Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Synopsis (from Goodreads)-
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, who 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 archnemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger). 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 caused irreparable damage to the people around her—and to the one person who matters most?
I really enjoyed this book, but for many people it's a hit or miss read. I know for many people the main character can be annoying, and I can see that, but I liked the main character. However I do realize that she is not the best person, but at the same time I also understand where all of that anger comes from. I thought this was a very unique book with a plot that definitely has not been done before. It is told in flashback from the main character Alice's point of view and her childhood best friend Harvey's point of view. I enjoyed the two different points of views because you got to see not only how the cancer affected Alice, but you also got to see how it affected the people around her like Harvey. Needless to say, I wish I had a Harvey in my life. He's definitely one of my favorite male characters that I have read in quite some time.
One of the great things is that the characters felt so real. There was one point where I actually had to put down the book because I was so angry with one of the characters. They felt like real people that could have gone to my high school, and think that was one of the best parts because sometimes, even in contemporary books, the characters don't feel real to us. With this book, I didn't feel like I had that problem. Even Alice felt very realistic. So overall I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it.