Hi friends! I’m back with another review, and this time it’s of Cait’s sophomore novel that she released earlier this year. I honestly want to just scream in everyone’s faces right now, so let’s ditch this introduction and get on with it!
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
Remember how I said that I looooved A Thousand Perfect Notes? Well, somehow Cait improved upon every aspect of her first novel. I don’t know how that’s possible either.
I do want to state trigger warnings for abuse, violence, and possible anxiety triggers. Also, Avery is autistic and goes through a lot, so if that’s triggering to you please be careful!!
I’ll begin with making a bullet point list of some of my favorite things that this book contained!!
- WAFFLES. Truly, my most favorite thing about this book. The author always has the best food in her books and the characters are obviously obsessed, as they should be.
“Sam should leave before Moxie asks more questions. Before her dad talks to him which – no, just no. Sam feels sick around adults.
But there are still waffles left and…well, waffles.i totally just turned to the page with this quote on it. By chance. further proof that waffles and i are meant to be soulmates.
- A dysfunctional family! I’ll talk in more detail in the character breakdowns below, but just know that they have now joined the Blackthorns as my favorite fictional families of all time.
- OwnVoices representation!!! Cait has talked extensively about how Avery’s autism relates to her own, and how everyone’s experiences are different. You can truly hear her voice in the story and it’s so so important!!
- Soft boys. I could talk forever and always about how much I adore soft boys rather than hardened battle warriors with a heart of gold (although I like them too) and Sammy was everything.
- A really well-plotted story! The story is so much bigger, and there was one plot twist that came out of nowhere and had me shaking in my socks.
- ALL THE FEELS. I actually stopped breathing the last third of this book. I didn’t cry but I could feel tears building in my eyes. This is written with such raw emotion, and I can feel it in every bone in my body.
- Also it was super funny. Everyone’s written so naturally and actually sound like real live people!
Now for the Character Breakdowns!
That I’m doing really quickly because there’s a lot of characters I could scream forever about!
Sammy Lou is…AGH. I have tears just writing about him, because he’s so fierce but not and just wants a family and a home and really, can I give him a hug. His character was an incredible perspective to read from because we got to see his relationship with Avery, we got flashbacks, and also the way he described Moxie was so pure and sweet I can’t even. Also, he kinda reminded me of Sam from Supernatural? But with Dean-like tendencies. I DON’T KNOW LIFE IS VERY COMPLICATED.
Moxie is so unique! She knows the value of chocolate, okay. Her witty banter with her brothers had me cackling like the witchy hyena that I am. She’s the best.
Fred and George Jeremy and Jack were HILARIOUS. They’re so different and so lovable. They gave me huge Fred and George vibes while still being wholly original. Their conversation with Sam about his “intentions” with Moxie was so funny. It was even funnier because I’m the oldest and #CANTRELATE.
Avery needs to be hugged and protected and also understood. He’s so beautiful JUST the way he is and needs to know that! I haven’t read a lot of books with autistic characters, sadly, but I can’t wait to change that! I also really need a short story where the Lou boys are at the De Lainey’s and there’s banter and feels and waffles. Best short story ever.
And that’s it! I could honestly talk about more but you really just need to read this and A Thousand Perfect Notes if you haven’t yet! C.G. Drews is honestly the most underrated author I’ve read from this year. Tell me: have you read this? Do you have any autistic book recs? You can add this on Goodreads, buy it on Amazon, or order it on Book Depository!