Book Review: The Accident Season

The Accident Season


Title:  The Accident Season

Author:  Moira Fowley-Doyle

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Series? No


Book Depository

The Accident Season was a bit of a surprise for me, I didn’t expect it to bowl me over and delight me in EVERY way possible. I eagerly read every beautiful, haunting sentence. I craved its slight dark and off-kilter spin on reality. I laughed, cried, and loved along with all of the main characters. It’s a story about a family curse, with a big fat highlight on the family, identity, and the memories which define us.

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

Every October, Cara and the rest of her family suffers through the inexplicable accident season. Around every corner, tragedies of every size awaits them: from the little, such as a landslide of hardbacks (being a book worm is, as you are all aware, a deceptively dangerous hobby) – to the large, such as the passing of their beloved uncle, Seth. This year, Cara also discovers that Elsie, a childhood friend she has lost touch with, lurks in the background of all her photos. The mystery that is the Accident Season and Elsie seem intrinsically linked, and this book follow our protagonist as they unravel the truth.

Maybe it was something inside us; the mysterious something that connects every bone of our spines, or that keeps our teeth stuck to the insides of our mouths. Maybe it was something between us; something in the air or in the flames that wound around us.

I adored the writing in The Accident Season, it flows beautifully and sets a delightfully disjointed and unsettled tone over the book. Magical realism is one of my favourite genres, and this book perfectly embodies that in the way it blurs familiarity with dreamlike, otherworldly elements. It also created a creepy atmosphere that had me glancing over my shoulders for the entire read. I know that Josie* found it a bit too frightening and had to DNF, so your mileage may vary.

The girl dressed like a forest, the tall, scaly-skinned mermaid girl, the flickering ghost boy and the tiny Converse-wearing fairy girl.

Despite the numerous unearthly elements in The Accident Season, at the core of the story is a tale about adolescent uncertainties and identity that I’m sure many can relate to, regardless of their age group. I loved how I connected to everyone of these characters, in all of their eccentricities and flaws. There’s Cara, inquisitive and curious, but not always perceptive, I freaking adored her narrative voice! There’s cool, practical Alice, her sister, eager to distance herself from the accident season and her tumultuous childhood. There’s Bea, a red-headed force of nature, who embraces her own oddity with full force so she can disguise her own insecurities. Finally, there’s Sam, the ex-stepbrother who’s viewed as part of the family, but struggles to find his place in life. I adored each and every one, along with their relationship to one another. There’s two romances in this book that’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking, all at the same time. JUST KISS, KIDS, JUST KISS. ahem*

So let’s raise our glass 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.

The poem above makes numerous appearances in this book. Initially it seems a bit nonsensical, but every time it appears, another layer of the puzzle at the heart of the book is peeled back – right up until its cathartic conclusion. It’s an exquisite corpse, a type of poem written by more than one person, and I found it perfectly fitting for The Accident Season, whose ultimate mystery lies in the stories surrounding each character.

Though we mainly see the events unfold through Cara’s point of view, it’s only when details from Alice, from Bea, from Sam, and even from her mother, is added to the mix that the plot hits its peak. Basically, this is my very round-about way of saying that The Accident Season is a book that should be savoured until the very end, because the last pages turn the book from an enjoyable to a memorable read.

* Footnote: JOSIE! You need to get back and finish this wonderful book – I will be here to hold your hands if necessary! Same to the rest of you, this book is one of my favourite reads in August, don’t miss out!

52 thoughts on “Book Review: The Accident Season

  1. EEEEEP. I’ve been eyeing this book for so long now. I love magical realism, too! There doesn’t seem to be a lot of books out there that focus on that genre. The Accident Season sounds absolutely terrifyingly fantastic. It also seems like one of those books where the mystery really is a … mystery. lol Do you know what I mean? It feels like a story that has a hard to predict ending. Great review, Aentee :D.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love magical realism but don’t read enough of it, I think I’ll have to read Ava Lavender next month to continue this streak. The mystery in this book is AWESOME, I won’t ruin it by saying more, aside from urging you to read this ASAP *nods* ❤


    1. I don’t actually think it’s that scary, just slightly unnerving, so I would def recommend it even if you’re skittish haha. I think you’ll love it Jenna as it’s more contemporary than fantasy :)!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thank you, I’m glad the review tipped you over the edge because this book is so wonderful in many ways! Can’t wait what you think of it!! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You should definitely give it a chance, it’s a very quick read and te characters are adorable!! I also found the ending fitting but unexpected! This is definitely a gem of a book 🙂


