25 March 2014

Today's Read: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary by Julie MurphySuppose your doctors told you your leukemia had the upper hand, so you began to live without regard to the future. Now suppose your cancer went into remission and you had to face the consequences of your recent actions. That's what happened to sixteen-year-old Alice.

Alice. Then. If my parents gave me a religion, it was the gospel of honesty. Babies don't come from storks, and my mom never dared to tell me that a flu shot would hurt her more than it would me. But even though we lived by the truth, there some things I would never know how to say out loud. What I hadn't said for the last year was: I miss Harvey. I couldn't say it out loud, but that didn't stop it from being true. In the collection of my memories there was no specific moment that I was most fond of, a moment that so defined this whisper of loss. Still, every time I thought of simple things like eating pizza on Friday night, Harvey was there. And now, he was not.
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy (HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray, 2014, p. 1; from uncorrected proof)

Quick Facts
  • Circumstances: Alice, with the help of Harvey, focuses on completing her bucket list (which includes acts of revenge) before she dies; but then Alice learns she is actually going to live
  • Characters: Alice and her family; Harvey, her not exactly a boyfriend; Alice's friends and enemies
  • Genre & audience: contemporary YA fiction
  • Style: told from both Alice's and Harvey's viewpoints and set in two time periods: Then (when Alice is dying from leukemia) and Now (when Alice learns she will live)
  • Themes: honesty, friendship, consequences of one's actions, living with cancer, getting second chances, mortality
  • Book club discussion topics: Does being sick give Alice an excuse for bad behavior? What does Harvey see in Alice that others might not? What is the true nature of Alice and Harvey's relationship? Did Alice learn from her mistakes? What would you do if you were told you were dying? What do you think Alice's future will be like? Harvey's?
ISBN-13: 9780062245359
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).

21 comments:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 3/25/14, 6:59 AM  

I like that intro and would keep on reading. Hope this one is a winner.

LoveBites AndSilk 3/25/14, 7:01 AM  

An intriguing opening paragraph and premise.

Maya

Pat @ Posting For Now 3/25/14, 7:08 AM  

I'm not sure if I like the premise of Alice seeking revenge because she is dying.

rhapsodyinbooks 3/25/14, 7:56 AM  

Sounds like a good premise to me.

Vasilly 3/25/14, 8:28 AM  

Wow! Now I want to know more.

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 3/25/14, 8:36 AM  

I'm not normally a fan of YA, but this concept sounds intriguing and I really liked the writing in the intro. I'm adding to my TBR list!

Catherine BookClubLibrarian 3/25/14, 10:03 AM  

Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing.

My post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2014/03/first-chapter-first-paragraph-54.html

Harvee Lau 3/25/14, 10:19 AM  

A memoir has to be really memorable for me to read it.

Literary Feline 3/25/14, 10:42 AM  

I probably would have passed on this one based on the synopsis, but then when I read the intro, my interest was piqued. That's what a good intro can do!

bermudaonion 3/25/14, 10:53 AM  

Oh, that really sounds thought provoking!

Sandra Nachlinger 3/25/14, 11:18 AM  

Good Teaser. This sounds like a story that would make you stop and think. What would you do? Especially at age 16.
My Teaser is from SEVEN LITTLE WORDS.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow 3/25/14, 11:36 AM  

I like the opener...and the premise of the story. Thanks for sharing...and here's MY TUESDAY POST

Daryl 3/25/14, 11:45 AM  

very intriguing ... thanks!

Nise' 3/25/14, 1:07 PM  

I want to keep reading!

gautami tripathy 3/25/14, 1:31 PM  

What an interesting intro....

Here is my intro post!

Kim@Time2Read 3/25/14, 2:21 PM  

This one sounds interesting! I think I'm going to add it to my list!

Peggy Farooqi 3/25/14, 5:52 PM  

Brave author to talk about incurable disease for teens. I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, so tend to avoid books about this topic though.

Margot 3/25/14, 9:27 PM  

I like the way the book starts. Right away we learn some key things about the character. I sure hope the rest of the novel is this good.

Andrea Thompson 3/26/14, 2:29 AM  

I've been seeing s lot of good things about this book. I hope you enjoy it!

kelley jensen 3/26/14, 3:20 AM  

sounds good, I'd keep reading. Enjoy your book and thanks for stopping by.

nishitak 4/1/14, 7:12 AM  

Sounds like a very interesting premise.

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