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

Blurb from Goodreads:
In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled. 
My Review:
This was such a quick and captivating read!  I loved the story of four different teenagers in Alaska, just post-statehood and their struggles that are probably just as fresh today.  Not only was the setting interesting (and so different from a typical suburban setting) but the characters were each unique, with their own voice and so well written.  I seriously loved them all -- actually, one thing I could say about this book is that everyone was so good in it (except Dora's father).  Seriously, all of the characters were so likable in their own way, which is not an easy feat especially given some of the complicated situations and hardships  into which these characters were thrown.  

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of beautifully written and enchanting YA.  Something about the way the story culminated in so many entangled lives reminded of another recent favorite, The Tsar of Love and Techno.

The Smell of Other People's Houses comes out today, February 23, 2016, you can purchase HERE, and I highly recommend it!
If the seasons bleed into each other like a watercolor painting, it means not enough fish and berries to last the winter, not enough wood chopped for the stove, not enough meat in the freezer.  One year winter came so fast and so hard, the leaves on the birch trees didn't even have time to turn yellow and fall off; they froze solid green on the branches.  They clung there for months on skinny skeleton arms, the color so blindingly wrong it was creepy.  Every year it's a race between the seasons, and that year fall lost.


  1. This is one I am excited for. First that title is amazing. Second I love the setting. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Great review!

  2. This looks amazing! Especially because of the Alaska setting and all the characters being likeable. I'll be sure to pick up a copy when I get the chance! :)
    Lovely review, Eva!

  3. I loved this book. The characters were fantastic and so easy to sympathize with. I loved how their lives intertwined. Plus the writing was so gorgeous. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

  4. The Tsar of Love and Techno is one of my favorite reads of 2015, so I'm really excited to read this now that you've compared the two. Great review!

  5. I'm so glad this one worked for you because I added it to my wish list simply because the title intrigued me.

  6. Quick and captivating sounds great, but sure a unique title, lol

  7. I have been hearing so much about this one! Though the title just puts me off for some reason. LOL. Good characters are always a must for me and the setting does intrigue me... maybe I'll pick this one up at some point after all!

  8. That is great that all the character (with the exception of the dad) were so great, I love it when that happens!

  9. Wonderful review, Eva! I've had such a hard time with YA's lately, but Alaska is an interesting and volatile setting. I'm curious about this one. :)

  10. This title keeps catching my eye everywhere I see it just because it's so unique. It's great to finally see a review of it. I love that it has such a unique setting. Enjoyed reading your thoughts on this one!

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

  11. I totally agree with you, this book was really good! Definitely a quick book, and had such a great range of characters- I was surprised that they were so well done, especially for such a short book with a lot of POVs! So glad you liked it too, great review!

  12. I got an unsolicited copy, hadn't really heard of this book but I saw a bunch of reviews pop up on my feed and the book sounds good. I don't have time to read it but I did download the audiobook, I hope I like it too :)


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