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.
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you might already have an inkling of what I have to say about this book. First came across this book when I was asked to be part of the book blitz for it and thought it sounded really good. C.G. Drews was a new author to me but from her social media she seemed super approachable and this was a book I would enjoy.
I was unfortunate to receive the book the same day I had finished a book. Unfortunate because I couldn’t resist temptation and started reading it right away. I read it through dinner. And I read it way late into the night. I read it during my lunch break. Finally, I cried as I read it on my way home.
Hold onto your hats, this is a long one!
Simply, I could not put it down and read it within 24 hours (would have been sooner if it wasn’t for stupid work.) Sammy Lou is one of the most relatable characters I have ever read, his pain and anger rooted in fierce protectiveness. Above all the entire book you just want to wrap him up is the softest squishiest blanket and whisper to him that everything is going to be okay until he believes it. Be prepared you might be there a while.
Avery, his older brother struggles as he strives to live a standard life with friends who take advantage of him. They know that by being nice to him he’ll do anything. But life can be too much for him, and they seem to continually refuse to understand who Avery is, Autism and all. He tries to help Sam in his way, tries to care for him and be the big brother. He is a strong wonderful character who doesn’t once become a sad neurodivergent stereotype.
This quote won my heart forever
I kissed Elle,’ Avery Says. ‘But she said “no way” to being my actual girlfriend and to ask someone else so I asked if it has to be a girl or can it be a boy and she laughed and said whatever I want-‘ he speaks faster and faster ‘-and did you know you can pick whoever you want, which is good because sometimes boys are as pretty as girls and she said she’ll still kiss me sometimes because I’m cute and dumb and then her brother West is fixing up his uncle’s Hyundai and said I can hang out and watch if I want and-Avery Lou – The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews
Finally the De Laineys, the family that accidentally somehow adopts Sammy, not even noticing at first that no one knows him. They are large, chaotic, and completely loveable, no perfect lounges, or even perfect siblings. All of them are struggling to overcome the loss of their mother with a completely overwhelmed father. Fights happen and they yell at each other, the father asks too much and Moxie tells her father that. Most importantly, they all deep down are good and want to help each other, they love each other and are so authentic it hurts.
Every step of the way this book takes turns warming your heart then breaking it. You cringe each time Sam, denies his self-worth or puts almost literally ANYONE else’s needs ahead of his. I both want to hug C.G. Drews for such a strong and powerful book and slap her for everything she did to Sam, Moxie and Avery.
I give it an enthusiastic 5 stars!
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