Monday, June 23, 2014

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

published by:  Harper Collins
publish date:  March 18, 2014

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, who 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 archnemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger). But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission.

The Fault in Our Stars is insanely popular right now.  I think a lot of fans may be looking for another book to read when they're done with it, and this book will fill that need.

When Alice gets diagnosed with leukemia, she doesn't think she has much time to live.  She is going to use her time getting revenge on everyone that has ever done her wrong.  She decides to manipulate her childhood friend Harvey into doing her dirty work, but doesn't realize how close they will get during the course of her illness. Then, much to everyone's, including Alice's, surprise she gets better.  So Alice will have to face everyone she has spent so much effort getting back at.  She will also have to come to terms with her feelings for Harvey in the real world.

Side Effects May Vary was a really powerful book.  At times I couldn't understand why Alice was so angry, why she couldn't just let go of all her hurt feelings.  On the other hand, I could sympathize with her crazy plans to want to right all the wrongs before she died.  I really liked the portrayal of the relationship between Alice and Harvey.  That might have been one of the most honest YA relationships I've ever seen written.

Great debut from Julie Murphy!  I would definitely recommend for the YA readers and fans of The Fault in Our Stars.

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