By Sarina Bowen
Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth.
I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face.
My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it was her only secret. I was wrong.
When she dies, he finally appears. Suddenly I have a first class ticket into my father’s exclusive world. A world I don’t want any part of – not at this cost.
Only three things keep me going: my a cappella singing group, a swoony blue-eyed boy named Jake, and the burning questions in my soul.
There’s a secret shame that comes from being an unwanted child. It drags me down, and puts distance between me and the boy I love.
My father is the only one alive who knows my history. I need the truth, even if it scares me.
THE ACCIDENTALS is the first young adult novel by Sarina Bowen, and while I don’t usually read young adult, I’ll read anything written by Ms Bowen. Told only in Rachel’s POV, we follow her as she mourns the death of her mother, moves to a different state, goes to a new school, makes new friends, loses old friends, and struggles with intimacy, all while she navigates a relationship with her father, who she knew about but had never met prior to her mother’s death.
Going by the blurb, I thought the relationship between Rachel and her father, Frederick, would be the primary focus of the story, but it wasn’t. There was a lot of other stuff going on, which for me was too much and detracted from what I was really hoping to read: a story about a teen-aged girl and her previously absent father. Rachel and Frederick barely spent any time together, and when they finally had their heart-to-heart, it was done so at the 93% mark and only lasted seven pages. This was where I was expecting to have my heart broken for Rachel. Instead I felt nothing for a scene that felt incomplete and left me wanting.
Overall, I did enjoy this story, but I didn’t love it, and I think that’s because I had expectations that this would be an emotional read, and for me, it wasn’t one. I also felt that some threads were left hanging and when the book ended, it was very sudden and again, felt incomplete.
I’m a huge fan of Sarina Bowen, so it pains me when I (very rarely) give her a not-so-glowing review. I think a lot of readers out there will enjoy THE ACCIDENTALS, but sadly it just wasn’t for me.
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