Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Balzer And Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Summary: What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?
When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.
Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?
Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.
My Thoughts: I’m not sure if it was a good idea reading this one within weeks of Maybe One Day or not. They were so similar yet so different.
Side Effects May Vary was a very sad read but it also had some perks. It was very uplifting as well.
We are introduced to Alice who had cancer. Now she’s in remission. This one goes back and forth between then and now chapters. It also rotates between her and her friend Harvey’s point of view. These kind of books are always a hit or miss for me. I hate going between views and I hate going back and forth between what did happen and what is happening now. I just have a hard time following. This one wasn’t so bad or hard to follow.
I liked seeing things from both Alice and Harvey’s views. I really liked Harvey as a character. He was very understanding and would do anything for Alice. Sometimes maybe too much.
I liked that Alice had a way to stick up for herself but it was also a tad vindictive and mean and she could have handled things better. But, I know she was mad at the world (and every right too) and she just didn’t think of any of the consequences.
Alice also had a lot of secrets. Secrets about her family, secrets about herself, and secrets about others in her life. She had a lot on her plate.
I loved how Alice goes into remission and she does have to deal with her mistakes. Things aren’t just peachy for her and that is what made the book real. She had choices to make, and she had to live with them as well.
I loved reading this one. I loved the characters, I enjoyed the plot. And, most of all I loved seeing things from Harvey’s point of view.
Overall: I enjoyed this one! A great start for 2014 for me! As this was the second book I read in 2014. I hope this is a good reading year for young adult books! Great work Murphy. Can’t wait to read her next one!
Cover: Like it! I like the little pictures on the front and I like the font and colors! Cute!
What I'd Give It: