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The Accidentals

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A YA novel from USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen. Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth. I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face. My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it w A YA novel from USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen. Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth. I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face. My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it was her only secret. I was wrong. When she dies, he finally appears. Suddenly I have a first class ticket into my father’s exclusive world. A world I don’t want any part of – not at this cost.  Only three things keep me going: my a cappella singing group, a swoony blue-eyed boy named Jake, and the burning questions in my soul.
 There’s a secret shame that comes from being an unwanted child. It drags me down, and puts distance between me and the boy I love. My father is the only one alive who knows my history. I need the truth, even if it scares me.


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A YA novel from USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen. Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth. I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face. My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it w A YA novel from USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen. Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth. I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face. My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it was her only secret. I was wrong. When she dies, he finally appears. Suddenly I have a first class ticket into my father’s exclusive world. A world I don’t want any part of – not at this cost.  Only three things keep me going: my a cappella singing group, a swoony blue-eyed boy named Jake, and the burning questions in my soul.
 There’s a secret shame that comes from being an unwanted child. It drags me down, and puts distance between me and the boy I love. My father is the only one alive who knows my history. I need the truth, even if it scares me.

30 review for The Accidentals

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    4 stars!!! There are a few authors who I will read any book they write. Sarina Bowen is one of those authors for me. The Accidentals was different than many of the other books of hers I have read, but I loved it all the same.  Rachel grew up with a single mother who was a nurse. All she knew about her father is what she read in magazines such as Spin. You see, Rachel's father is a famous rock star who she's never met. When her mother dies of cancer when Rachel is 17, that all changes. Freddy Ric 4 stars!!! There are a few authors who I will read any book they write. Sarina Bowen is one of those authors for me. The Accidentals was different than many of the other books of hers I have read, but I loved it all the same.  Rachel grew up with a single mother who was a nurse. All she knew about her father is what she read in magazines such as Spin. You see, Rachel's father is a famous rock star who she's never met. When her mother dies of cancer when Rachel is 17, that all changes. Freddy Ricks comes for his long lost daughter and knows he's got a lot of making up to do.  Freddy and Rachel have a tough time navigating their father daughter relationship at first. It's difficult for them both. Rachel has never had a father and Freddy has never been one. But they do their best to manage. There are many parts of this book that were emotional for me to read. My heart broke for Rachel, but I was happy with the direction her story took.  While this father daughter story line was going on, there was also a story of friendship between Rachel and her new roommate at school and a budding romance with a super sweet geeky guy. I loved all the different aspects of this book and how they came together to form one wonderful story. The Accidentals is a must read coming of age story that I recommend to all!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katerina

    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. 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* Review also posted on BookNest!

  3. 3 out of 5

    Jenny••Steamy Reads Blog••

    Going into this book, I thought Sarina Bowen, hell yes, of course I am reading this even though I've struggled with Young Adult before, its Sarina Bowen for goodness sakes. So afterwards, I can honestly say this book is exactly what I needed, HELL YES, probably one of the most easiest books I have read this year! It’s emotional, it’s sweet, it captures you from the start and keeps you locked tight throughout. I absolutely loved this book, hands down one you need to pick up and read. This book ta Going into this book, I thought Sarina Bowen, hell yes, of course I am reading this even though I've struggled with Young Adult before, its Sarina Bowen for goodness sakes. So afterwards, I can honestly say this book is exactly what I needed, HELL YES, probably one of the most easiest books I have read this year! It’s emotional, it’s sweet, it captures you from the start and keeps you locked tight throughout. I absolutely loved this book, hands down one you need to pick up and read. This book takes you on a journey of a girl who loses her mother, just shy of her 18th Birthday. She has never met her father, doesn’t mean she doesn’t know who he is, but he has never been a part of her life until now. So how does she start a relationship with an absentee father for the past 17 years, yet she has idolized him from the sidelines her entire life and has followed his career as a successful rock star? The connection, the unique relationship that is built is simply beautiful. The ups and downs, the lefts and rights, it’s downright genuine and real. The relationship between Rachel and her father, it’s so beautifully done. This story also brings us Jake Willis. Another magical character that I wish we got more of, because what we got, I head over heals fell in love with. Jake & Rachel’s relationship is like breathing fresh air, it’s so easy, so natural, and it slowly, yet perfectly becomes such a stunning relationship. Each side character is so beautifully executed, each having a role in making this book simply irresistible. This book has all the feels, just enough to break you at times, but enough to completely and utterly have you swooning for most of the characters. Heartfelt, sweet, heartbreaking, and so downright lovable, this book is one you can’t pass by. Pick it up!!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth

    READ MY REVIEW ON THE BLOG OK OK. Hold the press..I have an announcement to make: This is one of the best books I've read this year. Leave it to Sarina Bowen to shatter my heart and put it back together, piece by piece. This book will stay with me for a very long time and I think it's my most favorite by this author so far. The Accidentals is not your usual YA romance. It introduces us to a set of characters who sneak into your heart. You will fall in love with them despite their flaws and past m READ MY REVIEW ON THE BLOG OK OK. Hold the press..I have an announcement to make: This is one of the best books I've read this year. Leave it to Sarina Bowen to shatter my heart and put it back together, piece by piece. This book will stay with me for a very long time and I think it's my most favorite by this author so far. The Accidentals is not your usual YA romance. It introduces us to a set of characters who sneak into your heart. You will fall in love with them despite their flaws and past mistakes. Rachel's life changes over night when her mother passes away and her famous father enters her life. For seventeen years she has been longing for her dad to be a part of her life, now that her secret dream has come true she doesn't know what to do with it. There are so many questions she wants to know the answer to but the biggest and most complicated of all, "why did you never want to meet me?" she doesn't dare to ask. What's more, she has to deal with her grief, the loneliness she feels after her mom passed away transfers from the pages right into your heart. I hurt for this young girl who didn't have a lot of people she could turn to. This story isn't so much about the romance between a lovable boy called Jake and good girl Rachel but her relationship with her dad and I have to say it was my most favorite thing about it.  While the blossoming love was heartwarming and sweet the complicated ties to her father completely captivated and entangled me. Both Rachel and Frederick avoid conflict at all cost out of fear. Rachel because she's scared of the truths she will learn, Frederick out of embarrassment. Rachel also shows some passive-aggressive behavior towards her dad which is par for the course for a seventeen year old girl who is still trying to find out who she is and most of all where she comes from. My whole life I’d been trying to understand my missing father. And the whole time I hadn’t had the first clue about my mom. She held on to her anger tightly and there was also this life-long guilt, inadvertently nourished by her mother, that she messed up her mom's live. I was totally immersed in their growing love for each other and while they got to know each other the facts Rachel knew as truth began to blur, now learning the other side of her parents's story. Frederick was first and foremost a friend for Rachel, his paternal side started to show a little later and I thought it was in line with his character - he had been living the celebrity life and had no clue about raising a child. Granted, it took him a while until he figured out how to be a good parent but it was obvious right from the start that Frederick wanted his daughter in his life. He wanted to know her, to give her his time and ultimately his advice. And he also gave her the unconditional love only parents can give, he just needed to make Rachel understand it. "I hear you tossed your cookies." I turn my face away. The mattress wiggles as he lies down on the bed next to me. One hand skims over my hair.  "Rachel, I love you anyway." When I finally found out about his reasons for not being a part of Rachel's life I was all the way there along with Rachel's righteous anger but like Rachel I forgave him because he didn't make excuses for himself. His unapologetic honesty was what I loved most about Frederick. Now Jake was the best. He was a wonderful counterpart and an anchor for Rachel. Somebody she could rely on 100 percent. I know that Sarina Bowen's heroes are always awesome but she hits me right in the feels with them every single time. And have I mentioned that he is a nerd? Yes! Totally my kind of guy. He smiles, and it’s such a nice smile that I wish I could just climb inside it and live there. This year in books has already been AMAZING. I keep adding to my favorites shelf and you bet that The Accidentals will go there. Ms. Bowen is one of those authors I can never go wrong with. Her characters are always relatable and lovable. She delivers every single time but I think with her Young Adult debut she has outdone herself. I adored Rachel, Frederick and Jake. I laughed, I cried a little, I felt and rooted for all of them and was hoping for things to work out. And this, people, is what I expect from a good book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    NOW LIVE! Amazon US * Amazon UK It's not usually a good thing when I say that a story pulls readers in two different directions. Typically that would be followed by me saying the story didn't have a clear direction and that it was confusing. But I'm going to say it about The Accidentals and actually mean it in a good way. Because a huge part of this book was focused on the heroine navigating her new life with a father she's only just meeting at seventeen, well really it was pretty much the main th NOW LIVE! Amazon US * Amazon UK It's not usually a good thing when I say that a story pulls readers in two different directions. Typically that would be followed by me saying the story didn't have a clear direction and that it was confusing. But I'm going to say it about The Accidentals and actually mean it in a good way. Because a huge part of this book was focused on the heroine navigating her new life with a father she's only just meeting at seventeen, well really it was pretty much the main thing going on, but then we also got some really interesting moments between her and her love interest, Jake. And these two things ended up blending together beautifully. Even with so much happening in the book there was still a clear focus to it and that was Rachel. This was irrevocably her story and every other character was just along for the ride. I loved getting to experience her going through such a life changing event and seeing the impacts that other characters had on her. Seeing her trying to find her place in the world and doing so with a newly found support system was just captivating and every page sucked me in deeper. Though I did kind of want more answers about what happened with her mom and dad because I'm nosy, I was still really happy with the ending she got. To get personal for a second, I can honestly say this book came at the perfect time because I've been going through such a reading slump where my books have been doing nothing for me and I even had a few days where I didn't read at all. Then I picked up this book and through these pages I discovered friendship, love, and a father-daughter relationship that had me tearing up. This book is the very reason I love reading as much as I do. Ms. Bowen wrote this beautiful and heartwarming story so well I was able to escape into these pages and live through Rachel, and it was an amazing experience. This wasn't a romance, it wasn't a typical YA drama-filled book, it was a story of life. As pure and as simple as that, this book takes you through Rachel finding herself in this creative, and intriguing, and very real way. It wasn't sunflowers and rainbows, it was tough life situations but with a strong character that I admired and loved reading about. Definitely a recommended read for everyone.

