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The Sidekicks

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,803 ratings  ·  374 reviews
The 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
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 29th 2016 by Penguin Australia
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,803 ratings  ·  374 reviews

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Caz (littlebookowl)
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
4.5 stars

Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-author, queer
I managed to not shed a tear the entire time and then the last page broke me. I NEED MORE
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

► For once my 3 stars rating is actually a good thing, because this review could go three ways.

It could go like this : Will Kostakis's writing hooked me right away by offering such a believable and discreetly hilarious (yes, that's totally a thing) voice to Ryan, the character who gets the first POV in The Sidekicks, whose grief is the first we experience, and whose narration made me hope for a 5 stars rating. Yes, the guy was that good. Not necessarily original, though, and I read enough
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ugh this book made me silently cry to myself on the subway. It was beautiful and painful. Thanks A LOT Will Kostakis
Tilly Booth
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is sitting heavily on my heart right now. I just finished The Sidekicks - one minutes and thirteen seconds ago - and I'm experiencing all the feels. This book was honest, heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. Written from three perspectives from three friends you watch how people deal with grief and loss but most of all how the overcome the loss of something so important to them.

Will Kostakis is an amazing writing and damn you for making me cry! Warning, this book is a real te
When Isaac dies unexpectedly, Ryan, Harley and Miles realise that they have nothing in common and that really, they're not friends at all. They only hung out together because of Isaac.

The book is effectively broken into three, each part told from the perspective of one of the three from the time they find out Isaac is dead. Each story builds upon the next, so Ryan's story ends with something that happens about half way through Harley's story, and Miles' story goes for several days more than Har
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookgasm, loveozya
The Sidekicks is a magnificent male narrative exploring the harrowing loss of a friend through grief, reflection and remembrance. It's often the quiet, unassuming reads that effect us most, it was beautiful. Isaac is a charismatic young man who the reader connects with through the memories and stories of his peers after his tragic passing. Three young men with one common factor, Isaac.

Ryan is The Swimmer, an Olympic hopeful who's athleticism has afforded him a privileged position within the scho
Actual rating: 4.5

Dudes, dudes. Get on this one.

Isaac is the glue that holds his #squad together, and when he dies all that's left is a nerd, a rebel, and a swimmer. They have nothing in common, except for their grief.

First and foremost, I loved all the characters. Obviously Harley was my favourite, but there was so much about Miles to love and Ryan! They were beautifully well rounded and just amazing characters.

I really liked the way grief was experienced differently by all the characters. G
I have read this three times, and I have cried at a different bit each time, so yeah, I am a fan.

Update Feb 26: This book is finally about to be released. Megan has posted my review at Children's Books Daily.

There's also a competition to win some copies. Woo.

Hey, Kostakis, I need more.

Will Kostakis, the winner of the 2014 Gold Inky Award for The First Third (which I adored - read my review here), returns this year with The Sidekicks, a tale of three different boys -- Ryan, the Swimmer; Harley, the Rebel; and Miles, the Nerd -- whose mutual friend Isaac suddenly dies, and the ramifications Isaac's death has on each of them at school, at home, and on who they were when he was there and who they then become without him.

Where The First Third was about
Mar 23, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

OHHH BOY this book made me cry many many tears. I liked it a lot more than I expected to. We follow three main characters, all boys in high school, who are trying to cope with the death of their friend. Isaac, the friend who died, was the glue that held their little group together and without him the characters realise they don't have a whole lot to talk about. The whole book is about grief, family and friendship. I really enjoyed it.

There was one thing I didn't like about this book an
Jananee (headinherbooks)
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I didn't quite expect this book to get to me in the way it did. The characters all had their own flaws, and differences, but this just made them feel so real that it was like I knew the personally.

Kostakis has done such an amazing job with this one, especially with the ending - I had goosebumps. I don't quite know how, but it was both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, and I'd even go so far as to consider it a feel-good novel.
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
‘The Sidekicks’ is the new young adult book from Australian author Will Kostakis.

Will is the author of fantastic 2013 book ‘The First Third,’ which went on to win the prestigious Gold Inky Award in 2014 (in which teen readers chose the shortlist, and selected the winner!). So, Will’s third book and first after ‘The First Third’ (wow, tongue-tied) was a most-anticipated fare … and I’m happy to say, it absolutely lives up to high reader-expectation.

The book is in fact three linked novellas – from

The Sidekicks is a sad but ultimately uplifting young adult contemporary that weaves together the lives of three beautifully diverse teenage boys dealing with the unexpected and tragic death of their shared best friend, Isaac.

Ryan is a swimmer aiming for the Olympics. He is also hiding from his sexuality, terrified of what others will think if he comes out as gay. Harley is lost, struggling with his mother’s abandonment and self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to cope with his problems. Miles
Melissa Grant
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this book is sitting on my heart and mind right now, such a wonderful book loved every minute!
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.8/5 Stars

The Swimmer:

Ryan is the first point of view we hear from, he's a sweet average teenage boy with a talent for swimming. Being recognised for fast lapped times it's predicted he's going to make the olympics when he's called into the office we learn of his best friends death.

