Title/Author: The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Filed Under: YA, Contemporary, Paranormal
Publisher/Published: Corgi, August 28th 2015
Format/Pages: Paperback, 288 pages
Rating: ★★ 2 stars
Where To Find: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Synopsis: 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?
My first mistake with this book was that I didn’t properly research it before I bought it. What I thought would be a YA fantasy about a cursed family/village was actually a paranormal story about—well, yes, a family—but not one who were as traditionally ‘cursed’ as I first expected. Cara, her sister, mum, and step-brother face a month of accidents every October ranging from the mundane, like paper cuts and grazed knees, to fatal extremities. Every year, for one month, everything is a danger.
Although The Accident Season was not what I expected I did think that I could enjoy it anyway. The premise is still intriguing and as paranormal is not a genre I typically delve in to I felt fairly comfortable with the direction the plot was going in. One of the more interesting things that I thought was executed incredibly well was the deviance between real and not real; whether Elsie was a ghost or a real ghost at school; whether the clearing in the woods over the river was actually there or a figment of Cara’s imagination. Because that is one thing Fowley-Doyle renders well: suspense.
However, suspense cannot be enough for a story that drags. There were many things that didn’t add up or simply didn’t interest me, even with a lingering sense of mystery. A lot of loose threads is the best explanation. For one, I never quite understood why Cara was initially so eager to find Elsie and, following on from that, why none of the teachers could recall there ever being an Elsie when there was a girl who went to their school named Elsie. Most of all too Fowley-Doyle tried to cram too much into a tiny amount of pages and it did not turn in her favour. To implement the number of sub plots she tried to do is crazy and once melded together they really do not compliment each other. Carrying on from above, they simply don’t make sense in the grand scheme of things. Why include something that doesn’t add to the storyline? There is no point. On a similar line of thread: there is such a thing as too many metaphors. Calm it down already!
I wanted to write a longer review of this book but I left it too long between reading and writing this and I’ve also lost the notes I made somewhere along the way. I think ultimately it was just too weird, surreal, slow paced but information overflowed book. I gave it 2 stars; a book of this length should not have taken me three days on holiday to finish.