Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Music
Contentment: (n.) A feeling of quiet happiness and satisfaction.
The key word is quiet. It’s not the happiness that makes you scream until your lungs combust or tremble with the pent-up energy that has to be diffused by running and sharing this joy with the world. It’s the type of happiness that resembles those moments when you bask in the sun; listen to the melody of a violin; feel the wind rustle your hair. That’s the warm feeling that blossomed in my chest while I was reading The Accidentals.
“Every fairy tale has a righteous ending, Rachel. It's guaranteed.”
There are two things you need to know about Rachel: she has never met her father, a famous and extremely talented musician, and her mother just died. Being at the mercy of social services, Rachel has to endure a few months of humiliation and solitude until she can move to her dream prep- school, and fulfill her deepest desire: to discover what happened between her parents. Was she an accidental, the product of a one-night-stand? Or did her parents love each other, but a mysterious force tore them apart? Rachel always hoped, but never expected, that her father would show up. But he did. And he took her in, and cared for her when no one did. Between the fear of him leaving her again, the joy of joining a choir and the butterflies that seem to fly whenever Jake appears, Rachel struggles to find the truth about her past, overcome the obstacles of the present and plan a future that includes all those she loves but dares not say it.
This book was so lovely that I wish I could climb inside it and live there forever.
It was the first time I came across Sarina Bowen's work, and she already earned a fan; her words are like a warm blanket I clutch in my hands, its warmth sipped by my pores and reaching my very core. It’s been so long since I read a contemporary YA book laden with rich emotions, with the perfect balance between humor and heartache. There weren’t unnecessary dialogues or drama for the sake of drama; every sad event that made Rachel’s heart (and mine) splinter, every moment of camaraderie and love, every smile of a boy that gazed at the stars waiting for their explosion, they were all stops of a route that led Rachel to finding peace.
Every sentence had a purpose, and shed fluorescent light on these wonderful, three-dimensional characters. The writing was so fluid and soulful that made me sigh with satisfaction. The way Rachel’s was I not enough to make you stay insecurities and fear of losing her father again were utterly realistic, and painful, and so was her inner battle between good Rachel and angry Rachel, that tangled, livid version of herself that wanted answers to the questions she didn't have the courage to ask. Rachel's relationships with her late mother, her absent father, Aurora, Haze and, of course, Jake were depicted with masteful brushstrokes. The dynamic between Rachel and Frederik was fragile, delicate, a flower that took its time to bloom, but when it did, it was simply beautiful.
The romance was not the main aspect of the novel, but it was radiant, and Jake's support and devotion was a fundamental factor for the development of Rachel's character. I could hear the butterflies flap their wings in every scene they had together, they were sweet and heated, and I must admit that I had a crush on Jake since he confessed that his sheets have snowmen on them. He was nerdy and adorable, and I may or may not have swooned a couple of times.
Set in a school reminding of medieval castles, with music pouring from its pages, The Accidentals is a book that lulls you into blissful silence, a deafening silence that holds the power of thousands of perfect words and feelings.
I can't recommend it highly enough!
*ARC generously provided by the author via Nina Bocci in exchange for an honest review*