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House of Windows

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  206 ratings  ·  42 reviews
'The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.' Robert Louis Stevenson

Nick hates it when people call him a genius. Sure, he's going to Cambridge University aged 15, but he says that's just because he works hard. And, secretly, he only works hard to get some kind of attention from his workaholic fa
Paperback, 363 pages
Published August 6th 2015 by Faber Children's Books (first published August 4th 2015)
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Alexia Casale Hi! Sorry for the slow reply but only just saw this. The designer is the uber-talented Helen Crawford-White, who also designed the cover for The Bone …moreHi! Sorry for the slow reply but only just saw this. The designer is the uber-talented Helen Crawford-White, who also designed the cover for The Bone Dragon. I absolutely love both: couldn't imagine anything more perfect. (less)

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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  206 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Holly Bourne
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alexia is one of the most sophisticated writers on the UKYA scene. Her prose are just...indescribably beautiful.
Jun 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
Whoa...that took a while. I did NOT enjoy that at all.
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
The first thing I want to mention in this review is how different House Of Windows is to The Bone Dragon. I think it’s incredible that it’s the same writer, as House Of Windows definitely has a different vibe to it. It’s less dark, and more coming of age. That’s in no way a criticism, I personally feel like it shows what a versatile writer Alexia is! As I am always honest in my reviews, I will say that House of Windows is definitely a slow burning book, but stick with it, as it’s totally worth i ...more
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
Loved it. Loved Nick and all the characters and how much this book was about belonging and about family.

I really loved House of Windows by Alexia Casale. It is a book I'd been looking forward to reading very much, ever since Alexia Casale's previous book, The Bone Dragon, swept me away and broke my heart. I had very high expectations of House of Windows but luckily I enjoyed this book very much. It didn't initially feel as though I would be as affected emotionally by it as I was by The Bone Drag
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Currently 23:51 and I'm usually asleep, but this book made me stay awake like good books do. My bedtime is usually 9:00 (no kidding) I don't think I've stayed this late over the past year.

Wow probably one of my favourite books this year. Taught me ALOT. I love contemporaries that mean something y'know? I keep saying this ...

So Nick is going to cambridge University at 15 years old and as we all no doubt know University of Cambridge is the ranked first amongst Uk universities. (Well actually some
Marisa Goldsborough
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
Sad to say I actually found this book terribly boring. Completely over the top on the constantly waxing lyrical about her obsession with Cambridge. The one redeeming feature was the ending which I found quite moving.
Beth Kremer-collins
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Teenage daughter borrowed from the library but couldn’t get into it. I read the blurb and thought I’d enjoy reminiscing about Cambridge. I did! Lovely touching book about misfits and finding love in unlikely places.
Beth (bibliobeth)
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alexia Casale first drew me into her magical little world with her first novel The Bone Dragon and her latest YA effort, House of Windows, cemented me completely as a loyal and admiring fan. I think I should mention that it's a very different novel to The Bone Dragon but this is in no way a slight to the author's writing. In fact, I was left in awe by her accomplished style and undeniable talent in making me feel so much for a fictional character that is, to be perfectly honest, not a particular ...more
Aditi ~ A Thousand Words A Million Books

“It’s always better to accomplish something than nothing, but coming of age is about more than learning who you are inside: it’s as much about who you are in relation to others – and who you want to be.”

To be quite honest, I thought this was going to be a novel about a socially awkward boy, who gets in with the wrong crew, messes up completely (through pranks and alcohol) and then realises that he was pretending to be someone he wasn’t.

And th
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Unlike The Bone Dragon I didn’t fall in love with Alexia Casale’s second book from page one but once I did – I fell hard.
House of Windows takes time and it’s a book that is driven by the characters not by the story. Much of the beginning is taken up by the descriptions of Cambridge which some people will love but I don’t think is for everyone.

Nick, his feelings of isolation and tendency to mumble to inanimate objects, was someone I connected with from the start. Naming/talking to objects is what
Arkham Reviews
Apr 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed-on-blog
This review is based on an advanced reader copy that I received from the publisher. Actual rating - 3.5 out of 5

While I didn't enjoy this novel as much as The Bone Dragon, it did largely share the same tone as this novel (only without the dark sting in the tail). As a character study, the novel was utterly fantastic. In the beginning, I utterly hated Nick but as the story progressed and revealed more of his back story I started to see why he behaved so rudely towards other people and really empa
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book.

I really liked seeing how Nick dealt with going to Cambridge University at such a young age and seeing how he coped with the challenges that brought with it. It said a lot about whether children should be pushed to advance beyond their years when you saw the social isolation he felt because he was such an oddity amongst his peers and for that alone I really felt for him.

I loved how this book showcased Cambridge as a city and it has left me desperately wanting to go bac
Feb 07, 2015 added it
Shelves: for-review, arc
DNF at page 45.

Originally published at http://solittletimeforbooks.blogspot....

