‘Accidentally Me’ by Kim Karras finds main character Sabrina desperate to find a way to leave home and go to college out west. The problem is that she feels there is no way her parents are going to let her go all the way to California. She considers herself an accident since she was born so long after her two other siblings, and since her sister and brother seem to take up much of her parents’ attention and money, she doesn’t think she stands a chance of getting out of her hometown unless she comes up with a reason why she must leave.
It stands to reason, at least in Sabrina’s mind, that the only escape is to hire a pretend stalker who will scare the wits out of her dad, who will in turn insist that she get as far away as possible from where they live so she can be away from said stalker. Her shenanigans, however, result in some uncertain feelings over the person she hires – a guy named Calvin with whom she went to high school. At first he seems kind of strange, but then he starts saying sweet things and spending time with Sabrina, prompting her to reconsider the whole stalker debacle and wonder if a real relationship might be in the works for her. Calvin is kind of a mystery wrapped in an enigma as the novel progresses. It is hard to make out what his intentions really are, and Sabrina’s feelings become a breeding ground for even more uncertainty about whether she should leave her home, whether she should be with Calvin, and whether her life really is the accident she’s always made it out to be.
Sabrina’s relationship with her sister develops nicely over the course of the novel, and her relationship with her parents is all too real for how parents might seem some of the time – especially when one thinks his or her opinions don’t really count, like Sabrina believes. The symbolism of Sabrina working in the zoo and talking about all of the animals that live in captivity there was also a nice addition to the novel, as Sabrina clearly feels that she is stuck in her hometown, much like an animal stuck in the zoo rather than roaming free.
Karras did a nice job in ‘Accidentally Me’ of showing how, despite one’s best intentions, things can go awry, yet life can still be full of surprises, despite the odds it may seem are stacked against a person.
You can find ‘Accidentally Me’ by Kim Karras here.