Saturday, April 19, 2014

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy (ARC)

Side Effects May Vary
Julie Murphy
Pub.: March 18, 2014

Side Effects May VaryWhat 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.

This girl's got one hell of an atonement issue now.

Well, I can honestly say I'm glad I'm neither a friend or foe of Alice's, because everyone seems to get treated like crap alike. One year ago Alice began having dizzy spells. A month later she found out why. Leukemia. And even with treatment, her outlook wasn't promising. She'd come to terms that she was on death's doorstep, so she decided to make a lasting impression on her way out. You see, Alice is one of those people who always have to have the last word. She enlists her on again - off again friend Harvey to help her get back against her ex-boyfriend and nemesis. I'll admit the two never did anything one wouldn't expect high school kids to do. He cheated, and she was simply her competition in ballet and typical queen bee ruling the school. The sad part? Alice was better off without the two in her life as she spent her remaining year at home. But being the bratty, teenage girl that she was, she just couldn't help herself. Unfortunately for Alice, once her revenge was done, her body went into remission and she was forced to return and accept the wrath they were willing to throw back at her now she wasn't terminal anymore.
Oh, Harvey, how I love thee. You deserved so much better. By far the sweetest guy ever, he'd always put up with Alice's dominant type A personality and suffered painful whiplash from her undecided interest in him. She'd given in to him when she was sick, but she only found the courage to because she knew she wouldn't be around to actually deal with the fallout of letting him love her. Once in remission, she pulls the breaks so fast Harvey is thrown from the car without protection. She does everything she can to alienate and hurt him, just like she did with everyone else. And you just wanna smack the crap out of her, because she's one of those girls who ruins guys for other girls, leaving them so damaged they're hardly functional anymore.
I'm sorry, but her illness was no excuse to kick the bitch-o-meter up to full blast. Yeah, people screwed you over. It's high school. People are shits and that happens. Karma will always find a way to get back at them for you, so be the bigger person and move on with your life (or I guess death in this case), knowing the ones doing it are far more screwed in the head than you are and will probably be miserable their entire lives. Side Effects May Vary was well-written and kept my attention enough to read it in one sitting. The MC will annoy you to death, but it's definitely worth the read.

ARC provided by Harper Collins for honest review.
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