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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.
(The Boy Who Steals Houses is CG Drew’s second novel, released April 4th 2019.)
Alrighty, let’s get right into what I loved about this gem of a novel!
- The autism rep!!!!
Oh. My. Goodness. You have no idea how much I love a well-written autistic character. There really aren’t enough books out there with non-stereotypical autistic characters. When I saw The Boy Who Steals Houses was #OwnVoices, I figured it would be truer than most of the books I’d read featuring autistic characters. TBWSH was exactly what I was hoping for, and more! Avery is the best. He’s not defective or broken. He isn’t magically “cured.” He’s just a wonderful representation of all the autistic people in the world, including myself. Like I said, he’s the best. And so is Sam, of course. He’s awesome too. 😂
- The simplicity of the story.
That’s not to say the plot was basic and bland. There was a lot of complex and deep stuff going on in this book. What I mean is that I loved the pure storytelling moments. It’s not all “go go go” and super exciting. There are a lot of nice, true-to-life bits where the characters are just chilling and being teenagers, and I love that. We all know life is sometimes, if not often, pretty low-key, and CG captured those moments with perfect honesty.
- The quotables.
How about this gem?
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.
And this one?
“We are the kings of nowhere,” Sammy says. “We only need us.”
And this one?
He’s so empty. They tried to stitch him back together, but too much already fell out. Stars and buttons and caramel truffles.
And…well, you’ll just have to read the book. (pleasssse read the book!)
- The way it ripped my heart to shreds, then managed to glue it back together.
I didn’t cry (I don’t cry that much with books. Pixar movies on the other hand…), but I came fairly close.The “found family” trope was excellent, and Sam and Avery’s relationship with each other was a mix of humorous and deep. This book was heartfelt, real, and messy. I was so invested in all of the characters’ lives that whenever the bad things happened, my heart got ripped up a little more each time. But there was always hope to super-glue it together again. We’re fine. Everything’s fine.
- The de Laineys.
If there’s ever a way to be an honorary de Lainey, I will be the first in line. Their big family craziness is wonderful. They’re funny, honest, messy-as-a-melting-ice-cream-cone awesome. I’d steal this family and their Sunday lunches any day.
All in all, this was a lovely book that tore me up but still left me with hope at the end. The representation was on point, which was a rare treat for me. I sincerely enjoyed this book. It’s about time for a reread too…maybe I’ll pick it up again when the weather warms up a bit!
Have you read The Boy Who Steals Houses? What were your thoughts on it? Tell me in the comments below!