ARC Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Title: Side Effects May Vary
Author: Julie Murphy
Publication:March 18th 2014 by HarperCollins/ Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: For Review

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 Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really liked it

-- My Thoughts --

     I love books about cancer and fatal diseases. It has this feel to it that I have always liked, and this book was no exception.
     Alice had cancer and she thought she would die. So, she convinced her best friend Harvey to plan somethings with her. To bring revenge on some people and do some good and kind things. But then, she goes into remission, and she has to live with the consequences of the things she did.
     I haven't read any reviews of this book, but one thing i am sure of, is that I'll find a lot of people complaining about Alice and how they didn't like her. Alice is not the kind of character you like, let alone love. She is stupid, snarky, selfish, and in total, a b****. But THAT didn't stop me from liking her. As always, I love characters with broken souls and anger-control issues. I  have to admit that, at most times, I didn't like her at all. But she kinda grew on me and I started caring for her.
     The plot of this book is not mainly about cancer, but about what happens when you are cured from your cancer. It took a different approach, and i loved the author's concentration on the side effects of our actions not on our actions themselves.
     Then, there's the romance, which is a main part of the book. Alice uses Harvey and he knows it and lets her. He loves her that much. I LOVED Harvey. He's the kind of sweet, innocent, lovable guy that all girls want to have, but never appreciate if they do. I loved the interactions between them and how Alice learned the true value of love from her best friend.

    This book didn't make me cry, as I expected to, and it's not the best cancer-related book out there, that's why it didn't get five stars since it wasn't as emotional as I had hoped (it had tons of raw emotions in it, though!).


  1. I appreciated this one, although I don't usually read a lot of books involving terminal illnesses (too sad for me). Alice isn't likeable, but she's understandable, and that made it a good read for me!

    1. Yape, she definitely isn't likeable.
      thanks for being here

  2. This sounds like its worth reading!
    Thanks for reviewing it!
    xo Holly xo



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