The Boy Who Steals Houses is a gender bent goldilocks retelling and it was one of those books where I didn't want to stop reading, but I didn't want to get to the end either, because I was NOT READY to say goodbye to the these characters! They were amazing and flawed and REAL. Sam's sense of responsibility for his brother, even though it often caused him pain was beautiful and I loved the way both sides of it were shown. He wasn't a hero, he didn't pretend it was all roses, it was HARD but he did it anyway because he loved him. Sam and Moxie (and Mr De Lainey!) are some of my new favourite characters ever. I loved the way no-one was perfect, they all had challenges and had been shaped by their life experiences to react in different ways. They make mistakes, they want, they're afraid, they feel like people you would actually meet. I became so immersed in this story that I kind of had to remind myself it wasn't real.
This one had me going through all the emotions - it was sad and anxious but gave me feel good laughs in parts too. I loved the way the De Lainey's family was so chaotic, and just how I imagine a huge family would be It also made me eat a lot of food. You've been warned. There was a lot of eating and talk about delicious food and I wanted to JOIN IN, so I did. At every opportunity.
The Boy Who Steals Houses will be sitting firmly at the top of my list as one of my favourite contemporary reads of all time!