The Boy Who Steals Houses

The Boy Who Steals Houses
How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
A Thousand Perfect Notes

Synopsis:

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.

Thoughts:

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?:
Of course!

Another incredible book from C.G Drews. Highly recommended!

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Top Ten Books That I Read In 2018

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week’s Top Ten list is all about our favourite books that we read in 2018. I like doing these sorts of posts because I get to look back at the books I’ve read!

In no particular order, here’s my list… book images go to Goodreads!

They Both Die at the End

This was a beautiful read. I didn’t want it to end because I knew what was going to happen at the end. It was a really incredible read. I love Adam Silvera’s writing.

Bad Romance

Another fantastic writer here. Heather Demetrios is amazing. I highly recommend her books. This one was heavy going but so worth the read.

A List of Cages

I’d had this book on my radar and was so pleased I made time for it in 2018. I thought it was amazing. So not what I expected.

Close to Home (DI Adam Fawley, #1)

Another unexpected gem!

How to Stop Time

I love Matt Haig’s writing, if you hadn’t guessed.

A Thousand Perfect Notes

I bloomin’ loved this book! 🙂 It’s hard-going but so beautifully written.

Nice Try, Jane Sinner

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I thought it was really unique.

The Creakers

I adored this book! So much so, that I’m reading it with my book club at school! 🙂

This Is Not A Love Letter

This was a beautifully written book!

Flying Tips for Flightless Birds

I read some cracking debut authors in 2018 and this was another one! 🙂

Tell me about your favourite books of 2018! Feel free to leave me a link to your Top Ten post and I’ll stop by!

Annual End of Year Book Survey 2018

I absolutely love taking part in Jamie’s End Of Year Book Survey. It can be a little time consuming, but I adore thinking about my reading in the year.

2018 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 138 (thus far… writing on 8th December!)
Number of Re-Reads: 4
Genre You Read The Most From: Thriller

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1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

Tough one. I really enjoyed Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

This Is Not A Love Letter by Kim Purcell. I liked it much more than I thought I would.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher

5. Best series you started in 2018 ? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

Cheating because it’s a re-read but Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. It wasn’t released this year but it was still the best sequel I’ve read this year.

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2018?

Cara Hunter! She’s awesome

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Eek! I can’t say I’ve read outside my comfort zone this year.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’m not a massive re-reader. I don’t think I’ll re-read a book from this year.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2018?

The Surface Breaks

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Zach from Only Child

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

Number The Stars by Lois Lowry

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

Not life changing, but thought-provoking… Anatomy of Scandal by Sarah Vaughan.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read?

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe. Not an old book but I wish I had read it last year.

15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

“Getting smacked in the face with a Harry Potter book does not qualify as a fight,” Charlie says.
“First of all, it wasn’t just any Harry Potter book. It was Order of the Phoenix.”
Matt gasps. He knows that Order of the Phoenix is the longest and most potentially dangerous of all the Harry Potter books when used as a weapon.”

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

King & King by Linda De Haan and I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jenningd- both 32 pages (as part of a banned books feature)

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne- 736 pages

How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios. A beautiful book, but so tough to read.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Mateo and Rufus- They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Stevie and Hafiz from Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham

20. Favourite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios!

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. I’m not a fan of Mr Green, but I wanted to read it because it was recommended so highly.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

I don’t have one this year!

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Soloman

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Showstopper series by Hayley Barker.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R Pan

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings- the fact that this gentle picture book is challenged really makes me mad.

book-blogging

1. New favourite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

That’s far too hard. I have loads of favourites. Check out some of them here.

2. Favourite post you wrote in 2018?

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher- Girls, girls, girls

I loved the support I got for this post.

3. Favourite bookish related photo you took in 2018?

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4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)?

Ooh I haven’t. I must participate next year.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

Seeing my statistics grow more. I’m not focused on them, but it’s nice to see improvement year by year rather than a drop.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

My reading has slowed considerably due to the busy nature of my job.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Top Ten Shows/Movies To Binge Watch

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

They Both Die At The End

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I haven’t discovered anything new.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Yes! I have saved £1 for every book I’ve read.

I’ve also read over 12 British books… my current total being 65 books. Check them out here. 

I also think I’ll finish my Goodreads target of 150 books.

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

The Dangerous Art Of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

Fame, Fate and The First Kiss by Kasie West- I love Kasie’s books!

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Wilder Girls– Rory Power

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

I don’t have one!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

Step outside my comfort zone with genre!

6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

I haven’t read one at the time of writing this, but I have an ARC for The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts that I’m really looking forward to.

Please leave me a link if you do this survey. I LOVE reading people’s answers.

The Mid-Year Freak Out Tag- 2018 Edition

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I did this tag last year (albeit a little late) and I enjoyed it, so I thought I’d bring it back. It’s been going around the blogosphere and BookTube a lot recently. Here are my answers with book images going  to Goodreads.

Best Book Read So Far in 2018

This one is so hard for me because I’ve read some crackers this year. However, it has to be A Thousand Perfect Notes.

A Thousand Perfect NotesBest Sequel

Leah On The Offbeat wasn’t so much a sequel as a companion, but I had to mention it.

Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood, #2)

New 2018 Release You Have Not Read Yet

There’s been so many. I really need to get on it…

Nice Try, Jane Sinner

Most Anticipated Read of 2018 That Hasn’t Come Out Yet

#Murdertrending

I’m intrigued by this one. It seems to be going down well!

Biggest Disappointment

My Husband’s Lies

I wasn’t a massive fan of this book. I think I expected it to be something it wasn’t. The writing was good, but the plot wasn’t for me.

