No Accident

Sourcebooks/Fire. Dec. 2022. 288p. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781728206769.
Gr 9 Up–Hayley knew something was seriously wrong, and that was before a plane crash stranded members of her high school’s touring basketball team and cheerleading squad on a deserted island. Teenage social hierarchy falls apart when a battle for survival takes precedence, and Hayley watches with interest as her peers’ personalities and relationships change on the island. When a series of incidents hurts and frightens members of their group, the teens question whether someone else is on the island or if they are being targeted by one of their own. Hayley believes the attacks are connected to an end-of-tour party that happened the night before the plane crash, and she orchestrates a trial for the whole group to learn the truth. A lyrically descriptive narrative paired with a simmering plot creates a riveting work of suspense. What starts as a tale of survival quickly morphs into a thriller, and then into an examination of gender, sexuality, and consent. While some of the issues come across a bit heavy-handed, the debates that take place in the final act are thought-provoking and morally complex. Five of the seven teens present as white, one girl is Japanese American, and another girl is Black. Some characters seem designed to fit certain stereotypes, but others are given real depth. This novel would provide a nice contrast when paired with classics like Lord of the Flies and And Then There Were None.
VERDICT An exciting tale of desert island survival becomes a shrewd commentary on women’s survival in a patriarchal society. A riveting choice for most collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing