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 this teenage world, piecing together three points of view with intricate splendour.
A free spirit who didn't let rules get in his way, high school junior Isaac had three totally different best friends. Now that he's dead, do they have anything in common? Not on the surface: Ryan's a serious swimmer, Miles is described as a nerd and seems to be on the autism spectrum, and Harley is a rebel (and Isaac's drug supplier). As the boys grieve and try to cope with life in their buttoned-down prep school, secrets are revealed and they grow closer. Australian author Kostakis's U.S. debut isn't particularly subtle: the 17-year-olds are portrayed as types largely, it seems, so that they can then be revealed to be more than that (predictably, the rebel has a soft heart and a secret pain). But Kostakis makes good use of the three characters' narratives, moving from relatable Ryan to sympathetic Harley and finally the initially unprepossessing Miles, whose inability to wear a social mask and habit of seeing his life as a movie make him a touching narrator. Ages 13 up.
A great read!
When I finished 'Sidekicks' I had that horrible sinking feeling that you get when your time with much-beloved characters comes to its inevitable end. The novel is targeted at young men, but could be enjoyed by anyone. The stories of the three central characters are individually poignant, but together they form an emotional journey greater than the sum of its parts. Definitely buy this, but read it at home. Crying in public can be embarrassing.