Title: The Sidekicks
Author: Will Kostakis
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Publication Date: 29th February 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars
All Ryan, Harley and Miles had in common was Isaac. They lived different lives, had different interests and kept different secrets. But they shared the same best friend. They were his sidekicks. And now that Isaac’s gone, what does that make them?
I wish that I could give this book more than five stars. I have been waiting to get my hands on a copy ever since receiving a sample at the Sydney Writer’s Festival TeenCon event. I was entranced by the first few chapters, and immediately wanted the rest. And it is finally, FINALLY here!
The Sidekicks is the story of three boys reeling from the accidental death of their best friend. The book is split into three sections, each section told from the point of view of one of Isaac’s best mates, and each part reveals a little bit more of the present timeline.
It is so hard to pick which of the boys was my favourite – they all had their own very unique issues, and Kostakis made every single little problem relevant and real; at no point was the teenage experience demeaned. I loved Ryan for his compassion towards his classmates, and especially loved his interactions with Miles. I loved Harley for his bad boy ways, and I envied his freedom as a Sydney boarder (I was a boarder at a country school and we didn’t get to leave campus quite as often as Harley seems to….). And I loved the unique way in which Miles tells his story, living each moment as a ‘scene’.
This wonderful book is definitely going to draw comparisons to Melina Marchetta’s Looking for Alibrandi, and Maria Boyd’s Will (both of these are my sister’s favourites, so I will be passing The Sidekicks on to her quicksmart!). It perfectly encapsulates the struggles of being an Australian teenager, and even better, it deals with young males. There are nowhere near enough stories told from the perspective of young males, and this book is a very welcome addition to the shelves – no longer will I struggle to find a recommendation for high school boys who dislike fantasy! It’s just a shame the story isn’t longer!
I honestly don’t want to say too much about the contents, because this book has to be experienced in its entirety. Every single word, and every single moment are perfect as they are. I hope that this book becomes an Australian classic – IT SHOULD BE! Kostakis is going to be author we will credit for encouraging teenage boys to enjoy reading. I’m already making plans to read The First Third, and I CANNOT WAIT to see what he comes out with next!
I’m already calling it – The Sidekicks is my favourite book of 2016, and I will be making all of my friends and family read it. It is profoundly moving, and an amazing, very real representation of Australian teenagers. It was definitely worth the long wait! 🙂
I also got to interview the lovely Will Kostakis about his book! I’m a little bit embarrassed listening to my own voice, but he has some great insight, so here it is! 😛
What is your quintessential Australian teen novel?