Everyone on booktube seemed to be talking about The Accident Season, which is really cool since it’s UKYA! When it popped up at my local library I decided to give it a go! Unfortunately, it was a bit too abstract and unsatisfying for my tastes. The premise sounded so good(!): For about one month every year Cara, her sister and step-brother always seem to be getting injured; they’re basically attracted to unfortunate situations. Like the Series of Unfortunate Events but with teenagers and a more realistic contemporary background. However, even by the end of the novel, it’s still ridiculously ambiguous as to why the Accident Season is a thing and there are a few awkward relationships that aided my conclusion that this book really wasn’t for me.
C H A R A C T E R S
Cara is the main, although I’d say it’s pretty equal with all the siblings and her best friend Bea, to be honest. She kind of insecure but the one person she can always trust is her kooky best friend Bea who likes to pretend she’s a witch with tarot card abilities. As you can probably tell they’re a strange mix of sensible and over-the-top, which I love to see in friendships, but it was more unsettling than anything else because you could see how much more power Bea had in the relationship – she was very good at getting Cara to go along with things. Cara becomes enraptured by trying to find Elsie who Cara discovers is in literally every single one of her photos even when she was really young, giving The Accident Season a strange supernatural vibe.
Alice is in a relationship with an older guy and again it seems to be a very unhealthy relationship. Sam is the step-brother and he’s protective of his sisters and generally a sweet guy. He was probably my favourite. You could tell that the siblings all really cared for one another, and the fact that they were all pretty much the same age meant that they were even closer and hung out a lot as a four, including Bea. They seemed pretty separate from all the other kids at school because of their weird propensity for getting hurt.
The mother was also a powerful character because she’s slightly crazy after witnessing so many Accident Seasons meaning she’s always on edge and worried for her kids. The vibes of their house felt a lot like the Lisbon house in The Virgin Suicides which gave this book an eery tone that I wasn’t expecting, even for a book that’s supposed to be a good Halloween read.
R O M A N C E
Just no. The romance was no. I know they’re only step siblings, but come on. That’s all I have to say on that. Otherwise Bea’s eventual relationship I thought was pretty cute, but predictable. The relationships all of the characters had were very odd, with an Alice In Wonderland feel – I don’t know, what even was this book?
P L O T
As for plot, there isn’t one, per say. It’s more about the characters and their relationships with each other. There’s the quest to find Elsie and the slightly smaller quest that seems to distract from the bigger picture that is: let’s-have-a-banging-party-in-an-abandoned-mansion-and-invite-literally-everyone. Cara has these weird visions(?)/flashbacks(?)/hallucinations(?) about a group of four characters who parallel the 4 main characters but their supernatural creatures: one’s a ghost/fading-picture, one’s a mermaid, one’s a nymph and the other is a fairy.
V E R D I C T
As for the writing style, sometimes I really loved it. There were metaphors and simile that were perfection, but other times it was too abstract and hard to picture. I really liked how it was set in a Irish town, because you don’t read that often. It’s an interesting story if you like abstract and ambiguous things, but otherwise I wouldn’t really recommend it.