The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis | REVIEW

reviewsThe Sidekicks by Will Kostakis
Published by Penguin Australia on February 29th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback

LINKS: Good Reads | Amazon | Indigo | Book Depository

The SidekicksThe Swimmer.

The Rebel.

The Nerd.

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 sidekicks. And now that Isaac’s gone, what does that make them?

Will Kostakis, award-winning author of The First Third, perfectly depicts the pain and pleasure of this teenage world, piecing together three points of view with intricate splendour.


3 Stars

First Line:

“Oh, we’re not actually friends.”


COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟     PLOT 🌟🌟🌟


WRITING 🌟🌟🌟     FEELS 🌟🌟🌟

The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis is a contemporary YA about a group of boys who only had one thing in common, a friendship with Isaac. After Isaac’s death they each try to grieve in their own ways on their own. But what they don’t realize is that they need each other to fill in the blanks of their friendship to properly move on from this tragedy.

My Likes

Complex Characters

The Sidekicks follows the Swimmer, Ryan, the Rebel, Harley, and the nerd, Miles. Each one of them has a very different personality and story to be told. I was mostly intrigued by Ryan and Miles. With Ryan I was able to connect on an emotional level. I went through a lot of what happens to him when I was in high school. High school can be a very scary place, but even more so when a secret comes out before you’re ready for it to.

For Miles I was able to connect with him on personality level. Although I may look and dress like someone who is outgoing and happy go lucky, I am quiet and very to myself at times. For this reason I was drawn into Miles’ character because we get to see him break out of his introverted shell and see him open up to new friends and possibilities.


Although we don’t get to know Isaac much, we get to live him through his friends in The Sidekick. He was able to connect and touch each one of them even though they are all vastly different from each other. That just shows the type of character Isaac was.

One of my favorite parts of the story is Miles’ section of the book. Kostakis does a fantastic job at making this section quite emotional. Through the ups and downs Miles seems to be the most affected by the death of his friend. He closes himself off from the world and we get to see him begin to rebuild a life with Isaac no longer around.

Fun Writing

I found the writing of The Sidekicks to be entertaining and fun for me. As this is a Australian YA novel there were words and phrases that really sparked my interest. This led me to doing a little research to learn what they mean! I liked how different but similar the lives of teenagers in Australia is compared to North American teens.

Kostakis was able to create three very different characters with separate personalities. There was never once where their inner dialogues confused me. They were all distinct and easy to distinguish between the three. A+ job!

My Dislikes

Not Very Exciting

For the story as a whole, The Sidekicks wasn’t that exciting. Although I was able to get through it, there were times that I lost interest in what was happening on the page. There was quite a bit of overlap because we get each character’s account of what happens during the days and weeks after Isaac’s death. This resulted in me not liking how repetitive it was getting.

If you’re a huge contemporary lover, then this is a story for you. But if you’re a casual contemporary reader such as myself, then I would pass on this one! Let me know what you guys thought of The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis! I would love to hear your opinions as well!

Until next time,




Will KostakisPersonally, Will Kostakis is ready to catch a ball two seconds after it’s hit him in the face. Professionally, he’s thankful he’s chosen a career that requires little (if any) coordination. After dabbling in celebrity journalism and reality TV, he now writes for young adults.

His first novel, Loathing Lola, was released when he was just nineteen, and his second, The First Third, won the 2014 Gold Inky Award. It was also shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year and Australian Prime Minister’s Literary awards.

The Sidekicks is his third novel for young adults.

As a high school student, Will won Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year for a collection of short stories.


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