth, and Dora's points of view resonated with me the most, but Hank's was well-developed too. Your favorite character here will depend entirely on your own experiences, because all four are well-written enough to be a favorite character. 

All the side characters are just as developed, just as brilliantly written. I was shocked by how many memorable side characters managed to fit into this epic.

Honestly, the themes probably stood out most to me. Each of these characters' journeys emphasize the family you choose.These characters get to choose their families, sometimes involving their parents and sometimes not. That's not the point; it's more important to surround ourselves with people we love, even if they aren't our parents. 

I honestly can't think of any negatives. There are so few books I can't complain about, but I really can't complain about this book. Highly recommended!


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