Biggest Surprise

Turtles All the Way Down

I expected to hate this book, but I didn’t! I’m not the biggest fan of John Green, but the representation of anxiety impressed me.

Favourite New To Me Author

When Dimple Met Rishi

I really enjoyed Sandhya’s writing!

Newest Fictional Crush

I don’t have fictional crushes often. How sad!

Book That Made You Cry

They Both Die at the End

The tears! Aw, this book broke my heart.

Book That Made You Happy

Flying Tips for Flightless Birds

I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel! 🙂 It was so touching!

Most Beautiful Book You Bought

The Surface Breaks

This book looks even more beautiful in the flesh! 🙂

Books You Have to Read in the Rest of 2018

There are SO many. I’ll link my Summer TBR…

If you’ve posted a Mid Year Freak Out post, please leave me a link so I can see what your reading year has been like so far!

A Thousand Perfect Notes

A Thousand Perfect Notes

How did I get it?:
Netgalley- many thanks to Hatchette Children’s books

Synopsis:

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

Thoughts:

I don’t even know where to begin with this book because it’s just THAT GOOD. Yes. THAT GOOD. It deserves the capitals. I feel like this review should come with a massive trigger warning because its content is incredibly intense. Beck, our main character, suffers abuse at the hands of his violent mother. This story tore my heart into shreds and moved me… in less than 300 pages. C.G Drews is certainly a talented writer. I can’t believe this is her debut. I’m going to try and write a sensible and coherent review but I may struggle… just saying.

A Thousand Perfect Notes centres around Beck who is an incredibly beautiful character. He hates his life because of his simply horrific mother who he names Maestro. Maestro is violent towards him and also emotionally abusive. She forces him to play the piano for hours upon hours because she wants him to be as good as she was at the piano before illness stole her talent from her. She was once famous across the word for her talents and she’s determined that he’ll continue her legacy, no matter the cost. I’m actually tearing up at the thought of the story and the terrible situations Beck was in. Beck does enjoy music, but he prefers to create his own music. Any mention of this to his mother ends violently. Added to this complex family situation, is a young sister, Joey, who he wants to protect. She sees her big brother being hit and has become violent herself at pre-school. (Heart-breaking once more… thanks Cait!) Beck is paired with a girl named August for a school project. She brings joy into his life and encourages him (without even knowing it) to stand up for himself and get away from the violence at home.

This book really is exceptional. I was immediately drawn into the story and although the subject matter is incredible tense and heart-breaking it still made me flick through the pages quickly, desperately wanting a release from such an awful life for Beck. I grew so attached to Beck and his sister Joey. I was infuriated at his school for not picking up more signs. I absolutely loathed his mother. Of course, I felt sorry for her that she had lost her passion due to illness, I’m not that cold-hearted. However, Beck and Joey did not deserve a mother that didn’t know how to be a mother.

I adored August. She was a shining light for Beck and Joey and alongside her beautiful family, she gave Beck hope to stand up for himself. I loved how Beck and August’s relationship was a slow burning romance. I love a slow burning romance because it’s much more realistic.

I have to be honest and say I was worried about reading this book because of the hype surrounding it. I’ve followed and adored the author’s blog for several years now and wondered what her writing would be like. I needn’t have worried because the book was simply divine! Easily one of my favourite reads of 2018 so far!

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

A wonderful debut! One of my favourites of the year so far.

This Week In Books #113

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Little Liar A Thousand Perfect Notes Days of Wonder

NOWLittle LiarJulia Gray– I’ve just started this book which I was totally intrigued by when I saw it on NetGalley. I’ve only read a chapter so it’s early days, but it certainly sounds good.

THENA Thousand Perfect NotesC.G Drews– I don’t know if you know this author’s blog (Cait at Paper Fury) but this book is her debut novel. Oh my goodness, I was absolutely captivated by it. My review is out later today, so please check back for it, if you’re interested. Spoiler- I gave it 5 stars!

NEXTDays Of WonderKeith Stuart– I am really looking forward to reading this book, having loved the author’s debut novel. I have heard wonderful things about it already.

These reviews will appear on my blog soon, due to all of them being advanced reading copies. I aim to have all of them reviewed by the first week in June. 

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

Stacking The Shelves #188

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Book images go to Goodreads!

This week it’s been my biggest book haul for a while! Oops. I was approved for quite a few books on NetGalley and I bought some books on pay day! 😉 Naughty me!

NetGalley

A Thousand Perfect Notes

I have had this book pre-ordered for quite some time now. When I was approved to read it, I was a very happy Chrissi. I have heard great things about this book already!

We Are Young

I absolutely adore Cat Clarke’s writing. I love how dark it is and how it covers important issues. Looking forward to this one!

Little Liar

I was intrigued by this book’s synopsis. It sounded like it might have a Pretty Little Liars vibe. I do see it’s rated low on Goodreads, but I’m happy to give it a go and make my own mind up! After all, it’s only got 2 ratings so far.

The Liar's Room

I really enjoyed The House by Simon Lelic. This book sounds like a fabulous thriller.

The List of Real Things

I have read Sarah Moore Fitzgerald before. I thought this book sounded like a fantastic middle grade read.

Bought

The Visitor

I have heard so many blogging friends talking about this book. I couldn’t resist!

RoseBlood

I absolutely love the covers that A.G Howard is blessed with. This is influenced by The Phantom Of The Opera, as you may guess by the cover!

Almost Love

Louise O’Neill’s writing is bloomin’ brilliant. Can’t wait to read this one.

The Girl of Ink and Stars

I have high hopes for this book which I’m reading at the end of the month as part of my kid lit challenge with my sister, Beth!

What have you added to your shelves this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by! 🙂