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Russ is tired of coming in second to his best friend, Garret. Whether it's in sports, in school, or with girls, he can never get ahead. Something has to change, and when a new girl comes to town he sees his chance. He has to win her over before Garret does, but proving he's not second best won't be easy when Garret is a pro.Russ will do anything to beat Garret, including uRuss is tired of coming in second to his best friend, Garret. Whether it's in sports, in school, or with girls, he can never get ahead. Something has to change, and when a new girl comes to town he sees his chance. He has to win her over before Garret does, but proving he's not second best won't be easy when Garret is a pro.Russ will do anything to beat Garret, including using his little sister to get closer to the new girl. He has to be careful, though, because if anyone at school finds out he attends anime night (and he might even enjoy it), it would ruin his reputation, just like his secret love for cooking and James Taylor.But pretending to be something he isn't will catch up to him eventually, and Russ can only get away with living two lives for so long. As more than one friend reveals they aren't who they seem, Russ must figure out what and who he really wants in his life. And more than that, he needs to find the courage to make it happen.NATALIE WHIPPLE has always felt like a sidekick, but has never actually been one. At least not to her bestest friends. Which are the ones that matter. She lives in Utah with her husband and kids, and they spend most of their quality time playing video games together and being proud "freaks" in general....

Title : Sidekick
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780991178537
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 356 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sidekick Reviews

  • Hazel (Stay Bookish)
    2019-01-07 13:58

    Actual rating: 4.5THE PROTAGONIST. THE SIBLING. THE FRIENDSHIPS. THE ROMANCE. All so on point!Finished overnight and fist pumped right after. Yay for awesome reads!

  • Rachel
    2018-12-24 14:10

    So. It's not news, but I absolutely loved this book. I totally devoured it. (Yes, pun was absolutely intended.)Russ has spent his whole life in his best friend, Garret's, shadow. They are the cool kids in school--kings of the lunchroom and all that--but Russ is afraid that'll all go away if his friends find out how much he loves watching anime with his weird little sister and her friends. And cooking. And James Taylor.At first glance, Russ seems totally superficial. It seems like all his thoughts are self-serving and only inches deep. He bends himself backward to appease everyone, and he walks the tightrope of high school popularity, carefully weighing every word and interaction to see if they will uphold his image or topple it. I could see how this could irritate a reader. But, looking deeper, I found a lot more in Russ.Yes, he worries about his image and popularity. A lot. But he also worries about his friends and sister and parents. So much so that most of the balancing act he keeps up is done to keep as many people happy as possible. And in the process, he sometimes forgets to make himself happy. And I don't know about you, but I can definitely relate to that.The secondary characters are all vibrant. Natalie does a great job of writing the amime-loving group without making them seem like cartoon characters themselves. Sure, they fit in with the stereotype of what people think when they think over-the-top, anime-loving teen. But not because Natalie didn't know better, but because she created characters who seemed to be doing whatever they could to create their niche, and in doing so turn themselves into cliches. (Which is, I suppose, a long-winded way to say, the characters felt very real.) Beyond our bigger secondary characters, even the small characters who we only meet a couple times, are all strong characters.My favorite thing about this book, and all of Natalie's books, is how simple the writing is. That may sound like a bad thing, to have simple writing, but it's not. I know how hard it is to create prose that is clean and crisp and seems effortless, and I am in constant awe of people who can pull that off. Natalie is a champion of crisp writing, and I spent much of my time reading this book amazed at how effortless it seemed.So. Pretty much, you should get this book and read it. Now. Just make sure you have access to juicy delicious hamburgers, because it'll make you hungry!

  • Michelle (Much Loved Books)
    2019-01-03 10:13

    When I was approached about taking part in the blog tour and reviewing Sidekick by Natalie Whipple I did not hesitate. I love Natalie's Transparent series, as well as Fish Out of Water.Garrett and Russ are best friends. Russ feels over shadows by Garrett, who is the most popular person, best football player, and the one who always gets the girls.Russ hides some of himself from school and his best friend, he enjoys watching anime with his sister and her friends, he loves to cook and from some of the recipes he seems quite good at it, but he also doesn't want his friends to think he is a nerd, and I did feel sorry for him having to feel like he can't be true to himself. No-one really gets to see the whole person and this did make me sad. When Kiera starts, Russ wants the chance to date her, to get there before Garrett. But Garrett is also interested, and Russ is doing all he can do to gain her attention without letting Garrett know how he feels. Russ's sister is quick to make her friendship, and while Russ thinks this will help his goal in getting Kiera's attention, it doesn't always work to plan.Garrett I didn't really take to, I thought he was arrogant and full of himself. He came across as feeling better than everybody else, and only does things if it's to his own advantage. Kiera I did feel sorry for, having to leave her home country and move to a new one, start a new school and try to fit into it, especially with how she acts and dresses. However my opinion quickly changed as we got to know more about her.Sidekick was an interesting story to read. It really shows how fickle friendships can be, but also how you see yourself isn't necessary how others see you, and as the story progressed not only do we see a different side to Russ, we also see how others saw him. I loved getting to see Russ be himself, seeing how confident he is in his own environment. When he has to work at the burger place I did like how accepting they were of him and how open to suggestions to improve the menu.Towards the end of Sidekick there is a twist, and it wasn't something I saw coming. I really liked how the different concepts came into play, and I do think this helped Russ gain confidence in himself and his likes, to push aside others opinions and go for who he wants.Final VerdictOverall Sidekick was an enjoyable read. I enjoyed seeing the different types of friendship and how quickly they can change, and how fast people can change their allegiance.

