Happy book birthday to Accidental by Alex Richards! I cannot even with the emotional turmoil this plot has. This is one of those books where I half-want to read it and half-want to run for the hills. I just know that reading this book is going to hurt like hell. It’s wild to me how many times I’ve heard of stories like this in the news and never once put an insane amount of thought into what it would feel like to be a teenager who grew up after having been part of such a horrifying experience.
This book, unquestionably, is going to make people think. And I absolutely love that.
This timely, emotionally-resonant story about a teen girl dealing with the aftermath of a tragic shooting is a must-read from an exciting new YA talent. Johanna has had more than enough trauma in her life. She lost her mom in a car accident, and her father went AWOL when Johanna was just a baby. At sixteen, life is steady, boring . . . maybe even stifling, since she's being raised by her grandparents who never talk about their daughter, her mother Mandy. Then he comes back: Robert Newsome, Johanna's father, bringing memories and pictures of Mandy. But that's not all he shares. A tragic car accident didn't kill Mandy--it was Johanna, who at two years old, accidentally shot her own mother with an unsecured gun. Now Johanna has to sort through it all--the return of her absentee father, her grandparents' lies, her part in her mother's death. But no one, neither her loyal best friends nor her sweet new boyfriend, can help her forgive them. Most of all, can she ever find a way to forgive herself? In a searing, ultimately uplifting story, debut author Alex Richards tackles a different side of the important issue that has galvanized teens across our country.