Review: The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Review: The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Published by Kathy Dawson Books on August 18th 2015
Pages: 304

For fans of We Were Liars and How I Live Now 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 some years it's just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season—when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17—is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think.

Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There's a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she'll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she'll uncover the dark origins of the accident season—whether she's ready or not.


I didn’t know entirely what to expect from The Accident Season as I have kind of made the choice to never look at a synopsis after my initial addition to the TBR. I knew it looked cool, and that I’d bookmarked it as a book I really wanted. I ended up getting it at BEA, and then in the mail from Penguin, which was awesome- especially since one of you get to win my extra copy 😉

So, I was going in mostly blind. I knew it was about a girl and her family being prone to accidents during the titular Accident Season. That’s pretty easy to figure out. But there was so, so much more to this story than the accidents. I was expecting a mystery, but I got mystery along with basically every single other thing I could want in a book.

It's so pretty, too!
It’s so pretty, too!

First, I found the writing to be lovely and mesmerizing. Everything about The Accident Season was incredibly atmospheric- I felt the damp October weather, the general creepiness that surrounded the story in every page. That isn’t to say that the whole book was dreary, on the contrary, the characters were so well fleshed out, so relatable, that they positively shined.

Let’s start with said characters! Cara and her family are the main focus of the book and the accident season in general. This isn’t something happening to everyone, this is isolated to these four unfortunate souls (Cara, her sister Alice, her ex-step-brother Sam, and her mom) who have to be very careful during the month of October. Cara’s best friend Bea, who is also friends with Alice and Sam, is a tarot reader and predicts that this accident season will be extra awful. There is a bit of romance (the slow, non-insta-lovey kind that makes me particularly happy) that I absolutely shipped, and a huge part of this book is family related, since they are the ones affected by all of this.

Here’s the problem with writing a coherent review for this book: It is basically overflowing with secrets. All kinds of secrets about every aspect of the book, twists I never saw coming, revelations that left me breathless. For me to even talk about them would be doing you a disservice. So, want to know what you get if you decide to read this book (and I think you should decide to read this book)? Great!

  • Really fun and down to earth characters. Flawed, but trying their best, wanting to have a normal life but being caught in this mess of an accident season, they are loyal to and protective of their family and friends.
  • Mystery is everywhere. There’s the mystery of the entire accident season, along with Cara trying to find a girl who hasn’t been showing up at school. And with mystery comes all the secrets.
  • A dash of the paranormal adds to the mysterious quality of the book. Sometimes I wasn’t even completely sure what was happening with the paranormal stuff, but I was not at all disappointed when I figured it out!
  • All kinds of emotions! I laughed, I rooted for relationships, I swooned a bit, I was scared for the characters, I was shocked by twists, and yeah, I cried a time or two. But when a book makes me feel all the things, I know it is my kind of book!

Bottom Line: Is there any doubt I am recommending this? It was unique, unlike anything I’ve read before, with lovely writing, amazing characters, and a plot that I won’t forget! Get thee to a bookstore!


Posted August 19, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review , / 51 Comments

51 responses to “Review: The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

  1. Omg, This sounds awesome! I wish I would have requested it but I didn’t even know about it until I saw it popping up on Twitter recently. Thanks for the great review!

  2. AFDJALKDJA I AM SO GLAD YOU LIKE THIS BECAUSE I LOVE IT AND I NEED EVERYONE TO LOVE THE BOOKS THAT I LOVE BECAUSE I LOVE THEM. (See? This is why I’m a writer. I’m endlessly eloquent and sensible. *nods*) I loved the characters and the style and the creepiness and the vague magicalness and I love love looooooved how it kinda felt like Maggie Stiefvater’s sort of world building. Like not EXACTLY but, just sort of? Which just made me love it so so so much. FADJKLSA THIS BOOK IS MY NEW FAVOURITE.

    • It DID feel like that kind of world building- so atmospheric, where you could like, feel the weather basically. I loved the characters too- LOVED. They seemed so real, they didn’t fit into any neat, tropey boxes, they were just themselves. HOW is this book still under the radar!?

