How did I get it?:
I bought it!
Previously reviewed by the same author:
A Thousand Perfect Notes
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.
I loved A Thousand Perfect Notes so much that I pre-ordered The Boy Who Steals Houses. It’s taken me ages to get around to reading it, but I’m so pleased that I did because it’s incredible. I’m all for representation of autism and this book has it in abundance. Representation that is so on point. I’ve worked with so many children with autism and I have to say, the author absolutely nailed the representation.
It centres around 15 year old Sam. He is desperate to take care of his older brother Avery. Avery has autism and needs consistent routine. Both Sam and Avery have had it hard in their lives. Their father is abusive, leaving the boys with an Aunt who doesn’t really want them. Sam and Avery end up homeless, with Sam stealing houses to ensure they always have somewhere to stay. Sam is getting good at working out when a house in unoccupied. However, one day he’s caught out when a family return home early. Sam finds himself being swept up by a large, pretty chaotic family. They each think Sam is one of their sibling’s friends. He finds himself involved in their lives and falling for Moxie. However, Sam has a secret he’s been hiding and it’ll soon be revealed…
The characters in this story are phenomenal. I loved Sam and Avery and Moxie was a fantastic character too. I loved the chaotic De Lainey family. I felt like they brought some joy to a story that is otherwise very dark. Sam goes through things he shouldn’t be dealing with at 15. He has to deal with so much in his young life. The De Lainey family are definitely welcome relief for him.
A word of warning, there is some physical abuse within the story that will hurt your heart. The story does have some lighter moments though which give you a chance to take a breather from the horrible events. Overall, it’s a messy story about family and devotion. It’s a heart-breaking read but so worthwhile.
Would I recommend it?: