24 April 2014

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy 
Publisher: Harper Teen      
Publication date: March 18th 2014
My rating: 5 stars

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 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? 

Alice, Alice, Alice... You stubborn, cold girl! I admire you. I really do. And I admire Julie Murphy for taking the biggest leap with Alice being Alice. You see, Alice is horrible to everyone and she has cancer. She uses her parents and her best friend, Harvey whenever she can, because she can. No one's going to say no to a dying girl, right? 

Then something happens-her cancer's gone and now it's time to go back to school and start living. She left a trail of enemies in school and Harvey has expectations about their relationship that blossomed while Alice was sick. 

Harvey reminded me of Kent from Before I Fall which for so many reasons but the main is the bitchy MC. Harvey stands by Alice even when she abandons him for a year or two. He starts taking care of her when she's sick and helps her pool pranks on other students. He loved her ever since they were kids. But Alice pushes him again, after she enters remission. He still wants to be around her. He's a good guy. A bit of a pushover but it's why I like him. He cares about Alice and he would do anything for her. He does grow a backbone towards the end. Just so Alice could see they should be equal partners. 

I mentioned this in one of my previous reviews-if I connect with the main character, not a lot of things can go wrong after that. I just follow the character and their problems which makes me understand them and even feel protective like in cases when people start talking smack about them. Yes! I am ready to fight and defend them. Why do we need to read about the same old, boring, nice characters when there's someone like Alice around? Why not read about a bitchy character? Sure, we probably wouldn't want to hang out with Alice in real life but this is a book we're talking about. Take a risk, people! 

So many people didn't like this book and gave mediocre ratings. It just makes me so mad they didn't see what I did while I was reading Side Effects May Vary. This book is for those who are willing to take risks and plunge into the unknown with a 'horrible' heroine. Are you willing to gamble? 


  1. I def saw what you did and connected with Alice, but I think the mediocre reivews they just couldn't reconcile her to the strong scared girl that we saw.

  2. I am so happy that you loved it as much as I did.
    Yes... Alice is so like Kent, I forgot about her completely. Great review, Zemira.

  3. I haven't read this, but the more I read reviews on it (good and bad) the more I want to!! I love main characters that aren't cookie-cutter nice. I so look forward to meeting Alice!! Great review!!