OVERRIDE

Side Effects

Amy Goldman Koss

Square Fish

As if it isn’t bad enough to have cancer, practically every time we pick up a book or hear about a character in a movie who gets sick, we know they’ll be dead by the last scene. In reality, kids get all kinds of cancers, go through unspeakable torture and painful treatments, but walk away, fine in the end. Isabelle, not quite 15, is living a normal life of fighting with her younger brother, being disgusted with her parents, and hoping to be noticed by a cute guy. Everything changes in an instant when she is diagnosed with lymphoma—and even her best friend, Kay, thinks Izzy is going to die. But she doesn’t, and her humor—sardonic, sharp, astute—makes reading this book accessible and actually enjoyable.
As if it isn’t bad enough to have cancer, practically every time we pick up a book or hear about a character in a movie who gets sick, we know they’ll be dead by the last scene. In reality, kids get all kinds of cancers, go through unspeakable torture and painful treatments, but walk away, fine in the end. Isabelle, not quite 15, is living a normal life of fighting with her younger brother, being disgusted with her parents, and hoping to be noticed by a cute guy. Everything changes in an instant when she is diagnosed with lymphoma—and even her best friend, Kay, thinks Izzy is going to die. But she doesn’t, and her humor—sardonic, sharp, astute—makes reading this book accessible and actually enjoyable.

REVIEWS

Praise for Side Effects

“At once acerbic and warm-hearted, Koss’s novel offers a first-person account of a 14-year-old’s grueling ordeal. . . . Though Koss lets readers know in advance that Izzy will pull through, the teen’s candid, often comical narrative will involve them deeply in her adjustment to the drastic changes that come with her illness and treatment. . . . This tale will certainly open readers’ eyes to the tribulations of young cancer patients and how to offer support.”—Publishers Weekly

“Vibrant and authentic, Izzy’s narrative voice is unique and refreshing, as is Koss’s unforgiving look at a topic that too often has no happy ending.”—Voice of Youth Advocates

“A problem novel that’s nicely paced and easy to read. . . . The book has realistically typical teenage characters and apparently solid research into various Children’s Hospital patients and their treatments, but it’s not too heavy, complex, or long.”—School Library Journal

“Hilarious and harrowing by turns, Koss tells the story of an artistic 14-year-old girl whose garden-variety life goes bizarre when she's diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. . . . Precisely voiced, funny and genuine, giving the reader a multifaceted look at a devastating experience.”—Kirkus Reviews
“At once acerbic and warm-hearted, Koss’s novel offers a first-person account of a 14-year-old’s grueling ordeal. . . . Though Koss lets readers know in advance that Izzy will pull through, the teen’s candid, often comical narrative will involve them deeply in her adjustment to the drastic changes that come with her illness and treatment. . . . This tale will certainly open readers’ eyes to the tribulations of young cancer patients and how to offer support.”—Publishers Weekly

“Vibrant and authentic, Izzy’s narrative voice is unique and refreshing, as is Koss’s unforgiving look at a topic that too often has no happy ending.”—Voice of Youth Advocates

“A problem novel that’s nicely paced and easy to read. . . . The book has realistically typical teenage characters and apparently solid research into various Children’s Hospital patients and their treatments, but it’s not too heavy, complex, or long.”—School Library Journal

“Hilarious and harrowing by turns, Koss tells the story of an artistic 14-year-old girl whose garden-variety life goes bizarre when she's diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. . . . Precisely voiced, funny and genuine, giving the reader a multifaceted look at a devastating experience.”—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Amy Goldman Koss

  • AMY GOLDMAN KOSS is the author of several acclaimed teen novels, including The Girls, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Poison Ivy (available from Square Fish). She lives in Glendale, CA, with her family, and she’s on the web at www.amygoldmankoss.net.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Side Effects

Amy Goldman Koss

Iowa Teen Award Master List
  • Trade Paperback

  • e-Book

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Square Fish

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