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Book Title: The Boy who steals Houses Author: C.G. Drews Format: Paperback
Book Title: The book title is absolutely appropriate to the story. Book Cover: The cover is symbolic and understood when you read the story. My review: The story talks about a boy named Sammy who steals houses along with his autistic brother Avery in order to survive. But in this journey he gets attached to a girl and her family. As their relationship progress, secrets get unveiled and they usually have a way in catching people up and in the process shake the relationship. Where do I even begin. The journey that the author takes her readers through is riveting and mesmerizing. I absolutely fell in love with the Lou brothers and De Lainey family. Each of the characters have a depth and dimension about them that adds more life to the story! Even though the book focuses on the younger adults, it was quite enjoyable as a read for me as an adult. Sammy Lou is the younger of the Lou brothers and he had to take it on himself to take care of his older brother Avery. He is fiercely protective of him and would literally go to any length to take care of him. His interaction with Moxie was so precious! My heart literally melted into puddles. This boy deserves all the love and happiness in the world. The representation of aut++tic spectrum through Avery is beautifully done! I was impressed with how well the author researched it before penning down it into the story. I was also happy with the fact that she did not bend the symptoms just so it could blend with the story but rather did justice to it by keeping Avery true to his character. Moxie and her family, oh my goodness- I loved that chaotic big family and how they were always there for each other. Their family wasn't perfect but rather a happy one! Overall, I'd absolutely urge you to pick this book up because it has sibling struggles, blossoming teen love, physical fi++ts, b****ual characters, character on au**stic spectrum and brotherly care!
Final Verdict Title: 4/5 Cover: 4/5 Plot:4.5/5 Characters:4.5/5 Language and Vocabulary: 4/5 Final overall rating: 4.5 /5
About: Fifteen year old Sam and his autistic brother Avery only have each other. To build a safe life for Avery, Sam spends his days taking care of his brother and stealing houses. Until one day he gets caught.
Characters: Sam was a very strong and angry character. Until Moxie came along, of course. Moxie's chirpy character was in good balance with Sam. Avery was so sweet, all through the book I just wanted to protect him just like Sam did. All the De Laineys were chaotic and fun.
Feelings: This was an emotional rollercoaster. Heartbreaking and also funny in places, the author did a great job at her second book. I was very impressed with the autism representation that was done in this book and I learnt a lot from it. Also, the sibling relationship in this book was so sweet and pure, I loved it so much.
Recommendation: Yes. It was a great read and talked about an important topic that everyone should know about.
Favourite Quote: Sam spends his life hitting the world and smoothing over the rusty corners so Avery won’t fall and hurt himself.
For me this book had everything I hope for in a read. A powerful, dramatic story and believable characters who are both flawed and wonderful at the same time, and who you become totally invested in. Sam has been looking out for his autistic brother Avery for as long as he can remember. After their mother ran away, their abusive father dumped them on their Aunt, who also did not want or care for them. Sam has been fighting Avery's corner since he was a little kid and this means he has got into the habit of using his fists to solve problems. Due to his violence, the boys are now homeless and relying on a life of crime to survive. One night Sam attempts to burgle an empty house and while he is there, the family return. The family have so many kids and one overworked but loving widowed father, and each sibling just assumes Sam is a friend of one of the others. He finds himself suddenly welcomed into a family for the first time in his life. Teen daughter Moxie takes him under her wing and a friendship develops between them. Meanwhile, Sam is torn between his new life where he is lying constantly, and his other life where he is stealing in order to keep him and Avery safe. Poor Sam is only fifteen and placed in so many impossible situations that my heart just ached for him in this book. Every time I thought it couldn't get any worse for him, it did. In fact, that was my only criticism. The amount of terrible stuff that happened to him, one after the other, got a little bit hard to cope with. He was a wonderful character, outwardly a tough street kid who steals and pick pockets, but everything he did was driven for his love for Avery and his instinct to protect him. Moxie was also a wonderful character and I was desperate for things to work out between them. One of those books you just keep reading because you love the characters so much. A great and very satisfying ending. I'd definitely like to read more from this author.
This book will break your heart and stitch it back together with caramel and sunbeams. It is a story filled with hope, pain, love, fear, and beautiful, beautiful connection.
