The Accident Season | Moira Fowley-Doyle

The Accident Season |  Moira Fowley-Doyle

★★★★

So I spent a couple of weeks doing some work experience at Transworld Books and as a part of that I got the unique opportunity to not only read during my job but also read a book before it was published (exciting times). I realise now that it has been almost two weeks since I read the book but I will still tell you about it because The Accident Season is by far one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
It is a YA novel that doesn’t feel like YA – it’s got a certain sophistication in its language and its premise that sets it apart. Seeing the title and the blurb I thought that it was another fantasy book – the hook being that there’s a season where everyone just has horrendous luck (which to be honest is still a pretty damn awesome premise) but the book is actually focused on one family that seems to have bad luck once a year. “Seems” is a very important word here because the book has a very ambiguous approach to whether anything is magical or whether everything is all in the protagonists’ head.

The story takes place during one accident season (or more accurately month, but let’s be poetic here) leading up to a Halloween party and the end of the season. And it’s a Halloween party that you wish could be real – The Black Cat and Whiskey Moon Masquerade Party – that is set in an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. But parties aside we’re also introduced to a cast of really interesting teens from the protagonist Cara who dreams about changeling versions of her siblings and friends to Bea who reads fortunes to the missing(?) Elsie who types out people’s secrets. This book is more a contemporary teen novel with dark and eerie magical twists and the uncertainty throughout is part of its compelling nature. Dreams mix with reality here and this story is beautifully written.

The flaw I would pick in the book however (and I am aware that this is a very personal flaw) is the relationship between our protagonist Cara and her ex-step-brother Sam. The nature of their relationship is a little bit too ambiguous (I know, I was praising the ambiguity a moment ago) for my liking. So when Cara (quite obviously I might add) is crushing on Sam I think it could have been handled a little better. It was confusing for Cara and by extension and by the nature of the first person narrative, it was confusing for the reader too. (Oh, and they drink a lot of whiskey and wine, what kind of teenagers do this? I genuinely want to know…)

This book is wonderfully written and I can only describe it as hauntingly beautiful. You start as an outsider but become so heavily invested in the magic of the plot – I couldn’t stop reading it. So, apart from Go Set a Watchman this is a book to read this month! Go forth my pretties, read, read!

(P.S. The tumblr page for this book is gorgeous. I didn’t even know that there could be tumblr pages for individual books. But check it out!)

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