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The Boy Who Steals Houses #2

The Kings of Nowhere

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Avery Lou has given up stealing houses — now he’s meant to build them. Forced to stay with the De Lainey family until Sam’s return from juvie, Avery feels like he’s drowning. He hates that Sam chose the De Laineys instead of running away with him. And he hates working in their construction company while Vin, the thief who hurt Sam, still walks free. Avery wants revenge.
Swapping the sharp-edged world of burglary and car theft for the homey chaos of big family life is a wild adjustment, and Avery’s determined to sabotage his time with the De Laineys and get locked up with Sam instead. Avery just has to stay immune to Jeremy’s charming shenanigans. Easy…sort of. But Avery’s war against Vin has brought trouble to the De Lainey door and he can’t survive this fight alone.

400 pages, ebook

Published January 1, 2022

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About the author

C.G. Drews

5 books22.5k followers
C.G. Drews is the author of A THOUSAND PERFECT NOTES and THE BOY WHO STEALS HOUSES and the upcoming SKELETON BOYS (2024). C.G.’s work has been translated into six languages and was nominated for the 2020 CILIP Carnegie Medal and won the 2020 CBCA Honour Award. Currently living in Australia, never sleeps, and is forever buried under a pile of unread books. Find on twitter and Instagram as @paperfury.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 38 reviews
Profile Image for Jane Maree.
Author 9 books107 followers
April 8, 2022
Incredibly emotional, as always, and a wild ride.

*please note that books from the general market may contain content I don't necessarily recommend or endorse for my readership. Feel free to message me if you have any questions regarding a book on my shelves!
Profile Image for Chiara.
876 reviews219 followers
April 1, 2022
I had the immense and utter pleasure of editing this book, which is everything I could have ever wanted from a sequel to my favourite book, The Boy Who Steals Houses. I adore the Lou brothers with every part of my heart and soul, and in this sequel CG has given us more of every amazing thing from TBWSH. The Kings of Nowhere is not to be missed!
Profile Image for Rozanne Visagie.
539 reviews75 followers
April 13, 2023
“𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚢 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜 𝚋𝚎𝚝𝚠𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚗𝚘𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍, 𝚋𝚘𝚝𝚑 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚖 𝚖𝚊𝚍𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚋𝚛𝚘𝚔𝚎𝚗 𝚎𝚍𝚐𝚎𝚜 𝚜𝚘 𝚜𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚙 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚊𝚗𝚢𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚝𝚘𝚞𝚌𝚑𝚎𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚖 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚋𝚎 𝚌𝚞𝚝. 𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚢 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚎𝚊𝚌𝚑 𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚑𝚊𝚜. 𝙰𝚗𝚍 𝚒𝚝’𝚜 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚎𝚗𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑.”

This book deserves all the stars!!
How do I even begin to describe what this book made me feel - I was broken, put back together, broken again and hugged. C.G. Drews not only wrote a story that's THE PERFECT example of found family, but the characters are my heart!! I want more of them, I want a daily dose of De Laineys. The Kings of Nowhere is the sequel to The Boy Who Steals Houses and is exclusively available on the author's Patreon. Please do subscribe as the author has shared short stories about the characters. These stories are the gems in the crown that is The Kings of Nowhere. Be sure to read The Boy Who Steals Houses first, in order to get to know these characters fully.

"𝙷𝚎 𝚒𝚜 𝚊 𝚜𝚗𝚊𝚙𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚊 𝚋𝚒𝚛𝚍, 𝚖𝚒𝚍-𝚏𝚕𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝. 𝙷𝚎 𝚒𝚜 𝚊 𝚖𝚘𝚘𝚗𝚋𝚎𝚊𝚖, 𝚜𝚑𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚋𝚎𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚒𝚝 𝚏𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚜."

