Review | THE ACCIDENT SEASON by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

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Brief Synopsis:

The Accident Season rolls around every October, wreaking havoc on the Morrris’s, a family living in a small town in Ireland. Mostly, it just causes bumps and bruises, but sometimes it’s worse — like the Accident Season when Cara’s father died. According to Cara’s friend Bea and her tarot cards, this season does not bode well. Not only that, but Cara notices one of her classmates is no longer coming to school, a mysterious girl named Elsie, and no one else seems to notice she is gone or even remembers her being there in the first place.

My Rating: ★★

(2.5/5 stars)

Review:

This is a strange little book.

Let’s start with the not so good:

It felt incomplete. I believe this was due to the short length of the novel in partnership with how much the author was trying to do with this story. Multiple characters felt underdeveloped, including the family’s mother. When it came to the storyline, the ending fell massively short — as though the author was not quite sure herself exactly what the accident season really was, and therefore was unable to give the reader a satisfying answer. The ending of a book does not necessarily need to be satisfying, but we should at least have confidence that the author knows exactly what she is talking about.

I kept sensing a disconnect in the writing itself. I hate to say it felt forced, but I’m having trouble coming up with any other word for it. It’s quirkiness did not feel natural, nor did the story feel locked into place. The author would focus on describing events did not feel essential to the plot, often detracting from the main story at hand, which only resulted in my own frustration. An interesting bit would be mentioned in passing but instead we veered over to a romance that, quite honestly didn’t need to exist and took away attention from what I thought were crucial points.

Those were all pretty huge things to find wrong with a book, and that is why my star rating is so low. However, there are some major draws to this book — which is why I would still recommend it here and there. Here’s why:

There is no other story like it. At least, not one that I’ve read. The genre of Young Adult often falls into slumps of the same thing over and over again. The Accident Season is a breath of fresh air.

It was also an addictive read. I kept turning the pages, despite any annoyances with writing style or characters I did not connect with. The story kept me going and kept me wanting answers. I love an element of mystery and this was able to satisfy that.

It was extremely atmospheric and timely in terms of season. I definitely read this book at the right time — the beginning of Fall. It would have been even better had I read it in October right around Halloween, see how the book takes place at that time. It’s my favorite time of year, and the book held on to an autumnal coziness.

Final Thoughts:

I’ve seen many reviews that say this book is for a specific type of reader, although I’m not sure exactly what that means, since the same could be true of any book. However, I would not recommend this for absolutely everyone. This is a book for the reader who wants atmosphere and quirkiness. They want something slightly spooky and a bit mysterious. They like ghost stories and fairytales. They want something fun and addictive — a book they’ll fly through. If you’re that reader, pick this one up. If you don’t think you can look past the cons this book has to offer, well then, bloody don’t read it.

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