Monday, July 29, 2013

The accident by Kate Hendrick

One moment on a wet and stormy night changed their lives forever - one moment that is in the future, in the present, and in the past.  Sarah survived the crash but her brother Robbie didn't, and her future is a new school, a painful new beginning, and a family that is pulling apart.  Will's present is a mother who lives like a hermit in her room while he takes care of himself and his younger sister Morgan takes care of herself - while their big sister Lauren seems to be anywhere but at home.  And looking towards her future is Eliat, who is struggling to be a parent to two year old Task while she tries to finish her studies and still have a good time.  Three teenage lives on a collision course with fate, connected by an accident that none of them saw coming, and which had consequences none of them could have planned for.

The accident is one of those weird books that was a good read and was engaging, but left me feeling more than a little disappointed in the end - and dare I say it leaving me feel a little cheated.  The overall story is well thought out and shows a lot of thought, but some of the connections felt a little shaky, and with the bouncing around between past, present, and future it felt at times like the author was trying to be too clever rather than focusing on the meat of the story.  Strangely though, I still enjoyed the story, even though books like this usually make me roll my eyes after a chapter or two and throw them on the reject pile - I can't help but think that maybe it would have been better to have the whole past, then the whole present, and then the whole future, it may have ruined a few of the surprises but for me it would have read better. 

There are some hidden strengths in this story, but there are also some rather gaping cliches.  Each of the characters is well drawn with their own strengths and flaws, and there are some genuine teenage voices here speaking through trying experiences, and I hope that teenagers will be able to connect more with the story than I did looking with adult eyes.  Set in Australia, there is a subtle Aussie flavour, but it could easily have been set anywhere in the world.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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