Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy Kindle Edition, 336 pages March 18th 2014 by HarperCollins/ Balzer + Bray ARC from Netgalley Goodreads| Amazon| B & N | TBD
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?
The Fault in Our Stars is such a major book and although this one touches about a young girl suffering from cancer too, it is so different. For one, Alice has a lot of angst and instead of living her last days peacefully she decided to go all out and get revenge against others who have wronged her. Particularly her ex-boyfriend who cheated with her number one frenemie. Being not a fan of books with multiple POV's, this gets confusing at times especially since the POV's are told from two different characters (Alice & Harvey) and two different times (Then & Now) as in before she had cancer and afterwards. I kind of enjoyed Alice nefarious plans to get back at her ex-bf and frenemie but she is such an unlikeable character to sympathized with. We're supposed to be rooting for her but at times, all I want to do is smack some sense into her head. And the way she treated Harvey is just so aggravating. Sometimes all she wants to do is be with him and at times she just ignored him completely. Alice is seriously one messed up girl. What save this book from being a total letdown is that sweet little ending. However, I can't help but wished that Alice had gotten her head straight way earlier before torturing everyone around her just because she's hurting.