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Side Effects May Vary

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For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel about a girl with cancer who creates a take-no-prisoners bucket list that sets off a war at school—only to discover she's gone into remission.

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. Contemporary realistic-fiction readers who love romantic stories featuring strong heroines will find much to savor in this standout debut.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 23, 2013 – An embittered 17-year-old cancer patient and her lovelorn childhood best friend alternate narration in Murphy's grim debut. Harvey and Alice grew up together and were close until high school, when Alice quit dancing at Harvey's mother's ballet studio and started dating a popular athlete. After Alice is diagnosed with leukemia and begins treatment, she turns to Harvey for support and assistance with her short and surprisingly negative bucket list. When the cancer inexplicably goes into remission, Alice has to start thinking of her life in the long-term again. Though the story jumps around between Alice's initial diagnosis/treatment and her remission one year later, the characters and their problems are virtually indistinguishable in both time periods, making it tricky to keep the storylines straight. Alice's anger is believable and a welcome change from portraits of cancer victims as saints, though her treatment of other people, including Harvey, can still be distancing. Harvey is a sympathetic narrator, though, and it's a relief when he and Alice get a hopeful ending after a slow, dark story. Ages 14–up.

Customer Reviews

My favorite book♥️

This book is by far my favorite book! When I was on the last page I tried to read as slowly as I could so it would never end! Haha! And when I did finish it I thought I lost a page or something because of that pesky little cliff hanger that actually kind of made me like the book even more. I finished reading this book in less than 3 days.. and it usually takes me about 3 weeks to finish one, but this book was soo good I couldn't put it down! Love this books can't wait for more like it! That'd be cool if Julie made a series out this♥️


This book is a twisted and unrealistic love story, a breath of fresh air from the fantasy love story in books nowadays



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  • $7.99
  • Level: Grades 9 and Above
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Romance
  • Published: Mar 18, 2014
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings