Source: ARC copy received from the publisher, thank you!
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.
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In this story, there is a blurred line between what is real and what is imaginary. There are seemingly magical elements to the story, but the reader is not always sure if they are actually happening. It is written beautifully in way that is entrancing and not confusing. It allows the reader to question what is real and question the reliability of the characters without going overboard. As the story unfolds, events are explained and secrets come to life. This wonderfully connects and pulls together the plot.
The writing really kept me reading. It flows well and is easy to read, but also uses nice metaphors and descriptions. The tone and ambience of the story are somewhat understated and almost melancholy, adding a chill and darkness to the experience. There is definitely a creepy and eerie feel throughout the entire book, but it's not necessarily scary.
The characters are interesting. A band of four characters is focused on. There is a complex dynamic in the group and between each character. I enjoyed getting to know them and seeing their relationships grow and change. Even though we only see from Cara's perspective, each character has their own story to tell. They are very quirky, which I like. However, there is smoking and substance abuse, which did bother me some.
The plot weaves itself together in a beautiful and surprising way. It drew me in and didn't let go. I love the mystery and uncertainty. However, a few plot points were predictable to me.
In the end, there is just enough explanation, with some ends left loose. This is not a story to be perfectly tied up, and I love that the author didn't force that.
This is a haunting and unexpectedly emotional story that would be great for Halloween.