Book Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Posted 18 April, 2014 by Molly(Cover To Cover Cafe) in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Title: Side Effects May Vary
Author: Julie Murphy
Published by HarperCollins
Date Published: 2014-03-18
Pages: 336
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon~ B&N
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The Fault in Our Stars meets Sarah Dessen in this lyrical novel about a girl with cancer who creates a take-no-prisoners bucket list that sets off a war at school—only to discover she's gone into remission.When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge as it is about hope. But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she's said and done. Contemporary realistic fiction fans who adore Susane Colasanti and Jenny Han and stories filled with romance and humor will find much to love in this incredible debut.

My Thoughts:
As a caretake of my father, who just was released told he was now cancer free, I wanted to grab Julie Murphy’s novel and devour it. And I did. I read it in half a day. I read it in two sittings. It was exactly what I wanted it to be. I wanted something that would move me emotional, make me laugh, make angry and make me feel like I was part of the story. This definitely did all that.

Alice. Bless her, I wanted to reach out to her, make her become real so I could hug her. I have not gone through cancer personally, but I went through the emotional pulls, the what-ifs, the let’s-do-this-before-it’s-too-late aspects of a cancer stricken family member. But, Alice. Oh sweet Alice she was so emotionally torn and I felt it all as if I was going through it.

And poor Harvey……watching Alice from a far with Luke, loving her through it all, no matter what. That’s the kind of guy Alice needed and I loved watching Harvey with her!

Luke…….and even Celeste……they made me so angry! I wanted to shout at them and ban them from the book! But, as with all terminal illness and meds, side effects may vary and Luke and Celeste were the bum ends of the side effects.

I won’t go into more detail as I’ll giveaway the ending but I will say that Ms. Murphy created a lovely, emotional, dramatic tale of friendship, hearthache, real life issues, and love in this 4 star worthy story. Bravo, Ms. Murphy, and you have a fan in me and I’ll be highly recommending this story to all!

About Julie Murphy

Julie lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. When she’s not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she works at an academic library. Side Effects May Vary is Julie’s debut novel.

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