Review: The Accidentals by Sarina Bowen

Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Nina Bocci PR.

Sarina Bowen's first foray into the young adult (YA) genre is by way of the coming-of-age story of a seventeen-year-old who tries to find the girl that she's meant to be after undergoing the greatest loss of her young life. The Accidentals isn't a YA romance. It does include a love story, but what it really is the journey Rachel Kress takes. It isn't an easy one and Rachel never had a map or a set of directions that would point which way would be best for her. There are times she gets lost or takes a far longer route thinking it's a shortcut, but her story is one that remains hopeful, even when she hits her lowest points. Bowen's new novel could be seen as a risk, but it's paid off.

Rachel Kress has known who her father is since she was in the third grade. The world knew him as Freddy Ricks, but every check he sent each month to her mother was from one Frederick Richards. He was a rock star beyond compare, but she didn't meet him until her mother passed away and her case worker got in touch with him. They're more strangers than they are father and daughter, but maybe entering each other's worlds is exactly what they need--the summer in California where Freddy's life is at and at least a year in Connecticut for Rachel to attend Clairborne Prep. Life is discordant, but maybe once she gives voice to the music in her heart, harmony may reign.

I went into this book without any expectations, mainly because this was something new for the author and the blurb clued me in that this wasn't going to be a typical romance. I liked the overall story of Rachel dealing with the new direction her life has taken. There wasn't as much in terms of difficult letting go of the life she had in Florida, which I hoped there had been more of. It felt as if she moved from one state to another--Florida to California--and then again another state--Connecticut--and whatever was left behind stayed there, whether it be things or people. Maybe cutting ties or not constantly tugging to see if those ties are still there was Rachel's way of moving forward.

There are characters that I really liked and then there were those I had a love-hate thing going on. Belonging in the former were Jake Willis and Aurora Garcia, Rachel's love interest and her roommate, respectively, and then Rachel, her father, and her best friend, Hazario aka Haze, in the latter. There are certain parts of the book that did feel slower than the others, but I still enjoyed the book as a whole. There's a feeling of hopefulness by the end of The Accidentals, one that I think is apt given that Rachel is, indeed still a teenager, one who's realizing that while there are many unknowns in her life, there's one--the love of her family and friends--that will stay true. It gets four stars. ♥

Release Date: 10 July 2018

Date Read: 01 July 2018

Learn more about Sarina Bowen.

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