3 out of 4 stars
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In Toxic Side Effect by Sandy Magner, Jennifer is faced with the horrifying and sudden loss of her father. She is determined to find out how he died and why. In her search for answers, she is confronted with surprises that lead to even more questions. These family secrets take a toll on her emotions, and she wonders if the whole truth will ever come to light.
I really got sucked into this book from the very first page. It starts right in the middle of a dramatic event. So many intriguing developments continued to pop up, and I couldn't put the book down. Each new revelation brought a mix of emotions. The characters were created in a way that made me really care about them. The dialogues were exactly what I would expect to hear if I were in the same situations. This made the book easy to read.
I wish there had been more details given about Jennifer’s past. There were several teasers about things that she had experienced, but never a full, detailed explanation. It created suspense, but didn’t deliver a conclusion. Otherwise, I found her character to be very down to earth. She was easy to sympathize with. I didn’t find any other parts of the book to be disappointing.
There seemed to be 2 themes shown throughout the story. First, the complexity of human emotions. When confronted with adversity and challenges, there’s no right or wrong way to feel. The characters’ honest emotions were often conflicted. They could feel betrayed but be forgiving. They could hate but feel compassionate. Many emotions tend to be survival mechanisms during challenging times. It might be easier to forgive than to hold on to anger. It might be easier to show compassion than to harbor feelings of hate. The second theme was the consequences of actions. There’s a domino effect to every decision we make. We may not even be aware of everyone impacted. Selfishness may make us happy, but it can bring pain to others.
The ending was unpredictable and surprising. I thought I knew how it was going to conclude, but I was wrong. The epilogue did a great job of tying up loose ends, and again, showing human kindness and compassion. The book made me really think about the choices we make and the effect they have on others. I would give this book a 3 out of 4 stars. Anyone who is offended by cursing would be turned off by this book, but I found very little wrong with the book and would definitely recommend it to others.
Toxic Side Effect
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