Completely Heart Wrenching and Beautifully So | Review: Accidental by Alex Richards

7:00 AM

Excuse me. Excuse me? Yes. Uh. Why didn't Accidental come with tissues? I'm asking for a friend. It's just. *sniffles* You know?

by Alex Richards 

This timely, emotionally-resonant story about a teen girl dealing with the aftermath of a tragic shooting is a must-read from an exciting new YA talent.

Johanna has had more than enough trauma in her life. She lost her mom in a car accident, and her father went AWOL when Johanna was just a baby. At sixteen, life is steady, boring . . . maybe even stifling, since she's being raised by her grandparents who never talk about their daughter, her mother Mandy.

Then he comes back: Robert Newsome, Johanna's father, bringing memories and pictures of Mandy. But that's not all he shares. A tragic car accident didn't kill Mandy--it was Johanna, who at two years old, accidentally shot her own mother with an unsecured gun.

Now Johanna has to sort through it all--the return of her absentee father, her grandparents' lies, her part in her mother's death. But no one, neither her loyal best friends nor her sweet new boyfriend, can help her forgive them. Most of all, can she ever find a way to forgive herself?

In a searing, ultimately uplifting story, debut author Alex Richards tackles a different side of the important issue that has galvanized teens across our country.

Accidental by Alex Richards
Rating: ★★★★☆

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.    

Part of me isn't sure how to approach reviewing Accidental. It is one of those novels that is so aching and beautiful and honest that it feels like non-fiction even though it isn't. Writing about books like Accidental is always difficult because no matter what, you can't square away the emotions you felt for it and cram them into a tiny, well spaced, coherent review. I'm not sure it's possible.

We all know that, as someone who grew up devouring every Lurlene McDaniel book she could get her hands on, I love a good cry-worthy novel. They help me process my own emotions (which are another one of my weaker points) and are honestly just... so good. Accidental had this going for it, but the synopsis felt unlike any emotional read I've encountered yet.

And it definitely lived up to my expectations.

It definitely felt like Accidental was an experience of its own. Every page was an exploration of life, and living with certain pieces we'd never really known were missing. I found the story itself to be refreshing and completely compelling. Not only did I find myself getting teary-eyed as the story progressed, I found my heart racing with something like hope and anxiety. Accidental ignites the right series of emotions from its readers and pulls them into the story instantly.

The fact that Accidental is Alex Richards' debut novel is astounding to me. The quality of this novel is on high; the writing smooth and undeniable. And the emotionally charged moments are so potent sometimes I felt downright like an intruder on someone else's life. When I say that Accidental is an experience, I mean that literally--and it's an experience that reader's will embrace wholly.

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