Thursday, 5 June 2014

Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary
Released: 26 March 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Penguin TEEN Australia
Buy Me: Fishpond  |  Book Depository
At the Other End:
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 Alice is diagnosed with leukaemia and time is suddenly not a luxury, she convinces her friend Harvey to help her with a crazy bucket list.  It's as much about revenge as redemption and warped or not, it gives Alice the focus she needs when everything else seems pointless.
Then she goes into remission.
Now faced with the consequences of her actions, can Alice repair the damage she's caused to those around her?  And maybe, just maybe, show the one who loves her most how much she loves him in return?

Author Bio:
Julie Murphy has this to say about herself... I love pocket change, but I like to keep it in a jar, and not in my pocket. When I was little, I was on a bowling league. Moxie is my favorite word. If I won the lottery, the first thing I would buy would be a photo booth. I like outerspace. I believe in karma. I'm terrified of cicadas. I love school. I don't pick up my house phone. I like getting mail. I'm the funniest person you know. 2+2=5. I live in Texas with my husband who loves me, my dog who adores me, and my cat who tolerates me. Baseball aficionado. Professional potty mouth obsessed with movie trailers. And movies, too. And books. DUH. Let's be friends.
Her book Side Affects May Vary will be published in 2014
Find Julie:
Website  |  Twitter  |  Tumblr  |  Pinterest  |  Instagram
Sum Up:
Side Effects May Vary was born a risk, this book show us all the flaws and imperfections, shoved into one girl.

Behind the 330 Pages
Ok, let me just admit first, that I got not even half way through before I skimmed the rest of the book. I honestly couldn't stand it, yet I didn't want to out it down and not finish it. Strange yeah?

So, before I get onto the negatives... Let me say what I did like about this book. It completely hooked you in. No matter how much I hated the characters, I still read the book. I tried to skim it, and I did for the most part, but I still wanted to read it. Yeah, sounds weird right (I explain a little more below)

This whole book is a risk. Basically, it was literally written for you to HATE the main characters..... 
Yeah, I know, weird...... And honestly, it's definitely one of those either you love it, or you hate it books. There really is no in between with this, but unfortunately, I was in the hate side.

Even though were supposed to HATE Alice and Harvey, I didn't admire them and enjoy the story that they had to tell to be able to make me love the book. I do like how this book is really honest, like, brutally honest, but it's like every single flaw in the teenage universe decided to throw itself into a girl named, Alice. And then, all the confusion and torment and 'love drunk' side of teenage life shoved itself into Harvey. Yep, definitely a bad combination for me. I want to read about strong lead characters that I actually want to read about. I didn't want to read about some whiny male bitch and how he loves this girl, no matter what she does to him or that he even knows the truth of their situation. And even though I said I loved this, I hate it at the same time: I wanted to finish the story. In a fucked up way, I guess I wanted to know what this bitchy hypocrite would do to Harvey next, as well as if he would actually get hit in the head hard enough to actually do something about the face that Alice is using him. 

Yeah, so you can kinda tell I hate these characters. I don't mind if they have the normal amount of flaws, but this had, 'I'm a psychotic maniac and need mental help' plastered all over them. The part that got to me the most, was that at the very end, when Alice was apologizing to Harvey and everyone, but I know why she was doing it. ONLY. TO. GET. HIM. BACK. crazy psycho bitch. And she was such a hypocrite as well! And by that, I mean from what she says what Luke and Celeste have done to her, she has done those same things. Actually, she turned out to be much worse than both of them put together.

Irrelevant comment: Not Harry Freaking Potter! He's so cool and totally awesome.  <-- Sorry, nerd moment, couldn't help myself! (P.S. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about here?)

Something else I didn't like, was the layout of the book. I didn't really think that the whole, Then and Now really worked for this book. It didn't make sense, and even after finishing it, you don't see much of a point to it. I might have liked this more if it was in chronological order. It honestly felt like all the Then and Now chapters were sitting there, and they got their final place in the book after pressing "shuffle".

I don't want to say that you shouldn't read this book, because like I said before, it's either a love or hate kind of novel. But the main thing, depends on the kind of characters you like reading about. Only then, can you know if this book is really worth your time.

This novel was received for review via Penguin TEEN Australia. This review is entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway this review or change my personal opinion of the novel.


  1. Oooh, I 100% agree with you. I HATED ALICE. And I read so many other reviews were everyone loved her and understood her and I was just..."Heck no" the entire time. She made me so angry. And when she was apologising at the end and saying she'd be different now? I wanted to scream. NO SHE WON'T BE DIFFERENT. You don't just pop open your eyeballs one day after screwing around so many people's lives and emotions and friendships and just say "now I'm different, love me". Plus Harvey obviously didn't look to hard for his grandfather if Alice found him in what? 24 hours later? Haha. Anyway. xD This one was definitely not for me. I was hugely angry the whole time.

    1. I know!! I don't understand some people! But then, I guess because we are made to hate her, we basically get as angry as she is, so it might make some people think that they understand her. GAH! I honestly was about the throw this book into a wall!! Everyone was

  2. Great review Gina, I totally agree that Alice and Harvey were unlikable but I kind of didn't mind that too much. At least they were more interesting than characters who are perfect all the time, they are seriously flawed lol.

    1. Thank you! That's good though, I wish they hadn't gotten to me as much as they did, I probably would have enjoyed the story then. That's true, but for me, it was like every single flaw known to man was crammed into one person haha.

  3. Sometimes there are books out there that work best with unlikeable characters, because it is through their unpleasant actions that we realize what we must do and what we musn't do in order to avoid certain consequences. Such book that worked for me that way was TEASE by Amanda Maciel. However, it seems to me the characters here are unlikeable, but don't really achieve the same effect as the protag in Tease, and I'm saddened to hear that. I know what you feel because I've been there once or twice, and I just can't bring myself to even feel an ounce of sympathy for them, and that initial connection, once not made, can bring the book down :/ Hopefully your next reads are better! Have you tried TEASE by the way? Let me know if you have!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  4. I understand the whole wanting to read the whole book and yet getting irritated with the [main]characters as well. I did hear that this one was really just meh and face slap worthy based on other reviews. I think I'll avoid this for now, I've had enough irritating heroines from the past month. :/


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