Leslie is used to watching her step, living with her strict mother and navigating the social minefield of her high school. She wants more from life than the popularity that comes from a boyfriend she might not even like that much, but can’t help but feel welcomed into the group lead by her longtime crush, Cain. When Cain starts to notice Leslie she can’t help but feel good, but things get complicated when she befriends Cain’s girlfriend. Add in the mysterious new guy, Dennis, who seems to get Leslie despite her misgivings and all of a sudden life and love just got a whole lot more complicated.
I really enjoyed Accidents & Incidents! Riley Graham has created a cast of characters that are not only realistic and relatable, but truly likeable as well. From the first page I was invested in the outcome for the protagonist Leslie. She’s sweet and fumbling like any teenage girl might be and has a strong desire for something more in her life. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Leslie and her mother. Although her mother is at times nitpicky and demanding of her daughter, I could feel the love that backed up her actions and wanted so badly for she and Leslie to get on the same page. When Leslie’s mom finally starts to get the breaks in life that she deserves I cheered for her and for Leslie as well.
Accidents & Incidents has a central love story that is both endearing and complicated. I found myself rooting for Leslie as she slowly figured out which boy was really right for her. Teenage love in real life is complicated and I found this book to reflect all of the roller coaster emotions of that. I like that the romance is a central storyline but that it doesn’t dominate the entire novel. The reader is drawn into Leslie’s entire life, including friends and family, with the romance rounding out the perfect equation. Every relationship is well-roudned and moves the story forward.
I would recommend Accidents & Incidents to both young adults and adults alike. It is a clean contemporary romance suitable for any age level. Teens will relate to Leslie and her struggles and adults will be drawn back to a time in their life when everything is uncertain in that familiar teenage way.
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