The Boy Who Steals Houses ft. Gorgeous Messy Boys And Soft De Laineys Who Stole My Heart

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.

TBWSHThe 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.)


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.”


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.'”


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.”


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.”


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.”


august and bf

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

love from rhi.png

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


Top Five Tuesday // 5 Books Set In Space (insert spacey emoticon here :))

This post isn’t late!! Yay!! *sarcasm*

Welll, it would have been early if WP scheduling hadn’t messed up and actually published it on the right day. So here is a slightly late post, right on cue for me.

Thank you Shanah for giving us an easy topic this week!!! Not…. gah this one was hard. I even had to resort to books I haven’t read yet!! Just, I know they’re set in space, ‘kay?

Ancestral Night (White Space, #1)

Well well well, this one has it on the cover even! Yay! I’d love to read this, but it came out only this month soo ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan (short story featured as part of meet cute)
This follows Philip and Blythe, a boy and a girl stuck in a locked room for 24 hours to evaluate whether or not they’d work well together in a trip to Mars? I think that’s where? It has a definite space vibe to it though.

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“This story contains: explosions, the first person born on Mars, a greenhouse, two girls, a small tree called Horace, kissing, difficult decisions about what to do after school, action sequences, and that awkward moment when you try to figure out if your best friend is into you.”

I’m just going to let the goodreads synopsis do the talking. The story was fabulous, read it please and thank you.


So, uh, I STARTED THIS. but it’s too long, and I was slumping (I’d just finished Six Of Crows) so I never got past like pg.50? It sounds and was spacey though, from memory. I also do plan on coming back to it ❤ Eventually. Hopefully. IT’S SO LONGGGGG OKAY?!


Well, another book I haven’t read yet. This one has a zoomed-out view of a planet though…. so does that mean it’s partly set in space where you’d get that view? I’m going with my gut here. (and what I’ve read from other bloggers :p)


did you mind this post being a tad late… again? sorry!!!! this time it wasn’t me tho, at least. read any of these? got any other good space-themed recs? tell me!!

Seven Books + Moments That I Love More Than Waffles ft. Love Letters To Books I’ve Already Talked Way Too Much About

So. We all know there are books I keep. on. talking. about.

Like, I don’t know, Six of Crows? Or maybe just Leigh Bardugo in general? I may love them a bit too much… just a bit. (Okay a LOT.)

But what you probably don’t know is that there are a lot of other books and scenes that actually mean a lot to me. (Probably because I don’t talk about them as much.)

Today I’m here to acknowledge all the books (and the moments in them) that I loved, or that meant a lot to me. This is basically one long sappy fangirl, so, uh, enjoy!

Continue reading “Seven Books + Moments That I Love More Than Waffles ft. Love Letters To Books I’ve Already Talked Way Too Much About”

Top Five Tuesday // fictional friendships!

By now you must have realised my obsession with found families and friendship squads.

I mean, dude. Unless you’re REALLY new here (in which case, welcome! I don’t bite… most of the time.) you should know that just from the amount of ranting about the dregs that I do. (An unhealthy amount, really.)

Today Shanah has given me the wonderful opportunity to rant about all the squads I love so much! There may be romance in some of them… but like, you can’t have it all.

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I am in love with all the Phoenix Riders. Roshan and Hammie and Asher, even Ren. If I could just spend one day trying to beat them all at Mario Kart, that would be the dream.

Six Of Crows

Explanation needed? No. Will I give you one anyway? Yes.

SoC has such a diverse yet it-doesn’t-feel-forced vibe to it in its cast of six. They are all there for each other and I would love to be a part of that. (Also who doesn’t want Nina to show all the waffle hotspots to you. I mean, seriously. )

The Raven Boys

The bond that Blue, Gansey, Adam, Noah, amd Ronan have is unmistakably unique and incredible. What I wouldn’t do to be a part of that.


Day and Tess have a super amazing bond that, honestly, seems pretty sturdy through just about anything. They’ve practically grown up together, and Marie Lu writes the relationship beautifully.

The Art of Being Normal

Something I love about this book is that it isn’t entirely romance based. It’s more coming-of-age than anything else, and Leo and David are my two soft boys and no-on e better hurt them. You’ve been warned…


so… what did you think? any other suggestions? books i might’ve missed?

have a lovely day 🙂

Top 5 Tuesday / Top Five Books Set in Your Own Country

Today’s topic I am super excited for!!! Not many books are set in Australia, so when I find them I hold on tight.

*also once again this post is super super late and i am super super sorry

Take Three Girls

Wow. It was set in Melbourne and I loved it and please read it. Most cities referenced would mean nothing to you but I recognized a lot and could put pieces together easily.

I Am Out With Lanterns

Never really read but I started it?? And it seems to be also set in Melbourne?? Which I adore??

The Secret Science Of Magic

This is ALSO set in Melbourne. YAY!!! (Also this book gave me so much grief over finding a spot for it on my shelf)

A Thousand Perfect Notes

As said by the author, this is set somewhere between Cairns and Brisbane? I think? It’s definitely set in Australia.

Beautiful Mess

This book…. IS AMAZING. I’m pretty sure it’s also set in Melbourne? It mentions being 100% set in Australia, that much I know. (The theme of ‘being more beautiful after being broken’ is also SO GORGEOUS. It features a cinnamon roll named Gideon as well and he writes slam poems and I love him so much 💖 Highly recommend)


Words In Deep Blue, Cath Crowley (Melbourne author!)

A #LoveOzYA Anthology, written by tons of Australian authors like Amie Kaufman (co-writer of the Illuminae series) and Melissa Keil (wrote The Secret Science Of Magic – mentioned above – and others)


Aahhh thank you for this topic Shanah!!! It was super fun to think about and I hope I introduced a few Aussie books to y’all! If you’re ever looking for recommendations by Australian authors or books set here just let me know 😉

love, rhi