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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

For fans of We Were Liars, How I Live Now, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane comes a haunting, sexy, magically realistic debut about a family caught between a violent history, a taboo romance, and the mysteries lurking in their own backyard. Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it's bad, like the season when her father died, and s…

The Accident Season

by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Overall Book Review:

The Accident Season, written by Moira Fowley-Doyle, was unlike anything I have read recently.  It has a mysteriously haunting feel to it that I wasn’t able to figure out until the end.  The novel definitely kept me turning the pages. The main characters are four high school students. Three of them are siblings: Cara, Alice and Sam.  The story is told from Cara’s viewpoint. I cheered them on as they struggled to uncover secrets in their lives–secrets that are hurtful.  Everyone has secrets that need to be told and set free.  The author does a wonderful job of intertwining the secrets to tell the story without letting the reader know the secrets.  The way Moira Fowley-Doyle throws the reader headfirst into the story is a little confusing, but eventually the waters clear.  This novel becomes a story that you cannot put down.  It is magical, mysterious, tragic, and full of love…all components of a well-written book.  It is my hope that older readers and adults alike will place value on the lesson learned by the characters: keeping secrets can and will have drastic consequences to not only themselves, but other loved ones.  Secrets change lives.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Kathy Dawson Books

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:   2 religious exclamations; 5 mild obscenities, 4 religious profanities, 11 scatological words, 2 offensive hand gestures, 2 F-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  Tarot cards show an upcoming accident; character gets hit with a ball in the face and bleeds; character falls into an electric fence; character has a broken arm after being hit by a car with few details; character recalls broken fingers, broken nose, broken leg and collarbone, and their arm going through a glass door; character is hit by a car with few details; character admits hitting her head on a mantelpiece; character’s recall previous injuries such as cuts, stitches, broken bones, cracked skulls and cut wrists; characters discuss a previous incident that led to a family member’s death; character is trapped in a burning house; child’s prior death is described with few details.

Sex/Nudity:  Character’s discuss the future and one being a nude model; pretty virgins are mentioned; girls kiss each other; house is said to have sexual energy; students kiss in the cafeteria with some details; boy wraps his arm around a girl; boy gives a girl a peck on the cheek; characters kiss multiple times, some with intensity; character thinks about kissing her sort of step-brother; character recalls kissing another character; characters discuss another character’s sex appeal; character recalls another character being dared to run in the road in her underwear; characters discuss another character’s sex life which includes tying up his girlfriend; semi-related characters kiss with intense details; character’s discuss human and wolf lovers; character tells of a human wolf being a talented lover; character licks whiskey off another character; characters play spin the bottle while drunk and clothing is discarded; characters kiss several times; characters are kissing on a mattress with implied advancement; characters kiss and female character is unwilling but forced; two female minors kiss; characters kiss and make-out with details (extended scene 2 pages) female characters hold hands in a romantic way. 

Mature Subject Matter:

Death of a parent, divorce, step-siblings, tarot cards/student reads tarot cards for classmates, breaking and entering by minors, witches are discussed, ghosts are mentioned and discussed, death of a family member, magic, Ouija board, child abuse, same sex relationships, romantic relationships between step-siblings.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Minors drink beer and wine many times; students smoke cigarettes at school on multiple occasions; minors smoke outside of school; mom goes out for drinks; mother gives minor-aged daughter alcohol; minor-ages character recalls drinking alcohol at parties in the summer; minors drink beer in front of their parent; mother drinks beer in front of minors; adults drink wine; minor asks about adult purchasing beer for them for a party; fake ID’s are mentioned; minors plan a beer/alcohol party; minors sneak bottles of wine upstairs to drink; minors roll a joint and smoke it; minor rolls her own tobacco cigarettes; minors see evidence of an adult drinking multiple bottles of wine at one time; character takes arnica pills and then talks with a lisp because of the effects; minors recall going to the liquor store in the past; minor-aged character makes multiple hot whiskeys out of Scotch for herself and minor-aged sister; characters mention being drunk; minors smoke at home; characters sneak out three bottles of wine; minor characters are drunk on multiple occasions; minor drinks whiskey.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My husband and I have two beautiful girls. When I am not taking them to gymnastics, AWANA, or FFA activities, I like to cook outdoors, crochet, walk/run, and spend time with our extended families. We live in the country and raise chickens and rabbits. Reading with my girls is a time that I treasure. My hope is that they will grow up to be life-long lovers of books.