  6. 4 out of 5

    KAT ♕ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books ♕

    MY REVIEW can also be found on my blog: KITTY KATS CRAZY ABOUT BOOKS THE ACCIDENTALS: Is a full length, by Sarina Bowen her first YA fiction debut novel. About Love, Loss and New Adventures. An accidental is a note in the piece that departs from the stated key signature. But there's nothing accidental about an accidental, in spite of it's name. The use of accidentals ads colour and depth to the music effectively allowing the composure a expanded colour palate from which to paint. F MY REVIEW can also be found on my blog: KITTY KATS CRAZY ABOUT BOOKS THE ACCIDENTALS: Is a full length, by Sarina Bowen her first YA fiction debut novel. About Love, Loss and New Adventures. An accidental is a note in the piece that departs from the stated key signature. But there's nothing accidental about an accidental, in spite of it's name. The use of accidentals ads colour and depth to the music effectively allowing the composure a expanded colour palate from which to paint. For seventeen years it’s always just been Racheal and her mum, on her mother’s death bed she declares that now it’s time that Rachel get in touch with her father, not long after, right before Racheal’s eighteenth birthday her mother passes away from cancer. It’s then that she’s placed in a group home until she can go to boarding school in New Hampshire in the fall. Racheal knows nothing of her father, only the child support cheques her mother regularly got, but other than those her mother refused to speak of him, Racheal only knows his name and what she’s sourced off the internet from wikipedia and u-tube videos. Music has always been my only connection to him. And in a weird way, he’s never let me down. When she meets her father for the first time and their journey is where the story came into it's own, so beautifully told, I loved their connection, their learning curves, this was just such a straight forward beautiful tale. Boarding school is the only thing that Racheal has set her sights on, it's the only solid thing in her future, everything else imploded the day her mother died. She’s going to the place where her mother and father supposedly met. It’s where her own story began. And a boy named Jake that’s attending the same school that became her pen pal who she meets the first day on campus, he was a breath of fresh air, the nerdy boy, a friendship that blossomed into so much more, a slow moving perfectly paced romance. What wasn’t to love about this, normally the ya genre doesn’t really do it for me, but slowly and with this one under my belt I’m changing my mind. It's hard to explain this book, all I can say is that it was just so real, nothing was over dramatised, it flowed perfectly, it wasn’t dramatically full of angst, which so many authors tend to do when it comes to this genre, or overly emotional it was just the perfect story, you would not know that this was this authors first tip toe into this genre because she nailed it. I loved the father, daughter dynamic, their connection after seventeen years of absence which was brought on by a traumatic event was heartfelt and the perfect blend of angst. There is absolutely nothing I would change about this story.      

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤

    <3 5 amazing stars <3 This is by far my favorite book from Sarina!! I loved everything about it! I devour it, I couldn’t put it down! It was addictive and the story was refreshing.I was hooked from the beginning and I didn't want to finish this story because it was simply amazing! Such a unique,beautiful,emotional and sweet story.Rachel was a fantastic heroine and I easily connected with her, I was so into the story that I was feeling like I was a part of it!I loved the plot so much and the <3 5 amazing stars <3 This is by far my favorite book from Sarina!! I loved everything about it! I devour it, I couldn’t put it down! It was addictive and the story was refreshing.I was hooked from the beginning and I didn't want to finish this story because it was simply amazing! Such a unique,beautiful,emotional and sweet story.Rachel was a fantastic heroine and I easily connected with her, I was so into the story that I was feeling like I was a part of it!I loved the plot so much and the characters were original.Also the secondary characters were great and this helped a lot to the story. Rachel is a young girl who lost her mother.Her biological father is the only one who can help her, he is a famous rock star who she never met before.Freddy has sent checks, but never been part of her life.I loved how the story goes.Meeting for the first time, spending time together and trying to learn things for each other. I highly recommend it, it's a must read!Favorite book for this year!Sarina Bowen did an amazing job!!     

  8. 3 out of 5

    Stacey is Sassy

    ***IT'S ALIVE!!!*** I’d be happy if this book went on forever… It’s been a bloody long time since I’ve freaked out to look at the bottom of my Kindle and see 4 minutes – 99% left in my book. I really didn’t want this story to end. I was even kind of hoping that Sarina left us a little message hinting at a The Accidentals #2. I’m slightly overwhelmed, emotionally exhausted and so giddily happy that I practically ran to my study to start my review. BUT HOW THE HELL DO I WRITE A REVIEW TO DO IT JUST ***IT'S ALIVE!!!*** I’d be happy if this book went on forever… It’s been a bloody long time since I’ve freaked out to look at the bottom of my Kindle and see 4 minutes – 99% left in my book. I really didn’t want this story to end. I was even kind of hoping that Sarina left us a little message hinting at a The Accidentals #2. I’m slightly overwhelmed, emotionally exhausted and so giddily happy that I practically ran to my study to start my review. BUT HOW THE HELL DO I WRITE A REVIEW TO DO IT JUSTICE???? See, I don’t think I’m the best judge of YA Romance stories. I’m not really a fan…except this story makes me a liar. But, I do think I’m a pretty good judge of a bloody good story and this story is BLOODY AWESOME!! Next part is a wee bit of a warning, The Accidentals made me cry A LOT. I could blame it on my cold but I was misty-eyed nearly the whole way through. What Rachel has faced in her young life broke my heart. Her strength, courage and ability to carry on with her burden of grief showed how remarkable she was. Rachel’s parents did wrong by her…from a good…ish place. Rachel’s mum Jenny had Rachel out of wedlock very young. Her mistake was keeping Rachel away from her father. Rachel’s father, Fredrick, is a world-famous musician. His mistake was keeping himself away from Rachel. Together, they gave Rachel a mixed-up twisted view of the reality of her beginning and how she came to be. It’s only when Jenny dies, Richard finally steps up to do more than hand over a monthly cheque. Geez, I went through highs and lows with Frederick. I’ll never trust the bugger but you can really tell that he doesn’t purposely act like a self-centred, egotistical, douchewaffle, it just comes naturally. When you have millions of adoring fans, people who cater to your every wish and women who throw themselves at you, who could blame him? I just kind of wished, he’d devoted more than a few weeks and days here and there to Rachel. She shouldn't have had to ask the deep and meaningful questions, he should have offered the explanations. Initially, it was almost like he was too gutless to admit to his faults. Luckily, he kinda sorta gets to a point where he becomes a real Dad. Now, I wouldn’t say this was a story focused on the romance. It almost played a second or third place to Rachel’s growth. Jake, well he was PERFECT!! Kind of nerdy, but the hot kind of nerdy. His patience and thoughtfulness towards Rachel made me a little giddy. Where were these kind of guys while I was growing up? There are some amazing additional characters we are introduced to. Too many to list here, but I will make special mention of Haze, who doesn’t stay for the whole story, but played an integral part of Rachel’s recovery after her mother’s death. Sure, Haze goes off the rails and I wanted to kick him in the ding-ding. For a time, though, he helped Rachel get through when there was no one else. Rachel’s roommate, the band guys, Frederick’s driver and parents were all great. I’m not going to mention names, but there’s one person who comes in late that I hated to love. When (no ifs) you read this you’ll know who. But, this person, you just couldn’t hate even when you wanted to. They weren’t in the wrong but they came into Rachel’s life at a really awkward time. Sorry if that was vague but I don’t want to give too much away. Anyways, I know I was a wee bit mushy gushy fangirling, but this…THIS STORY…THE ACCIDENTALS is one of my best book of 2018. I know, big call, but it was just THAT BLOODY GOOD!! I have read some awesome stories this year and I’m not discounting all the others, it’s just still a shock that I loved a Young Adult story. Will wonders ever cease…? I was devastated when The Accidentals finished and I would NOT be disappointed if Sarina Bowen decided to treat us to a wee bit more…soon…ish. Stacey is Sassy, received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided is not the final copy and may be subject to edits and changes.

