Sunday, July 5, 2015

Review: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Title: The Accident Season
Author: Moira Fowley-Doyle
Publisher: Corgi Children's
Published Date: 2 July 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

I received this book through NetGalley from Random House Children's Publishers UK for review.

It's the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

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?
(summary from Goodreads)

A lush and consuming novel, The Accident Season is a magical story of family, friendship, love and the power of secrets.

Do you know that feeling when you read a book that just completely sucks you in? That awes you, moves you, leaves you breathless? It's just that good, that beautiful? That's The Accident Season for me. It's a book I both want to gush about and quietly contemplate. I adore Fowley-Doyle's writing style. The Accident Season is told through Cara's point of view, but interspersed through it is Alice's thoughts and memories, and added to that is Cara's dreams and glimpses of changelings, and a sort of alternate world that these changelings belong to. The idea that Cara's family is cursed to suffer this accident season hints at supernatural elements but in the end, these are not quite what I expected and it blew me away. The way Fowley-Doyle uses these supernatural tidbits to reveal truths is both enchanting and thrilling. I loved that the story wasn't about questioning what is real and not real, or what is or isn't paranormal, but what is real and what is masking the truth. I'm not sure I'm explaining that quite right! This book has me a little all over the place. All through The Accident Season there's this dream like quality, where Fowley-Doyle's writing is lyrical and intense, and you're constantly filled with a feeling of both wonder and worry, questioning what's happening and what's going to happen. I ended this book feeling like I could never have seen that coming and like I was slowly letting out a breath I'd been holding all along.

A lot of that feeling came from liking Fowley-Doyle's characters and being invested in their story. Cara is caring and thoughtful, but timid and unwilling to push. At times she frustrated me when she knew something had to be done but she simply wouldn't act. I got a little fed up with her overthinking some of the same things, and sometimes it was enough to make me think this book wasn't all it could be. By the end however, certain revelations had it all making sense and for that Fowley-Doyle gets more kudos. Simon is also thoughtful, accepting and kind in a way that make his struggles all the more hard, and he and Cara act as strong comparisons to Alice, who is wilder and so very determined to be some form of normal. For me though, Bea is the standout character, with her tarot cards and stories. She has a fierce personality, able to see so much and put herself out there. The bonds between Fowley-Doyle's characters drive The Accident Season. Secrets are a huge thing throughout this book, and secrets define these characters and their bonds, forging them and testing them until all the truths are laid bare. Putting the pieces together is shocking and not at all what I expected, which has me loving The Accident Season even more.

The Accident Season winds together elements of the thriller, mystery, paranormal and contemporary genres to create something wholly unique and exquisite; a story that is beautiful and haunting. One more drink for the watery road




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