Review: House Of Windows by Alexia Casale

Title: House Of Windows
Author: Alexia Casale
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication Date: August 6th 2015
Part of A Series?: No - Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Guardian Children's Books
Buy Links: Amazon

Blurb Description:'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 father.
Not that his strategy is working.
When he arrives at Cambridge, he finds the work hard and socialising even harder. Until, that is, he starts to cox for the college rowing crew and all hell breaks loose... 

 “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 that was the blurb’s fault, as well as my own, so for little more than the first quarter, I found myself waiting and waiting for the pranks and the drinking and the irresponsibility to come, and once it didn’t, I found myself a bit disappointed. And then I let go of that notion, and decided to just absorb what I was getting…

“No matter how hard we try, no one ever sees inside us. It’s who we are on the outside that leaves a mark of the world, and so, in a way, all we ever are is the person we show the world.”

I realise I haven’t told you what it’s about, and I’m not going to (because I can’t) but I am going to say that it is a story, one that you will LOVE to no end, and hopefully that will be enough to convince you to read it.

While it was, admittedly a bit slow paced, I couldn’t help but falling completely in love with this
book! Cambridge was so beautifully described I pictured heaven on Earth each time descriptions came around. As Nick got Inducted and Matriculated, I felt like I was being too. Everything had just the right amount of description, the characters just the right amount of complex to be completely lifelike and the world filled with just enough problems to feel both desperate and utterly hopeful.
Alexia Casale, you have captured life itself in your gorgeous book.

House of Windows is a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL coming of age novel about a boy. I won’t say that he is a genius, or that he is socially awkward, or lonely, because to truly get Nick, you need to read entire masterfully crafted book, created by the author of The Bone Dragon. House of Windows is one of those non-explosive books where you look up, and you’ve been readi
ng for three hours straight and you didn’t even realise it; it’s one of those books that silently grips you, and gets you so caught up in the completely real seeming fictional characters, you’ll find it EXTREMELY hard to believe that they’re not.

So, I’m going to just have to call it a coming of age novel about a brilliant boy, written by a master whose words will haunt you long after it’s over.

And tell you to read it, because you have to. 10000000 Stars.

What is your favorite coming of age novel? Who is your favorite socially awkward character?

Nick is certainly at the top of my list, along with Audrey from Sophie Kinsella's Finding Audrey!

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