  9. 3 out of 5

    Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog)

    I am proudly sporting dark smudges and Samsonite bags under my eyes. They are the battle scars of a reader who was compelled to pull an all-nighter to read The Accidentals in one sitting. I have long been a fan of Sarina Bowen’s writing, but I think this is her best work yet. It is her first Young Adult novel and she nails it! The story is breathtakingly haunting in the most wonderful way. Even my feels have feels, and I don’t know what to do with them all! I don’t read a lot of Young Adult books I am proudly sporting dark smudges and Samsonite bags under my eyes. They are the battle scars of a reader who was compelled to pull an all-nighter to read The Accidentals in one sitting. I have long been a fan of Sarina Bowen’s writing, but I think this is her best work yet. It is her first Young Adult novel and she nails it! The story is breathtakingly haunting in the most wonderful way. Even my feels have feels, and I don’t know what to do with them all! I don’t read a lot of Young Adult books. I think I’m just too old to appreciate the amount of avoidable drama caused by a lack of communication that is often found in the YA genre. Is there drama in this book? Yes. The story is tragic given all the wasted opportunities between a recently orphaned 17-year-old girl and the rock star father she’s never met. In this instance, my perspective as a more mature (aka middle-aged) adult allowed me to accept the conflicts and helped me form a balanced understanding of not only Rachel’s heartache, but Frederick’s struggles as well. I totally got these two characters. I immediately connected with bookworm Rachel and her desperate need to feel wanted following her mother’s death. She is very perceptive, but her fears and insecurities prevent her from getting the answers she craves. I love Frederick’s determination to be there for Rachel 100%, even if knows nothing about being a good parent and is unintentionally self-absorbed at times. What went down between Rachel’s parents nearly two decades ago is a great mystery that lingers throughout the book. Ultimately – just like real life – things aren’t black and white. There is no villain vs. victim. There is no grand prize winner in The Blame Game. The story is more thought-provoking as a result. Sarina Bowen skillfully weaves this poignant coming of age tale with an insightful hand. I especially appreciated the keen observations about music’s power to unite and transform. I loved the diverse cast of characters, including Rachel’s bad boy best friend Haze, her boisterous roommate Aurora, and hot nerd Jake. The Accidentals is an emotional, captivating journey that lingers long after “The End”. Recommended for fans of: Music Astronomy Hot nerds Young Adult novels *I received an early copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.*

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Reads Ravenously

    3.75 stars! I ended up really enjoying this book! I get apprehensive when authors known for romance decide to tackle the YA genre, because 9 times out of 10 they write a romance novel and just make the characters in their teens. I was very much impressed that Sarina Bowen gave us a true young adult novel and she did an excellent job. In fact, I would hesitate to even label this book as a romance. Yes there is a romantic storyline in it, but that’s not the true focus of the book. The Accidental 3.75 stars! I ended up really enjoying this book! I get apprehensive when authors known for romance decide to tackle the YA genre, because 9 times out of 10 they write a romance novel and just make the characters in their teens. I was very much impressed that Sarina Bowen gave us a true young adult novel and she did an excellent job. In fact, I would hesitate to even label this book as a romance. Yes there is a romantic storyline in it, but that’s not the true focus of the book. The Accidentals is about Rachel, a girl on the verge of 18 who loses her mom to cancer and then comes into custody under her rock star father who she’s never met before. The highlight of this book for me was the relationship development between Rachel and her father, it was what I was most interested in reading and held my interest. There were slow bits to this book and to be completely honest, I almost quit about 60% in, but I stuck it through and I am glad I did. Follow me on ♥ Facebook ♥ Blog ♥ Instagram ♥ Twitter ♥

  11. 3 out of 5

    Christie«SHBBblogger»

    Title: The Accidentals Series: Standalone Author: Sarina Bowen Release date: July 10, 2018 Cliffhanger: No HEA(view spoiler)[Yes (hide spoiler)] I'm a big YA fan, so I was thrilled when I heard that Sarina Bowen was venturing into one of my favorite genres. She's one of my auto-read/auto-buy authors in contemporary romance, and has been for some time. What I especially loved about this book was that she really went outside of her norm by placing the father daughter relationship at the forefront of th Title: The Accidentals Series: Standalone Author: Sarina Bowen Release date: July 10, 2018 Cliffhanger: No HEA(view spoiler)[Yes (hide spoiler)] I'm a big YA fan, so I was thrilled when I heard that Sarina Bowen was venturing into one of my favorite genres. She's one of my auto-read/auto-buy authors in contemporary romance, and has been for some time. What I especially loved about this book was that she really went outside of her norm by placing the father daughter relationship at the forefront of the story, and the romance was just a sub-plot in the background. I love romance, but the lack of it in a story never affects my reading enjoyment at all. In fact, I may get stoned for saying this, but I could have even done without the romantic element completely in this case. As much as I loved Jake in all of his nerdy glory, Rachel and her father needed their time to heal and work on their relationship. They were starting from rock bottom. Rachel has just lost her mother to cancer, and her entire life has been turned upside down and shaken with a vengeance. My life in Florida is coming abruptly to an end, like a familiar song shut off right in the middle of the chorus. At seventeen, her mother is the only parent she's ever known and she's not sure that she wants her father waltzing in after being ignored for so long. Financially, he has always given his support, but that does not compensate for absence of his time and love. From their first meeting and interaction, I was sad for both of them. For the missed years and opportunities that passed them by as she was growing up. Frederick seemed genuinely emotionally wrecked and hopeful for some type of real relationship with her. My first impression was that there had to be some grand explanation for his absence because of how determined he was to prove himself to her. He wasn't trying to make excuses or marginalize his parenting fail. He owned it. So for that, I had total respect. From Rachel's point of view, you could feel her internal conflict through every page. Having imagined being a part of her famous rock star father's life for so long, it now felt surreal to be living that dream so abruptly. She can't help but feel as if he was forced into the situation, and yet when given the choice to have her live with him or leave her in the hands of the state, he chose HER. For once in his life, he chose his daughter, and because of that, she knows that he deserves a chance to make things right. Our relationship is like an experiment gone awry. Maybe my father and I will never be able to hear each other properly, because so much of our beginning was spliced off and thrown away. Frederick and Rachel have a long road to healing in front of them. It doesn't help that they are their own worst enemies and have a total lack of communication. She holds her resentment and hurt inside, only letting it out in passive aggressive swipes. He likes to shove uncomfortable explanations and conversations under the rug for later. Or never. There were so many times you want to grab them and lock them in a room until they yell and scream, and come to understand each other. But it's a process, one that they need to filter through, experiment, and learn from. Don't expect perfect behavior from perfect characters, because you won't find that here. That had me conflicted for a while, because Frederick truly did some immature and selfish things as they were taking that journey together. But the character growth by the end was realistic and well earned. Jake was an amazing love interest for Rachel. There wasn't anything about him that I didn't love, and I rooted for them to admit the feelings that were brewing while she was navigating her new life. One of the things I really liked about them was that they became good friends over emails before they met face to face. His messages are like an escape hatch from my real life. They make Claiborne Prep seem like a real place. And when I read his messages, I can almost believe that the earth is still turning around the sun, and that I’m really going to a fancy new school in the fall. Then to find out that her self proclaimed nerd of a friend was just as sweet and funny and person, AND made her heart skip a beat? There was never any doubt that their crush was going to develop into more. They had an easy camaraderie and flirtatious energy between them that was unmistakable. It almost became a joke at how they seemed to be the only one who weren't aware that their crush was reciprocated. Everyone around them was just waiting for them to get with the program and make it official. I loved that Rachel was a talented singer herself. It fed into the whole music theme, while at the same time giving her and her father a common interest to help them bond with each other. Combined with their frequent walks and his persistence in consistently showing up and being present, they slowly start to build a relationship together. But the whole way, you're waiting for the past to rear its ugly head. The Talk is a long time coming, and secrets need to be aired. When her father finally put the ugly truth out there, it wasn't quite what I was expecting. It was then that you realize that he had a lot of growing up to do, and there was so simple excuse or tidy bow to place on top of everything. They were messy, they were broken, but in the end they found a way to put the shattered pieces back together again. I could have done without Haze being in the picture altogether. I wasn't his biggest fan, and the fact that they "hooked up" in the past in the circumstances that they did was a little disturbing. Rachel was the type of person who didn't speak up when something was bothering her. Unfortunately that's what happened when she didn't feel comfortable with his pressure to move past friendship and get physical with her. In no way did that excuse his behavior either in the past, or when he visited her at her school. I didn't like that she never held him accountable and confronted him, but rather the entire thing was forgotten after she made him leave. The resolution of that felt like an after thought, and I wanted to see it more defined and addressed. Overall, I thought this was such a beautiful coming of age story about a father and daughter building trust, learning how to get real with each other, and healing the wounds of their past. It was such a highly addictive, fast-paced book that I binge read almost the entire thing in one setting. Even if you're not typically a YA fan, I think you would find this story well written and easy to fall in love with. Sarina has another winner on her hands with The Accidentals, and I can only hope that there are many young adult titles in her future. I'll be the first one to sign up for every one of them. FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hollis