  3. Sooooo it’s 100% normal and totally acceptable that I’m completely and utterly confused and have no idea what’s going on in this book right now!?!? Yes, I’m reading it… well, listening to the audio actually. I only have a little over an hour left, so I’m nearing the end… and I’m still completely lost and really have no idea what’s going on. LOL But I have to say… I like it! Strange, since confusion usually infuriates me. But I’m somehow totally loving this huge load of confusion! 🙂

  4. Yay! I’m so glad you liked this. I really wasn’t sure about what I thought about it, since I didn’t really know anything. And until I heard it was similar to We Were Liars was my interest peaked. Your review totally magnified my interest! I need to read this. I love family centric stories and secrets.

  5. I didn’t know about this book until BEA-goers had the book in their haul and I initially dismissed it as something that I probably wouldn’t enjoy, but I’m slowly changing my mind. Your review is so lovely, Shannon! It makes me want to pick up a copy asap. I love that the characters are so engaging and that the mystery is so well-written. And emotions of course! Any book that has the capacity to evoke any kind of emotion from readers is a book worth the read!
    I’ll be sure to check this one out when it releases!
    Wonderful review! 🙂

    • Aw thank you!! Even at BEA, it was under the radar! I had it on my list of books I needed, but it was not promoted very much at all! It is so good, and I am glad that it is finally getting some love from the bookish community. I hope you love it 🙂

  6. Wow, yes, I think I am now sold on this. I already own it and have it signed, as I got to meet the author at YALC, so I honestly have no excuse for not having got to it already. But I just didn’t know what to expect. But you have me completely sold on this, it sounds AMAZING!!! 🙂

  7. I’m usually not a fan of mysteries (or any genre in general) with paranormal aspects because it tends to make them feel a bit less realistic and believable, but this sounds like it balances the two genres perfectly. And I love the sound of all the emotions and thrills it brings. Definitely going to have to check this out from the library ASAP. Thanks for sharing Shannon and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

  8. Thanks for this fantastic, and non-spoilery review. I read a short excerpt of this one and thought it sounded great. It’s not one I came across at BEA, but I DO hope to read it soon when it comes out. It sounds perfect for October! 🙂


  9. That’s it Shannon, I’m getting this now! Thank goodness my birthday just passed and I have an amazon gc to go extra crazy with! Your review has me really curious about what happens in this story! I love a great mystery, a slow burn romance, as well as creepy paranormal elements, so yep you have officially convinced me to buy this now. Great review girl, I’m so excited!

  10. How is it that this is the only time I am hearing about this book?! I have never heard of it before, but it sounds like the perfect mix of well, everything! I like the sound of it being so atmospheric and it’s like you are there as well, diving right into the book! Books that give me that impression simply make me so happy. And then we have a wonderful plot brimming with secrets and surprises AND nice characters? Gosh, almost sounds too good to be true 😉

  11. SO I NEED THIS APPARENTLY. I don’t know I just have not been interested in this until recently, when you brought it up. The problem is that it’s not exactly something I am interested in (like accidents, really?) But you have clearly rated it 5 stars….soo. AND ALL THE SECRETS. AND THE BEAUTIFUL WRITING. Gah.

  12. I’m SO GLAD you liked this one, I was blown away when I read it. Definitely one of my top 5 reads this year.
    I loved the eerie atmosphere, it’s so moody and her writing is perfect! I’ll definitely be reading more of her books.
    And the slooow romance is perfect! I really cared for all the characters, they were so genuine. Great review!

  13. I’ve been seeing this one around, and it kind of sounded good, but I just couldn’t make up my mind. Your review definitely makes me more interested! Great review!

  14. I love beautiful writing (which, for these types of books, is a MUST, which is what I loved about The Vanishing Season.) and atmospheric is a must too. 😉 YES for good characters and you know, actual depth, which, considering the story, would be a little weird if it wasn’t because it sounds a whole lot of quirky. AND YES TO THE SLOW BURN ROMANCE THAT ISN’T INSTALOVE AND THE MYSTERY. Okay, I had heard a few mixed things from some early UK reviewers, that’s why I was waiting to see what you thought, and yup, you have me sold. Wordery currently have a 10% discount going on, so guess what I’m buying? 😉

  15. I’m reading this book right now and I am so in love. The writing is perfectly atmospheric, and I think all the characters are so endearing. I rarely enjoy romance these days but the main characters here have such great chemistry! I love it!! And your review fantastically captures my feelings exactly.

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