Accidental
Mary Kate Castellani at Bloomsbury has acquired, at auction, Alex Richards's Accidental, about a 16-year-old girl who learns that she shot and killed her own mother with her father's gun when she was just two years old; now she must choose whether to trust her dad, who has suddenly popped back into her life, or the grandparents who raised her but lied the whole time. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020.

Accidental Details

TitleAccidental
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 7th, 2020
PublisherBloomsbury YA
ISBN-139781547603589
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult

Accidental Review

  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.Actual rating rounded up to a 3.5.OK-this had the premise to be an amazing and gut-wrenching read (most of my recent reads have fallen into the category of "I'm for sure going to be crying at the end and I don't even feel bad about it" types of stories) and this was along the same vein. Johanna is a junior at a small private school, trying to figure out getting into Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.Actual rating rounded up to a 3.5.OK-this had the premise to be an amazing and gut-wrenching read (most of my recent reads have fallen into the category of "I'm for sure going to be crying at the end and I don't even feel bad about it" types of stories) and this was along the same vein. Johanna is a junior at a small private school, trying to figure out getting into Parsons School of Design, how to live with her slightly conservative and overprotective grandparents, and if the new kid Milo could possibly be as amazing as he seems. Sure she misses the mother she's never really known, a woman who died in a car accident when she was young, and her father is absentee to the max, but she's doing OK. Until her father contacts her via letter and lays a huge bombshell on her: her mother died from a gunshot wound, one that Johanna caused. As a toddler she found a loaded gun in the house and shot her mother. Her mother's parents have had custody of her ever since. They lied to her about the car accident, hoping it would make it easier. But now Johanna knows the truth, and soon everyone else does too. Kids at school are unsure how to act around her, and her normal "alt-rock" persona and heavy makeup now take on a threatening tone. Teachers ask to search her bags. Her personal photos become viral trash. She is bullied and berated and alone. As her friendships start to suffer and the guilt is overwhelming her, she tries to find some way to make meaning out of this event. A way to atone and ask her mother for forgiveness. All of this is great in the story. Moving, heart-wrenching, impeccably nuanced. The downfall? The overly political tone that the author takes towards the second half of the book. Instead of letting the story show the points Richards wanted to make, the author was far too overt and heavy-handed, in my opinion.Overall, this is a strong second purchase for large library collections serving young adult readers who enjoy realistic fiction/contemporary dramas. Due to language and sexual content, I would recommend this for grades 9 and up.
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  • Ava
    January 1, 1970
    ACCIDENTAL is both a rallying cry and a challenge; it demands to be read, and refuses to be put down. By spotlighting the violence and attitudes that surround gun control in America, ACCIDENTAL explores the everyday fear that has become part of the American high school curriculum. This book is haunting, but it is also hopeful. As Johanna explores the ramifications of gun violence on her life, she also steps into the realm of first boyfriends, first loves, forever friends, and most importantly, ACCIDENTAL is both a rallying cry and a challenge; it demands to be read, and refuses to be put down. By spotlighting the violence and attitudes that surround gun control in America, ACCIDENTAL explores the everyday fear that has become part of the American high school curriculum. This book is haunting, but it is also hopeful. As Johanna explores the ramifications of gun violence on her life, she also steps into the realm of first boyfriends, first loves, forever friends, and most importantly, finding her own voice and using it to help others. She is a ferocious protagonist, and her painfully human navigation of the modern high school experience (that is to say, the realization that schools are not safe, and the people who can do something about it refuse to do so) is both relatable and inspiring. With heartfelt, brutal honesty searing every page, this is the kind of book that reminds readers that they have voices, and they can make changes.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    My full review can be found on the Epilie Aspie Chick blog!Thank you to Bloomsbury YA for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.Johanna is someone you can easily relate to, even in this dark revelation. She struggles to accept it and quickly blames herself. The curiosity is one that causes her to get to know her dad (and see a new side of her grandparents). She runs the gamut of feelings during these events and brings you with her. My full review can be found on the Epilie Aspie Chick blog!Thank you to Bloomsbury YA for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.Johanna is someone you can easily relate to, even in this dark revelation. She struggles to accept it and quickly blames herself. The curiosity is one that causes her to get to know her dad (and see a new side of her grandparents). She runs the gamut of feelings during these events and brings you with her. 
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  • Carrie Esposito
    January 1, 1970
    Having read an advanced copy of Accidental, I was thoroughly engaged in this story of a teen who discovers a horrible secret about her past. Johanna’s voice is humorous, vulnerable and keeps the reader turning pages as we see her navigate friendships and relationships in the wake of learning the truth about how her mother died. While this novel tackles difficult timely issues dealing with gun violence, it’s also a story about how we handle the flawed relationships in our lives and how we decide Having read an advanced copy of Accidental, I was thoroughly engaged in this story of a teen who discovers a horrible secret about her past. Johanna’s voice is humorous, vulnerable and keeps the reader turning pages as we see her navigate friendships and relationships in the wake of learning the truth about how her mother died. While this novel tackles difficult timely issues dealing with gun violence, it’s also a story about how we handle the flawed relationships in our lives and how we decide who to love and let in, and who we must let go.
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  • Mike Lasagna
    January 1, 1970
    Yep. Yep to all this.
  • Alex Richards
    January 1, 1970
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