    I am on a roll. I'm not bothering with a review because I spent the entire day live-texting/ranting about this to a buddy (sorry Rebecca, ps please read her review, it says everything I would've said, but in a much nicer way) and that's already more time than I care to dwell on this one. I really enjoy this author but this was a total, frustrating, painful, fail for me. But everyone else loved it so what do I know.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Natasha is a Book Junkie

    “Our relationship is like an experiment gone awry. Maybe my father and I will never be able to hear each other properly, because so much of our beginning was spliced off and thrown away.” Regardless of the genre she chooses to tackle, Sarina Bowen’s superb storytelling prowess never fails to enthral, so it’s no surprise that her Young Adult debut would be something truly special. A perceptive coming-of-age tale that explores the complex entanglements of family, love, and identity on the verge “Our relationship is like an experiment gone awry. Maybe my father and I will never be able to hear each other properly, because so much of our beginning was spliced off and thrown away.” Regardless of the genre she chooses to tackle, Sarina Bowen’s superb storytelling prowess never fails to enthral, so it’s no surprise that her Young Adult debut would be something truly special. A perceptive coming-of-age tale that explores the complex entanglements of family, love, and identity on the verge of adulthood, this story felt like a breath of fresh air to me, capturing so vividly the highs and lows of a young woman’s search for truth and affection in the aftermath of a great loss. Some books are love at first read, and this was one of them for me. Continue reading this review... Follow me on Facebook! | Follow me on Twitter!

  14. 3 out of 5

    Jennifer Kyle

    3.5 Stars!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)

    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. This was such a good story! I was really excited to see how Sarina Bowen would do with a Young Adult novel. Honestly, she blew me away with this story. Once I started reading this one, I didn't want to stop. I needed to know how things would work out for Rachel. I was hanging onto every word and felt like I knew this group of characters. This was one of those books that was just a joy to read. Rachel goes through so much over the cour This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. This was such a good story! I was really excited to see how Sarina Bowen would do with a Young Adult novel. Honestly, she blew me away with this story. Once I started reading this one, I didn't want to stop. I needed to know how things would work out for Rachel. I was hanging onto every word and felt like I knew this group of characters. This was one of those books that was just a joy to read. Rachel goes through so much over the course of this book. When we meet Rachel, she is living in a children's home after the death of her mother. She has never met her father until he shows up to be introduced by the social worker. Rachel's father is a star with fans everywhere including the daughter he has never met. Rachel and her father get to know each other very quickly and before she knows it her life is turned upside down once again. I loved the characters in this book. Rachel is such a nice girl, a good girl, and there was a part of me that just wanted to see her scream and be angry. But that wasn't Rachel. As I read further I really understood who Rachel was and when she did break down she did it in her own way. She is resilient and tough and proves that she is willing to stand up for herself. Fredrick was equally great. He made a whole lot of mistakes in the years that lead up to the start of this book but in this story he is really trying to do what is best for Rachel. He does mess things up a time or two but he never stopped trying. His character may have been the one with the most growth over the course of this book. This book does so many things well. The core of the story deals with Rachel building a relationship with her father. It also deals with Rachel's grief over the loss of her mother and her desire to learn more about her parents' relationship. There is a romance that is well done and offers quite a few swoony moments. I thought another key aspect of the story is watching Rachel learn what she wants and having the courage to speak up for herself. Everything really works together to tell an amazing story. I would highly recommend this book to others. This was just an amazing story that was able to find its way into my heart. Rachel is an unforgettable character with an incredibly powerful story. I can't wait to read more from Sarina Bowen in the future. I received a digital review copy of this book from the author. Initial Thoughts I loved Rachel's story. She goes through so much over the course of this story and remains positive throughout everything. I loved Fredrick and thought that even though he makes a few really bad decisions within the story he really was trying to be what Rachel needed him to be. There is a bit of romance in the book and I thought that it was really well done. I stayed up late reading this one (which I rarely do anymore) because I had to find out how things would work out. I will be thinking about this one for a while.

  16. 3 out of 5

    Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"

    4 « bittersweet »stars for the story and 5 stars for the cover.   « An accidental is a note in the piece that departs from the stated key signature. But there’s nothing accidental about an accidental, in spite of its name. The use of accidentals adds colors and depth to the music, effectively allowing the composer an expanded color palate from which to paint.”   Ok did you understand it? Good! Maybe you are a musician. Me, not so much but how cool does it sound right?   Joke aside The Accidentals was 4 « bittersweet »stars for the story and 5 stars for the cover.   « An accidental is a note in the piece that departs from the stated key signature. But there’s nothing accidental about an accidental, in spite of its name. The use of accidentals adds colors and depth to the music, effectively allowing the composer an expanded color palate from which to paint.”   Ok did you understand it? Good! Maybe you are a musician. Me, not so much but how cool does it sound right?   Joke aside The Accidentals was only my second book by Sarina Bowen. The first one did nothing for me while everyone was raving about it. I had this “odd man” feeling you know?   I’m happy to report now that The Accidentals was much more to my taste as I read this one literally in one sitting. I had the couch imprint on my behind as a remnant of my couch reading day.   The Accidentals is really easy to read. I won’t delve into the plot as you can perfectly read the summary here above. If I had to summarize The Accidentals I would say it’s a mash up of bitter sweet sprinkled with some lemon zest to add an acidic taste. I may not be a musician but I am a cook so that will be easier to explain speaking my lingo.   The bitter (because when I eat I always begin with what I like less on my plate) -Rachel’s mom had to raise her daughter all alone. Working extra hours as a pediatric nurse to have Rachel live a decent life. When we’ll learn about Rachel’s dad and her relationship with him (no spoiling your fun here) I was left with a bitter taste. Because what the new woman had she could have had it. She should have had it.   -Rachel’s family that she could have known and enjoyed years and years ago. What a mess her coward of a father left! -Rachel tiptoeing around her father. Afraid he would hightail to LA is she dared uttering a reproach for abandoning her as a kid. I wanted her to shout and rage at him. Not be so frightened and a shell of herself. Poor Rachel. She was a sweet girl. Talented but she’s just got bad cards in life with her mom dying so young and her having to move, leaving everything behind. “I used to wonder what was so wrong with me that he didn’t want to meet me.”   The sour -Haze, Rachel’s childhood friend pushing his need on her. Sorry man she may be your best friend but pushing your need and feelings when she is vulnerable is so not OK! It left a sour taste in my mouth.   -Frederik, Rachel’s father. OK he tried. But he tried seventeen years late! And when his mom just was angry with him he left again! He came back but really how could he expect Rachel to let her guard down and trust him completely? He’s got me all riled up! And what he’s done later…I don’t want to spoil your fun so let’s just say that her dad was trying but he was so immature!   The sweet (I kept the best part for the end) -Jack. He was the one to redeem the male population in this book! Never putting pressure on Rachel, always ready to alleviate her mood. Smart (future astronomer), handsome, loyal, always respecting Rachel ….I don’t think he had a single flaw. His banter with Rachel was the light in the dark weeks and months after Rachel’s mom died.   -Aurora. Rachel’s roommate and friend. She was the lightness and fun Rachel needed. Rachel was a good girl at heart. Never did anything risky. Aurora was not what I would call wild but she was more daring and bold than Rachel. Her perfect sidekick. She was also supportive. What Rachel lacked with her dad she found it with her friends.   In short this is a bittersweet story about growing up. Overcoming drama and finding your own voice and your own path. Building your own happy future amidst a rickety road. Learning to forgive, yourself and others. Learning to trust.   I recommend this story if you are a fan of contemporary YA and are looking for something easy to read yet insightful. Have you read Sarina Bowen before? Thanks for reading! Sophie Find me on: Wordpress: Beware Of The Reader Facebook: Beware Of The Reader Facebook group : Beware Book Boyfriends Alert Instagram: @bewareofthereader Twitter: @BewareOffReader

