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Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy Blog Tour Stop (Reviewed by Ariella)

Side Effects May Vary
What 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 r
eliving 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.

Side Effects May Vary sounded just like any other YA book about cancer out there. Keep in mind that I don't usually read these type of books. Originally, what drew me in to read this one was the cover. Let us just all take a second and admire that simple and beautiful cover.

The book was a pretty emotional ride for me. I got to know the main characters, Alice and Harvey, a lot. I didn't really like Alice much. She's a cold-hearted person on the inside and she isn't a considerate person. That makes me really sad for Harvey, who is a sweet boy and totally in love with her. Without Harvey, I probably would've dropped the book at the half point. Reading it all the way to the end, I find that this is a beautiful book. I still don't like Alice but her part was necessary. She did dumb things that I don't approve of sometimes but I like how she learns her lesson at the end of the book.

Harvey is the cutest and sweetest boy ever. He's what made this book worth reading. It's like he's telling us that you can't help who you love and you just have to keep fighting for the person you love. The characters are probably my favourite part of this book. They're created so vividly and they both have such a different voice that it's impossible to confuse the two of them.

Overall, Side Effects May Vary is a heart-breaking contemporary about two teens learning how to love each other. I would recommend it to someone who is looking for an emotional love story. Unfortunately, the book only gets 3.5 flowers from me because of my dislike for Alice.

Julie lives in North Texas with her husbandho 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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  1. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it more, but I understand why. I avoid books about teens and death - I do get teary eyed at right parts, but still I feel like everything is a little bit pretentious. That's one of the reasons why I didn't like TFIOS like other readers.
    Great review, Ariella.

  2. These type of reads are so hard to read sometimes and get into when the topic is so touchy and sensitive.

    Great honest review!

  3. Alice was just such a bitch.. and Harvey is a sweetheart indeed, but because he was so stupid for putting up with Alice I lost all feelings for him too :p

  4. Hahahah every review I've read for this book says they hated Alice and sooo I've definitely decided to not read it now

  5. I read another review for this one and heard similar things about Alice. I think that would make it very difficult for me to read though...not liking the MC. haha

  6. You've pretty much echoed every other reviewers' sentiments about Alice. No one seems to like her that much! I just don't think I'll be able to stomach her either, to be honest.

  7. I haven't read any books that involve cancer, not even John Green's book. I like the sound of this one, even Alice. I have a soft spot for cold hearted beeyotches. lol.

  8. I thought Harvey was worth reading too! I had such mixed emotions on this book, but I definitely thought that Alice was frustrating.

  9. I'm sad Alice didn't end up being a likeable character, but after your review, I'm really interested to read about Harvey! He sounds so cute. :)
    Great review!

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland


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