Book Review: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

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The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle / ★★★★☆

Summary: Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it’s bad, and some years it’s just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season is going to be a bad one. Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There’s a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises.

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom. 

Genre: Magical realism/Young Adult

Plot

This book was super strange. I’m still not quite sure of what to make of it, but I did enjoy it. It’s spooky and atmospheric, set during a warm, damp October in Ireland, and I loved the mood of this book. Much like any book with magical realism, while set in the modern day world, everything felt slightly off. Every time I felt close to understanding something, the plot spun off with something odd and I got lost all over again. But I liked that about this book. It’s a quick read, and it gripped me from the very beginning. It was one of those “one more chapter, and then I’ll stop” books.

The concept of the accident season – a month every year when terrible, injury-inducing and life-threatening accidents happen to the main characters – was fantastic, and I thought it was carried out well. The book spans the entirety of the accident season, the full month of October, and I liked how at first it felt safe yet mysterious, but as the book went on it grew more real and more dangerous, especially as the characters grew to challenge it more than flee from it.

I have to say that while I understood what this book was telling me, I did walk away not quite sure of certain aspects about it. But as that often happens when I read magical realism, I’m not too bothered. This book was good, but weird. I liked it.

Characters

The characters took some time to grow on me, but I think my favorite thing about them was  that at first they appear to be just average kids in an unfortunate situation, but as the book progresses we see just how very messed up all of them are. I loved how the plot unraveled them and made them face themselves and each other.

The romance was interesting. I liked the weird, forbidden, yet not quite forbidden, nature of it. It fit into the story well, though some of the lack of communication was pushed a bit far for me. Overall, however, I enjoyed it, and since this book is based largely in secrets, I can forgive it.

Writing

This book was written very well, and very…enticingly. Beautiful, but in a very weird, dark way. The descriptions were strange and I liked them, and I liked how the prose didn’t exactly hide things from the reader, but made me doubt what it was telling me simply because the characters did.

Was I satisfied?

I wasn’t positively blown away from this book, but I very much enjoyed it, loved its dark atmosphere and utter weirdness. This would be a very good book to read in October, especially.

12 thoughts on “Book Review: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

    • LOL the second I realized this book was set in Ireland I was like………….this is going to test Rachel. It has A+ atmosphere BUT I MUST WARN YOU the magical realism is as magical realism as it gets, which means it even got on my nerve a bit at times. But still, a very unique story. If you do read it definitely wait for October so at least you can enjoy the ~spookiness~ of it appropriately.

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