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Review: Side Effects May Vary

Side Effects May Vary
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story is emotionally complicated. Alice is diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, and she convinces Harvey, her best friend, who she is also in love with, to help her right all the wrongs before she dies.

However, righting wrongs for Alice is as much about punishing people and getting revenge as it is about giving people or herself hope. In a lot of moments, Alice isn’t a likable character, and she knows it. She is aware that her personality can be harsh or irritating, and her actions can be hurtful. She just doesn’t know how to both be true to herself and be someone more likable. I think it’s this part of the story that I related to the most.

Another thing I really like is that the story shifts POVs throughout, from Alice to Harvey, and the story is told in both THEN and NOW, giving us 4 different perspectives to help pull the story together and explain who Alice and Harvey really are. It shows us who they are both separate and together and also before her diagnosis, during her illness, and then after.

Pages: 352

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