Side Effects

256p. ebook available. DreamWorks/Awesomeness Ink. Oct. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781941341094. LC 2014941578.
Gr 9 Up—Set in present-day San Bernardino County, California, and based on Allison Shroeder's YouTube series, the novel opens with the She-Bitches (the local mean girls) prank calling Whitney Connolly, a 15-year-old high school student whose widowed father disappeared six months ago. Keith, Whitney's oldest brother, came home from college to take care of his siblings, but it has not been going well. Whitney is on medication to cope with her family's recent upheaval, and the pills that she's taking cause musical hallucinations. Her older siblings, twins Jason and Lexi, are acting out, and no one has been paying attention to Sam, the youngest. Rumors abound as to why their dad left, and most believe it's because their family's finances suffered with all of their mom's chemo treatments. Whitney decides to find their dad on her own, but before long the whole family is headed out on a road trip to find their father. In the process, they learn to be a family again and to support one another. Each chapter is told by a different member of the Connolly clan, so readers get each individual's perspective and thoughts. The hallucinations caused by Whitney's depression medication are not integrated well into the narrative, though, and come off as a little disturbing. The use of current pop-culture name-dropping will quickly date this work, and the over-the-top drama will deter many teens.—Jesten Ray, Seattle Public Library, WA

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing