Monday 14 March 2016

#ReviewMonday with KM Lockwood - The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Many of you know that @Lockwoodwriter regularly reviews on the blog. Well we thought it was about time it became a regular feature. From now on, Monday will be known as #ReviewMonday with KM Lockwood. We look forward to sharing them with you every week.
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?

Summary from Guardian Children’s Books website and publishers
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.

Published by Penguin Random House in hardback August 2015
320 pages in paperback due August 2016
Cover photograph © Mark Owen /Archangel
This contemporary YA chiller is full of credible older teen voices. It has a distinctly Irish setting – but don’t imagine twee Celtic twilight for a moment. The tension slowly builds throughout, becoming more and more unsettling bit-by-bit.

It’s an Instagram feed of teen life – each shot with something disturbing in one corner or blurred. You recognise the school situations but then myth and legend seep in. The reader has to decide how much is true – and how much imagined. Everything changes and shifts as you read on.

The whole thing is permeated with beautiful language used to heighten the experience. It might be metaphor and myth; it might be more literal than that – and every shade in-between. Finally, that’s down to the reader – what matters is the power of the emotions.

Although it’s definitely contemporary, I don’t think it will date too quickly. Family secrets, and the pain and damage caused by covering up are issues that don’t go away. It deals with strong feelings and powerful subjects – I would recommend it for older, experienced readers.

It is absolutely not a sweet lyrical little ghost story – and is likely to frighten the bejasus out of the more sensitive reader!

K. M. Lockwood lives by the sea in Sussex - see the pics on Instagram. She fills jars with sea-glass, writes on a very old desk and reads way past her bedtime. Her tiny bed and breakfast is stuffed full of books - and even the breakfasts are named after writers. You'd be welcome to chat stories with @lockwoodwriter on Twitter.

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