Anyone who follows me on twitter will remember that I read an advance copy of SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphy a few weeks ago, enjoyed it immensely and basically wouldn’t shut up about it for three days. Well good news—it comes out next Tuesday!
SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is about a girl named Alice, who, after being diagnosed with cancer, creates a crazy bucket list to settle all her scores before she dies, only to go into remission.
DUN DUN DUNNN.
It’s as amazing as it sounds
In honor of SEMV releasing next week, I’m posting my own bucket list. Without further ado, the things I want to do before I die:
- Buy a private island, which I will share with my critique partner, Ruth Lauren Steven, and our families. We’ll live next door to each other and spend our days drinking margaritas out of hollowed-out coconuts while we gossip about everyone we know. We’ll leave the island only for book conferences and retreats, which we’ll attend 4 times a year.
- Be an extra in a movie, preferably a YA adaptation. If it has to be about a teenage cheerleading witch, then so be it.
- Spend a day with Jennifer Lawrence.
- Learn Kung Fu in secret, then bust it out unexpectedly during an attack situation, impressing and shocking everyone.
- Go horseback riding.
- Take a submarine ride.
- Visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
- Visit a castle. Preferably in Scotland. Preferably this castle.
- Go undercover as a high school student to catch a drug-dealing kingpin. (I’ve been watching too much 21 Jump Street).
- Crash a wedding and see how many guests I can get to pretend to remember me.
- Go to a rave.
- Stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora-Bora.
- Visti Machu Picchu.
- Visit Stonehenge, pass through the stones, activating some mysterious magic spell, then travel back in time to 18th century Scotland, where a strapping redheaded Highland warrior takes me as his wife and I stun everyone with my crazy nursing skills and medical knowledge.
- Take a road trip across North America.
- Go to Africa. This one’s always been high on my bucket list, and since I was convinced that having kids would mean I’d never travel again, except to go for a harrowing trip to Wal-Mart for more diapers, I made sure to get it out of the way as soon as possible.
- Write a book. BOOM. DONE.
So there you have it. My bucket list. As you can see, I’m not doing too badly so far.
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 ma
ximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friendHarvey,
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.