  • Abbey
    2019-01-15 14:59

    My Review: 5/5 starsAmazing book. I love Natalie Whipples books. She does a fantastic job of packing so much into the little novels. You have a story however their is so much to get out of it. This book was great. Whipple teaches so many lessons that most teens face in their lifes. Not everybody is perfect so why try to be? Russ and the crew felt real. I felt like I was another person in the novel watching the story unfold. There were twists making the book so interesting . There was never a point to loose focus. The characters were lovely ( even the characters I wanted to hate) and so understandable. Whipple might not be in highschool but she sure understand how it is being a teenager. So much more. Read it and see for your selfs. Ps. All of her books are great. My two top favs are Transparent & Fish Out Of Water now adding this one to that list !

  • Jennilyn
    2019-01-19 14:44

    ***Also posted on Rurouni Jenni Reads***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.

  • Rachel Marie
    2019-01-21 10:52

    This review first appears onOh man, I loved this one. It was cute, it was fun, it was himarious, it was so real. I think this is one of those books that everyone can find something to relate to. Russell is tired of being second-best to his best friend, Garrett. So when a new girl comes in to town, he thinks this is his chance. His in comes when he finds out she's also obsessed with anime, although no one can know that he actually watches the stuff with his sister and her friends. I think Russell might come off as too shallow to some people; he only seems to care what other people think, he only thinks of his reputation. But that isn't true. I found Russell to be a very complex character. He wants to make everyone else happy, even at the expense of himself. He's become a chameleon, to fit in with every group. But he also knows that this is high school, and it's brutal, and knows how lucky he is to be part of the popular crowd, and doesn't want to do anything to upset that balance. He just has to get through school, and then he can go off and be himself. But he's spent so long faking it that he's no longer sure who himself actually is. I think we can all relate to that feeling of having to hide who we are, of carefully picking and choosing what we show other people. Especially in high school, as it can be a brutal place. Russell is trying to figure out who he is (especially with college looming), what he wants from life, and we all know that feeling. Yes, the main plot is romantic relationships. But it's also about friendships, which I think is super important, and love books about that. When everything Russell seems to do just pushes his friends away further, he has to really figure out himself, and what he's going to do about it, because he can't rely on them anymore. And I loved that. I also loved how diverse this group of characters was, mainly personality wise, and seeing how they all grow and change. This is the coming-of-age novel I wish I had when I was still in high school, honestly. This was such a fun book. It was serious, and I think it had great themes, but it was also fun. Yes, this book has romance, but I think it centers more about friendships and personal growth. I loved seeing Russell and his friends grow and change and become themselves. It was an all-around great book (although it will make you hungry be warned). I received a copy for the blog tour in exchange for my honest review

  • Jessica Brooks
    2019-01-13 08:08

    4 stars*SIDEKICK is the second indie book I've read by Natalie Whipple, and I really enjoyed it! (Thanks to Dianne of Oops I Read A Book Again for including me in the blog tour!) It's not often that you see the male side of the spectrum in regard to sports and high school insecurities, so this was a nice change to say the least. Especially since the assumption that things were a certain way were only there because no one communicated and everyone was afraid to share how they really felt. Because of a few misconceptions, Russ made some poor decisions and had some serious 'splainin' to do. But in the end, everything worked out great and the tables burger booths were totally turned. :DFavorite quote: Someone alert the media! Russel Pearson finally has a girlfriend. Women everywhere mourn.Favorite character: DAPHNEImmediate reaction upon book completion: I NEED A BURGER!What I'd like to do: See Russ in that leather jacket :P Oh and eat at Parker's, of course.Rating: 4 out of 5 stars burgers**! **Sidekick is definitely upper YA due to drinking, language, and adult situations.Check out the fun discussion of SIDEKICK on the blog, here!*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  • Cindy
    2019-01-22 11:46