The writing is absolutely beautiful, the characters are loveable and the story is memorable. The way people feel about Heartstopper is the way I feel about these characters. I'm looking forward to the third and final book in the series, I don't think I'll ever be ready to say goodbye to Sam and Avery. I don't want to go into detail about this book to avoid spoilers, but this is Avery's story. Sam is currently in juvie and we get to see how Avery handles the De Laineys and how they take his broken pieces and fit them together with theirs.

"𝚈𝚘𝚞 𝚐𝚎𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚕𝚎𝚝 𝚐𝚘, 𝚋𝚎𝚌𝚊𝚞𝚜𝚎 𝙸'𝚖 𝚑𝚘𝚕𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚘𝚗 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚢𝚘𝚞."

I'm forever grateful to the author for writing this story, I have never come across two brothers I love more. With all the different emotions, the heartbreaking and happy moments, this is a story that you won't forget. I highly recommend reading this!
*Be sure to check the TW.

Endless thank you to the author for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for angelina.
117 reviews1 follower
Want to read
April 4, 2022

I am eagerly waiting for this novel to be published because I don't have the Patreon subscription or whatever but asafslkjaslf
Profile Image for Lizzie Hutchings.
258 reviews12 followers
Want to read
April 4, 2022

Profile Image for Gee.
324 reviews38 followers
August 8, 2023
All the stars in the fucking galaxy wouldn't even begin to be enough. The universe is supposedly still expanding (what into? Who knows, but the official lore of the universe says that it is and who am I to question that), yet no matter how much it does so, it'll never have enough celestial bodies in it to give this masterpiece a proper rating.

"The Kings of Nowhere" picks up right where "The Boy Who Steals Houses" left off, but from a different perspective; Avery Lou's, Sammy's brother who finds himself without his tether and living with the family Sam has come to love as his own. As he tries to navigate living with a found family that's Sam's, not his, without his brother, Avery starts realising that maybe, perhaps, there's room for him too in other people's hearts.

So. As I was saying. Not enough celestial bodies. This book grabs your heart and jumps back and forth between beating it up in a dirty alley wearing rings on all its fingers, and cuddling on the couch with a pint of ice cream while watching the fire. One of the things about C.G. Drews' writing that fascinates me the most is the way she makes writing look easy. She grabs a stream of emotion and weaves into a neat little paragraph, and even when it's broken and messy, you just know that it's supposed to be there and look like that and give you these exact feelings in this exact way, and honestly I don't even know how to describe how brutally underrated her work is. Her prose is raw, brutal, unapologetic, and yet sweet and smooth, and by god, it's a literal crime that some people out there haven't read her books yet.

One of the main focuses in this book is Avery's experience as an autistic boy that's been in and out of trouble with the system during most of his life. The book does not flinch as it depicts the many ways in which ableism hurts autistic people, although you might as you try to keep your lunch down, and it does not apologise either. Just like the Lou brothers, this story hasn't been made to bury its head in the sand. Instead it's a brutally honest, raw, and heartfelt outcry at the system, at a neurotypical-oriented society that hurts people who are different every single day with a thousand papercuts.

Another one is Jeremy De Lainey's struggle with anxiety (and, in my humble opinion, with undiagnosed ADHD, like. I know my people when I see them) and the unprocessed grief over the loss of his mother. No matter how much he tries to be everyone else's silver lining, Jeremy hasn't been okay for a while now, and this depiction of anxiety was so genuine and well done that I can't believe that Jeremy is a fictional character. The subtle ways in which anxiety creeps in and poisons Jeremy's life in a seemingly capricious way will give you the shivers, and his silent battle against it will leave you in tears. Because Jeremy is far from the first person who tries to spare everyone the pain of his anxiety, and he's far from the last person who will try.

I just can't ever hope to convey how much these books, and this second one in particular, mean to me, how close they are to my heart, how they make me want to go get them tattooed all over my skin and my soul so that everyone knows how much they mean to me and how they're a part of my soul forever.

Go read these books.


