I began reading The Accident Season and was quick to pitch it as contemporary YA that also fell somewhere between The Ring and The Falling. As I carried on reading, the story moved away from horror, yet would aptly be read against the musical soundtrack for The Falling. You may have heard about the mysterious tarot cards and the creepy red buttons, but the The Accident Season is not so much scary story as it is a wonderfully evocative contemporary novel with many eerie twists.
The Accident Season captures the reader straight away with two not-yet-interwoven storylines surrounding our protagonist Cara, best friend Bea, sister Alice and ex-step-brother Sam. Cara discovers that a quiet and seemingly unnoticed fellow student called Elsie appears in all of her photos, whether a strand of hair or a flash of school skirt. Meanwhile, the accident season is approaching; it occurs every October without fail. Although they desperately try not to get hurt, they always do, so hidden are the cuts, the bumps and the bruises. Sharp knives are locked away and jagged edges are covered up. But the accident season always arrives and just how serious it will be, they can never be sure.
Moira Fowley-Doyle’s debut novel is stunning, lyrical and incredibly haunting. Even though it’s been a week since I finished the book, I can still hear “So let’s raise our glasses to 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.” being chanted by the characters I’ve left behind. Moira Fowley-Doyle’s writing is what stands out the most. The Accident Season is a compelling story of family, first love and friendship, the blurriness of secrets and lies, and everything in between, but it’s brought to life by Moira’s beautiful words. Masked balls, crumbling houses and ethereal changelings that only Cara can see all provide a stage on which Moira can perform.
The Accident Season is a beautiful mix of contemporary and . . . I’m not so sure. It’s a concoction of magical, paranormal and fantastical happenings entwined in eloquent prose. You’ll be organising your own Black Cat and Whiskey Moon Masquerade Ball in no time!
Published: 2nd July 2015 (UK) 18th August 2015 (US)
Publisher: Random House Children’s Publishers (UK) Kathy Dawson Books (US)
Source: Thank you to the publisher for providing this book for review!