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My rating: 4.5 stars
"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"
All mixed reviews made me read it. Jasprit gave up on 50%, Alise and Giselle were annoyed by main character, but Brandi and Christy gave me hope that it might not be that bad. Where does that leave me?
Better than that other popular book about cancer. Earlier this year I read the famous The Fault In Our Stars by John Green and I failed to find it appealing as many other readers. There was "something" that felt off and I couldn't buy the whole "we are dying and everything is rainbows and unicorns" atmosphere. It was a good book, but hype messed up with my expectations. That was one of the reasons why I skipped Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor and why I avoided Side Effects May Vary. But after reading all reviews and comments about Alice and how "insensitive" or "bitchy" she is, I knew that I was on to something different. Because seriously, if someone tell you you'll die soon, you will be angry and selfish and bitchy. Because on one wants to die.
Why do I think this book deserves higher ratings? It felt real. Julie Murphy did an excellent job with dual point of view. Alice is mean, self-centered, she treats people badly, she is selfish and she is terrified. Scared of dying, scared of her illness coming back, scared of losing people she loves, scared of facing her own actions, scared of living when she knows that everything can change in one second. That is why she pulls whole tough act and pushing away everyone she loves. Other reason? The way people in her school acts - yes, in real life you'll be a freak show. Author did a good job of portraying everyone.
I can't wait for Julie Murphy's next book. I stayed up all night to finish reading Side Effects May Vary and went to bed thinking that she is an author I'd have to keep my eye on. Her second novel (not the sequel), Dumplin' will be published next year. Let's hope it will be even better.
***Copy of this book was provided by publisher, Harper Collins, via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.***