Rep: ADHD (potentially, not canon or explicitly stated), autism (diagnosed and undiagnosed both), anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, stuttering and non-verbal episodes

Profile Image for Alicia.
1,484 reviews62 followers
September 29, 2022
How did I go so long without this achingly beautiful book in my life? Every chapter in this book is a damn masterpiece. I knew I had zero chill for the week by week chapters, but I had intended to binge this the second it was finished. And I did indeed binge it, because once you start this book, you cannot stop reading, it sucks you. Then holds you down for a three count while punching a few ribs behind the ref’s back.
This picks up on Avery’s life, after the end of The Boy Who Steals Houses. Avery’s guardianship has been passed to Mr De Lainey, because in a household of seven children, what’s one more? The delightful chaos that is this house is everything. I could fall in love with them all with a literal fly on the wall book of their breakfast table. Completely mesmerising.
Assuming we’re all here because we read the first book, you know these boys’ dark pasts. And even the happy family has their own tragic backstory as they’ve been struggling since Mrs De Lainey died. So prepare for an emotional wringing, because the hits Did. Not. Stop. Coming.
I don’t know if the serial format it was published in dramatized it more to keep subscribers hooked, or if the other books walloped so much all the time and I didn’t pay as much attention to when it happened, but literally every chapter had something that stirred my emotions. The sweetest of moments, the lowest of lows, the broken-est of broken boys. My little heartstrings were plucked, tugged, and tied into a cargo net. And I would go through it all again in a heartbeat.
Want to read
April 4, 2022
Profile Image for Penny Ramirez.
1,760 reviews27 followers
December 26, 2022
I'm contentedly sighing, having finally recovered from sobbing. Drews had such a gift for writing characters that worm their way under my skin and into my heart! I love the De Lainey family, and Sam and Avery make my heart ache with sadness. I'm so glad they all found each other.

I also must say that these are the best-written descriptions of persons with autism and anxiety and PTSD that I've read. Again, my heart breaks and yet is full because there is so much love in these pages.

I'm working my way through the short stories and eagerly anticipating the final book of this trilogy, although I will hate to say goodbye!
Profile Image for Rebecca Alasdair.
Author 1 book33 followers
April 30, 2023
Gut-wrenching—in a good way. Oh man, this book! It will have you crying your eyes out one minute and chuckling in the next. MCs Avery and Jeremy are struggling HARD, and watching them navigate their troubles was addictive. Plus I loved the autism and anxiety rep, and C.G. Drews' writing is just magical!!
Profile Image for ☆.
60 reviews2 followers
July 9, 2022
If C.G Drews has one million fans, I am one of them. If C.G Drews has only one fan, then that is me.

This book left me feeling the same exact way when I read The Boy Who Steals Houses: heartache. I’ve never loved an authors writing as much as I love C.G Drews. Her character’s are so, so real. When I first read The Boy Who Steals Houses, I was blow away. The second time I read it? I was left with a sense of understanding. And now, reading The Kings of Nowhere, I’ve come to understand exactly why I understand these two siblings so very well. It’s heartbreaking, it’s gut wrenching, and all you want to do is give the entire family (including Sam) a hug. I would go through hell and back for them, personally. These few years after reading TBWSH, I am happy to have finally gotten Avery’s point of view. An enjoyable read, truly. The autistic representation, among other things, was beautiful. The blanks of Avery pasts and traumas are filled in and bandaged up by the De Lainey’s. We follow Avery’s journey of healing, of self-acceptance, and support. Your heartstrings are pulled every which way and you have to thank C.G Drews for that. It was an overall enjoyable read and I cannot wait until The Kings of Nowhere is published! I will be buying it, for sure.
Profile Image for quyn.
17 reviews
October 20, 2022
i didn't think it was possible, but somehow this book wrecked me even more than the first one. from the very first chapter i was in shambles already, and with each new "before" chapter, or further peek into the de lainey's lives, or soft avery x jeremy moment that was the only thing that kept me sane until the next one, i was an absolute mess. cait genuinely has such a gift, and i am insanely jealous of the power she wields in just her words. would sell my soul to be able to read it for the first time pt2

content warnings physical violence, child abuse, family loss, ableism, anxiety attacks, gun/s, hospital, etc.
Profile Image for Monique.
703 reviews80 followers
August 22, 2022
I have so many feels... so many! CG Drews has a way with words and deserves all the publishing contracts. Alas, this will remain a patreon only for now. I didn't think I would love to read about Avery this much, but it turns out I might relate to him more than I did to Sam (no worries I continue to love Sam and am very distressed at his current situation). I just want more of these disaster brothers and would die for them too fyi. The autism rep is AMAZING too!
Profile Image for Alexandra Overy.
Author 5 books380 followers
April 11, 2022
I just love everything CG Drews writes! Her prose is stunning and the way she writes emotion is just so visceral - and not to mention characters you can't help but fall in love with. They have my whole heart and I already want to reread this and TBWSH and also need all the books about them please!

Everyone needs to read this series so I have more people to scream about it's amazingness with <3
Profile Image for Lily Heron.
Author 3 books99 followers
April 4, 2022
With Sam locked up in juvenile detention, Avery is left with no one, until the De Lainey family step in to offer him a home. Yet a home is the last thing Avery wants, and certainly not with the people he blames for Sam's imprisonment. Determined to be reunited with Sam, Avery sets about wrecking their lives and proving himself utterly unlovable. But Avery might have met his match in his new foster brother Jeremy, and the rest of the De Lainey family. Until an old enemy shows up looking for revenge.

'The Kings of Nowhere' has easily sealed its position as one of my favourite reads of the year. The only question is whether it will beat its predecessor, 'The Boy Who Steals Houses'. If you enjoyed the first book in the series, the second is essential reading. We say goodbye to Sam, and take up the narrative reins with wildly reckless yet utterly loveable Avery, the sometime criminal and big kid who never got a chance to experience the family who took in his little brother in the first book.

This book will hurt. your. heart.

I read it on Patreon, and kept my thoughts in my mind with chapter by chapter updates on Goodreads. Looking through those updates, it's a feels festival. Avery shattered my heart. Mr De Lainey is the father we all need. I miss Sam! Avery and Jeremy are a wonderful pairing. The autistic rep is incredible. The found family vibes are off the scale. It's a crime this wasn't picked up by the author's publisher, and I can't wait until it's available to purchase independently, because there should be more books like this in the world.

C. G. Drews writes with such emotion, never sparing her characters devastation, but always with the hope that there is love and redemption waiting for you, if you have the bravery to place your trust in those who love you for who you are. This series will hurt and heal. I can't recommend it highly enough.
25 reviews
April 2, 2022
I'd been awaiting this sequel since finishing The Boy Who Steals Houses, and feel so privileged to have read it on Patreon. I hope to buy a physical copy whenever it's available! Drews' writing continues to be witty, soft, whimsical, and heart-wrenching in turns. Her personable, engaging writing style and complex, chaotic, fully realized characters are always a joy. I found myself rooting for Avery and Jeremy as much as or more than I did for Sam in the previous book, and I particularly enjoyed the portrait of Mr. DeLainey as a kind, trustworthy adult who truly "gets it" amidst this pile of lovable yet traumatized teenagers. Reading about such a loving parent who in turn creates an equally incredible (yet thoroughly imperfect) family is truly heartwarming. As an American, it was also really interesting to get a perspective on modern Australian life, and look up new-to-me terms like snake lollies or Scotch fingers. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves love, and especially young adults looking for quality autism spectrum rep.
Profile Image for Maggie BB.
652 reviews5 followers
April 3, 2022
This book is achingly beautiful. Reading it in weekly installments was torturous in the best way possible.

