Summary: Sometimes finding love means taking the scenic route …
Living with her faultfinding mother has taught Leslie not to ask for much. Just watch your step, stay on the sidelines, and take what you can get. But she wants a mom who thanks her for cleaning the kitchen instead of yelling at her for missing a spot, and a boyfriend who does more than score her a seat at the popular table—someone who actually notices her sitting there.
So when Cain, the school heartbreaker, turns his Carolina blue eyes her way, Leslie can’t help but be tempted, even if he’s her boyfriend’s best friend. Things get even more complicated when Leslie strikes up unlikely friendships with Meredith, Cain’s girlfriend, and Dennis, a boy addicted to cigarettes and solitude. Despite his tough exterior, Dennis seems to understand Leslie in a way that no one ever has, and to need her as much as she needs him.
For the first time in her life, Leslie feels like she could belong. She’s just not sure where.
Just in time for the holidays, this teen romance features a Halloween betrayal, a Thanksgiving revelation, an unexpected Christmas gift, and a New Year’s Eve party where everything comes to a head. Will Leslie ring in the New Year with the right guy, or end up right back where she started—alone?
My thoughts: I was hooked from reading the summary and I finished the book in about a day. Impossible as it seems if you’re reading my blog, I do enjoy YA books, I just hate the inconsistent YA books. But “Accidents & Incidents” was a sweet read which left me longing for more. There are parts in the book where the scenes could have been expanded more.
The setting is pretty typical for YA books, aka high school, and a lot of the plot happens either at school, or at parties. The main character is Leslie, a girl dating a popular guy, Keith, who distanced from her in the last weeks. Cain, Keith’s best friend, is a hot guy with boundary issues even though he has a girlfriend, Meredith, a popular girl with problems of her own. And then there’s Dennis, the new kid and a bit of a loner.
I enjoyed Leslie’s character and I thought it was a good portrayal of a teenage girl. The story is told solely from her perspective and she was a reliable narrator. I could really understand her confusion when it came to Cain, and I liked that she was strong enough to say no. Her standing up for herself was nice and I really felt her character growing.
The dynamics between characters were pretty good. Leslie’s mother is a single mother, works a lot and have an obsession with cleaning and things Leslie doesn’t do right. She’s kind of insufferable, but the good thing is that the readers understands why she’s like this (Christmas dinner at Leslie’s grandmother — there’s nothing like a family dinner to reveal a bunch of problems). And it’s really nice to see that it’s not just Leslie growing in this book, but also her mother.
I also liked Meredith and she was super nice with Leslie. Her story was pretty interesting and handled in a thoughtful manner. I’m kind of glad that the author didn’t resort to a big showdown between them, but I can’t deny that having some sort of repercussions for Leslie would have been interesting. Heather was the stand-in for your typical high school mean girl, but she wasn’t unidimensional, and there was more to her story.
Finally, Dennis was such a great guy and I really liked him from chapter one. He was pretty quiet, but also sweet, remembering stuff about Leslie. I just wished there were more scenes with the two of them because I got the feeling there were more Leslie-Cain scenes that Leslie-Dennis scenes.
There were some characters that could have been explored more: Reed, Cain’s sister, and Alicia, Leslie’s former best friend. I would have enjoyed reading more interaction between Leslie and each of them.
Also, there was one weird thing: fruit salad with mayonnaise. I have never eaten such a thing and the combination seemed strange in my head as mayonnaise is associated with salty things, like egg salad. But I searched and I found fruit salad with mayonnaise recipes, so I guess that’s a thing in the US. I’m not sure I want to try it though. Unless someone assures me it’s very good.
All in all, it was a light read and I would recommend it to any YA lover.
Rating: 3.5 stars
About the author: Riley Graham lives in North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, two cats, and an embarrassing number of dust bunnies. She likes to think of them as her muses–the dust bunnies, that is. The dogs and cats keep her sane when they’re not driving her insane, and the husband . . . well, that’s classified information.
You can find Riley Graham here: