Warning: do not start reading this book without a box of tissues at your side!
There. You were forewarned.
Yes, dear readers, this is a real tear-jerker of a novel. But don’t worry—that’s not its only claim to fame. Not by Accident is actually one of the most thought-provoking, beautifully-written books I’ve read in a long time. Each page whispers of themes so critical and so relevant to every single person, especially teens: the dangers of peer pressure; how important it is to be comfortable with yourself and to resist being a follower when your conscience screams at you not to; how to disassociate yourself from the “personalized” yitzrei hara in your life.
The book has its comic relief, too, such as the regaling of Leeba’s doll Avigayil Shprintza’s sorry demise, back when Leeba was an impulsive and bored seven-year-old. But mostly, the book pulses with the love that is inherent (though not always apparent) between two sisters. Anyone with a sister of her own will be able to relate to the sibling rivalry, competition, and jealousy that exists between Rosie and Leeba—and to the impossible-to-explain-but-impossible-to-ignore fierce love, protectiveness, and understanding that exists simultaneously and that underscores all the hard feelings.
Not by Accident is an excellent read, perfect to buy as a gift for that voracious reader in your life—or for yourself.
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