The Opal Octopus

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Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy


Side Effects May Vary
by Julie Murphy

Published by HarperCollins
on 2014-03-18
Genres: Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Warning: This is not The Fault In Our Stars! In many ways, it is the anti-tFioS.

Dying people aren’t saints. But neither are the living.

Alice is manipulative, dying, and harbouring an unpleasant secret. Her mission is to sort things out before she goes: to cross experiences off her list and do good deeds, sure, but mostly to settle old scores.

Harvey is completely in thrall to Alice, with all that that entails. Alice knows this, and uses it.

And things do not go according to plan. Not even the “dying” part.

I strongly, strongly recommend this to people who like deeply flawed characters. People who can take a complicated, awkward, sometimes baffling journey with people whose issues and shortcomings run deep. I’m not necessarily always the audience for those sorts of books, but Side Effects May Vary had me well and truly along for the ride. Julie Murphy is to be congratulated for that achievement.

Side Effects May Vary is beautifully messy, and just real enough that you still sorta kinda root for the characters while wanting to scream at them. (This wouldn’t help.)

[yellow_box]Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. When she’s not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she works at an academic library. Side Effects May Vary is Julie’s debut novel. She can be found at[/yellow_box]

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