book review

The Boy Who Steals Houses | C.G. Drews – A book review


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 about Sam and his older brother Avery, who is autistic. Sam and Avery were firstly abandoned by their mother, and were left with their abusive father. Once their father had had enough of them he took Sam and Avery to their Aunt’s place, but she didn’t want them either.

“ Sam spends his life hitting the world and smoothing over the rusty corners so Avery won’t fall and hurt himself.”

We switch between the past and the present, learning about Sam and Avery’s upbringing as the story progresses. The emotions I felt through out this book were so real, that all I wanted to do was jump into the pages and save them both.

I love Sam and Avery’s relationship so so so much. How Sam loves and protects his brother, and Sam understanding Avery for all that he is and not just his autism.

“Can you do that?’ Avery whispers. ‘Steal houses?’

‘Yeah,’ Sammy says. ‘Yeah, of course I can.’


I enjoyed the fact that the book wasn’t solely based on Sams relationship with Moxie, but about his relationship with his brother and the realness of the life that they have lived.

There was no sugar coating any parts of the story, it just felt raw and real and I LOVE books that make you feel that way.

And I just have to talk about my favourite characters a little (in no particular order because I just love them all tbh):

I LOVE THE DE LAINEY’S! You get the sense of this is what Sam has been missing, and what he has been craving. The De Laineys are loud and chaotic and full of love, but not without their own heartbreak.

Moxie is a bad ass and I love her. As the only girl in my family, I can relate to Moxie being surrounded by boys, but also being so strong willed and strong minded, and telling it how it is and just being herself.

Sammy Lou, a boy who loves his brother, who is so protective when it comes to him, but a boy who just needs love too, and who just wants to feel like he belongs. Ugh love him.

And I need to mention Avery. He is precious and needs to be protected at all costs! My heart broke for Avery so many times during this story, and Sam too.

And the ending?! I’m praying to the book Gods for a sequel! (Please)

Overall The Boy Who Steals houses was a beautiful story, one that made me cry, and one that made me want to rip the characters right out of the pages of the book and tuck them away so they would be safe.

“He doesn’t break into houses because he enjoys stealing. He stalks vacant windows and tricks locks and sleeps in stolen beds because he just wants to be home.”

Cait has a way with words I tell you. AMAZING. It’s like the book writing gods were sprinkling talent glitter on people and then they got to Cait and got distracted and just kept pouring. Her story telling amazes me and the way that she uses her story to make you feel so many emotions at once is just mind blowing.

If I could give this book more than 5 starts, I definitely would. Sam and Avery will always have a home in my heart.

Released April 9th 2019.

A huge thank you to Netgalley and Hachette Childrens books Australia for allowing me to read a digital arc of TBWSH for an honest review.

Happy reading!

Lizz xx

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