Ahhh, this review is super late because I spent most of the day at a funeral for a distant relative. (Can someone please explain to me why Catholic funeral services are so long?).
Anyway…I’m also super flustered right now because I am seeing The Force Awakens in less than 3 hours. *screams forever* I’m pretty excited, if you can’t tell.
So anyway (again!), I’m doing my best to get this post out coherently and without skimping on anything I want to talk about.
This is a story about one family and the accident season that happens to them every October. Cara and her “ex”-step-brother Sam believe in the accident season. How can they not when their best friend Bea, who reads her tarot cards religiously, believes in the supernatural as well? Cara’s sister, however, doesn’t believe in the accident season. Is it really something that happens in Cara’s head, in her mother’s head who taught the girls about the accident season or is it for real? In this mysterious, mythical-esque book, Cara is dealing with repressed feelings, repressed memories, and the image of a girl who never existed. What happens when everything builds up to the Halloween party to end all Halloween parties?
*click image to be redirected to book’s Goodreads page*
I was so excited to read this book. I had been hearing good things about it. But also, OMG look at that cover. I wanted to love this book. I liked the idea, I overall liked the writing and the characters, but it fell apart for me when it came to the plot.
Doyle’s story was really hard to follow. I loved the mystic, ethereal feel of it (that was actually my favorite part), but I don’t think it was executed well. Many parts of this book fell apart for me. There were many issues left unresolved, and not the kind of unresolved I like. I’m all for a good open ending, but this one was far too open.
I don’t even know if the accident season was real or fake? Doyle writes in a way that I believe she intended everything to be resolved at the end, but I found that hardly anything was resolved. I needed about 50 more things to happen in order to feel like this was a solid, mostly-decided story.
I really liked the mystery of this story, but there was too much mystery. There’s a scene where Cara and Sam go into the city and find a shop that seems to be there, but really isn’t there. But is it really there? It’s discussed maybe one other time then forgotten about completely. I’m just so frustrated that Doyle created all these awesome elements to culminate in magical realism, but it threw me off when she tried to resolve all of that at the end. I would have loved for Doyle to leave in much of the magical realism and not try to justify it. That type of storytelling doesn’t need to be justified.
I also found that I was confused during many scenes, not sure what was actually happening. There was both too much and not enough going on all at the same time. There were many times where too much was happening and also many times where not enough was happening, and that’s so frustrating. It made me crave more but nothing more was given.
I also had a hard time with how vague some of the situations Doyle was trying to describe in detail were. Does that make sense? Not really, but that’s why it’s a point I needed to make. There were so many ideas that were vague, most likely leaning toward attempting to be ethereal, but they were just too vague. I had hard time actually grasping the concepts that Doyle was playing with.
One other thing that bothered me was some of the weird wording Doyle would occasionally throw in. Like, one time she talks about Sam tying his shoes and says that his “laces were eons long.” That doesn’t make sense. Shoelaces can’t be eons long. I don’t know. I’m all for some strange metaphors or similes, but some were just too far-fetched, even for me.
I know I’ve been complaining a lot, but there were a few things I did like. Disregarding my previous comment, all together I really did enjoy Doyle’s writing. She wasn’t lacking at all in that department. It was actually the saving grace of the story for me, and the reason I bumped it up the extra half star. Given that, it still wasn’t strong enough to cancel out my dislike for the overall plot.
Another thing that I did enjoy were the characters. I thought they all had good characterization and were given interesting and intriguing personalities. I actually enjoyed the hipster-y cliché this book focused on. I don’t go for trope-y too often, but I was okay with it in this book. Between the characters and the writing, they were the only reason I could actually manage to finish this book instead of DNFing.
One last thing I just have to say, though, before wrapping this review up is I was pretty uncomfortable with the incest-y type sibling love. (It’s not a spoiler. You find out Cara has a thing for her “ex” step-brother on like the first page.) It was weird, and I didn’t really like it.
Overall, I didn’t hate this book, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it. It’s one of those things where it was just on the outer edge of okay. I might pick up more by Doyle if she comes out with anything else, but I won’t be hustling to get my hands on it.
That’s all for the week. (How do these blogging weeks go by so fast?!) I’m off to freak out some more over Star Wars.
I’ll be back Sunday with my weekly review in books. Have a fantastic weekend with whatever you’re doing! May you have access to some wonderful reading material.
Please feel free, as always, to add/follow/chat with me on the following platforms:Tumblr, Goodreads, Instagram, Facebook. Also, check out my (new-projects-are-currently-in-the-works) Etsy Shop, which I also made a Facebook page for where you can keep up with new and current postings. Check it out here. And, if you want to add me on Snapchat my username is Smashleyyy92.