My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Join me, friends, Romans and countrymen, as I grieve the loss of a potentially good book. Meet, what is in my opinion, one of the more drastically over-hyped books – The Accident Season.
If you ask me why I don’t like this book, it’s because it is pretentious. It has that jazzy post-modern writing style that writers think is fashionable, but an awfully hollow, predictable plot. To use an analogy, there are kids that play dress-up in adult’s clothes; that’s endearing. Then there are kids that shoot their mouths off and think they are adults, which is just annoying. TAS falls firmly into the latter category. It so badly wanted to be Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys, but epic fail book, epic fail.
Say the book and I were taking a walk together, down a path, during autumn:
Me: It’s such a nice day out, isn’t it.
TAS: Indeed, I was just admiring the free-fall of the photosynthetic plant elements, which are now rendered carmine by natural processes.
Deus ex machina: Psst! It means the red leaves are falling!
Me: Ohhhhh, I see. Wait, who’re you?
Deus: Never mind that! Keep going!
Me: Okay…So about that story of yours, it sounded cool. It starts with a season when accidents happen, yeah? What’s next?
TAS: So the first-person narrator, who is experiencing the advent of adolescence and its associated psychological upheavals…
Deus: It means the protag is in high school!
Me: Just in time too, my eyes were starting to roll back in my head. Why are we whispering?
TAS: …she arrives at the local educational establishment to discover a socially invisble individual is acting in unusual patterns by remaining at the periphery of her vision…
Me: Wait, I got this one – someone at school is being strange and stalking her!
Deus: Got it in one!
TAS: …In addition to which, the annual spiritual-mortuarial celebration approaches, for which a revel is considered appropriate…
Me: What the gobbledygook?
Deus: Sigh. They decide to throw a Halloween party, that’s what it is!
TAS: …further, along with the alleged supernatural incidents, the narrator experiences burgeoning hormonal and emotional conflicts in relation to her non-genetic relation…
Me: (Yawning) She likes her step-brother, I get it. Didn’t really need to read the book to know that. Sounds like a typical shoujo manga, bleurgh.
Deus: If I may say so myself, it is stupidly cliched!
TAS: …meanwhile, her other female relation is subjected to physical trauma by her socially acknowledged male partner and her fellow student companion is conflicted by her position on the gender spectrum…
Deus: So her older sister has an abusive boyfriend, and her BFF is gay. Yay!
Me: What century is this book from? Why is anyone conflicted about these things?
Deus: Don’t ask me, I didn’t write it!
Me: So far, nothing has actually happened. What does the accident season have to do with anything?
TAS: Allow me to elucidate. This has to do with the hidden past of this genealogical unit and the existence of a certain abusive individual, whose distant actions have impacted the narrator’s neural functions, her biological relation’s psychological development, and the non-biological male relation’s sense of self-worth.
Me: So you’re saying the MC’s not right in the head? I thought so as well! I mean, what kind of female runs around in denial and throws rave parties at the same time?
Deus: No, it meant that the MC lost her memory, the sister became warped and the hero…something, when someone abused them in their childhood!
Me: If you say so. But I’m still waiting for something to happen. So far. she went to school, came back, went out, came back and nothing else.
TAS: If it helps, the rave party house catches fire.
Me and Deus: What happened to the fancy language?!
TAS: (Shrugs) Ran out of words.
Me: So there isn’t actually an accident season?
TAS: Something like that, yeah.
Me: What in the hell did I read this for, then?
Deus: You know, I’ve been wondering the same thing!
TAS: (Sputters in rage) You-you don’t understand true art!
Me: When it’s pointless, yeah I don’t.
TAS: Well, I never! I’m never talking to you again!
Deus: Hey, wanna go get ice cream?
Me: You’re not whispering any more? Sure, I’ll go.
And there you have it. Reading the book is a similar experience. My brain was constantly on overdrive trying work out three things:
1. What the hell was happening
2. When something would actually happen
3. Why everyone’s brains were made of straw
Good luck with this one.