OH. MY. GOSH. This book was everything I didn’t know I needed.
It was amazing and enthralling and I laughed and cried and it’s every adjective you can think of. Except bad or horrible or anything negative 😉
And my opinion may be biased because I have read many a thing from the author, who also runs a fabulous cake-filled blog. (I would probably read her grocery lists, tbh) AND SHE’S AUSTRALIAN and oh gosh we need moRE AUSSIE AUTHORS. just saying.
I also think I loved this book because I bought this on the day it came out in Australia and I read it in the same evening, even though I stayed up late to do it. (That’s the first time I’ve ever done that. It felt good 🙂 )
Besides my bias, this book completely stole my heart, and while I will *try* to keep it spoiler free, any thoughts involving things that directly ruin the book to read I will be placing in spoiler tags.
*and please ignore all my horrible puns about ‘stealing’ in this review. I know they suck, BUT THE OPPORTUNITY WAS THERE. and if anything is wrong please tell me because i legit read the book yesterday and wrote the entire review today. my brain may be a little too obsessed.
The Boy Who Steals Houses, C.G. Drews
Can two broken boys find their perfect home?
Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie.
But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.
(summary via goodreads, image taken by me – please ask permission for use)
and this will be a bullet point review because honestly? I can’t think of another way to review a five star book that all I want to do is rant about. Except for the characters because they deserve a special section 😉
The characters were TOO ADORABLE. I mean, I was falling for all of them at different points in the book, and I need brothers like the twins. (Oh gosh when the twins sat Sam down to talk about Moxie was P R I C E L E S S) Let me break it down for you (and note, this won’t include all the De Laineys because otherwise I’d be here for too long. And all the quotes mentioned under the character are – obviously – said by the character.)
S A M
My smol perfect broken protective son. He, um, makes a few (nope, try a LOT) bad decisions but HIS HEART BELONGS TO AVERY. EVERYTHING HE DOES IS FOR HIM.
“I’m the boy of nothing and nowhere. I’m invisible and forgotten, a thief of dust and cobwebs and house keys.”
M O X I E
She gives me all the Blue Sargent vibes and I frick-fracking (haha) love it. Even though she knows Sam is bad news, she still falls for him and the relationship she has with all her brothers are beautiful. (Yet another reason she reminds me of Blue).
“‘Do yourself a favour,’ Moxie says to Sam, ‘And don’t collect brothers.'”
A V E R Y
Okay so Avery has autism (#ownvoices rep) and honestly I just wanted to give him a hug the whole book. (Sam too, both the Lou brothers really). Also 99% sure he’s bisexual, which was lovely to see (him and Jeremy would actually be perfect ❤ )
“His smile is puppy-dog wide. Innocent and anxiously excited.”
M R. D E L A I N E Y
In the words of Moxie “He’s the softest squish you’ll ever meet. He’s buff because he’s a builder, but trust me, he’s the kind of guys who saves spiders.” And he has the best hearing when it comes to Jack lol
“Mr De Lainey tries to say something like ‘I’m not that bad’ but he looks exactly that bad.”
J E R E M Y
I think Jeremy was my favourite??? He was so cute and the slightly more mellow version of his twin, Jack. And I loved him so so so so so so much. Makes Moxie salted caramel lattes (gosh I want one of those) at all the wrong times.
“Come in. Unless you’re an axe murderer. Then stay out or whatever.”
J A C K
The crazy, bad-boy twin of Jeremy. Hates his father’s uncanny ability to hear him swearing (but Mr. De Lainey is apparently deaf when they ask to borrow the car lol). Thinks he’s a lot more helpful than Moxie does (only a 1/10).
“Why are you asking me about his f– um, frick fracking crushes?”
- The fact that it’s a Goldilocks retelling makes it ~that~ much better. I really love retellings, and this is THE BEST ONE I’VE EVER READ.
- The banter between the family was beautiful, especially as I’m an only child, so I’ve never really experienced that banter. The whole family was dysfunctional and gorgeously messy and I wish I could just spend a day with them. Their home was so captivating and compelling and I want to stay for a night is that allowed? (I also have a weird habit of picturing houses in books as houses I know in real life and this one was ten thousand percent my cousin’s house.)
- And the dedication. THAT DEDICATION. The onl– wait, spoiler alert.
spoiler mentioned here
The only thing Sam could think about, holding his last remaining key to the family that means so much to him. He couldn’t lose it and them.
“If lost, please return to the De Laineys.”
- The romance. Moxie x Sam are my forever OTP, as both friends and lovers. They just click. And I love how at one point Sam describes her eyes as caramel. And she LOVES caramel. That’s my idea of love.
“She is the sun, and her eyes burn stars.”
- AND THE EASTER EGGS FROM ATPN AHAHA I loved them
page 209, the beautiful page 209
- Also the damn flashbacks broke me. THE FLASHBACKS BROKE ME, OKAY? I just want to give Sammy a home and a hug and maybe some chocolates. Because as he discovered with Moxie, always start with chocolates.
“He’s officially taken house burglary to the next level. Forget stealing a bed, a key, a home for the night. He’s stealing families and their Sunday lunches.”
This book is overwhelmingly about finding homes and families in places and people that may not necessarily be your blood, but the people that love you and are familiar to you.
Read this book. Read this book for the messy family relationships and adopted sons. Read this book for the ridiculous antics that everyone gets up to. Read this book for the De Lainey waffles and caramel brownies.
have you read TBWSH yet? PLEASE SAY YOU PLAN TO. if you read it, did you enjoy it?
also this is a bit of an impromptu post, but i’ll still be seeing you all on the weekend sometime, love you all xx
quick lil’ update, click to read 🙂
for those lovely people who wished that this month would be better for me in terms of mental health, etc, i’d like to thank y’all so so much. i’m so glad i know you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart. happy to say that the five days of holidays (and there days off school) that i’ve had too far have been stress-free and i’ve been really happy. 🙂 and in other news…. i reached 10,000 hits on this blog!!!! thank you all so much again ❤ ❤ ❤ and something that has vaguely to do with that is i have two books i bought – the fever king and then aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe, so i’m off to read them. have a beautiful day lovelies, and i’ll see you again on the weekend some time xx