Thursday, July 19, 2018
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend, Harvey, 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.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).
Recently, I've heard great things about Julie Murphy's books. They've been talked about all over the internet. When it first came out, I got a copy of her debut novel, Side Effects May Vary. I've been trying to read through my backlog of books, and decided I would start her books that I own with her debut novel. Unfortunately, I didn't really like it at all.
My biggest problem with Side Effects May Vary was the main character, Alice. She was a complete bitch. I understand and sympathize with everything she was going through with her diagnosis. However, nothing justifies treating your friends and the people around you the way she did. She used some of her closest friends for her schemes, and then tossed them away like they were nothing. I felt so bad for Harvey. I just wanted to reach through the book and give him a hug because of the way she was treating him. I think Alice might be the most unlikable character I have ever read. She just completely ruined the book for me.
The only reason why I'm giving this book two stars is because I really did like Harvey. Even with all the shit he put up with, he was a really good friend. If I was him, I don't think I could have been that good of a person in his situation. While I don't agree with all of the choices he made ( I would have ditched Alice like a bad habit), I do find him to be endearing. If the book was only from his point of view, I might have liked it a little bit more.
Unfortunately I really did not like Side Effects May Vary. The main character, Alice, completely ruined everything for me. In fact, it almost makes me want to not read another Julie Murphy book. However, I understand that debut novels can be a little rough around the edges, especially when you compare them to the author's later works. I think I will try reading Dumplin'. However, if I find the main character in that book extremely unlikable, I think I'm done with Julie Murphy's books.
I give Side Effect May Vary: 2/5.
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I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.