Side Effects by Jennifer M Barry
Sixteen year old Isaac Matthews suffers from an unusually bad case of night terrors and as a result most nights he gets little or no sleep causing his days to be spent in a blur. When he wakes up one morning not remembering most of the last 2 months he decides it’s time to get help. Initially too young for drugs Isaac has to learn to cope with his debilitating anxiety attacks and deal with the normal high school dramas that all sixteen year olds have to go through.
‘Side effects’ is a very well researched detailed account of Isaacs life. The steadily paced drama describes to perfection the inner feelings of this young boy making it easy to connect with and feel for his character. He is a social leper and this YA book could go a long way to help young people realise we should not judge people for what we see because we really don’t know what is going on in their life. Isaac was lucky enough to have a couple of good friends, friends that were able to see beyond his issues and not only accept him but also try to help him. There are some very touching scenes when Isaac struggles to act on his feelings when he begins to fall for Grace; a very helpful and understanding new girl in the school. The story is realistic in the way that there is no sudden magic cure. Isaac doesn’t have a rapid recovery, instead it shows us that with help his condition is controllable and he can lead a normal life.
Mostly an interesting read but I did become a little bored hearing over and over Isaacs constant inner turmoil which may make me seem a little heartless knowing full well that some people do suffer these struggles for real.
Copy supplied for review