Blog Tour: Side Effects May Vary

Thursday, March 13, 2014

What's on your bucket list? This is a question that debut author Julie Murphy has been asked many times as her upcoming release date of Side Effects May Vary draws near. While I am reviewing the novel later this week, Julie asked several bloggers to talk about their own personal "bucket lists" in celebration of the novel's release. We were more than happy to oblige.

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.

Addison's Bucket List: 

1. Live in Europe. I was born to travel. My feet are restless if they stay in one place for too long. I have many friends that went abroad right after college, and part of my wishes I would have done this. I would love to pack up and live a year abroad, but a car payment, health insurance, and student loans now tie me down. 

2. Publish a book. For the past year and a half I have been writing stories on and off. I love writing. It has become a core part of who I am. I love young adult lit, and want to tell stories that I have been carrying with me for years. I remember what so clearly what it felt like to be 12, 15, 17, and 22. I remember the passion of being a teen, the restlessness, the feelings of doubt, and fear of the future. I want to tell these stories because memories are so important, and storytelling makes it so much sweeter.

3. I want to have a sleeve of tattoos, preferably book related. I've lost the fear of being tattooed at 80, and am in love with ink. 

4. I want to send a copy of whatever big accomplishment I make in life (copy of my book, award, research article, etc.) and send it to all the people that said I couldn't do it (with a giant "screw you" sticky note attached. This is probably my inner Alice coming out.  

5. I want to write a book about my mother. My mother has such a compelling love story in her past, and I have always wanted to write a book about it. 

What are some of your bucket list goals? Has Side Effects May Vary inspired you to add something to your list? Tweet me at: @ofspecsandbooks!

Amanda's Bucket List:

1. I want to backpack through UK and Ireland. I love Europe, but I could do without the continent. Give me the UK and Ireland any day. Back in 2009 I spent an entire summer in England and fell so deeply in love. I want to go back, and this time I want to backpack to all the places I wasn't able to go before.

2. I want to publish a book. Much like Addison, I would love to write and publish a novel. I have finished 3 first-draft novels, and I'm working on my fourth. To me writing is a part of who I am. I get cranky when I don't write; it's a creative form that I have only just recently adopted in the last decade. Words are a beautiful thing.

3.  I want to live in the mountains. I love the idea of living in pretty country. I was born in California (which is gorgeous but too warm for my taste, at least where I lived), but grew up most of my life in central Texas (which is mostly comprised of flatland and shrubs). I long to live in the mountains, or places that have trees taller than my car. The Ozarks would be ideal, but Colorado or West Virginia wouldn't be a bad idea either.

4. I want to have my own office. This may sound weird to some people, but I want to have my own space where I can go and create and write and draw and paint. I'm a very artsy person, and I find that expressing my emotions through creativity and art is something that helps me process. My own bedroom only goes so far. I want a place where I can create and not be judged for it.

5. I want to fall in love. I want to fall madly in love. One that's so filled with passion the angels would be jealous. I want a love that rivals Lancelot and Guinevere's (beside the fact that she cheated on Arthur obviously). I want a love of legends --one worth writing about.

Do you have a bucket list? Tweet me at: @amandapate.

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. Julie can best be found on her website (, tumblr (, or twitter (

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