Side Effects May Vary - Julie Murphy

by 12:30 AM 0 comments
Side Effects May Vary - Julie Murphy

Released: March 26, 2014
Publisher: Penguin AUS
SynopsisWritten from the perspectives of both Harvey and Alice, in Side Effects May Vary, Julie Murphy weaves a compelling story of friendship, relationships and love, with a little bit of death thrown in for good measure; at least for a while.

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend Harvey, who's loved her forever, to help with compiling a crazy just-dying-to-do bucket list, that's as much about revenge as it is about redemption. But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission. Now she must face the consequences of all she's said and done and discover just what happens when we say our 'final' words, only to find that life isn't through with us yet.

Sharp, witty and poignant - this is a book written for all ages.

~ Goodreads ~

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What I Thought: Side Effects May Vary, for how you feel after reading this book. You may laugh. You may cry. You may scream and shout and pull out your hair. You may be satisfied, or you may not. Side Effects May Vary, in my opinion, is not a book about a girl with cancer. It is not a story about the things she does to get revenge on the enemies in her life. It's not even really about her dealing with the consequences once she finds out she's gone into remission. This is a love story, pure and simple. Yes, it has all of the above stated things, but they are minor parts of a major love story. Had I known that when I started, I may have loved it a lot more than I did. Don't get me wrong, it was a fantastic story, but when I picked it up, expecting a cancer story or a revenge story and got a love story instead, I was kind of disappointed.

Alice is a normal teenage girl, with very normal dramatic teenage problems. Except one day she finds out she has leukaemia, and her life changes. She decides to write a list, a bucket list of sorts, and revenge is at the top of her list. However, she eventually finds out she is in remission, and life starts to go back to normal again - where she has to deal with the consequences of her actions.

Side Effects May Vary is a raw and powerful book, that shows us that every action has a consequence, and that love can be an extremely powerful and haunting force in life. This novel was definitely not what I expected, and not what I hoped for either, but I definitely still think it is one of those YA novels that needs to be read by everyone.

The Good: It has some hilarious moments.

The Bad: As explained in the first paragraph above, it was not what I expected.


Mad Claire

Claire Blennerhassett

Reader, Blogger

Twenty-something | book-blogger | tea-drinker | procrastinator | wannabe-writer | student


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