Side effects may vary by Julie Murphy Review

Title: Side Effects May Vary

Author: Julie Murphy

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia

Source: Net galley for Honest Review

Release Date: March 26 2014






Written 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.

My Thoughts



I really wanted to like this story, and I hate writing bad reviews, After reading The Fault in our Stars not long ago I thought here is a similar story but with a girl trying to complete a bucket list of revenge, sounds great right?

No.  I really love to connect to a character, feel what they feel and see the reasoning behind their actions.  Alice to put it nicely is a bitch.  Yes she has cancer and yes she thinks she is dying but she was not only horrible to those that have hurt her, she is also horrible to those that love her.

I get the feeling that Julie wanted us to know the real emotions that may go through someones head when they are told they are going to die.  The anger, confusion and pain but instead of Alice’s character developing to come to terms with what she is facing she just pushes everyone away with her nastiness.

Harvey as a character was amazing I loved him he is adorable and only wants to make Alice happy, but she was just using him, which added to the fact that she was horrible.

It wasn’t just the characters that I had a problem with it is also the narrative, and time jumping in the plot.  We are given the point of view alternating between Harvey and Alice, as well as time jumping from when Alice is better and when she is sick. It makes for a confusing time for when you are feeling sorry for her to yelling at her for being horrible.

I just couldn’t get into this story, But as I usually say it is my opinion only you may have a completely different feel of Side Effects May Vary than me, If you are expecting another Fault in our stars do not pick up this book, it is not a tear jerker, it is about a young girl who is angry and hurt and wants to get even before she dies.

Chasm of Books has a different opinion on this book than me if you want to see a positive review from someone that enjoyed it click the link.




4 thoughts on “Side effects may vary by Julie Murphy Review

  1. That is so cool that you included a link to a review with a complete opposite view of this book. I’m not so good with stories where I have to be extra forgiving of the MC because of the trials they’re going through. Actually, I’m terribly rude when I talk back to my book or movie. I loved reading your review and then hopping over to Chasm of Books and reading hers. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Jodie!!

    • Thanks Robyn I always like to remind people it is only my feelings for a book because I have read bad reviews before and loved the book in question. I could never hate a book because they are like people to me lol

  2. I have read another review about this book where the reader didn’t connect with Alice. It is understandable why you didn’t enjoy it. Harvey sounds like a good guy though.
    Great honest review Jodie!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  3. Pingback: The Sunday post #16 | Aussie Bookworm

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