Brandy's Reviews > Side Effects

Side Effects by Jennifer M. Barry
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it
bookshelves: ya, contemporary

"Side Effects" by Jennifer M. Barry is an important young adult work, because it captures a very real antagonist in vivid detail without abandoning story for message. Isaac Matthews suffers from anxiety disorder, and his treatment options are limited by his youth as well as fear of what the side effects may bring.

The first chapters come with an intensity that would be exhausting if it were the pace of the entire book. I don't say this critically, as this intensity highlights the realities of Isaac's plight and packs emotional punch to his setbacks and triumphs throughout the rest of the story. The author ties several true-to-life concerns in her protagonist's battle: the social stigma and general poor understanding of anxiety disorder, the dangers associated with treatment particularly in young people, and the need for sufferers to find a reason to face their fears and choose to be well.

Isaac's reason comes (view spoiler). His growth as a character is not a simple effect of popping a magic pill -- some of the medicines don't work for him and even make things worse. (view spoiler) The themes come lovingly wrapped in an engaging story, and one many of us lived on some level, about the social perils of high school.

Recommended for anxiety disorder sufferers of all ages and lovers of YA novels.
6 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Side Effects.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

July 6, 2011 – Shelved
January 7, 2012 – Started Reading
January 8, 2012 – Finished Reading
June 24, 2015 – Shelved as: ya
June 25, 2015 – Shelved as: contemporary

No comments have been added yet.