Published by Kathy Dawson Books on August 18th 2015
Genres: young adult, magical realism
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Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably accident-prone. Some years it’s bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it’s just a lot of cuts and scrapes. They know what they need to do—stock up on bandages and painkillers, cover sharp table edges with padding, banish knives to locked drawers, switch off electrical items. They buckle up, they batten down.
But this accident season—when Cara; her ex-stepbrother, Sam; and her best friend, Bea, are seventeen—none of that will make a difference.
Because Cara is starting to ask questions. And the answers were never meant to be found.
A haunting, untethered, addictive read that perfectly captures that time in our lives when our hearts crack open and the raw secrets of our true selves burst forth—whether we are ready or not.
I was sent this ARC unsolicited for review. My opinions are my own and not influenced by the ARC I received.
The Accident Season started out really well. I loved the writing, though it got a bit purple at times, and there was a whole lot of creepy stuff going on. The premise is amazing: accident-prone family and the mystery surrounding why that happens every October.
But here’s the thing. I am not the type of person that likes to be taken for a ride, and this book felt very misleading and disingenuous to me. It was not honest about the story it was telling. This was not a fantasy book at all, though it comes off that way for 75% of the book.
Yes, it was atmospheric, yes I liked (but not loved) the characters, but this novel was deeply, deeply unsatisfying to me. And here is where we get into the spoilers, so if you would still like to read this and/or are intrigued by this book, then step away now.
You don’t get any answers. You don’t know what is real and what is not real. Basically, it’s up to you to figure it out. Cara was seeing these visions of changelings and an evil man made of metal all throughout the book, and you aren’t sure if they are real or not. And in the end, you still don’t really know. The metal man represented their abusive stepfather, Christopher, but I can’t figure out whether she really ran into him twice or not. And the slaps she kept feeling on her cheek? Were those just imprints on her memories or what?
Bottom line: I HATTTEEEE books that deliberately try to confuse you, give you the runaround, and leave you with a bullshit ambiguous ending. It’s sort of like a Nova Ren Suma book, so I would recommend this to fans of her work, but I feel like Nova does her stories with respect to the reader even though some things are left open to interpretation.
But The Accident Season doesn’t, in my opinion. The ending is fucking confusing. I consider myself a pretty smart person, but I had no idea what the hell was going on. And to be quite honest, I didn’t care because I was frustrated already at that point and was just ready for the thing to be over.
It’s not all bad, though. Like I already mentioned, the writing was atmospheric and mostly beautiful minus a few awkward passages. I liked the premise and the first 60% of the book. But is any of the worth it if the book loses you after that? I don’t know.
Like unreliable narrators? Like ambiguous endings? Like not getting all the answers? Then this book is for you. Unfortunately this was NOT a Kara book. But props to the author for trying to do something so incredibly ambitious. I just feel like it might have been a little TOO ambitious.
And I still don’t know if any of the accidents were real, fake, or just accidents. What the fuck was that, even?