Ryan is a character I completely fell for, he has a close relationship with his Mum who is head of the english department at school and a secret relation ship with Todd his boyfriend. Ryan hasn't come out just yet a
Will Kostakis keeps getting better and better. His latest, The Sidekicks, subtly and carefully navigates the world of teenage boys on the cusp of adulthood. Ryan, Harley and Miles seemingly have only one thing in common - Isaac - and when he dies, their fragile relationships teeter on the edge of oblivion. Can a swimmer, a bad boy and a nerd really be friends?
I love this quote from Will about The Sidekicks - "It’s mostly a book about the fear of closets, and why teenagers in real life have to s
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such a quick and fun read! It started off a little slow, but I really enjoyed the characters and loved their interactions. I loved how it showed how people deal with grief in different ways, and how hard it can be to move on after losing someone so close.
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
guess who's crying,,,, ...more
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

I'm so glad I finally read this book! I loved The First Third and how it offered a relatable male perspective. The Sidekicks primarily features the aftermath of Isaac's death and his three friends dealing with grief in their own different ways. As they weren't really friends beforehand, they find out how they fit in with each other after he's gone.

I loved how the book took us through three perspectives, with each of their stories finishing before the other began. Ryan is
Fleur Ferris
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this book. The beautiful style, all three point of views, the characters, the story. When I was reading this book I felt like I was reading truth and this is what has stayed with me the most. It's an important book and I hope schools embrace it and add it to their libraries and curriculum. ...more
Hannah (jellicoereads)
“How was your afternoon?
“No one died, so it was a big improvement on my morning.”

I find it difficult, at times, to write a review for a book I’ve really liked. Sometimes it’s hard to pin down exactly what it is that made it such a favourite of yours – all you want to do is put down a whole lot of adjectives in shouty capital letters and be like ‘READ THIS NOW’.

Jamie Cummins and I started at Barton House the same time, I remember sitting next to him at Year Seven orientation. They must have orien
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
When you equate the way someone loves to something you don't like, you betray your limited vocabulary.

Three guys that had in common their best friend and nothing beyond that. But what happens when he dies? Do they move on from being the sidekicks and become the main characters of their movie, or just never cross paths again?

A similar concept to what History is all you left me by Adam Silvera has to offer, so I had very high expectations. But jumping into this book right after reading the other o
lauren ♡
Read this review @ my blog Wonderless Reviews

I read this right after I finished The Raven King and it helped my hangover so much. I was desperate for more books focusing on friendship and the fact that this was about a group of boys and would probably make me cry was enough for me to decide to read it next. I also love supporting Australian YA. There are so many amazing Aussie YA books out there and I want them to get the recognition they deserve!

The Sidekicks is about a group of guys (Ryan,
Brett Orr
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Contemporary novels are driven by their characters, by the intrinsic humanity we as readers are able to find in the paper construct of a novel. In lines of black ink, and in the images our mind conjures from these pages, our soul reaches out to a person that doesn't even exist - and in-between real and imaginary, we learn a little something about our own humanity.

THE SIDEKICKS by Will Kostakis achieves everything a great contemporary should, and does it with the signature flair of an author who
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, contemporary
A must-read for any teen, or lover of YA contemporary! Reading The Sidekicks feels like that heart-stopping moment when you realise that the people around you live lives as varied, complex and conflicted as your own.

On the surface it's a simple YA contemporary novel about 3 teenagers who are pulled together when the boy they are all best friends with dies. But there is so much more to this story. It's about 4 boys trying to find their places in the world and taking every wrong turn along the wa
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you take any John Green book take out the melodramaticness and characters that act 60years older than their age and the inaccurate representation of teenage lives. You'd get this beautiful piece of work.

For ONCE there was a character that mentions that being a teenager isn't all about doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and getting in trouble.

It had some really beautiful analogies like the egg baskets, that was my favourite.

I wish it had a different cover, like it's pretty, but I don't think it f
Actual rating is 3.5

The Sidekicks tells a story of three Aussie teens who lost their best friend and now have to deal with grief and their new life. What complicates everything that all three of them are not friends with each. They don't like each other at all.
It seems like the Swimmer, the Rebel and the Nerd do not have much in common.

I enjoyed reading the book, but I can't say it was a mind-blowing experience. The book is solid, good plot, good characters and writing. But for me it lacked a sp
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
i previously dnfed it because my anxiety can't handle socially embarrassing scenes! but i finally plowed through it because i am hilariously sick and i'm tired of sleeping 12 hours a day.
this is such a beautiful story about growing up, love and friendship. it's about three boys who try to figure out what to do when the one person they are all common best friends with dies. isaac calls them the swimmer, the rebel and the nerd. the best team.
the nerd part is easily the best written one. mile
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Hi. A teacher-librarian yelled at me to update this, so here goes. Time to talk about myself in the third-person.

Will Kostakis is an absolute delight.

In the past, he has written everything from celebrity news stories that score cease and desist letters, to tweets for professional wrestlers.

Nowadays, he’s best known (but not particularly well known) for his award-winning YA novels.

His first novel,

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