I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-03-18
Genres: Adolescence, Death & Dying, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Also by this author: Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet
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.
Side Effects May Vary is a book different from any that I’ve read. If you’re looking for a book with rainbows and sunshine this probably isn’t it.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from SEMV, but I’m happy I read it. It was so hard for me to put down and get other things done. Alice and Harvey have an intense friendship/relationship. They don’t really get along some of the time, and I honestly don’t see how they could ever be good for each other.
Alice doesn’t know how to deal with the fact that she is in remission. She’s done some pretty crazy things to get back at those that hurt her. She’s so afraid of the unknown that she just wants to hide, and pretty much say “screw everyone.” Harvey is a complete pushover. He knows Alice can be bad for him, but he sticks around anyway. I wanted to smack him upside the head for being dumb.
I loved how the book went back and forth. Each flashback has repercussions, or something that’s happening now pertains to what happened then. I think it’s good for Alice to take a look back, and see how what’s happened before led her to where she is now.
I highly suggest this for those wanting something different from a book dealing with cancer. You can see how dark things can become inside your own mind.
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