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"Side Effects" by Ted Anderson & Tara O'Connor

Side Effects cover

It’s Hannah’s first year away at college—the first time she’s been away from home, without a support network. Within the first month, the combination of classes and socializing and adjusting to college life sends her into a full-on breakdown. Fortunately, her roommate finds her, Hannah goes to campus mental health, and they prescribe her therapy and meds―though with every new medication, you’ve got to watch out for unexpected side effects.

Every new medication Hannah tries comes with a new power and side effect. One makes her super-tough, and also makes her gain thirty pounds. Another gives her telepathy, while also completely screwing up her sleep schedule. Yet another gives her super-strength, as well as terrible constipation.

Nothing balances, but the powers are handy; Hannah even manages to save a few of her friends from mortal peril, or at least minor annoyances. And with the growing confidence from her powers and her therapy, Hannah even manages to ask out the cute girl she’s been eyeing!

Hannah doesn’t want to be a hero—she just wants to be well. But what does “well” even look like? What does it mean to be “healthy,” mentally speaking? How do you fix your brain when you’re living inside it? And can you really help other people if you can’t even help yourself?

Other representation: #LGBTQIA #Queer #Sapphic

Publication date: #October2022 #2022year


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