The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.
But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?
I read this book over a week ago and it’s taken me a long time to process my thoughts. Usually, I don’t read the synopsis for books, I like to go in blind and be surprised. But I saw this book all over social media and the description was everywhere and it made me 100x more excited once I read it. I went in with expectations and came out utterly confused and mildly disappointed. Here’s the thing, The Accident Season is a multidimensional, complex story with layers that have to be chipped away to get to the heart of the story and once you do, it’s so unexpected that everything else feels diminished. At its core, it’s a coming of age story about self discovery, dealing with trauma, and opening up to love mixed in with some seriously bad luck and spooky factors. Is this paranormal? That’s really up to you. It’s a choice and that’s part of the appeal.
Let me ask you a question:
What would you do, if, when going through photos from the past 10 years of your life, you found the same girl, in the same clothes, in every single photo, and said girl goes to your school?
Befriend her? Run? Report her to the authorities? Think it’s a strange coincidence? Know you have a crazed stalker and hunt her down? All of the above?
Let me break it down for you:
The Accident Season is an addictive and bizarre mystery on several levels that will have you plowing through pages just to get to the truth. Who is this odd girl in the photos? Why is the family prone to life-changing accidents of epic proportions? Is there a family curse or just really, really, black cat, walk under ladders, breaking mirrors bad luck for every single family member?
The story is a little staggered and slow, you’re not sure where it’s going and while the main hunt for the girl in the photos is on, there are so many things thrown into the mix that it gets lost.
Flashes of figures, disappearing storefronts, near-miss accidents, and terrifying doll shrines will leave you on edge throughout the story, unsure where the danger lies.
Secondary characters were short-lived splashes of color that faded in and out of the story without leaving a substantial mark. Many of Alice’s friends are intriguing but have little function and barely surface in the story. Especially quirky and creative characters like Bea were a tad more present but there wasn’t enough of her to establish solid friendships with the main characters, emotions, or to care one way or another.
There are some elements of the story that could be triggers, light mentions of abuse and violence without any graphic details. More suggestive than anything.
If you take away all of the suggestions of paranormal, each of the main characters is learning how to embrace their feelings and let them out in the open, to overcome their fears of prejudice and accept themselves. The sometimes hazy bond between sisters as they grow up and grow apart is heart-breaking, when it hits Cara she feels left behind, lost, and unsure what she did wrong. These emotions were powerful and important. What Alice is going through, OMG I can’t even imagine and won’t elaborate because of spoilers but it’s messed up and a bit more adult than I’ve seen in most YA. Sam’s resentment is like a simmering volcano slowly building into explosive anger and remorse. His rage at his father, unspoken blame towards his step-mother, and how he sees himself is painful and enlightening.
The big reveal. Holy crazy surprise. You will not see it coming. Although the clues are all there, many story cues will distract and swarm drawing you away from the truth.
There’s a whimsical and dark tone that merges with The Perks of Being a Wallflower coming of age nonchalance.
If you have any questions, comments feel free to email or comment below and highlight if there are spoilers in your response 🙂
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