My Bucket List; Or, Celebrating SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of Julie Murphy’s fantastic debut novel, SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY. It was terrific, to say the least, and I’m so incredibly proud of, and happy for, Julie. I highly recommend it, and to prove that, i’m joining in on her celebratory blog book launch! But first, here’s a bit about the book:

side effects coverWhat 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.

Sounds amazing, right? To celebrate the book’s release, I’m writing my own bucket list. Some things I’ve already accomplished. Some I have yet to embark on. And, I think, all say a little bit about me.

  • Travel to other countries. Ones i’ve already conquered: Italy, France, England, Greece. Once I’d like to conquer next: India (to see the country, of course, but also to meet S’s grandparents), Ireland (castles!), Spain, and Germany. I’d also like to go back and see England’s countryside, as we only went to London (which was awesome), and Sicily (because I only made it to Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, and Capri in Italy).
  • Travel the US. Okay, foreign countries are great, but I’d actually like to see more of the country I live in. Perhaps a cross-country road trip. Or a summer in Maine (yes, i’d rather go somewhere colder than summer here in Florida). Or a trip to a Pacific Northwest, which i’ve never seen. Heck, I’d really just like to see LA.
  • Become fluent in a foreign language. Simple, right? Wrong. I’ve tried Spanish and Italian. I got by in Italy on my very limited Italian, but still. I want to be perfect. (S, on the other hand, can speak four languages. Because he’s a show-off.)
  • Ride an animal. No, I’ve never ridden a horse. Or anything. I’d really like to. I had a chance in Greece to ride a donkey, but they looked so sad, and I read they were treated horribly, so I tried to liberate them instead. (Okay, I didn’t. Instead I just took a picture by them and walked down the cliff.)
  • Participate in a murder mystery game where everyone is a character and everyone is a suspect. I just really want to dress up and pretend i’m Ms. Scarlett.

And now for things I’ve already crossed off my bucket list:

  • Get married/have kids. The married part is done. The have a baby is in the process. I mean, technically she’s a baby, but she’s still inside me, so let’s give this a month and a half before I fully cross it off.
  • Write a book. Boom. Done.
  • Buy a house. Also done. The only thing that would make my house cooler would be having a secret passageway. Perhaps something to work on in the future.

Okay, there are probably a lot more things I’d like to do/see/experience, but these are ones i’ve had on my list for a while. Who knows, perhaps i’ll start crossing them off this year? It’s really not that impossible to imagine.


SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphy will be released on March 18th. You can buy it online here, here, or here. Find Julie on Tumblr or Twitter.