Customer Reviews for

Side Effects

Average Rating 5
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(37)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

A Hopeful Novel About Cancer

Even though she's feeling great, her swollen glands force twelve year old Isabelle to visit her doctor who immediately sends to her Children's Hospital for CAT scans and biopsies. It turns out that she's got lymphoma, requiring a hospital stay and eight rounds of chemo...
Even though she's feeling great, her swollen glands force twelve year old Isabelle to visit her doctor who immediately sends to her Children's Hospital for CAT scans and biopsies. It turns out that she's got lymphoma, requiring a hospital stay and eight rounds of chemotherapy. Her hospital stay will be short, just for her first round of chemo, and then she'll get them on an outpatient basis. Her hospital roommate is Carrie, who has sickle cell and comes to the hospital only when it flares up. Carrie shows Isabelle the hospital ropes and introduces her to some of the kids who are there for sickle cell, leukemia, lymphoma and other diseases.

Side Effects by Amy Goldman Koss, author of The Girls and Poison Ivy, takes readers through the last six months of Isabelle's eighth grade year, detailing the chemo regimen and the side effects (nausea, hair loss, etc.). Readers live her life, reacting to her treatments, understanding her desire to sleep and skip school and be a lazy slug. More telling are the ways Isabelle and her family, friends and classmates react. Izzy tries to be her normal self, being as strong as she can be, cracking jokes. Her mother cries 24/7. He father quotes remission statistics success rates. Her Aunt Lucy is the only logical one, trying to treat Izzy the same as always. Her friend Kay is always by her side. However, some of her classmates are less understanding, creating a vulgar video mocking people with cancer. Koss even describes the various doctors, nurses and social workers, some honest, some treating patients like babies, some indifferent.

Koss's writing is direct. She doesn't white wash anything, yet she isn't negative or depressing. Side Effects, despite the subject, is hopeful. Regardless of whether or not you know anyone with cancer, you can relate to Izzy. You love her for herself. You sympathize with the agony that her parents are enduring. You admire Kay. It can't be easy watching Izzy's hair fall out, yet Kay stands by her friend. You might think it odd that there's a love interest in such a book, but it is there and adds to the hopeful attitude.

I liked Koss' writing from having read The Girls. I like it as much now for having tackled such a difficult subject so effectively, for having produced a novel that teens with cancer or without it can read, understand, relate to and enjoy. Yes..even enjoy.

posted by EdNY on May 10, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Fun and Amusing

I've already read this book (yay for library review clubs!) and I enjoyed it. The text was amusing, and I liked a lot of the dialougue. The book began to deteriorate around the end, though, and I was tempted to put it down.

posted by Anonymous on August 12, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2009

    Amazing

    I loved this book. I have re-read it so many times I've lost count. The way Izzy copes with her cancer with a "teenage outlook." She is annoyed that people treat her like a child. And Izzy doesn't want to be known as the "Cancer Kid." I would recomend this book to anyone.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2008

    The Best Book EVER!!!

    OMG!!! This book was absolutley AMAZING!! This is my favorite book. I was sooo sad when I finished it cuz its super short. But I'm definatley gonna read it again!!! AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING!!! READ IT!!!!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2007

    Amazing.

    I'm 16 years old, and my boyfriend was just diagnosed with cancer. Most of the time I don't even know what to do and then I started reading this. It reminded me so much of what I am going through now and it helped a lot.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2012

    i read this book 4 times and i love it!!

    i read this book 4 times and i love it!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    GOOD BOOK

    The book Side Effects is a really good book and worth reading over again. It¿s a suspenseful book that will keep you from putting the book down. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes sad, interesting and most of all funny kind of books. Also because it might mean something to people, because it¿s about a girl that has cancer and is very daring and adventurous. Her friend Kay supports her in many things. Another reason I would recommend this book to people because it¿s a ¿must read book¿ when I first saw it , it didn¿t look that good but when I started reading it I could not put it down. As I said. It¿s a meaningful book that will make you realize that you should appreciate your life and your friends and family in it. Also I would recommend it because I would say its one of the best books I have read so far and that I would read it over again. And I usually don¿t read books over again because books aren¿t really my thing. But Side Effects is a really good book that I would, read over again. If your the age 13 to 100 this is a good book to read. Any age could read this book and its very easy to understand. The main character is really funny to that¿s another reason I would recommend this to someone. As you can see this is a very good book and its recommended to ages 12 to 100. I hope you enjoy the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    ADICTED TO AMY GOLDMAN KOSS!

    Ahhhhhhhhh love her

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    A beautiful CANCER story and an EXCELLENT CANCER resource!

    I am super passionate about Childhood Cancer! So, when Amy Goldman Koss, who is on my Facebook friends list, posted that she was looking for people to review her book I did the "Horshack thing," "OOoooo! OOOOOooooo! OOOooooo! ME! ME! ME!"

