the smell of other peoples houses // bonnie-sue hitchcock

published: 2016 // pages: 223
isbn: 978-0-553-49778-6
read from: 5/5-8/2016
stars: 3 loved it.

lets try something new....
MY RAMBLE 

you just have to LOVE the library. 
i went in to check out 3 books and of course they weren't there. they said it'd take about 4-6 weeks. 2 days later i get an email that 2 are in and when i get there, all 3 are ready to go. luckily, 2/3 are small ones that i can rip into pretty fast and the last one, all the lights we cannot see, i can take my time with if i need too. 

anyways!, this book!!!! this cover!!!!!
i think it was through another book blog that i came across it and the cover!! that's what made me fall in love with this book. i mean coooome on!!!!!!

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SYNOPSIS

In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. This deeply moving and authentic debut is for fans of Rainbow Rowell, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and Benjamin Alire Saenz. Intertwining stories of love, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation on the edge of America’s Last Frontier introduce a writer of rare talent.
 
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. This unforgettable book is about people who try to save each other—and how sometimes, when they least expect it, they succeed. 

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SPOILERS

RUTH (& Lily....but mostly Ruth)
Ruth is i honestly forgot how old when her mom is pregnant with Lily. everything is fine, perfect family and whatnot until her father passes away in a plane crash. mom goes bazzerk, births lily and disappears.  
they both move in with Grama who is very anti showing love and so they grow up not knowing how to show affection. well no. i wouldn't call it that but it was a very hard place for them to grow up in (according to her) 
Ruth dates this dude Ray and they hook up and long story short she ends up pregnant. 
he ignores her, she gets shipped off to a monastery in Canada, gives the baby up for adoption and goes back home. and ends up dating Hank i believe. it doesn't necessarily say it out loud BUT for the sake of "I deserve a happy ending", they do. 

the sister, meh. nothing much i don't think. she's pretty cool though. 

HANK (and Jack and Sam) 
they basically run away from home because their father passed away and their mother is now dating some loser who i guess beats them. 
they stow away on a boat and Sam is all about the whales hoping to meet up with their father (who passed away on a boat accident)
so then he basically disappears from the boat while their brothers are looking for food. 
so Hank being the "man of the family" and the "realist" has accepted that his brother might be dead while Jack is still holding up hope. but as it ends up turning out, he is still alive. he was saved by....

ALYCE
Alyce lives in Alaska as well and her biggest deal is that she wants to be a ballerina but is about to miss the most important audition of her life because she has to go fishing with her father and shes too scared to say anything. 
that and she also saves Sam. she sees him fall off the boat. and so she saves him....and of course they also end up dating. 

DORA
Dora's parents are huge dicks. i think her dad used to bear her or maybe even raped her (or tried) and hes in jail. she wins this lot of money on a bet so her mom is all of a sudden around and when her dad's out hes all like you're giving me that money no matter what. 
there comes a point when she finally confronts him but luckily the cops make it just in time. her big deal is that she cant seem to find happiness. no. not even find it. she just doesn't want to let it in now because she knows how fleeting it can be. that and shes very protective of Dumpling (her best friend) 

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MY RAMBLINGS (just thoughts on the book itself)

if you read the spoilers above, please know that yes, i gave you their basic spoilers BUT there is still a lot i left out. A LOT!
A LOT!!!!!!!!!! (like i always do!)

anyways, this book. man, i LOVED it! its on my to buy list if i see it for a really good price somewhere out there. (read: broke status)
i absolutely loved the writing in this book. 
there are several things that i feel were not answered however. 
for example, Ruth's mom, while we do eventually get a hold of her, we realized the condition shes in but never how she got there and never what happens after the confrontation. so.....I'd like to know what happens / happened there. (i mean i know what sent her over the edge but like....what the freak? i guess, read it to see what i mean.)
uhm....there's other stuff or at least one other thing that I'm completely blanking out on. 
but i think that speaks well of the book if I'm completely satisfied like that (in my personal opinion.) 
i think the one thing that left me hanging was my personal need to know what happens to everyone in the end. there is sort of a huge collective happy ending but it would have been nice to know individual stories but i think it speaks volumes of this book if it can have a collective ending that a) does it job as a whole but b) also does its job leaving you wanting more BUT acknowledging that it ends great without being an overkill. (thinking of this book)

ill leave you with some lines that i liked from the book. 

"Catholics are pretty good at keeping Jesus nailed to that cross, rather than focusing more on that happy bit where he rose from the dead and freed us from sin and evil." 
Ruth page 122

"ill never understand how certain things that happen to us can climb under our skin and make us some one new."
Hank page 168

"we don't have to be blood to be family."
-Ruth page 185


if you pick up the book, let me know what you think! 
thanks for reading. 

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2 comments

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