Review: The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

The Accident Season

Moïra Fowley-Doyle

A bewitching, dark and beautiful debut novel about a girl living in the shadow of a mysterious curse.

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?

Publisher: Corgi Childrens

Published:  August 18th 2015

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Mention of Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Rape, Incest, Underage Drinking, Mention of Death

“Accidents happen. Our bones shatter, our skin splits, our hearts break. We burn, we drown, we stay alive.”

This is one of the most confusing, controversial(?) reviews I’ve written to date? Maybe? For personal reasons? This book time stamped a lot of first for me and honestly? CONFLICTED.

Before we start, I need a few disclaimers: The rating above is what I gave it when I first read it back in 2016. Now, I’d probably leave it without a rating because again— conflicting feeling. However, I liked this book. For someone who doesn’t read spooky books, this kept me invested. The premise of an accident season already grabbed me and didn’t let go, but the writing style was atmospheric, making for the perfect autumn read. And it’s set during Halloween! A win in my book.

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“All witches keep their kisses in everyday objects, so that their hearts won’t break too often.”

Yet, this book made me feel unsteady, which I can’t say is a bad thing? It’s a paranormal, chilling read: a lot of things are happening and the writing style definitely was perfect for showing how confused the characters were and dragging me into that. And it was a mystery I could actually understand! Well, not like that— it just made sense. You ever read a book and you’re trying to figure out what happening and you’re confused? Then the big reveal comes up… and you’re still confused? That didn’t happen here for me. Everything kind of clicked and made sense.

The pacing was great for this book: this is definitely a slow-burn read, with an unsettling underbelly of a twist. You just go along for the ride, not really knowing what’s happening and not exactly getting answers until around the second half of the book.

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“In the ghost house in the last days of the accident season, we were never going to die.”

The characters are a big confounding point for me though. I liked them? Objectively? But, personally? Couldn’t connect with them.

Cara – the main character, kind of naive, is starting to see ghost and changelings and isn’t too worried about it and overall felt like a spectator? Especially when the big reveal pops up.

Sam – Cara’s ex-stepbrother and her best friend with a secret that’s just eating him up… I’ll expand a little later, but… I’m not with it. I liked him as a character: he was sweet and caring and always on Cara’s side… just a overall good guy… but what they did with his character… I can’t get behind it.

Alice – Cara’s older sister and honestly? Stole the entire show. Her story was so heartbreaking and made me want to cry. No spoilers, but a lot of tough topics here.

Bea – Cara’s best friend who’s a witch! She reads tarot cards and also believes Cara, but she as a character wasn’t very memorable other than her romantic subplot.

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Now, here we’re getting into spoiler territory and I won’t be hiding them since it’s such a big issue with me and a big factor on why I couldn’t love this book or really get behind it.

The romance. Step-sibling romances aren’t exactly something I can comfortably overlook? Especially when they grew up together? From the age of 10!? Look, I’m not trying to elaborate on it because I am uncomfortable, but THIS—

“Every time I want to kiss you, I tell myself you’re my little sister and I shouldn’t want that because it’s fucked-up and wrong.”
The anger in his quiet voice surprises me. “Does it work?”
Sam looks right into my eyes like he’s testing himself. “No.”

— will NEVER BE OKAY?

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Look, this is a book you’ll either enjoy or be extremely confused by. Luckily for me, confusing, lyrical books are my jam, hence my enjoyment. However, I don’t know if I can recommend.

If you can get passed my spoilery issue with it, then I think you’ll have a good time. Me? I’m just conflicted.

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