    I had the enormous privilege to do an early review for Natalie Whipple's first contemporary novel, FISH OUT OF WATER, last year (and it became one of my favorite reads of 2014!), so when I was approached this autumn and asked if I was interested in reviewing her second contemporary, SIDEKICK, I didn't even have to think twice.I'll admit: When I was about a third of the way into reading SIDEKICK, I started to panic. Natalie is a good friend, I'd been enlisted to participate in a blog tour promoting the book's release, I'd loved FISH OUT OF WATER so much I was still thinking about it a year later... and I was starting to be convinced that I was going to seriously dislike SIDEKICK. All of the characters seemed shallow, the direction the plot was heading felt like a train wreck, and I had no idea how I was going to review the book in a positive light.But then I hit the middle of the book, there was a totally fantastic twist that I hadn't seen coming at the beginning, and I wasn't worried anymore. Because SIDEKICK ended up being so much more than I'd bargained for—a thoughtful exploration of friendship, attraction, love, and popularity that left me smiling as I finished it. In the end, SIDEKICK was a solid four-star book for me, and one I'd recommend to any fans of contemporary YA—especially if you like unexpected turns as much as I do!

  • Laura
    2019-01-06 10:57

    I loved this book so much. Couldn’t put it down. The writing is good, and the pacing is spot on. I read it in one sitting, interrupted only because Russ spent so much time cooking bacon that I needed a snack. Mmmm, bacon.I totally get Russ. In fact, I think I may have over-identified with him at times. I am the sidekick. My friends all officially dubbed me as such when my best friend went on TV a few years ago, so there’s no doubt. Whatever I think I’m good at, other people are better. I grew up in a boring little suburb of a California town (thankfully not Fresno, but still, much of the book rang true). The secondary characters are as interesting and three-dimensional as the main characters. Everyone here seemed real. I could see myself sitting around watching TV all night in the living room (probably because that’s the only thing to do in crappy CA small towns when you’re not old enough to drink). It felt like I couldn’t just stepped into the book and joined them. My only real complaint is that I didn’t understand why girls only talked to Russ when Garrett was single if Russ was the one they wanted. It would’ve made more sense to me for all those girls to talk to Russ MORE when his best friend was attached - they’d have a better shot at getting some of his time, right?

  • Danielle Shipley
    2019-01-20 13:44

    One thing I really appreciate about Natalie Whipple books is that I have yet to see her put her protagonists in a vacuum. There’s always a group of friends and/or family around to create an authentic, eclectic social environment. It makes reading the story feel a lot like just hanging out with the gang. And this may well be my favorite Whipple-written gang to date – which is why the possibility of the main character fumbling his relationships beyond all hope of a happy ever after felt like such painfully high stakes.Jealousies, deceptions, and high school politics served as a foil against Russ Pearson’s desire to just get through his senior year without feeling like a loser, come in second place to his best friend. His situation got complicated, but it was no manufactured drama. Just motivated actions, reactions, and consequences – lather, rinse, repeat. Were some of those actions at the top of the cycle ill-advised? Absolutely. But I got it. I got Russ. And I rooted for him like crazy. Plus, much as he tried to downplay it, experiencing his culinary passion added to the story’s homey flavor (pun half-intended).I received an ARC of “Sidekick” in exchange for an honest review, and it was a genuine pleasure to read.

  • Melissa Pope
    2019-01-04 08:49

    I have enjoyed reading Natalie Whipple's books, but I am particularly liking her YA contemporary novels right now! With 'Fish out of Water' and now 'Sidekick', she is making her own individual quirky mark in the genre.Throughout reading this story of discovering who you are, and where you fit into the social constructs of high school life (and life in general) I couldn't help but think about a well know Dr Seuss quote:"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."If we can all learn from an early age that being true to ourselves, and those we care about most, that discovering & pursuing our talents and passions isn't going to cause the world we live in to implode in on itself - we will be so much happier in the long run. Never feel like you have to be pigeon holed into what you or anyone thinks society thinks you should be! Just be you! Being you is more than enough!A great read, with a great take away for life!!

  • Maren
    2019-01-04 09:59

    I absolutely love Natalie Whipple's books, and Side Kick did not disappoint. It was a fun story about highschool life, and figuring out where you fit in. I absolutely loved the characters, well of course there are some that rightfully hated. The only problem with this book, and most of Whipple's books... they make me hungry! Plan to crave delicious burgers while you enjoy.

  • Natalie
    2019-01-15 09:09

    It was a quick-read for me, the events were all coming so fast. I enjoyed the story so much, it really teaches a lot of lessons about friendship and being true to yourself. I love it, definitely recommendable!

  • George Khalil
    2018-12-25 14:12

    Not much to say about this really...