Book: The Accident Season
Author: Moira Fowley-Doyle
I liked this book, although not as much as I was hoping I would. It had such an interesting premise but not much actually really happened until the end and I felt like I was almost just floating through the book rather than actually engaging with it, which I guess was down to the author’s writing style. I also just didn’t really feel much of a connection to the characters, when I’m reading a story, I want to feel like part of the action and in this book I felt like I was kind of on the outside looking in most of the time. I also think the fact that I didn’t like the protagonist might have prevented me from liking this book as much as I might have. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some wonderful moments, but it wasn’t as good as I was expecting it to be. Here is a short synopsis of the book:
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?
I loved the premise of this book, I thought the idea of a family who suffers from strange accidents every October and it certainly was a unique story, I’ve never read anything like it before.
I was slightly put off by the number of spelling and grammar errors in this book, there were a few too many for my taste and it was slightly jarring every time I came across one, it took away from my enjoyment slightly. I also wasn’t keen on the length of the chapters, it’s a short book, but a lot of the chapters were over 20 pages long and that’s a tad long for me, I would have preferred more chapters with fewer pages. I also thought the writing went a little overboard sometimes, it was very floaty, to the point of being confusing.
I did love the setting, I thought that was great, there is something about a fantastical book set in Ireland, it’s the perfect setting for a wild, weird, fantastical book like this one, plus it’s nice to read something contemporary set outside of the US for a change!
I didn’t really connect to the characters much, Cara irritated me, Sam and Alice seemed incredibly bland and the only one with any colour seemed to be Bea, I honestly think I would have enjoyed the book more if she was the protagonist! I liked the friendship between the four of them, but I didn’t feel like I could really connect to them as a group of characters. I also really didn’t like the romance, one romance was really not built up at all, and only hinted at towards the end, so you couldn’t really root for it (although I think if Alice and Bea’s romance had been built up more, I might have liked it, throwing it in at the end really didn’t do it justice). The other, the romance between Sam and Cara was gross. Not in that they do anything gross as a couple, because thank goodness there is no sex, but because these two were step-siblings, they still live in the same house and for all intents and purposes are like family, I thought their relationship was weird and semi-incestuous and no matter how many times Cara said he wasn’t her brother, I still wasn’t on board. This is kind of a spoiler, I know, but I felt like I had to include it to warn people who don’t like a relationship that is pretty much like incest is included in this book. It just really bothered me, not to mention that this semi-incestuous relationship wasn’t even built up well, just kind of thrown in towards the end. I did like the cheeky sibling vibe that these two had going, but the reveal of their feelings for each other kind of ruined it for me.
I really loved the masquerade party, I’ve always thought going to a masquerade party sounded so cool, and Fowley-Doyle wrote the masquerade scenes beautifully.
The strange flashbacks/dreams/whatever they were kind of confused me although their inclusion did become more clear towards the end.
I liked the mystery with Elsie and I thought the twist at the end was good although the origins of the Accident Season still kind of confused me, but the mystery was still my favourite part of the book and it was what kept me reading because I wanted to know who Elsie was and what had happened to her and the explanation was somewhat, if not totally, satisfying.
It did annoy me that all three siblings seemed to do a lot of stupid things for people supposedly scared of being hurt and knowing they were more likely to get injured. I mean if I knew there was a month I was more likely to get injured than any other, I would not be exploring ghost houses!
I loved the idea of the secrets booth, I thought that was really cool and I liked how the theme of secrets tied into the book as well. I would have preferred more focus on that and the Elsie mystery than on the weird, incestuous Cara/Sam relationship.
I did like the big secret that was revealed at the end, I didn’t see it coming and thought it was a pretty neat twist. I also really liked the ending, I thought it was a great and symbolic way to end the book.
I felt like the focus of the book could have been more on the actual accident season, Fowley-Doyle’s attention seemed to waver at times and I wish she would have just focused on the accident season rather than exploring other weird tangents, and had a more solid plot. I get that the dreamy writing is part of the style of the book, but I think Fowley-Doyle could have kept the dreamy style but with a less random plot.
This is a very hard book to review just because it’s so strange and I think it’s one of those books that isn’t for everyone, some people will really love it, some people will really hate it. I did enjoy parts, but I think if Fowley-Doyle had just focused on one strong plot then it would have been much stronger as a book. I also don’t think the romances really added much and the book probably would have been fine without them. I love the concept, but I don’t feel like the full potential of the great idea that Fowley-Doyle came up with in The Accident Season, because the concept itself is great, I just felt like it wasn’t fully realised.
My Rating: 3/5
My next review will be of Magnus Chase: The Hammer Of Thor. In the meantime, I am hoping to have a new Thursday Quotables (first one for a while), up later today and a new discussion post over the weekend.