I was so looking forward to this! I’ve heard wonderful things about Alexia Casale’s books but I was so disappointed. The novel is about Nick who goes to Cambridge aged 15 – but he’s not a genius. He is, however, rude, sarcastic, quite an arse actually. I just couldn’t bring myself to tolerate him, let alone connect to him. I just had no desire to stay in his narration. And aside from Nick, I found that there was far t
Jul 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
So, so dire. Only the second book ever in my life that I just couldn't bring myself to finish. Got to just over halfway to give it a chance and nothing happens. There is not one redeeming feature to this book. The characters are unrelatable and utterly flat, the writing and 'plot' is full of tired cliches and there is such a lack of description (other than when describing Cambridge University, which seemed just like a blatant brag that the author knew so much about it) that it is unclear what an ...more
Lauren James
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ukya
A detailed, delicious visit to the unique and often bizarre world of Cambridge University. This book is a brilliant character study of Nick, a fifteen year old undergraduate, as he struggles to reconcile his family life with university, his past, and learning how to make friends with people much older than you.

Nick is a difficult character in a lot of ways, and his emotional journey hits you all the harder for how slowly his background is revealed. I'm going to be thinking about him and his fou
4.5 stars

House of Windows is one of those books that drew me in very subtly, and by the end, I was ready to just hug it for hours. This book, sure, it’s about a boy facing down some unusual challenges, but even more than that it’s about the way that people relate to one another. The ways in which we hurt each other, help each other, and take care of each other. I found this entire web of characters such a beautiful portrait of family — biological and found — that the title really resonated with
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Stunningly powerful novel about affluent neglect, written sparingly enough in places but crystal clear when it needed to be. Really enjoyable and painful read.
Christina Reid
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
'Like so many people, you think that the important moments in the story of a life are big and loud, where really they're small and quiet.'
Initially found this quite hard to like as Nick, the protagonist, is prickly and not very emotionally literate. On a personal level, reading about Cambridge also reminded me of all the reasons why I chose not to apply there, feeling that I would never fit in as someone from a working-class background. The true strength of this book is in the characters. Each
Teresa Mills-clark
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I felt I had to slog through the beginning of the book to find the plot. Unless you've attended Cambridge or wish to know each exacting detail about the layout and buildings and process of Cambridge then I suggest you skim read until you happen upon dialogue. A critical edit of "too much setting" would pare this book down to a more engaging plot.

Thanks to Sterling Books, Brussels for allowing me to read this uncorrected proof.
☯ Zeta Sky✰
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didn't feel it was boring, but it didn't keep me hooked to read from start to finish either! It was one of those books you can pick up as and whenever, even for just ten minutes, and immediately immerse yourself in the book's narrative. It's rare to find a book that feels so...comfortable.
Pretty great book. I started out strongly disliking the main character, Nick.
The best thing is how realistic the storyline is. And Nick has his reasons for appearing so cold-hearted.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
I didn't finish this, so it automatically gets one star. I gave it seventy-odd pages but nothing about the story or characters grabbed me. Perhaps it doesn't help that I'm very familiar with the Cambridge student experience. I found this a curious book in many respects - I just can't see it appealing to its intended audience at all.
Riya Peter
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautifully crafted and heart-warming, this book revolves around the life of a child prodigy, Nick, who is struggling to find some meaningful relationships with the people around and ends up finding friendships in the most unusual ways. This book manages to tug the right strings of your heart with its beautiful storyline.
Tiffany Motton
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A gripping story if you had a college experience yourself. About finding friendship, or rather, letting friendship in. Emotional story.
Miss Jith
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
This was pleasant. My major problem with it was the way that scenes were often quite short and there was an abrupt jump to something completely different.
Abbie Paton
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I did enjoy reading this book and I found the storyline interesting
Laura | What's Hot?
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
What attracted me to House of Windows was the fact that it’s a book set at Cambridge university and I’m always curious about the way that Oxbridge is portrayed in literature and on screen. This portrayal can often be skewed or very stereotypical, as in films such as The Riot Club, so I was curious to read Casale’s interpretation, particularly as she actually attended the university herself. This book is about Nick, a fifteen year old boy who is admitted to Cambridge. Nick didn’t fit in at school ...more
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
“The body is a house of many windows. There we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us”.
-Robert Leuis Stevension

The story revolves around a guy of fifteen ‘Nick’, who is exceptionally brilliant for his age. Proof you ask? Well this guy is 15. AND he goes to Cambridge University. I guess you don’t need further convincing that he actually is a genius. Let alone the fact that he absolutely hates being called a genius. All credits to his hard work he says.

I witne
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Meet Nick. Very smart , fifteen , and off to Cambridge University to carry on his education there among those who are all older then him. It's a big change and he does not know how well he is going to fit in here. Nick does not have the best relationship with his father as his father spends as little time with him as possible so Nick does all he can to get his attention . Nick wants for nothing financially but what he is severely lacking is friends and a social life , here is where Cambridge can ...more
Beth Kemp
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! I drank in all the descriptions of Cambridge - both the physical, landscape and architecture descriptions, and the 'why, yes, we must do everything differently' descriptions of how life there as a student works. But of course, it's the central character, Nick, who is the true heart of the book and I defy anyone to read this without falling for him. With less dark themes than Casale's last novel The Bone Dragon, but still presenting a difficult family life and the themes of frien ...more
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Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize. Longlisted for The Branford Boase Award. A Book of the Year 2013 for the Financial Times and Independent.

A British-American citizen of Italian heritage, Alexia is an author, editor and writing consultant. She also teaches English Literature and Writing.

After an MA in Social & Political Sciences (Psychology major) then MPhil in Educational Psy

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