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eliza

    ★5  STARS★ The Accidentals is the emotionally poignant story of seventeen year old Rachel Kress, and the upheaval of her life after her mothers tragic passing.  Although her father has been absent throughout her life, she’s never been in any doubt of who he is. The “he" in question is grammy nominated and multi award winning rock star, Freddy Ricks. His musical presence has been the soundtrack to her childhood, but the reality of his enigma and physical presence strike notes of discord between w ★5  STARS★ The Accidentals is the emotionally poignant story of seventeen year old Rachel Kress, and the upheaval of her life after her mothers tragic passing.  Although her father has been absent throughout her life, she’s never been in any doubt of who he is. The “he" in question is grammy nominated and multi award winning rock star, Freddy Ricks. His musical presence has been the soundtrack to her childhood, but the reality of his enigma and physical presence strike notes of discord between what she thinks she knows, and the answers she still seeks. The testament to my instant investment in this story is the result of Sarina’s flawless writing. I was immediately endeared to Rachel and the grace and bravery she exhibited at such an uncertain period in her life. The relationship between father and daughter was seamless yet fraught as they danced around the the painful decisions of the past. I felt her hesitation and curiosity and met them with my own hopeful need for her to have the happy ending she so deserved.  An additional dynamic to the story was the adorable romance between Rachel and her fellow classmate Jake. He’s sweet relief from the heaviness of home and I was grateful it gave her the reprieve to be a kid again. With perfect pacing and development, The Accidentals is an emotionally sophisticated Young Adult debut from an author i’ve long been in adoration of.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    I was in a book slump, so I thought I'd go with a Sarina Bowen because there's a high chance I'd like it, even if the main characters are younger than her usual. And that panned out very well, indeed. I'll admit I was worried for a bit, though. I mean, it's a slow start with Rachel gradually moving on from the death of her mother. So everything is dark and confusing and Bowen does as excellent job pulling the reader into that world of hopeless restlessness. And it doesn't help that her "best frie I was in a book slump, so I thought I'd go with a Sarina Bowen because there's a high chance I'd like it, even if the main characters are younger than her usual. And that panned out very well, indeed. I'll admit I was worried for a bit, though. I mean, it's a slow start with Rachel gradually moving on from the death of her mother. So everything is dark and confusing and Bowen does as excellent job pulling the reader into that world of hopeless restlessness. And it doesn't help that her "best friend" Hayes is one of those ambiguous predators that may be acting unintentionally out of the cluelessness of youth, but may be something darker as well (or become something darker). So I couldn't wait for Rachel to move out of his sphere of influence so I could stop worrying about him becoming an overt threat. Once things picked up, though, the story moved along very well and I loved seeing Rachel grow into herself and find friends, family, and eventually purpose. It doesn't hurt that Jake is Swoony McDroolerson wrapped in a bright pink (but still manly) bow. He doesn't actually have a ton of page time, even when he begins taking a bigger role in Rachel's life but when he's there, he positively shines. But the thing that really drives this story home is Rachel's father, Frederick. I loved seeing them develop a relationship and start to understand and love each other. I think Norah was a brilliant addition (as Freddy's new girlfriend) and the holidays with Rachel's newly discovered grandparents was equally brilliant. I already knew Bowen had a fantastic touch with tough characters and situations and she proved that here, again. She really floored me with a twist I hadn't seen coming (and no, not the easy one with the roommate—I saw that one coming almost from the start, though I admit appreciating how well-done it was). I mean choosing not to go as dark as I had assumed and making (view spoiler)[Rachel's panicked reaction to sex being about the fear of getting pregnant as her mother had done and the changes that would bring into her life. It was easy to assume that the experiences with Hayes had left her scarred from either the dubious consent/sexual pressure or the association of her grief at losing her mother or a twisted combination of the two. I'm glad it was the lighter option I hadn't even considered as that showed her in a much healthier state and thus much better capable of handling the reality/gravity of sex in her committed relationship. (hide spoiler)] Anyway, this is a good 4½ stars due mainly to that slow start and impatience with Rachel's patience with the despicable Hayes. I'm going to round up on the strength of the Freddy/Norah/Rachel relationship axis. That positively rocked. A note about Steamy: There are a handful of explicit sex scenes and the middle of my steam tolerance as none of them were terribly long or detailed. Frankly, I don't remember if any of them were actual sex, now I think on it. Even so, there's enough and in enough detail to back that middle-tolerance decision, I think.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elle's Book Blog

    Release Date: July 10, 2018 Genre: Young Adult Coming of Age (Musicians) Actual Rating: 3 stars Unpopular Opinion Alert: I liked this book but I didn't love it. It's hard for me to describe exactly why so I am just going to say that I wasn't in the mood for it. The Accidentals is Sarina Bowen's first YA romance novel and I certainly praise her for her amazing storytelling ability. She writes perfection and in most cases, I fall deep in love with her characters and novels. Unfortunately, this Release Date: July 10, 2018 Genre: Young Adult Coming of Age (Musicians) Actual Rating: 3 stars Unpopular Opinion Alert: I liked this book but I didn't love it. It's hard for me to describe exactly why so I am just going to say that I wasn't in the mood for it. The Accidentals is Sarina Bowen's first YA romance novel and I certainly praise her for her amazing storytelling ability. She writes perfection and in most cases, I fall deep in love with her characters and novels. Unfortunately, this book felt to me like it was missing something. Perhaps it's the fact that there wasn't enough romance? It was more of a coming of age novel with a bit of romance thrown in. I went into thinking it was a musician romance but honestly felt it to be lacking in this department. Sure, the heroine's father is a famous rock-star and she sings in a group, but there wasn't much (or enough) detail. And for the romance, she did meet someone that she fell for, but the it seemed like one moment she liked him and the next she was in love. It just didn't feel right to me. That's not to say the author did a terrible job because it she didn't. It just didn't vibe with me like I had hoped when I first picked it up. As I said, my opinion may be unpopular as it doesn't reflect others on the title. Many will fall head over heels in love with this one, so please don't let only my opinion sway you in terms of whether you read it or not. I just didn't feel it the moment I read it. Maybe if I go back to it at a future date my opinions will change.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Talia (Red Hot Ink)

