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The First Third by Will Kostakis
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The First Third (2013)

by Will Kostakis

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Charming, funny and poignant, this was a delight. I loved Bill and his best friend Lucas and Bill's bumbling attempts at lurve were hilarious and entertaining. The loving relationships with Yiayia - the quintessential Greek grandmother and the "glue" holding the family together - were portrayed sympathetically and warmly and her directive that Bill fulfills her bucket list fills Bill with dread and seems impossible. I also loved the fact that the novel embraces the sexuality spectrum. AND, Hooray! Most of the adults are supportive of their children (a bit of a rarity in YA at the moment). I must admit, I wasn't drawn to this book (cover issues AGAIN!) but I'm so glad I read it. ( )
  mmacd3814 | May 30, 2016 |
Book blurb: 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. ( )
  dalzan | May 7, 2014 |
Only the second novel from the author, this is both a funny and sad book about families and adolescence. The main character is 17 year old Billy Tsiolkas and he is part of a Greek-Australian family. He is the middle son, in a single-parent family and loves his idiosyncratic grandmother, Yiayia. She is a great character in the story and to roughly quote Yiayia’s outlook on life from the novel “Life is made of 3 parts: at first you are embarrassed by your family; in the second part you make your own family and thirdly you embarrass the family you’ve made.” Yiayia becomes ill and so she gives Billy her list of things to do, her bucket-list. It is a short list of three things but basically they amount to Billy getting his family, which has drifted apart, back together again. This is a big task and Billy has to deal with all sorts of situations as he tries to follow Yiayia’s instructions. There are many situations and characters that readers would identify with as they read this realistic portrayal of adolescent life in Australia today. I like they way Billy’s character described the Melbourne’s laneways, when he and his friend “Sticks” make a flying visit, to an address supplied by Yiayia. ( )
  Rhondda | May 2, 2014 |
A funny and poignant story about family. In the first part of life 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 and now it's his job to glue their family back together. ( )
  storyLines | Jan 5, 2014 |
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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.… (more)

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