THE ACCIDENT by Kate Hendrick

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Sarah is finally going back to school nine months after the accident that changed her life. It is a new school, she doesn’t know anyone, and the adjustment is difficult enough without the incredible tension at home between her stepfather and her mother.  In Will’s world, the accident has just happened, but it isn’t even on his radar. Instead, he is focused on keep in his life together despite his mother’s worsening depression, his younger sister’s emotional distance, and his troubled older sister’s unexpected reappearance in their lives.  For Eliat, the accident hasn’t even happened yet, but her life seems to be falling apart. It’s all she can do to try to get her school work done while caring for her two year old daughter without her foster parents breathing down her neck every time she goes out for a drink or two. Some days, all she really wants to do is escape. The lives of these teenagers intersect at different points in time, but what brings them all together, is a terrible tragedy that will change all of their lives in ways they could never have predicted.

Told in three different jumbled time periods by three different first person narrators, this novel takes a bit of concentration to follow. But the engaging story is worth it. The lives of the three protagonists intertwine in surprisingly simple ways that still have a profound impact on each of their lives. Despite the central tragedy of the book, the overall tone is quite hopeful. I would recommend this book to teen readers who enjoy a realistic fiction.

If you liked The Accident, you might like If I Stay by Gayle Forman, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart or The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson.

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