The First Third, Will Kostakis

9780143568179It has been quite some time since I have read a book that I felt was worth writing about. This says more about me and my state of mind that it does about the world of books and I can’t for the life of me remember where I saw this reviewed. I know it was during the last week … perhaps in a newspaper? But I do remember that when I read about it, I was impressed by the fact that here was a book written for boys – boys the same age as my boy … boys who are often not considered when it comes to young adult fiction which tends to so overwhelmingly appeal to a female audience. So I bought the book. Hard copy. Thinking that my boy would thoroughly enjoy the read… it sounded so … I’m not sure what the adjective is … so … tweenish?

Since I am a diligent parent I decided to read the book myself before handing it over. I wanted to be sure that there was no inappropriateness in it, no teenage fantasies about girls that I can’t yet imagine my son having. Not that he’s a saint. Just that he’s only 11 and only just and I’d like him to enjoy his youth for just the shortest little while.

Anyway, so I picked up the book last night and started reading and before I could blink I was immersed in the most wonderful true to life story filled with multi-dimensional characters who all resonated otherness in different ways. I loved the ordinariness of this Greek family and the ordinariness of their concerns. And I loved the way they cared for one another, often without showing it, but nonetheless it was there, hidden in dark corners.

This book grabbed me and shook me and kept shaking until I finally put it down, a mere 10 pages from the end just to hold on to the feelings, to savour the specialness and to wait. I let it percolate overnight and then, today, I sat quietly and finished it. And then I breathed.

Will Kostakis is a genius. A writer of the most intense calibre and I have no doubt that if he continues to produce work of this nature, he will shortly be a type of hero for young boys the world over.

I will be giving this book to my son to read and I will be hoping that he has friends like Lucas (or Sticks as he likes to be known) and that even when he and his siblings fight, they always know that family is forever if you want it to be. His grandmothers are never going to impart the beauty of making moussaka, but they will always be there to make him smile and nothing is more important.

I loved this book and I will treasure the story and the way it was told for a very long time and I will be first in line to buy Kostakis’ next book.


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