    Now, I read the book in two days (yep, it's THAT good!) but it has taken me almost a month to get it here for my review! Thank you, Amy, for being so patient!

    On page two of Side Effects, 14-year-old Isabelle complains of a swollen gland that won't give her a break and her mom makes a doctor's appointment. Isabelle was annoyed that the stupid gland just never went down after having the flu a few weeks ago. And that's where her story begins....

    The "C" word! CANCER! Lymphoma to be exact.

    Not only is CANCER every mother's worst nightmare, it is every teen's worst nightmare...especially when your mom turns into a bumbling idiot at the mention of the word.

    "If the cancer didn't kill me, the ride to the hospital would. My mom's eyes were streaming tears and she was babbling in general."

    Izzy was usually annoyed, she was a teenager, it's what she did best. Izzy's indignant personality rarely fades as she and her best friend Kay try to stay one step ahead of this roller coaster that may just kill her. But when you are running on foot down the steep track with CANCER-on-wheels barreling down behind you going ten times faster, it may just be easier to lay down and die than try to beat it.

    Izzy makes her cancer diagnosis frightening, livable, somewhat doable, sometimes humorous, and oh so REAL! Who knew you could crush on someone, while he crushes back, all the while having poison pumped into your veins, together..how romantic. NOT!

    Having been virtually "in" the cancer world during my short stint as a Childhood Cancer Awareness Advocate through my blog its 4 the kids, I can say this book is a bright-side view of cancer but at the same time a painful peek into Izzy's world as she battles a monster bigger than she had ever imagined. While Izzy's story is real and raw, it is humorous but truthful.
    Not only would a child with a recent diagnosis benefit from the TOUGH HOPE throughout Izzy's journey, this book is a PHENOMENAL resource for the friends and family of a teen with cancer. Izzy's thoughts relay what she wishes her mom would say, what she wishes her best friend knew, what she hoped the boy she liked would not say. Everyone could benefit from reading this book...maybe people would acknowledge little bald heads instead of look away. Izzy would kick you if you were so rude!

    Goldman Koss did an amazing job of writing from inside the mind of her fictional Izzy. While I read I truly felt for her, wished I could clue her BFF in and hoped she would be OK. Izzy's thoughts are so vivid and the descriptions of her physical AND emotional side effects paint the painful picture of what cancer can do.

    I thank Amy for this poignant book that reveals the truths I know cancer patients would love to have their loved ones, doctors, nurses and BFFS know as they run from that coaster car that's breathing down their necks!

    Cancer is serious. It is horrific. 46 children are diagnosed with it EVERY school day! It's not a subject to make light of and Amy Goldman Koss gives this subject the respect and seriousness it deserves while twisting it with a bit of crass teenage wit.

    Thanks Amy! I hope hospitals buy oodles and oodles of this book for th

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

    Izzy wakes up one morning concerned because her glands are still swollen from a recent sickness--and she soon discovers that she has cancer. She's placed into a children's hospital where people come talk to her until she no longer hears what they're talking about. All she can do is concentrate on drawing. <BR/><BR/>Her mother is a basket case and Izzy is in shock. <BR/><BR/>Now her life has drastically changed. People who were her friends no longer talk to her and people she's never talked to are fake around her. She doesn't quite know how to react, but it's not with the anger her best friend feels. <BR/><BR/>Izzy goes though treatments: the pain, the puking, and the needles, but still never loses her sense of humor. <BR/><BR/>SIDE EFFECTS takes a deep look into the medical and emotional roller-coaster of cancer patients. With Izzy, you hear the knowledge first-hand, which makes you both laugh and cry.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    .

    Does anybody know how old izzy is???? Book is super great!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2013

    Question

    What age group is this book for?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    AMAZING

    This is one of the best books I have read in a long time, I've read it so many times and it never gets boring. But just to warn you, there are a few curse words in here...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Awesome

    Luv it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    Iamaperso Oneiewctio Onedirection11389

    This boook is so good its more th good its fannaminal

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2012

    Hunting grounds

    Goldclan hunting grounds.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    Awesome book

    Loved this book. Thank you amy goldman koss!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Awesome book

    This is an amazing book that is humerous and sad at the same time,.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Side Effects

    This is a realli good and heartfelt book about a girl who has to go through a lot to survive cancer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Good book

    Wonderful book. I could not put it down. Highly recomend :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Amazing

    This book is very fun and entertaining. It is about an eight grader named Izzy who finds she has cancer. She keeps her positive attitude through everyone freaking out about her. It teaches young girls the values of life.

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  • Posted January 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wow

    I read this book for an English Assignment and I'm quite glad I picked this book. It wasn't super long, but the character went through a long journey. I recommend every teen to read this book and see just how Wow! it is.

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