Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Blog Tour: Side Effects May Vary (Review + Giveaway)

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Publisher: HarperCollins/ Balzer + Bray
Release Date: March 18th 2014
Rate: 4 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? 
Side Effects May Vary was a wonderful book. After seeing mixed ratings, I was hesitant when approaching the story. However, I really enjoyed this book!!! It was intense, with flawed but realistic and memorable characters. 

The book is separated into "Then" and "Now" chapters. I really enjoyed both of the forms. The "Now" chapters were, to me, the most emotional and unpredictable parts of the book. However, the "Then" chapter gave me lots of gimme-more backstory on the characters. Also, it was really interesting to see how Alice, the main character, dealt with cancer in the "Then" chapters.

I am going to shock a lot of people and say that I loved Alice's character. Would I want to be her friend? No. Does she deserve Harvey? Definitely not in some parts of the book. However, people in real life are not perfect, especially a teen who thought she only had a few months to live. Alice was a fresh character and I couldn't help but like her. She is occasionally mean and quite controlling, yet you can tell she really cares for Harvey and others. 

Harvey was a really sweet guy. That said, he let Alice completely walk all over him. In the beginning, I kind of wanted him to to just stand up for himself! That said, his niceness was part of his charm, and I loved his chapters almost as much as Alice's.

Overall, this book was gripping and totally fresh. Fans of heavy contemporary will not want to put this novel down. I know I couldn't take my eyes of my kindle! The story and characters will stay with me for a long time.

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.*

4/5 Stars

“Julie Murphy weaves together a tender and funny tale of love, friendship, heartache, and redemption. SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY explodes with brutal honesty, brilliant wit, and unflinching heart.” (John Corey Whaley, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for WHERE THINGS COME BACK)

“Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a funny, heartfelt, honest look at the beauty and the risk of getting a second chance. An inspiring novel about all the things worth living for. I adored this debut!” (Siobhan Vivian, author of THE LIST)

“A funny and touching novel about a strong-willed heroine who finds facing death simple, but facing life heart-wrenchingly complicated. A real original.” (Jennifer Echols, author of GOING TOO FAR)

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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.

Win (1) finished copy of Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy (US Only)

Question of the Day: What emotions would you feel if you were prepared to die but then suddenly and unexpectedly learned you would live?

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  1. Great review!
    This sounds so good and I have to read it! :-)
    Megan @ Books i View

    1. Oh I forgot to answer the question! I think I would feel very relieved and grateful for the life that I have.
      Megan @ Books i View