Monday, January 29, 2018

The Post in Which I Try to Review Two Books: The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis and Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

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.

I think the author wrote this book with his tears--and I don't say that to be funny. This book is sad, like really sad. 

I'm not quite sure what the author's goal was here--but if it was to make me feel sad, for a person and/or persons that do not exist--mention accomplished.

A group of friends lose the one person that keeps them together--and they wander around trying to figure out both the lost of their friend--but also how they still (if at all, if ever) fit together.

 To be fair, the book is written brilliantly, and the characters are awfully realistic.

 Their feelings and emotions really come through. This is however, in my opinion, a mood read. 

While contemporaries have the tendency to be more serious, this is one of those books you need to be in the mood for--otherwise I think there won't be a true appreciation for what the book has to offer. 

Again, the characters are solid, the story moves effortlessly, its just sad, and well--it kind of brought me down--despite the semi-happy ending.

Power corrupts. Magic kills.

Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael is surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn't help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe—the dangerous and enigmatic leader of Hawthorne’s kindled motorcycle gang, the Devils’ League.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor spreads that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

What I liked:
The motorcycle club aspect: As a fan of Sons of Anarchy--I love the motorcycle club culture--toss in the magic and I was sold.

The family--This was a tight familial unit--every part moved together with a purpose. Even when there was a spat, they stuck together.

The magic: Magic in books can really be enjoyable--especially when the author makes it feel tangible real the way the author does here. 

Jemmie: Although she doubted herself, she didn't let it stop her from doing what needs to be done. It's admirable.

What I didn't like: This is not really a complaint, more of a want. The romance aspect wasn't a focus, and that was okay--but more would have been nice. But, being that this is a part one--that gives the reader something to hope for, maybe more of Crowe and Jemmie? And answers from that creepy, and sort of open-ended ending.

Expect to hear more from this cast of characters--because there's definitely more to see here. 


  1. I got that first book in the mail a couple of months ago, and have wanted to read it because it's an Aussie author, but I suspected it would be a really sad book. I don't know if I can handle that at the moment. I'm glad you enjoyed it though.

    I'm glad you enjoyed Devil & Thieves. It was a fun book for me as well and I definitely enjoyed the magic elements. I'm with you though. I needed more from that romance!

    Great reviews!

    1. Thanks, Nick. If you read the first one, I hope you like it!

  2. I like the sound of the first one but definitely sounds like one to be in the mood for. Great reviews!

  3. Sometimes sad reads are okay and sometimes not. It really does depend on you at the time doesn't it? Wonderful reviews for these!

  4. The Sidekicks sounds interesting and I was going to say it sounds like an all-around sad one but you mentioned a semi-happyish ending so I guess there’s that. Even knowing that I’m not sure this is one I would go for. I saw Katie McGarry raving about Devil & Thieves not too long ago. I remember because the blending of magic + motorcycle club sounded so off the wall. :) I might have to check my library for that one.

  5. I love the sound of Devils and Thieves! Motorcycle clubs should be featured more in fantasy/paranormal books, I think. And The Sidekicks sounds like a major tearjerker, which makes me think I should pass. I like my contemporaries on the fluffy side. :)

  6. Since I'm not a fan of crying, The Sidekicks, probably isn't for me. However, Devils and Thieves might be something I would really enjoy. Brilly 2-fer review!

  7. Sometimes quick reviews work best for these books that are good but not fantastic. You just don't have as much to say. I actually kind of love sad books, so I might have to try Sidekicks.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  8. I've seen Devils & Thieves around quite a bit and most of the reviews are pretty mixed. I haven't read too many books about motorcycle clubs, (isn't there another YA book with this aspect?) and I feel like I want to pick this up, but idk if I'll like it lol. You know my taste, so I'll just hit you up with more tea on it lol

  9. Oh, I absolutely did not enjoy Devils & Thieves! I gave it a try quite a while ago but the world building was weird to me and I did not enjoy the characters, action or romance. I DNF'd it :P

  10. Awesome reviews, sidekick sounds like a book I would need to read in the summer with alot of outdoor sunshine to help cheer me up . Devils and Thieves interest me because I haven't read many books about that arena

    Tori @ In Tori Lex