One of my favourite things is finding amazing books that aren't hugely popular, books that maybe not everyone everywhere has heard about (read: The Hunger Games, Divergent, etc).
Well, I discovered one of those books the other day, and I would love to share my love of it with you.
As you probably well know by now, Melina Marchetta is my favourite author. I especially love her books Jellicoe Road, Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son (also the Lumatere Chronicles. So yes, all her books except Looking for Alibrandi). All of her books have very strong family and friendship elements to them, which is basically my favourite elements of any books ever.
Well, a few weeks ago Melina Marchetta had an interview with this young author Will Kostakis on her blog, and she talked about this book and the family and friendship elements of it. I thought, huh. I'd probably like that book.
YES. YES I DID.
In fact, I might even have loved it.
That book is The First Third by Will Kostakis. It follows a 17-year-old Greek boy Billy while he struggles with his "yiayia" being in the hospital and essentially dying. His yiayia even gives him a bucket list to complete, which has ridiculous things on it like find his mom a husband, bring his older brother back home, and fix his little brother, who seems to not want to have anything to do with anyone but yiayia for some reason.
There are so many things I love about this book. I loved how the focus was on the family and the relationships within it. I loved how developed each character was, and how there was too many layers to count in each one.
For example, Billy's best friend Sticks at first just seems like one of those typical crazy quirky John Green-esque sidekicks, but he actually has issues of own. It adds a lot to the dimensions of his character, and also to the dimensions of the relationship between Sticks and Billy.
So, family dynamic, friendship dynamic, characters, A+.
I also just really love Will Kostakis's writing. He's definitely skilled with words and getting across elements of the story very effectively. He uses Facebook statuses in really interesting ways for plot and character development. Sometimes it's kind of hilarious.
And the last scene is perfect. But you'll have to read it to enjoy the wonderfulness of that part of the book.
I would recommend this book if you love family or friendship stories, or if you like anything by Melina Marchetta, Jonathan Friesen, or John Green.
It's only $6.99 on Amazon, and you can also visit Will Kostakis's website at www.willkostakis.com if you want to find other places to buy it. Also, I highly encourage you to read this interview that Hypable did with Will Kostakis, because the thing he said about the book are awesome.
Have a good week!