Review: The First Third by Will Kostakis

17185857Life is made up of three parts: in the first third, you’re embarrassed by your family; in the second, you make a family of your own; and in the end, you just embarrass the family you’ve made.

That’s how Billy’s grandmother explains it, anyway. She’s given him her bucket list (cue embarrassment), and now, it’s his job to glue their family back together.

No pressure or anything.

Fixing his family’s not going to be easy and Billy’s not ready for change. But as he soon discovers, the first third has to end some time. And then what?

It’s a Greek tragedy waiting to happen.

* * * * My Thoughts * * * *

I read The Sidekicks and loved it. I’ve now read The First Third and loved it. I must get my hands on more! You, Mr Will Kostakis are brilliant and I love your humorous and heartwarming style.

In The First Third we follow 17 year-old Bill as he navigates first love and the monumental task his ill Grandmother has given him to put his broken family back together. With the help of Bill’s best friend Lucas and a pretty girl named Hayley, Bill manages to make some major progress with his family and help some other people out along the way. The ending leaves you with tears in your eyes, a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart and hope for the future.

Bill is a total sweetheart and reading along with his interactions with his friends, family and especially his Yiayia is a treat for the soul.

As with The Sidekicks the story flows beautifully, the characters are engaging and feel real. There is no denying that Mr Kostakis has the ability to tell a meaningful and captivating story. I am looking forward to reading more by him in the future.

Five Stars

Kostakis Links: Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Facebook

Booktopia | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Bookdepository 

Review: The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis

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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.

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Paperback, 256 pages. Published February 29th 2016 by Penguin Australia.
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Goodreads WebsiteTwitter – Facebook

Amazon AUBooktopiaAmazon USBook Depository

* * * * * * * My Thoughts * * * * * * *

Set in northern Sydney The Sidekicks is the story of three very different boys. While on the verge of manhood they suffer the loss of a mutual friend. We follow each of the boys as they go on to deal with their friend’s death. The trauma initially separates them, but by the end of the book it has brought them together with a closeness they never had before. This is a story of love, loss, friendship, sexuality, homophobia and just wanting to fit in.

The Boys:

“The Swimmer” I was immediately drawn to Ryan (Thommo). His character straight up felt kind hearted and genuine. My heart wanted to reach out and hug him. The poor boy not only had to deal with the loss of his best friend, but with coming out to the world.

“The Rebel” Scott (Harley) is bloody adorable. Harley was the kind of boy I swooned over in school, and rightly so, thanks for proving me right Harley. Harley really grows up after losing his mate and he does everything he can to put things right. I outwardly applauded him (seriously my husband looked at my like a was mad clapping at a book) as he ran off to find and support Ryan.

“The Nerd” I was most afraid for Miles after the loss of Isaac. He really ends up in a dark place, but thankfully that big beautiful dastardly brain of his sees the light and lets the other two boys in. I wasn’t as drawn to Miles as the other two boys at first, but seeing the world through his eyes and his projected vision of the future, was a really strong and brilliant way to finish the story off.

star.5

Fast and Loose by Nicholas J. Johnson

25374404Fast and Loose by Nicholas J. Johnson

Published: 1st July 2015

Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis mk3Joel Fitch used to be a con artist.

That is, until his scam paid off but his life went belly up. Now, two years later, at the ripe old age of 22, Joel has a mattress full of cash and no idea what comes next. The movies never tell you what to do after you’ve walked into the sunset.

Besides, Joel’s past is catching up with him. One of the victims from his con artist days has hunted him down. Far from exacting revenge, though, he wants Joel’s help. Danny Hemming is a TV journalist on television’s trashiest current-affairs program and he’s looking for someone to give him the inside scoop on the latest scams. And he’s not taking no for an answer.

Once again, Joel finds himself in over his head as he enters the murky world of tabloid television. Blackmailed into helping Hemming uncover and expose the country’s biggest swindlers, Joel is making more enemies than ever.

Goodreads-Button-with-Shadow My Thoughts mk3

I liked this book and the fact that I enjoyed it even though it wasn’t filled with forbidden or unrequited love, fantastical creatures or other worlds, like the books I normally read, for me shows how good a story teller Mr Johnson is.

The main characters; Joel Fitch a 22 year old millionaire ex-con-man and Danny Hemming TV “Journalist” with his eyes on the top producers’ job – Neither character is really all that like-able, but they don’t need to be. This book is fast paced, easy to read and flows well. It is set in Sydney, so it’s just down the road from me (kinda). I found it interesting taking a peek into a criminal world that goes on every day under all our noses. Now I’m not stupid, I know this stuff goes on, but obviously not everyone does as the Con-men out there are still thriving.

I mainly read stories that let me escape the world we live in – this story is the world we live in!! Even though I wasn’t glued to the pages, it was well worth the read and I’m looking forward to reading more from Mr Johnston.Three Stars

Author’s Links mk3

Nicholas J. Johnson knows scams.

After decades of rubbing shoulders with fraudsters and liars, he now works as a performer, writer and consultant, educating the public about the tricks of the con artist’s trade.

His live shows have featured at corporate events, schools and private events simultaneously entertaining and educating audiences about con artists and scams.

As an expert on fraud and deception he has appeared on A Current Affair, The Project, Sunrise, Kid’s WB, Today, Radio National, Triple J and more. He has consulted with everyone from magician David Blaine to Circus Oz.

A critically acclaimed comedian, Nicholas has performed at Edinburgh Fringe, Adelaide Fringe and the Melbourne Comedy Festival where he was nominated for the Golden Gibbo award for best independent comedy.

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/NicholasJJohnson

Website – http://www.conman.com.au/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/countlustig

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/TrickyNick79

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/honestconman

Growing up too fast!!

Tomorrow my little baby boy will be seven months old. Today he started to wear “Toddler” Nappies, yes my seven month old son is now wearing nappies for toddlers. Riley’s not a Fat baby if that’s what you’re thinking, No he’s just a big boy! Built like a rugby player, solid and strong. I’m rather upset about it, he’s growing too fast!!!! And also tomorrow I’ll be another year older! Yep I’d say I’m not going to have a good day tomorrow, but I’ll try to stay positive!

Train Trip

So on Friday Riley had his first Train ride and his first trip to Sydney. Everything went quite well and he was well behaved, be it quite noisy on the train trying to talk to everyone in his own way, but he seemed to enjoy himself. He was so tired from his Sydney adventure that he fell asleep on my lap while I was giving him his bottle, he hasn’t done that since he was about three months old. He was fast asleep in my arms, I managed to change his nappy and put him in his sleeping bag, then into his cot all without him waking up, yep he was exhausted, and it was wonderful.Sleeping Angel

First train ride

My world has been shattered, I’m a Tiger not a Rabbit. My birthdays before Chinese New Year, I was born in their 86. I am going down to China Town with my mum and Riley on the train tomorrow, so this matter I will investigate further. Tomorrow will be my son Riley’s first train ride and first trip to Sydney – Wish me luck!!!