Oh this book was SO CLOSE to being SO GOOD, and fell short due to a main character that kept making out with her stepbrother instead of trying to solve the damn mystery!
“We bite back the things we can’t say and we cushion every surface for the inevitable moment when they all come fighting out.”
Every October for her entire life, Cara and her family have experienced “the accident season”: family members get injured in strange & bizarre ways, and the curse has actually killed a couple of people, too. The season is accepted but rarely discussed. At the opening of the novel (and this year’s accident season), sixteen year old Cara, her sister Alice, her best friend Bea and her ex-step-brother Sam (who still lives with them, despite his father up and leaving one day under mysterious circumstances), are more focused on throwing a Halloween party than the injuries that are already beginning to pile up (broken fingers, broken arms, bruises, cuts, etc). But when Cara realizes one of the girls at school has suddenly gone missing, she begins to realize that something more is going on.
This book has so much going for it: the atmosphere is spooky (I listened to the audiobook, so doubly so), I loved all of the characters (fortune-reading Bea was my standout favorite), and it just enough of a supernatural element (changelings! a ghost house!) to keep you guessing — is the cause of all the accidents something otherworldly, or closer to home? But Cara’s obsession with Sam made me crazy — she’s freaking out about kissing him, but he’s her brother, but he’s really not, but it’s all so wrong — just shut up and investigate the damn ghost house already! I wouldn’t say it makes the book unworthy of reading, but be aware that some tingly feelings in the beginning end up being the main focus of the last quarter of the novel or so — when just about any other element of the book would have been more interesting.