    This book was a toough one. I got into it blind, since I love the author, but with a general idea of what the YA genre implied. I was expecting a cute coming of age story, but this book was way heavier than that. I am not saying it in a negative way. I liked how this book played my heart strings. It was intense, and Bowen did a great job letting the characters' actions speak louder than internal monologues ever could. That being said, I did found this novel a bit too disproportioned towards sedn This book was a toough one. I got into it blind, since I love the author, but with a general idea of what the YA genre implied. I was expecting a cute coming of age story, but this book was way heavier than that. I am not saying it in a negative way. I liked how this book played my heart strings. It was intense, and Bowen did a great job letting the characters' actions speak louder than internal monologues ever could. That being said, I did found this novel a bit too disproportioned towards sedness. The story starts from Rachel’s lowest point, her mom having just died, and throughout the novel, you could still feel the hurt caused by both her parents. It was omnipresent and while it added realism, it also made the book denser. Realism is definitely one of the major positive features of this book. Each character is flawed in a human and relatable way. If at first it was disconcerting for me to see how the story was not evolving in the way the books I normally read would, with serendipitous happenstances and good feelings thrown in to balance the bad, I started to appreciate the realism as it hightened the emotions conveyed in the story. Rachel’s character was different than the usual heroine. She’s very… average, in a good way. She has her hobbies and passions, but she’s not a genius, or overly-sassy or sterotypically beautiful. Many readers will be able to relate to her insecurities and personality. The other key character of the story, in my opinion, was not her love interest, Jake, to which I’ll get in a minute, but her father, famous musician Frederick Richards. Their relationship was very human, and the misunderstandings made sense, considering that they had never seen each other before. Still, I have to say, I saw Rachel’s non-confrontational attitude towards Freddy as quite troubling. Her hurt in reaction to his actions felt so real and so deep that I ended up wanting to slap Freddy more times than I actually supported the dude. Now onto Jake. I loved Jake. 100% great guy. Nerdy, but also fun, and attractive and thoughful. I would have loved to read more about him. But here lies the issue. I felt like his character could have been given more space. Sometimes I felt like he was there as a pawn for the narration, rather than being a human being with his own flaws and thoughts and feelings. For example, when a question arose regarding his similarity with his brother, I would have loved to really dig into that topic and bring Jake’s insecurities to the surface a bit more. That being said, I adored the guy. He was the sunshine to Rachel’s justified glum, and I smiled every time I read his name of the page. On the other hand, I was quite confused about Haze. I started the book loving him, then pitying him, then I was just confused about his role in the book and whether it was truly that necessary. Regarding the plot, I found it unconventional but interesting how the author took her time with Rachel and Freddy’s introduction at first and their dynamics, with her transferring to Clairborne Prep almost halfway through the narration. It gave the reader something to look forward to, but also a ground for Rachel and Freddy’s relationship, budding as it may be. The writing style is very solid and this book kept me hooked. I literally could not put it down, and YA is also a genre I don’t usually read because it does not grab my attention anymore, so extra kudos to the author for that. I liked the characters, the story was gripping and very emotional. The reasons why the last star fell are two. Again, the book is great anyway, but I feel like I need to express these thoughts I kept having while reading. First, the story was quite complex, with many intersting secondary characters, to the point though that some “more important secondary characters” felt a little dull because they were not given enough space (Jake and Haze). And this book was so interesting, the characters so relatable that I wanted to know more about them. I felt like there could have been so much more to be said. If this book had had another couple hundred pages of backstories on them, or simply a deeper insight into their lives, I would have been over the moon. Even simple things like Aurora’s relationship, or Freddy’s past with Rachel’s mom… at the end I just felt like not all loose ends had been tied and I just wanted to know more. The other minor critique is that the ending was a bit anticlimatic. This novel is the story of Rachel Kress’ life after her mother’s death, which signals a justified starting point. However, the end was quite arbitrary and almost abrupt. Again, I am calling forth realism in justifying the author’s choice, because I understand that in life conflics and issues don't end when the word “end” is typed, but still, considering everything Rachel is put through, even though involuntarily, the final confrontation between Freddy and Rachel didn’t truly satisfy me, and her situation seemed still very uncertain. Overall, a gripping and highly emotional YA debut for Bowen, who does not shy away from complicated relationships and human nature at its best, as well as at its lowest. I would be really interested in reading a sequl of The Accidentals in the future, as, as I said, the only real flaw this book has is that it left me wanting to know more about these characters.

  21. 3 out of 5

    Quinn's Quippy Quotes

    Usually when I review an ARC, I take my time doing it. I review all my highlights, go over the multiple pages of notes, then I sit down the next day to write my review. Not with this book. This review is going to be a cathartic act for me. Because I have so much emotion inside me right now, and I'm dying to let them free. Sarina Bowen is a top favorite author of mine. She does gut punch like nobody's business, but when I found out that she was going to write a YA novel? OMG. I couldn't wait. This Usually when I review an ARC, I take my time doing it. I review all my highlights, go over the multiple pages of notes, then I sit down the next day to write my review. Not with this book. This review is going to be a cathartic act for me. Because I have so much emotion inside me right now, and I'm dying to let them free. Sarina Bowen is a top favorite author of mine. She does gut punch like nobody's business, but when I found out that she was going to write a YA novel? OMG. I couldn't wait. This book is a constant gut punch. It hit me hard. I was on the verge of tears on a constant basis. Now some people may roll their eyes at that, but I'm a very empathetic reader, and one of the subjects that tears at my heart strings is feeling neglected. Rachel. God, I wanted to reach through this book to hold her and never let go. Sarina describes Rachel's emotions exquisitely. How do you move on in your life when everything that was your present is no longer in existence? How lost she was. And lonely. And starving for love. And the only one there left to love her is the man that has failed to acknowledge her existence for the last 17 years. The man that she's admired from a distance. The man admired by millions. My favorite YA's are the one's that have an element of romance with the primary focus on something much larger. Watching Rachel and Frederick navigate their new relationship was HEARTBREAKING. Wow. Rachel gutted me. This child was so torn between starving for the love she desperately needed and holding on to the resentment that accumulated the last 17 years. I loved her journey from loving him from a distance, to forgiving him in present. And Frederick did not make it easy on her. If you enjoy flawed characters, you NEED to read this book! This book is real. It's raw. It's life. We're human. We make mistakes. We have regrets. But Frederick's regrets are surprising in their explanation, and it broke my heart. This book was EVERYTHING. Stunning. I'm in awe. I'm always craving for what Sarina will put out next and I'm hoping for another YA! A top read of 2018. **ARC provided in exchange for an honest review

  22. 3 out of 5

    Rebecca

    2.5 STARS I adore Bowen, and it makes me sad to report this is my least favorite work she's written. Rachel was immature, and while I didn't dislike her per se, she never truly won me over. Frederick was so unlikeable, and I could never warm to him despite his reasonings. I adored Jake and Aurora and they were the main forces that had me continuing with the book. Even with the character drama, the main issue was the choppiness of the plot. There were numerous random events occurring that were men 2.5 STARS I adore Bowen, and it makes me sad to report this is my least favorite work she's written. Rachel was immature, and while I didn't dislike her per se, she never truly won me over. Frederick was so unlikeable, and I could never warm to him despite his reasonings. I adored Jake and Aurora and they were the main forces that had me continuing with the book. Even with the character drama, the main issue was the choppiness of the plot. There were numerous random events occurring that were mentioned but never again addressed; it was bizarre and unfulfilling. At the end of the day...I still love Bowen and realize it's nearly impossible to truly enjoy everything an author writes. I hope her next work finds us in a happier place.

  23. 3 out of 5

    *The Angry Reader*

    ***ARC received for an honest review*** ”Music has always been my drug of choice.” We all know Sarina Bowen is my drug of choice. And that I’m a total bitch about YA books. Common sense would dictate that maybe I hesitate when I hear SB has written her first YA. What if I hate it? What if it ruins (the completely one-sided) love affair we’ve got goin on? When you put your heart out there it can get stomped. But I’m glad I took this risk. I went in with questions. How much angst? How much steam? Wa ***ARC received for an honest review*** ”Music has always been my drug of choice.” We all know Sarina Bowen is my drug of choice. And that I’m a total bitch about YA books. Common sense would dictate that maybe I hesitate when I hear SB has written her first YA. What if I hate it? What if it ruins (the completely one-sided) love affair we’ve got goin on? When you put your heart out there it can get stomped. But I’m glad I took this risk. I went in with questions. How much angst? How much steam? Was it going to be flat out stupid? How would Sarina’s characters - with their flaws and huge hearts - feel through a YA lens? Would there be a cocky hero? Rachel’s mom has just died making Rachel a ward of the state. Her music star dad comes into the picture for the first time in her life. This part of the book is bleak. Wanders a little. I couldn’t tell the import of some of the characters (what role exactly is Rachel’s bear friend destined to play). For the first 30% I wasn’t sure where we were going or if I’d like it. But there’s a change of scenery. Stronger, more-defined and meaningful characters fill out the picture. Rachel has a lot of questions and a lot of anger. This book wasn’t a love story. It was growth story. A girl starts out some place shitty - some place she got through no fault of her own. And she has big adventures. And her heart hurts. And she’s mad. And people never quite do what that girl needs them to do. But she’s a good person. A good character. We root for her. We enjoy her meaningful and difficult and beautiful moments - and we’re glad she shared them with us.