CG Drews once again demonstrates her ability to craft the most astounding characters and weave the most heart wrenching narratives. The Lou brothers are masterfully written: all fear and rage and brotherly love and the relationship between them is portrayed with such raw honesty with all the sibling frustration and affection. The De Lainey family is just that most fabulous ball of waffle fuelled chaos and I adore every single one of them. I LOVED the big family dynamic: the teasing, the sibling rivalry, the anger and frustration and the fierce love is all just perfect.
I absolutely adored everything about this story: the range of characters and relationships, the dual timeline narrative, the anxiety and autism rep, the unflinching portrayal of darker themes, the friendships, the family, the romance - just...everything. A complete triumph. Read it with a box of tissues.
I absolutely adored Cait’s first novel, A Thousand Perfect Notes so when I found out this was coming out, it went straight onto my pre-order list. I think it would be grossly underestimating the little book by describing it simply as a contemporary YA romance.
Full disclosure: I had to stop reading at one point because I was crying so much my glasses fogged. So yea I adored this book even though it made me cry. I’m really into reading about sibling relationships right now, possibly because it’s a major theme in my own writing but I think Cait has surpassed herself this time. I really liked how she managed to balance a very understanding and respectful portrayal of autism with the reality of having a sibling – of growing up knowing they are different but being willing to fight for them because they’re your sibling and that’s what you do. I read somewhere that this is an #ownvoices rep for autism and anxiety and I can get that. Sam is in one word, adorable. While I did fall in love with him for his unwavering support and care (and fear for) his brother I also could identify with him through his need of finding safety – of finding a home that fits him – and he fits into perfectly. I think the danger would be that the story would focus too heavily on Avery, and Sam’s love and care for him – this is an #ownvoices story about autism but it’s made clear that it’s not only about autism. It also deals so well with the post traumatic effects of growing up in both a physically and emotionally abusive household for Sam. Is it a nervous tic that makes him steal houses – or the keys at least – or is it his way of coping with his isolated and troublesome world? Of course, there are romantic elements – Sam falls for Moxie. In a way that only a scared, abandoned boy can – by falling in love with her family first. But romance aside (because really, would the book fail if it didn’t have the romantic relationship between Sam and Moxie? I don’t think so) this is a book about falling in love with safety; with a chance for a family – however patchwork and broken it might be. You see, I could probably keep going on but there are only so many ways I can say that I adored this book. While both are standalone this and A Thousand Perfect Notes fit each other perfectly – from having a male POV to dealing with various forms of love, abuse, anger and hope. I can’t wait to read more of Cait’s stuff!
Glorious, miserable, poetic and beautiful, The Boy Who Steals Houses is a page-turning delight (if you like having your heart strings not only tugged, but ripped out. Repeatedly). C.G. Drews is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Broken boys and fragile families and love and all the things that make my soul sing. That's what C.G. Drews stories are made of. Like its predecessor, A Thousand Perfect Notes, The Boy Who Steals Houses is an emotional rollercoaster of a novel that ultimately finishes in a hopeful place. I fell head over heals in love with Sammy and Avery, and wanted to bring them both home with me from the very start. Just...gorgeous. Have tissues ready, though.
My teenage son LOVED this book - he couldn't put it down. He usually struggles with reading but I told him once he finds a book he loves it wouldn't be a chore. This was it! I'm just about to order another book by this author for him and hope he finds it just as enjoyable.
After reading A Thousand Perfect Notes, I knew I had to read C.G's second book as well! From the beginning, I fell in love with Sam's and Avery's characters. Although I didn't find it as captivated by the story as with A thousand perfect notes, I still really enjoyed it. Especially the ending when everything got really messy and complicated! At times I had to stop reading for a minute or two because of how heartbreaking some of the flashbacks from Sam's POV were. C.G's characters are incredibly well-developed and I loved how she was drawing from her own experiences with autism and anxiety to create Sam and Avery's characters. The other characters, such as the Delaney family (Moxie and her twin brothers!) offered Sam the love and support he needed to stand up for himself and to realise that he was worthy of being loved and appreciated too! To summarise, this book is full of love, hope, secrets, doubts and waffles. Who wouldn't love it!