Alternating POVs (a favourite of mine!) with a sprinkling of flashbacks, you cannot help but care deeply for the tangly mess that is Avery Lou and be ready to die for the chaotic delight that is Jeremy De Lainey.

Experiencing Avery's growth in trust is heart warming. There is some fantastic banter. Utterly amusing moments. And also painful tension and harrowing stress. It is an emotional roller coaster that often had me screaming at the page... some CG Drews excels at!

Thrilled to know this is meant to be a trilogy, and would encourage anyone and everyone to support these books so we can get that third book <3
Profile Image for Lisa .
13 reviews
May 21, 2022
I LOOOOVED this book! The De Lainey family trying to make a home for Avery was the sweetest thing ever! They’re all so good and I love every one of them! And Avery is so precious and sweet and fierce. I loved reading about his reactions to the family and him going softer.

Jeremy’s chapters were delightful and it was so great to get more insight in the reality of the De Laineys. All of the different family members were so fleshed out and they really stick out from each other! I love all their chaoticness and shenanigans!

So yeah, I loved this book! I laughed, I cried, I felt all the feels! If you haven’t read it, you really should! (After The Boy Who Steals Houses of course)
Profile Image for Ryan Winters.
119 reviews
August 23, 2022
Just as beautiful and wrought with emotion as the first book in the series. I loved getting to see more of Avery's perspective this time and understanding some stuff that was going on in the first book a little better. Drews has such an interesting writing style that you don't really see often and I just adored it. There was a teasing for a third and final book in the series and I absolutely need it. I need to see them all together with Sam again and watch them save their lovely yellow house. I can't tell you how many times I cried reading The Boy Who Steals Houses and also this sequel. It means a lot to me :)
Profile Image for Kat.
131 reviews1 follower
May 9, 2022
This was amazing.

I loved every second of it, even while hating it.
These characters, Avery in particular, make bad decisions and I just want to stop them, but I guess this is what makes a good book - you care for the characters.
Also, I cried through the whole thing, sometimes sad tears, somtimes angry tears and sometimes happy ones. It is very emotional and heartbreaking and I love it with all my heart.

I just hope everything will be well for the Lou brothers and the De Laineys for a change.
Profile Image for Kyrie.
3,082 reviews
May 30, 2023
I loved this book, enough that I read it in one evening (yes, I stayed up late to finish). It helps to already know the family. Watching Avery try to figure out the De Laineys is hard and sweet at the same time.
There's a lot of physical violence in this tale, but also great amounts of kindness and love. I had to finish it because so many chapters ended with one character or another in a rough spot and I couldn't just leave them there.
Looking for the third book now, and wishing for physical copies of the whole series.
1 review
December 26, 2022
OK so I need help 🥲 all i wanna do is read this but its not letting me buy it, when I search it up on amazon it doesn't even show up, I've tried everywhere, ik its on good reads and patreons but *how do I buy it?* not even as a physical book, just online. Thanks if someone replies, hope you all had a lovely christmas 🎄
7 reviews2 followers
April 2, 2022
I absolutely love the Lou brothers and the Delaineys! I love this soon to be trilogy, and cannot wait to see when C.G Drews (paperfury) creates for us next.
44 reviews14 followers
April 2, 2022
Oh my heart! C.G has written a beautiful story. My heart has hurt and loved and been lost. I cannot wait for the final chapter of this lovely trilogy, to see the Lou brothers reunited.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Momo L. Washington.
Author 2 books4 followers
April 4, 2022
such a perfect second part! the characters are just amazing and relatable and the writing is so beautiful. can't wait to reread!
Profile Image for MitskiFanPromedio.
14 reviews2 followers
April 7, 2022
Ahora dependo emocionalmente de una familia ficticia 😭😭😭😭😭👍 no puedo esperar a que salga el tercer libro. Gracias Mayte por darme la subscripción al Patreon tqm
Displaying 1 - 30 of 38 reviews

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