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The Boy Who Steals Houses by C G Drews


Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now he’s trying to build a new life for the pair of them. Sam 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 take him under their wing – each member assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie.


Australian author C G Drews has a loft ‘goal’ of reading every book in existence. Well-known on Instagram, as PaperFury, for her bright, beautiful book posts, it’s obvious she devours books. As the saying goes; to be a better writer, be a better reader.


The Boy Who Steals Houses is a moving and gripping tale about two brothers, each trying the best they can.


The relationship between the brothers is perfect. It’s not a lovey-dovey soppy sibling story. It is raw, dynamic and hard, while also having moment of absolute sibling harmony, love and devotion. Just like real life.


The added dynamic of Avery being autistic is not tokenistic and as a character Avery is perfect. Sam, in all his flaws, is also well-rounded, with a hint of anxiety thrown in there too. Both characters are incredibly believable.


Drews writes in such a way that you get invested in their story. One page you want to scream at them, the next you want to wrap them up in a big hug and look after them.

The large family dynamic was also extremely relatable, and there’s a lot going on within the minor characters too. The death of the mother, working and life balance, siblings raising siblings, it’s all there in its raw and real detail.


The story is not full of doom and gloom though – there are moments of magic within the mundane everyday existence of these two boys. It will make you laugh, cry and sigh while reading.


A modern day Goldilocks story with a twist, The Boy Who Steals Houses will steal your heart.


Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser

Hachette NZ, RRP $19.99

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