The Accident by Kate Hendrick

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The Accident by Kate Hendrick

Category: Teens
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Sophie Diamond
Reviewed by Sophie Diamond
Summary: Three strangers, one car accident - life will never be the same again. A story written around an accident and the three lives it affected.
Buy? No Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 272 Date: January 2015
Publisher: Text Publishing Company
ISBN: 978-1921922855

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The Accident alternates between three characters telling their story before, just after and much later than the day of the accident which connects them. Before the car crash, Eliat is a teenage mum knowing she needs to be an adult whilst never feeling more like a kid. Just after the car crash, Will is struggling to hold his dysfunctional family together when his oldest sister moves back home. Later, Sarah is struggling to move on with her life with the injuries and grief the accident has left her with. It’s a story about, whether we realise it or not, how we’re all connected by split-second decisions and we can’t control the impact they have.

The Accident had a lot of promise. I really liked the premise of following the stories of three strangers connected by one life changing event. However, it fell short of my expectations. This is a character driven story, which normally I love, but Hendrick’s character’s lack the depth a story like this feeds from. It’s a story that requires a huge amount of empathy from the reader and this book struggled to make me feel anything. The way it jumps around in time, chapter by chapter, leaves you struggling to pick up any consistent thread of events, and the three narrators are almost completely unconnected to one another, meaning that when one takes off from another, it has absolutely nothing to do with the chapter you’ve just read. I really struggled to connect to the stories and to connect the story itself together. I didn’t mind this at the beginning because I assumed it would be resolved at the end of the book, which it wasn’t.

The Accident ironically glosses over the accident which is the foundation for the story. Consequently, it’s hard to connect to the aftermath, which makes up two thirds of the story, because nothing actually happens. I wanted the stories to collide, I wanted the narrative to be building towards something and I was sorely disappointed. This book just never really went anywhere. Potentially interesting threads were picked up and quickly lost again, potentially interesting directions for the story are diverted from, but the most irritating thing about the book is that the three stories have almost nothing to do with one another. A book like this should read like a relay race, one narrator smoothly passing the baton to the next, but instead Hendrick has three totally disconnected narratives lacking any interesting overarching theme. The novel as a whole is so haphazard that it feels like Hendrick has tried to tell too many stories simultaneously and consequently forgotten the recurring strand that connects them, other than the accident that only affects Sarah throughout the book.

It’s entirely possible I just missed the point of this book. Maybe if you began reading just focussed on the emotional stories of the characters, you wouldn’t feel so disappointed by the lack of any event taking place. I’m sorry to say that I found the whole story disconnected, miserable and lacking the oomph encouraging you to turn the next page. Sadly, it was a great premise but a wholly disappointing book for me.

If you like the idea of a story based on a single moment, you should try Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, where a girl has to relive the day of her death over again.

Buy The Accident by Kate Hendrick at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Accident by Kate Hendrick at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Accident by Kate Hendrick at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Accident by Kate Hendrick at Amazon.com.


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