Blog Tour: Sidekick by Natalie Whipple (Review)

Thanks for joining me on my stop for Natalie Whipple’s SIDEKICK blog tour. Follow the tour along and find out what other reviewers have to say about this book by clicking the banner above. And in case you did not know yet, there is an exclusive blog tour extract in my previous post. Plus we have an ongoing international giveaway for this book there, too.

Russ is a high school football player who feels like he always comes in second to his best friend, Garret. In sports. In school. With girls. Well, he's tired of it, and he gets the rather foolish idea that if he can win the heart of the new girl in town before Garret he can prove he's not just sloppy seconds.

His plan? Use his anime-obsessed sister's group, who has befriended the new girl, to get closer to her. He'd never tell the team, but he's been going to Anime Night for years and might even enjoy it. That would ruin his reputation, just like his secret love for cooking and James Taylor.

But pretending to be something you aren't catches up to you eventually, and Russ can only get away with living two lives for so long. As more than one person reveals they have something to hide, Russ must figure out what and who he really wants in his life. And more than that, he needs the courage to make it happen.

Series: Standalone
Publisher: Whipple House
Publication date: November 10, 2015
Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes &Noble | Book Depository
Purchase a signed copy from the author HERE!
My Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts:
Hey, hey, hey! SIDEKICK is a book that might pull you out from a reading slump. It was an easy breezy read for me (you know how I’m really a slow-reader) but it has some pretty deep stuff.

It’s a quite refreshing point of view to read a jock main character. For me, the heart of the book lies in Russ figuring out if he’s being a fake or not. Does changing the person he is depending on who the people around him are warrant as fakery? Does being nice to everybody being phony? I get how Russ feels pretty hard not to care about how people think of them when they’re high up there the social strata and everyone seems to be looking up at him and Garret. I love how Russ mulls over on things like that and how him and Garret are not your traditional shallow jerk jocks.

The people around Russ and Garret are interesting characters, too. Keira, the freaky new hot punk girl is mysteriously seductive. The Dork Gang and its leader, Izzy the tyrannical younger sister of Russ, are a bunch of people I found so enjoyable to read. If Izzy would have me in her group, I’d want to spend lots of anime marathon nights with them.

I have a lot of other favorites in the book such as how a famous burger joint, Parker’s, is the happy place of our main character and instrumental to help him decide what to do with his life. I also enjoyed those moments between Russ and his dad. There’s this touching one where Russ wants to do good and win the game because his dad is watching. And there are lots of parts where his dad pester him about what he wants to do in the future, college applications and whatnots. Oooh, and I can’t wait for you to read this messy hilarious huge sibling war between Russ and Izzy.

I will not tell much about the romance aspect of the story because I do not want to spoil it for you. Let’s just say that oblivious-to-his-own-good-looks-and-charms-Russ had a fair share of girls and he ended up with the one I shipped him with. I am so happy about this.

This book is not only about some insecure jock wanting to surpass his cooler best friend because of a girl. It is way more than that. It’s about a boy trying to not lose his individuality to those stifling expectations of his world. It’s about a boy looking at himself assessing whether he’s being real or a fake. It’s about a boy who’s weighing in if he’ll choose reputation over friendships. It’s about a boy being uncertain of his future after all the high school drama is over. This book has a lot of real complex teenage boy reflections. There might be a lot of other books that explore the same theme as Sidekick, but this one I have enjoyed very much. It made me feel good and I turned the last page with a smile.
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