Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Publication Date: March 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I couldn’t read it fast enough. DEVOURED.
Alice has lived the last year with reckless abandonment. That is until she learns that her cancer is in remission. And all of her actions from the past year will not go away. Including her best friend, love Harvey. But how can she reconcile the past when she wasn’t supposed to have a future?
I heard really good things about this book so I jumped when I was approved to review it. And it did not disappoint.
Love Alice. I love how she’s mean, and vengeful. I love how she’s complicated and cruel, vulnerable and sweet. I love how she’s a complete person, neither good or bad. I think it’s hard when you can’t relate to the main character or like her, but I didn’t have that problem with Alice. She was such a force, watching her hurt herself and her loved ones over and over again. I couldn’t help but just feel for the girl.
Harvey is a great male lead. Yes, he’s sorta love struck through some of the book, but Harvey’s journey is just as important as Alice’s. He becomes stronger, standing up for himself. He tries to figure out what he wants, what’s healthy for him, what he needs. It’s easy to see how teenage girls will swoon when they read him. And how their hearts will break every time Alice breaks his.
The story moves back and forth between Harvey and Alice’s POVs, switching between before the remission and after. Each voice was distinct and carried me through. I liked how disjointed the story felt, going back and forth like I was being tugged along, getting the full picture. I think it really had to be written this way because this is a really clever way for the reader to feel something for Alice. Because for a while, she is a totally mean b*tch. By traveling back and forth, we see a weaker, sweeter and confused Alice. She is hard to love. She doesn’t make it easy.
And really, life isn’t easy.
Rating 9 Ridiculously Awesome like Cookies and Ice Cream
Thanks so much for stopping by Julie!
What inspired you to become a writer?
There was never this conscious “I Want to be a Writer” decision. The last two years of my bachelor’s degree was a pretty mentally rigorous time. As an escape, I began to delve more into reading. I was absolutely voracious. And I guess you can only spend so much time reading before you wonder what it might be like to a pen a story yourself.
What was the last book you read?
I recently finished Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu and ADORED it! I think it will be such a great book club book.
What do you wish you could tell Alice? What do you wish you could tell Harvey?
I wish I could tell Alice that this too shall pass and kindness is not a weakness. And to Harvey, I would say to always keep his kind heart, but to know that it’s okay to say no.
The story is well crafted and very emotional. What came first- the characters or the plot?
I’d wanted to write about characters like Alice and Harvey for a long time, but I was just waiting for the right plot to hit me. So, technically the characters, but for me I usually need some kind of hook first.
How did you create Alice and Harvey? Did you think of them both at the same time or was one first?
Well, first came Alice. I knew I wanted to create this female character that was her own antagonist. In contrast, I created Harvey. I wanted to create a kindhearted boy. This was a challenge because when we’re at our worst (as Alice is), we always hurt the ones closest to us. (Even when they’re innocent.) Rather than just being a punching bag, I wanted Harvey to also be the only one who could reach Alice and show her that she is worth saving.
How do you like your potato?
I’m a big cheese girl, so cheese and butter! But if I’m out for dinner, one of my favorite restaurants does a baked potato with queso, chicken, and sour cream. SO good.
What are you working on now?
I just turned in my first draft of DUMPLIN’, my second book. I can’t say much, but I can say: secret summer affair, lies, Texas, a best friend you love so much it hurts, Dolly Parton, and beauty pageants.
Thank you for stopping by!!!