With just 10 days to go until The Boy Who Steals Houses is out, some of us just want to read it already.
Enough waiting okay.
Well, “some of us” does not include me, because I have read this book so many freaking times I can close my eyes, point to a page number, and know what scene it is. (Although tbh, if you guess “SAM WAS SAD HERE” then you’re 90% right for every page. But that’s beside the point.)
So it’s time for me to haul out some book recommendations…
6 books to read while you wait for the boy who steals houses!
I did a similar post before A Thousand Perfect Notes came out too, so it is becoming a thing. And I am okay with that. 🙌🏻 I love increasing your TBRs and your chances of being buried alive by good books. I’m just that kind of lovely friend.
Also these are “you might like…” sort of recs. TBWSH is a Goldilocks retelling but still most thoroughly my own monster.
OTHER POSTS TO READ
One of my favourite things to write in TBWSH was the De Lainey family! They have 7 kids, they’re grieving the loss of their mother, their dad is so Chill™ he legit doesn’t notice Sam living in their house for, um, the whole summer, and there is at least 5 dramas happening at all times. Like I just loved writing this ok?! They are loveable chaos. There is a scene where Moxie rates her brothers on Usefulness Rankings. What can I say.
Anyway…you must absolutely try My Life Next Door which also features a Sam (a female one) and her next door neighbours are the messy and loveable Garrett family. This one is way more fluffy than mine loooool.
Am still not over Boomerang and how much it made me feeeel. It’s also about Sean who ran away from a neglectful home life and *found* a better family and a place in the world. Except now Sean has to go back home and he’s leaving people he absolutely loves, but his real-mum wants him back. It’s a book that tugs your heart all over the place. It’s also softly queer and softly stressful.
In my book ➸ Sam also runs away from home, with his autistic older brother Avery. But Sam breaks into houses when the families are home and just lives there. He has so many tragic dreams it’s just !!! kid, you need a hug and a hot drink.
In When My Heart Joins The Thousand, Alvie is 17, autistic, and living alone and trying to be emancipated. But she is so lonely. Then she connects with this boy with such fragile bones that he can barely move without hurting himself. It’s an amazing story, and I just loved Alvie’s portrayal of autism?! She represents so many of we autistics: she’s got a job, she can take care of herself…but then she falls apart in so many ways that society doesn’t deem “acceptable” for her age.
This is pretty much Avery from my book. He’s vulnerable and naive and Sam basically gets grey hair the whole time trying to explain to keep Avery safe. Avery can hold down a job. He’s verbal. He has a wicked sense of humour and is so Soft™ and literally craves hugs. But he absolutely can’t see BAD THINGS COMING because he still trusts people. 😭 Dammit, Avery. Also these brothers have some co-dependancy issues and Sam is only 15, so he messes up a lot. He’s basically raising Avery, but the line between “protecting” vs “isolating” gets blurred.
Look The Foxhole Court is like my favourite thing so I had to find a way to mention it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I shan’t apologise. But look in this book we have NEIL who is on the run from an abusive father…but sacrifices safety because he so badly wants to play Exy and have a family. Have a place. And his team gives him that.
All I’m saying is that Sam and Neil have the same issue. “I don’t need anyone,” they say, while clinging to their new family and freaking out when they hold keys because it means they have a place.
Do their bad decisions come back to bite them? Yes.
The Wicker King is actually one of my all-time favourite books. I CRY. 😭 In my top 5, easy. And it’s about August watching his childhood friend spiral down into delusions and mental illness while the adults in their lives fully just neglect them. August and Jack just bREAK me…and their soft realisation that it’s ok to love each other through all of this is just everything.
In my book ➸ Sam has the similar experience of just turning to adults who aren’t there for him. At all. He’s totally ruled by his anxiety (like August) trying to keep it all together by himself. Part of why Sam holds so fast to the De Laineys is that for once he doesn’t have to be the adult. But if he’s not looking after Avery, then who is???
I can’t even recommend any other Goldilocks retellings?! I dare say Im not the first lmao, I juts haven’t found any. So HERE is to my genderbent Goldi-Sam-Locks who steals into houses and eats their pancakes, not porridge.
I have a ton of references too, so keep your eyes peeled for the Easter Eggs! Like the fateful Saturday when the book begins, Sam breaks into 2 houses before the 3rd is…just right.
have you read any of these? (and do you know of any ya Goldilocks retellings?) and if you’re a writer ➸ tell me what books you’d compare your current project to? i’m very curious!