48 Hours Review: Side Effects

I grew up reading Lurlene McDaniel books and I remember crying hard as the protagonists battled cancer, mainly leukemia if my memory serves correctly.

I recently read My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.  An amazing book by the way and it will be a movie in 2009 with Abigail Breslin.

I saw the movie Stepmom and several Lifetime movies that deal with cancer.

Last year, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Daily I work with breast cancer patients.

So it is safe to say that I am familiar with cancer.

I discovered Side Effects by Amy Goldman Koss this morning at the library by happenstance.  I wanted some thinner books to read to balance out the 200 and 300 plus page books that I am reading this weekend for the readers challenge.

This is a great book.  Izzy is diagnosed with lymphoma in the opening chapter, but if you expect her to be weepy and philosophical and brave in the face of this disaster, forget about it.

Her form of therapy to stay sane in the face of nine rounds of chemo, her mother’s tears, her best friend’s mood swings, and people in general being sympathetic to her illness is to draw her way through it.

If you’ve seen the movie Juno, I can totally see Ellen Page being Izzy.  She’s snarky, honest, and outspoken, but at times she keeps those thoughts from her weepy mother and just shares them with us  the reader.

I won’t tell you the final outcome, but I will say that I didn’t cry.

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2 Responses to “48 Hours Review: Side Effects”

  1. Ms. Yingling Says:

    This one was different from the sad books (like McDaniel), and I also liked that the girl with cancer wasn’t portrayed as brave or noble– just a person who happened to have cancer and was dealing with it.

  2. carlasarratt Says:

    Exactly! It showed us that not all cancer patients want to be viewed as anything special. They just want to get through it and keep living.

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