Welcome to #14Debuts! Today I’m featuring:
Side Effects May Vary by Julie MurphyPublication Date: March 18th, 2014 Publisher: Baltzer + Bray/HarperCollins 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?
Julie Murphy’s Side Effects May Vary is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.
So far, I’ve heard lots of good things about this book and I can’t wait to try it! In the few excerpts I’ve read, I’m loving the refreshing concept to it and I’m on a bucket-list story kick (Goodbye Rebel Blue, The F– It List, etc.) right now so this seems like just the thing. :)
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
This is a tough one, but maybe Jenny Han’s Summer series and A.S. King’s Please Ignore Vera Dietz.
I would love to spend a day in A.S. King’s shoes. She seems so zen and at ease with herself. And maybe Tahereh Mafi, too, because all of her shoes are AMAZING.
I used to work with teens at a public library. At one of our movie nights, the teens and I found ourselves in a heated discussion about the zombie apocalypse and where we would all barricade ourselves should we end up stranded in the library. This topic quickly evolved into a discussion about all the things that we weren’t allowed to do in a library that we might do if all bets were off. And that’s where it all began. Here I am on the OneFour KidLit YouTube channel, talking more about my inspiration while my cats steal the show.
I would gather up all the people I love most and head to a beach. We would stay there all night with a huge bonfire and delicious food.
I’ve really enjoyed meeting readers. It’s so incredible to meet others who just as passionate about books. I’ve also loved building relationships with my editor and agent. Those two women are incredible, and I am so proud to know them. Oh, and having a job I can do in my pajamas is pretty great.
SEMV was actually originally titled The Symptoms of Our Shadows. I was never in love with the title and when I signed with my agent, we decided to change the title before going out to editors. I slaved over titles and finally saw the phrase “side effects may vary” on a pill bottle. It was one of those moments where you just know you’ve got something special. As for Alice, she (and every other character) always carried the same name. I’m funny about names. I’ve got to be totally convinced I’ve found the right one before I can move forward.
Ya know, I’ve always felt very close to both Alice and Harvey, but if I had to choose, I’d say Alice. I just feel for the girl. She’s a tough cookie, but in my head I can see all the ways she grows even after the book is over. I probably sound crazy about now. Ha!
I would have to say Harvey’s mom, Natalie. She was one of my favorites from the very beginning. She’s so serene, and really connects to Alice in a special way.This was so fun. Thank you so much for having me!
Julie 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.