By Will Kostakis
Will Kostakis is a bestselling author in Australia, and The Sidekicks, a novel centered around three young men who connect over their shared loss of best friend, is his debut in America.
Ryan, Harley and Miles are very different people—the swimmer, the rebel and the nerd. All they’ve ever had in common is Isaac, their shared best friend, but they discover there’s more common ground to be found than they imagined.
When Isaac dies unexpectedly, the three boys must come to terms with their grief and the impact Isaac had on each of their lives. In his absence, Ryan, Harley and Miles discover things about one another they never saw before, and realize there may be more tying them together than just Isaac.
The Sidekicks is a book about death as told through the lives it inspires.
The heartwarming, masterfully written novel about grief, self-discovery and the connections that tie us all together is told in three parts.
The Sidekicks is based on Kostakis’ coping with the death of a close friend at a young age.
Kostakis says of using that as inspirationg to write The Sidekicks, “When someone dies, it carves a line through your life. Everything before it becomes the past, and everything after is never the same.
“My best friend died in the summer between my sophomore and junior years.
“Ben and I met in the second grade, but I didn’t like him back then because he liked cats. Four years later, we were seated together and I was apparently over my cat thing, because we became friends. I don’t remember how, but that won’t stop me romanticizing it: I made a joke, he laughed and said I was the funniest person he’d ever met.
“I do remember the day he asked to read my writing—well, he snatched it out from under my hand. It was a fictionalized account of meeting my dad’s new girlfriend. I was nervous. He read right to the bottom and asked, ‘What happens next?’
“I believe that behind every aspiring writer, there’s one enthusiastic reader who asks what happens next. Ben was that reader for me. He soon became the reader who would pass my stories around class, charging a fee (50 cents or a packet of Ovaltine). So I guess he was my first bookseller, too.
“We had plans. I was going to be a writer. He was going to be an actor-slash-model-slash-genuinely-talented-pretty-person (and if all else failed, my groupie). We were going to appear on daytime talk shows together. I’d make a joke, he’d laugh, and he’d threaten to tell the audience what I was like way back when.
“But he died first.
“The world shook. The future I took for granted vanished, and not just imagined adventures at college or on talk shows, but the immediate future: the text banter during McDonald’s shifts, the whispered jokes in class, the exaggerated eye rolls during exams.
‘I didn’t only mourn him, I mourned the loss of the life I’d built around him. The grief was consuming, and in those early days, each moment was punctuated by the feeling of knowing we were drifting farther apart. I was getting older without him.”
Will Kostakis will be at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble this Friday, October 27th at 6 pm as part of a YA panel with Martin Wilson and Lance Rubin. It is located at 97 Warren Street, New York, NY 10007. Call them at 212-587-5389 for more information.