  24. 4 out of 5

    ~ Stéphanie ~ Tied up in Romance ~

    Sarina Bowen’s first YA novel left me on a high note! Throughout the story, Rachel, a shy eighteen years young woman grew on me. Her life has drastically changed when her mother died. Never knowing her famous rockstar dad is her tragedy. Alone and with no one left, Frederic finally does the right thing by taking care of her daughter. I’m not a YA reader but for Sarina I was willing to try because I lover her writing, how she put her story together and how she gives us incredible characters. The Sarina Bowen’s first YA novel left me on a high note! Throughout the story, Rachel, a shy eighteen years young woman grew on me. Her life has drastically changed when her mother died. Never knowing her famous rockstar dad is her tragedy. Alone and with no one left, Frederic finally does the right thing by taking care of her daughter. I’m not a YA reader but for Sarina I was willing to try because I lover her writing, how she put her story together and how she gives us incredible characters. The blurb was promising so it really was a no brainer to pick up this story. The Accidentals is a tale on self-discovery, letting go and growing up. Even if the book was not a complete winner for me I would still recommend it to all YA readers because of Rachel’s sweetness. She is a good girl wanting to do the right thing and most of all who doesn’t want to disrespect her mother’s memory and repeats the mistakes of the past. ~ I voluntary read a copy of the book provided by the author ~

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenny - TotallybookedBlog

    “Have you found what you were looking for here?” Have I? I still don’t know…”I’m working on it,” I say. The Accidentals is a wonderfully emotional YA from Sarina Bowen, one of our much-loved Authors. A coming of age story where a seventeen year old girl is facing a tragedy whilst at the same time having to face a confusing and much-needed confrontation with the past thereby exposing vulnerability and her childlike need for love and acceptance. We loved the family dynamics of this story and how t “Have you found what you were looking for here?” Have I? I still don’t know…”I’m working on it,” I say. The Accidentals is a wonderfully emotional YA from Sarina Bowen, one of our much-loved Authors. A coming of age story where a seventeen year old girl is facing a tragedy whilst at the same time having to face a confusing and much-needed confrontation with the past thereby exposing vulnerability and her childlike need for love and acceptance. We loved the family dynamics of this story and how the romance took a back seat to a father and long-lost daughter finding their feet under testing circumstances. “I’m almost used to you now,” I whisper. He does not reply.’ Rachel was a complex character. Whilst we sympathised with her tremendously we also faced great frustration at her character. Whilst yes she’s young, we did find it odd and ‘un-teenage like’ not to want to find out more on where she came from, how and what exactly happened to place her in the situation she finds herself in. She’s had to overcome so much in her short life and her present and future looks heart-breaking as she tries to find herself and where she belongs. Such a sweet and lovable girl who at moments through the book had us welling up. ‘Our relationship is like an experiment gone awry. Maybe my father and I will never be able to hear each other properly because so much of our beginning was spliced off and thrown away.’ Rachel knows who her Dad is; through his lyrics, his music and stalking him on social media. We broke at the almost lost puppy like behaviour snatching crumbs where they lay. We wanted to grab Rachel out the book and cuddle her something fierce. She’s looking for answers but has no idea on how to actually ask for them, she’s an emotionally closed book at times and her Dad is a bit of an enigma who tries his best but definitely won’t win best Dad award, but when you’re a famous musician living the lifestyle, your father skills do not come naturally overnight. Rachel’s teenage angst and anxiety brought on by the unfamiliar and the loss of the familiar is overwhelming. ‘I can picture Mom looking down…listening to me blend my voice with the others. Standing there, concentrating on the notes, it’s possible to be sad and happy at the same time.’ This was something different from Sarina Bowen and we very much enjoyed it. A beautiful story of hardship and overcoming tragedy. A story of discovering who you are and finding love and belonging where you least expected it. It was highly emotional at times and we loved the romance which brought a ray of sunshine to a girl’s troubled life. Available to purchase below Amazon US Amazon UK Come visit and follow us at: ✲ TotallyBookedBlog ✲ TBB on Facebook ✲ TBB on Instagram ✲ TBB on Twitter ✲ TBB on Pinterest

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    I'm not sure where to start with this book. There were so many facets to it, and so much to admire. First of all, I enjoy Sarina Bowens' other books. She has a way of roping in a reader on page one and keeping you tied up until the last page. Both nuanced and immersive, her contemporary YA debut sparkles just as brightly. The Accidentals begins with Rachel, a teen who has just lost her mother, and without family to take her, she's put in the custody of her biological father, a famous rocker who s I'm not sure where to start with this book. There were so many facets to it, and so much to admire. First of all, I enjoy Sarina Bowens' other books. She has a way of roping in a reader on page one and keeping you tied up until the last page. Both nuanced and immersive, her contemporary YA debut sparkles just as brightly. The Accidentals begins with Rachel, a teen who has just lost her mother, and without family to take her, she's put in the custody of her biological father, a famous rocker who she has never met, but always secretly idolized. All her life, Freddy Ricks has sent checks, but never been part of her life, until now. Her father’s rock 'n' roll lifestyle isn't ready made for the sudden appearance of a teenage daughter, but he adjusts, and the two begin to carefully navigate their newfound father-daughter relationship. Despite Freddy's work to prioritize Rachel, she can't trust him. The question is always there—WHY did he leave her and her mother? Why did he stay away, and will he abandon her when she needs him the most? As a fan of rags-to-riches stories, I was addicted. That element was delicious and well delivered. I couldn't pull away from Rachel's story, and I found myself waiting for the answers to her questions with just as much urgency as the character. Freddy Ricks is a well crafted character, full of flaws and complexities and depth, as is Rachel, who starts out handling her relationship with Freddy like it's fragile as glass, but knows eventually, she'll have to test him AND herself. The cast of supporting characters is also rich and well developed and important to the story. The Accidentals digs deep into complicated relationships—some made murky by past mistakes, some tested by the unexpected, and some deepening against all odds. This is a story to sink into and think about long after the final page. I received an advanced copy from the author. This review reflects my opinion of the book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    bookbruin

    Edited 8/12/18 Audiobook Review Overall 5 stars Performance 4 stars Story 5 stars Even though I read the ebook, listening to the story made the emotions and moments so much more powerful in The Accidentals. This is the first title I have listened to narrated by Kate Rudd, but I really enjoyed it. She performed male and female voices very well and was able to switch seamlessly between youthful teenagers and adults. My favorite voice was definitely Rachel's roommate, Aurora. I did find the pacing of he Edited 8/12/18 Audiobook Review Overall 5 stars Performance 4 stars Story 5 stars Even though I read the ebook, listening to the story made the emotions and moments so much more powerful in The Accidentals. This is the first title I have listened to narrated by Kate Rudd, but I really enjoyed it. She performed male and female voices very well and was able to switch seamlessly between youthful teenagers and adults. My favorite voice was definitely Rachel's roommate, Aurora. I did find the pacing of her narration a little slow overall, however, so I did end up listening to this title at 1.25x. I really loved this story and can't recommend the book or audiobook enough! ***** This was such a heartfelt and poignant coming of age story. It packs a huge emotional punch and I didn't want it to end. This is Sarina Bowen's first YA novel and I hope this is the start of many more to come. The Accidentals is such a relatable story. The situations and challenges may not be the same, but the emotions and feelings will resonate with readers. Haven't we all felt lost and confused? Angry and overwhelmed? Wanting all the answers, but scared of the answers we seek? This book is a love story, but not just in a romantic way. It is also a love story between parent and child, between friends - new and old, and to those we call family - by blood or by choice. The beauty of this book is that each character is so wonderfully human. They make mistakes and horrible decisions. They're sometimes selfish and clueless. They hurt others when that's the last thing they want. What makes these characters endearing though is that they get back up and keep trying. They may not get it right the first time (or the 20th), but they don't give up. Add in a wonderful cast of secondary characters (loved Jake, Ernie, and Aurora!) and you've got something pretty darn close to perfect. The relationship between Frederick and Rachel evolved through the entire book in such an honest and realistic way. Both had their lives flipped upside down and irrevocably altered so quickly. When we first meet them, there is so much baggage from the past and a minefield of questions and secrets they have to wade through. I loved seeing both characters grow, change, and mature. Hard truths had to be faced and yes, there were some heartbreaking moments as the past and present came together. Through it all though, Sarina Bowen weaves a tale of hope. Hope that where everything wrong turns right. I didn't want this book to end and as much as I hope that we might see more of these characters again in the future, I also feel that Sarina Bowen leaves readers exactly where they need to be as they turn the last page. I can't recommend The Accidentals enough! *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book*

  28. 3 out of 5

    Grace

    4.25 stars This story follows the common themes in the Young Adult genre, discovering one's self, taking chances and finding a path for the future. Within those themes is the more emotional theme of finding love and acceptance from the man who ignored the heroine for seventeen years, yes 17. Rachel Kress grew up raised by a single parent, all the while knowing her Dad was living the good life as a popular rock star. And despite never meeting the man, still looked up to Frederick Richards, aka Fred 4.25 stars This story follows the common themes in the Young Adult genre, discovering one's self, taking chances and finding a path for the future. Within those themes is the more emotional theme of finding love and acceptance from the man who ignored the heroine for seventeen years, yes 17. Rachel Kress grew up raised by a single parent, all the while knowing her Dad was living the good life as a popular rock star. And despite never meeting the man, still looked up to Frederick Richards, aka Freddy Ricks. Then one day, the only person who truly showed their love for her, leaves, and Frederick makes his first appearance in her life. There are two main parts to this story, Rachel and Frederick's struggling relationship, and Rachel's journey as a senior at a new school. I'll tackle the father/daughter relationship first. It can't be easy for a teenager to suddenly be faced with being raised by a stranger. Adding to that difficulty is trying to grasp the conflicting emotions of finally meeting an idol of sorts, while knowing how that idol selfishly put his dreams before you. So, it was easy to understand the highs and lows Rachel and Frederick faced during this time. For Rachel's part, I honestly think she made things too easy for Frederick in the early stages. And that led him to fall into old habits. For Frederick's part, I could see how he was trying to become part of her life, but his lack of experience showed. Both Rachel and Frederick struggled with honesty, keeping secrets from each other, that sometimes cause more conflict than necessary. Their lack of communication and honest at times, didn't help either. But despite those mistakes, their growing pains are just that, and with time, things begin to turn around. The lighter and more fun side of the story was Rachel's new journey at Claiborne Prep. I loved how she embraced everything about the school, showing a passion for learning. But the highlight is her blossoming relationship with Jake Willis, her peer liaison. At first the two just trade emails, but upon meeting each other, quickly connect with a friendship following. I loved how they interacted and encouraged one another. Along with her new roommate, Aurora, Rachel finds comfort and direction for the first time since her Mom's passing. There is some drama involving Rachel's childhood friend Haze, which I didn't think she handled well. But given her age and immaturity, I gave it a pass. It also took some time for me to understand her issues with intimacy, drawing some of the same incorrect conclusions as Jake did. But eventually the issues made sense. This is a sweet coming of age story, with some emotional moments, but overall a light and fun read. *An ARC was received for an honest review. For more reviews, visit

  29. 3 out of 5

    Janine Ballard

    4.2 stars It’s the summer before senior year and seventeen-year-old Rachel Kress should be concentrating on grades, friends, and having fun. Instead, Rachel is grieving for her mom. Rachel’s mother never spoke of her father at all. Rachel was in third grade when she realized that the man who sent the child support checks must be Frederick Richards, aka Freddy Ricks, whose songs caused her mom to turn off the radio. Rachel has long been her father’s fan, but she’s never been his daughter before. Now 4.2 stars It’s the summer before senior year and seventeen-year-old Rachel Kress should be concentrating on grades, friends, and having fun. Instead, Rachel is grieving for her mom. Rachel’s mother never spoke of her father at all. Rachel was in third grade when she realized that the man who sent the child support checks must be Frederick Richards, aka Freddy Ricks, whose songs caused her mom to turn off the radio. Rachel has long been her father’s fan, but she’s never been his daughter before. Now, with her mom dead of cancer, Rachel is living in a children’s home. Hannah, the social worker assigned to her case, has contacted Frederick at Rachel’s mother’s last request, and for the first time in Rachel’s life, Frederick shows up. Frederick, whose name was not on the birth certificate, pursues getting custody. But Rachel’s oldest friend, a boy named Haze, tells her not to trust her father, and Rachel is unsure if she can. After all, he’s been absent for all her seventeen years. Before her mother’s death, Rachel begged to be allowed to spend senior year attending Claiborne Preparatory Academy in Claiborne, New Hampshire—the town where her parents first met. Rachel thought she could uncover their past there and learn what caused her father’s abandonment of her. Rachel has been accepted to Claiborne, but Haze, who wants to be more than Rachel’s friend, doesn’t want her to leave Orlando—not for Claiborne, and not for her father’s Los Angeles home before that. Since his own father committed suicide, Rachel and her mom have been Haze’s port in the storm. Then there’s Jake, the nerdy boy who is Rachel’s peer liaison at Claiborne, and who emails Rachel to roll out the welcome mat. Jake’s emails are a much-needed distraction from grief and confusion, so Rachel doesn’t tell him about her mother’s death, her father’s fame, or that she and her dad are strangers. The conversations between Rachel and Frederick are awkward and tentative. His house in California, when Rachel arrives there, feels oddly empty, except when his fellow musicians fill it, or when a wild party is taking place. Rachel also learns she has relatives that she never knew about. She can’t tell if her father doesn’t know how to be a parent, or if he doesn’t care enough about her. Soon, Rachel is headed to Claiborne, and Frederick surprises her by following her there. In Claiborne, Rachel will meet Jake, Aurora, a new roommate from Spain, and join an a cappella singing group, all while negotiating her fragile and fraught relationship with her father. Will Rachel ever recover from her grief? Will she ever feel safe enough to show the anger she feels to her father? Can she tell him that she too, has a love of music? What is going on with her roommate’s relationship? Who will Rachel choose between Haze and Jake? And will she ever get the nerve to ask her father what happened between him and her mother, and why he left? The Accidentals was so tender and moving that I think it’s one of your best books, up there with Understatement of the Year, my previous favorite. Like some of the best YA novels, this is an initiation story as well as a coming-of-age story, except that Rachel is initiated into two different worlds—both her father’s world of being a rock star, and Claiborne Academy. Rachel asks the questions that young people her age have asked since time immemorial—Who am I? Who do I want to be? And she feels that her very identity is tied up with her mother and father’s unknown past. Her need to be loved and accepted by her only remaining parent is wrenching at times. There is an aloneness, a loneliness to Rachel, and a yearning that only a loving father can fill. She and Frederick take one step back for every two steps forward as her fear of Frederick’s rejection wars with her need to believe in him. This is a partial review. The complete review can be found at Dear Author, here: https://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/o...

  30. 3 out of 5

    Bookgasms Book Blog

    Oof. This book packed a punch, and not exactly in the way I expected it to. If you're familiar with Sarina Bowen's writing, you'll be happy to know that the compelling storytelling and engaging writing style is present here. The Accidentals was an easy book to fall into, and it kept me hooked throughout its entirety. What's a little different here is that, while there is a romance in this story, it's not the main focus. The real star of the show is the relationship between Rachel and Frederick, Oof. This book packed a punch, and not exactly in the way I expected it to. If you're familiar with Sarina Bowen's writing, you'll be happy to know that the compelling storytelling and engaging writing style is present here. The Accidentals was an easy book to fall into, and it kept me hooked throughout its entirety. What's a little different here is that, while there is a romance in this story, it's not the main focus. The real star of the show is the relationship between Rachel and Frederick, a father and daughter story. It is an emotional, sometimes heartbreaking thing to experience. It's complicated, and it felt so real to me, so familiar, that it resonated greatly. There is a part of me that would actually have liked to dive deeper into their story, to have seen a little more grit to their emotional exchanges. However, as they worked on untangling the web of complications that was their relationship, the end result left me in a weepy mess. It was sweet, emotional, and ever so lovely. As a secondary storyline, Rachel's romance with Jake was completely adorable. He's a sweet, charming hero and I found him completely irresistible. This is a young adult story, so the heat between them is pretty tame, but their chemistry kept me on the hook all the same. I was also completely charmed by Aurora, Rachel's roommate and scene-stealer extraordinaire. She provided some much needed comic relief and another rich layer to the storyline. I adored their friendship - which also felt very real, and authentic to me. In all, this was a fantastic read. It hit me in the feels, sometimes in uncomfortable places, but then it smoothed out the bumpy patches and left my heart very full. I loved seeing the growth and evolution of Rachel over the course of the story. She's a likable, relatable heroine - it was easy to cheer for her even if sometimes I wanted to give her a good shake. I adored her, and I loved her story. A solid YA debut, and I definitely hope it's not the last from this author! ~ Shelly, 4 Stars **** The Accidentals was a sweet and heartwarming story that I was hooked on the minute I started. It tells the story of Natalie who is at a crossroads of sorts at her life as the tragic death of her mother forces her into contact with the famous musician father she has never known but who she has always listened to. This story was a sweet and honest depiction of a girl who is forced to navigate the unknown while enduring both ups and down on the road to figuring out her place. I really enjoyed this story and thought that Rachel was sweet and awkward but so honestly refreshing. I enjoyed her banter with Jake and thought the way she navigated her relationship with her father was realistic. I enjoyed the extended cast of characters and overall thought this debut YA story from this author was an enjoyable read. I would definitely read more YA books by this author in the future. Bravo! 4 stars! ~Ratula

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