Review: The Accident Season

To the river beneath us where we sink our souls,
To the bruises and secrets, to the ghosts in the ceiling,
One more drink for the watery road.

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?

Ooooh, The Accident Season. Where to even start…?

I read a thing somewhere (Goodreads perhaps?) that billed this book as Gone Girl meets We Were Liars, and yep, to a degree I can see that – I can see why The Accident Season would appeal to people who liked both of those books.

Like me. I liked both of those books. I liked this one too.

I think We Were Liars is a book that all people should probably read. I think The Accident Season can join it so you know, do the thing and read the book(s)

It also made me feel a bit Perks, because you know: deep complex characters and twisting painful backstories and angst. Except, don’t go into this thinking ‘Perks #2’ because if you do you’ll come after me shouting and screaming  because, it might be a bit Gone Girl (although honestly? I don't see that quite so much, and I'm even wondering if I made that up); a bit We Were Liars, for sure; a bit Perks, yep indeed, but,  at the same time it’s NONE OF THOSE THINGS.

It’s another book that’s hard to put in a box, and God, I love that, I love when something is just that little bit different to everything else. It’s about family and friendship; trust and mistrust; desire and fear and how things so often aren’t as they first appear and it’s gorgeous. The descriptions in this book blew me away, gave me goosebumps, made me feel both delighted and uncomfortable. It’s a story that leans a little more towards the realism side of magical realism I think (if that makes any kind of sense) in that the magic is under the surface, never really excplictly stated or even confirmed and it’s just the right amount of creepy. It’s very ‘show don’t tell’ and so much is left open to interpretation to the point that actually, I’m still not even sure I really know what happened.

In the same way it was impossible to talk about We Were Liars, it’s hard to review this book in any kind of depth without giving too much away. It’s not what I expected let me tell you that much, although now that I’ve read it, I’m not entirely sure what that even was. It’s poignant and beautiful and haunting and it made me feel edgy and confused and just a little bit nervy. It messed with my head in the best kind of way. The language is almost poetic, the descriptions vivid enough to make you feel like you’re looking rather than just plain old imagining, like when you look at your reflection and feel sometimes like you can touch it, except of course the moment you reach out with the lightest touch of fingertips the water ripples and everything disappears. That’s how this book made me feel, like it was all so real until of course it wasn’t; like I no longer had much of a grasp on what real even meant. & there’s this thread running through it, alongside The Accident Season of the title, alongside the dreamlike mystical goings on, alongside the bad stuff that really is pretty terrible, of first love, these two beautifully explored, slow burning romances that made my heart hurt.   

It’s complex and it’s eerie and it’s very well written. Basically. & it’s released on July 2nd but you can preorder now.

Can you break your heart by accident I wonder, like you can break a wrist?