    1. I hope you’ll give it a go!! It’s not all creepy, there’s also some genuinely moving moments of real human emotions 🙂 hope you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a bit like the Final Destination curse, though with nowhere near as much death 😉 hope you get a chance to read it soon!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh man, oh man. You have a way of writing that makes me want to just pick up the books straight away, Aentee! Definitely adding this to my tbr. This sounds like some magical realism I’d like to devour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks CW!! I am so happy you added this to your TBR and I really hope you enjoy it. I thought the ending was so special and the writing/ otherworldly aspect was a joy to read 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh I’m SO GLAD you loved this one. Isn’t the writing GORGEOUS? And that song is haunting any beautiful.
    The romance was perfect, too, I liked how slow and tentative it was and that *ridiculous* scene had me all giddy, it was so painful and sweet. Sam is one of the best love interests I’ve read about lately.
    The best part of this book, I think, is that I’m still thinking about it weeks after I’ve finished it which is something that rarely happens.
    Oh and I’m a TOTAL chicken when it comes to scary stuff and I never, ever read or watch horror and I thought it was fine! Haunting, yes, but not gruesome or anything (this is for those who doubt the power of Fowley-Doyle’s writing). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Kaja!! The writing is drop dead gorgeous! I love it so much and I’m eagerly awaiting for all of the author’s future releases.

      The romance was one of my favourite parts as well! I am rarely impressed by most romance nowadays, but this one had my heart beating a bit faster and grinning like an idiot. Sam is so wonderful and his chemistry with his ‘petite soeur’ is off the charts!

      I thought the book wasn’t too horrifying. Just a bit unsettling. It’s definitely very memorable and I love books that can stay with you, long after the last pages are turned. So glad you loved it too, Kaja!!


  4. Aentee your reviews always make me want to run to the nearest bookshop and get my hands on all these books! The Accident Season sounds like it has a very unique concept to the book, and the cover art is just so beautiful! I love all the pastel colours! This may just be my next book I purchase! -A x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! I’m so glad to hear that! And so happy that you enjoy my review enough to consider getting the book *squishes you* I really hope you enjoy it, it’s definitely very unique and exciting!!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m in love with that poem! I have a great feeling about this one because I think it’s going to be something I love. I love atmospheric books and from what you said, it sounds like a horroresque novel? I mean either way, I’ll hopefully enjoy it! I’m trying not to keep my expectations too high because that’s what happened with a horror novel I read last year that unfortunately, fell very flat for me (it was Welcome to the Dark House if you were interested)). Fabulous review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not horror, just a little bit creepy and unsettling! But it’s most of all magical and delightful, especially with the characters who are all so endearing despite their eccentricities! I highly recommend it and hope you’ll enjoy it, Kelly!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. WONDERFUL BOOK, YOU SAY? I’ve heard many amazing things about this book by many people I trust, so I REALLY want to read it. Plus, that cover is gorgeous, at least IMO. Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your illustration is beautiful! I love the dream catcher design, so pretty ❤ Wonderful review also! I saw this book on amazon but didn't read what it was about. However your review has piqued my curiosity on it. Sounds like a really interesting read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe it is pretty but I can’t claim the image as my own. They’re actually graphics packs I get from creativemarket! Your own art is so stunning though, Thuong!

      I hope you’ll get a chance to read this book. It’s a quick read and an excellent mix of genre. I haven’t rooted for a romance so much in a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know 😉 what I mean is I liked the way you created it together. It’s an amazing graphics pack! Love watercolour paintings. Aw *blushes* thanks! But I haven’t picked up a pencil in 2 or 3 months? Ah I need to get on that lol.
        I hope so too. Oh good, I like quick reads – helps me to get through my Goodreads challenge a bit quicker! That sounds cool. Looking forward to picking it up 🙂


    1. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do, Theresa! This book is certainly beautiful and so surprising in the best ways 🙂


  8. AH AENTEE YOU REVIEW REALLY MAKES ME WANT TO PICK IT UP AGAIN! You make it sound so incredibly anazing… Maybe I will try to read it again… Since you’ll be there to hold my hand!
    Fantastic review though, honestly it was very persuasive! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The writing in this one sounds amazing! I love the mystery with the poem and the colourful cast of characters, and their relationships with each other. The mystery and creepy atmosphere sound like they were done really well here. Lovely review Aentee!


  10. Lovely review, Aentee!! I am not usually someone who reads books like The Accident Season, but it looks too good not to give it a try! The quotes you included were so eerie and beautiful and ugh I need this book in my life NOW. Your review was absolutely fabulous and made me want to step outside my comfort zone and try something new, even though I’m not a huge fan of creepy/eerie books.


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