Book Review: THE FIRST THIRD by Will Kostakis


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I picked this book up at my school library, but I think this one justifies a trip to Dymocks so I can have my OWN COPY. Here’s all you need to know about it:

Life 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.

Here are my first three reasons why this book is awesome:

1)      It’s Australian, which means automatic A+++

2)      Not every character is white! *throws multicultural confetti* Hooray! There is also a character called Lucas, who is gay and also disabled. *throws diverse confetti* Hooray!

3)      It focuses a lot on grandparents, which is something a lot of YA books really lack. I’m a teenager, and my Nanna is one of the most influential people in my life. It was nice to find something similar in a YA book.

So basically, this book was really cool (awesome cover too, have you noticed?). The sibling relationship was very realistic. I can’t speak for the accuracy of the Greek characters, but since Will Kostakis grew up in a similar situation, I’m going to assume it’s pretty realistic. It’s kind of like The Fault in Our Stars in that it’s both sad and funny, and totally relatable. Also, the main character likes stand-up comedy. In a lot of YA novels characters have hobbies like running or writing, but I have literally never read a book with stand-up comedy as a hobby. It was refreshing and inventive, and the whole book was just great.

The characters in the book were definitely the strongest part. While the plot delved into topics like illness and loss, the characters kept it grounded and more light-hearted than it might have been. In some parts, when the story dragged, the characterisation brought it back every time. Rarely have I seen such faithful and diverse depictions of teenagers outside of real life.

This is a remarkable tale of friendship and family. I can’t wait to read whatever else Will Kostakis writes.

4.5 stars out of 5

AOaR_4star (3)

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Emily is a sixteen-year-old writer. This November she’s participating in NaNoWriMo, which is why she almost forgot about writing this book review.

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