Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: THE ACCIDENT SEASON by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Title: The Accident Season
Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Published: August 18th, 2015
Series: N/A
Genre: YA Paranormal
POV: 1st person
Pages: 304
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Format: electronic ARC
Source: First to Read
Rating: Great

Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably 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. They know what they need to do—stock up on bandages and painkillers, cover sharp table edges with padding, banish knives to locked drawers, switch off electrical items. They buckle up, they batten down.

But this accident season—when Cara; her ex-stepbrother, Sam; and her best friend, Bea, are seventeen—none of that will make a difference.

Because Cara is starting to ask questions. And the answers were never meant to be found.

A haunting, untethered, addictive read that perfectly captures that time in our lives when our hearts crack open and the raw secrets of our true selves burst forth—whether we are ready or not.

Scrapes, cuts, bruises, bumps, broken bones, and even death - with October comes the accident season, and this year, it's a bad one. Cara, the narrator, has a penchant for seeing more than others do, her best friend Bea is skilled in (and mocked for) reading tarot cards, Sam is in love with a girl he can't have, and Alice is hiding secrets from everyone around her. But in October, their world turns upside down as they fall prey to accident after accident, and as they try to find a missing girl who might have something to do with it all. 

Decidedly different, and with a touch of magical realism cutting through the pages, The Accident Season is an eerie tale of friendship, family, love, and, of course, secrets. Moira Fowley-Doyle writes this story in a darkly enchanting voice that draws you in and leaves you wishing for more. The point-of-view mostly sticks with Cara, but every now and then, it shifts and gives readers a glimpse into the past of this curious family. And while some parts of the story are easy to see coming, this novel is undeniably intriguing and captivating. 

Highlights: The settings, especially the old house Cara and her friends find, are so atmospheric and haunting. Fowley-Doyle's vivid writing style made everything easy to envision. The characters are quirky and unique, and their normal everyday lives have just enough magical realism to make every page intriguing. The Accident Season is like a daydream - vivid, magical, short enough to leave you wanting more. 

Lowlights: Some aspects are predictable, and I feel like there could have been a bit more development with the characters. While I was fascinated by this story and the writing style, I didn't care for the characters as much as I wanted to.

Final thoughts: While the characters and story didn't  end up being as developed as I hoped, the daydream & nightmarish quality it brings was enough to keep me curious and entertained. This is a quick, fascinating story to curl up with for a few hours. 


I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher for review consideration. 
This is no way affected my opinion of the novel. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Audiobook Review: THE THOUSAND DOLLAR TAN LINE

Title: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line 
Series: Veronica Mars #1
Authors: Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
Narrator: Kirsten Bell
Publisher: Random House Audio
Genre: Adult mystery
Time: 8 hrs, 42 min
Source: Audible (Purchased)
Rating: Loved

From Rob Thomas, the creator of groundbreaking television series and movie Veronica Mars, comes the first book in a thrilling new mystery series.

Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She's traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.

Now it's spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is not a simple missing person's case. The house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica's past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

Story: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line is a gripping mystery with a few shocking surprises thrown in to keep readers guessing. Veronica Mars is back, with as much snark and wit as ever, and the story picks up soon after the events of the Veronica Mars movie. In The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, Veronica's simple case of finding a missing spring breaker soon becomes a tangled web of lies and secrets, making this story wonderfully unpredictable and exciting. 

Performance: Kristen Bell is an outstanding actress, so it shouldn't have surprised me to find she makes for a highly impressive narrator. She captures Veronica's personality with ease (obviously), while somehow managing to also evoke Mac, Keith, Wallace, and others seemingly effortlessly. Bell brings everyone to life with their own distinct tone and voice. I had to remind myself a few times that it was still only Bell speaking, and not a cast of narrators. 

Highlights: I had previously read and enjoyed the kindle version of The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, but Bell's narration is infinitely superior to the print / ebook versions. She brings every character to life, and the story seems better suited to being heard versus read. 

Lowlights: The writing style became slightly repetitive, uneven, and a little too information heavy at certain points. I noticed this less, however, while listening to Bell's narration.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Top Ten Books That Would Be On My Syllabus if I Taught "YA Literature 101: Sex(uality) and Society"

Taking another quick time-out from my blogging break (I'm starting to think I'm really bad at blogging breaks) to do this fun topic! I'll be commenting later this week, since I have classes to attend and one of my own to teach (English Composition)! 

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish


If I was going to teach a class, any class of my choice, it would be on YA lit. But, I'd choose a controversial topic within the YA umbrella, like Sex(uality) and Society (the title is a bit off, because while it's about sex, sexuality, and society, it's also about sexual assault). I've taken enough classes to know that topics like that tend to get the best, and most thoughtful, discussions. Some of my best papers were written in classes dealing with sexuality in literature. And I feel like YA literature gets a bad reputation when it comes to sexuality, so it would be nice to place this novels in an academic setting and really think about them. 

YA Literature 101: Sex(uality) and Society


My (imaginary) course books: 

Sex, Sexuality, & Society
THE GIVER (okay, this is MG, but whatever. It's still too good to leave off the list)

Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse, & Society
EVERY LAST PROMISE

What's in your top ten? What type of class & books would you  want to teach?