Title: Side Effects May Vary
Author: Julie Murphy
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.
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.