Social Media Icons

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Review: White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

White Smoke
by Tiffany D. Jackson

A huge thanks to BookSparks & Katherine Tegen Books for this gifted book.

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publish Date: September 14, 2021
384 Pages
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Psychological Thriller

Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs. Her mom has accepted a new job with the Sterling Foundation that comes with a free house, one that Mari now has to share with her bratty ten-year-old stepsister, Piper.

The renovated picture-perfect home on Maple Street, sitting between dilapidated houses, surrounded by wary neighbors has its . . . secrets. That’s only half the problem: household items vanish, doors open on their own, lights turn off, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there’s a foul smell seeping through the vents only Mari seems to notice. Worse: Piper keeps talking about a friend who wants Mari gone.

But “running from ghosts” is just a metaphor, right?

As the house closes in, Mari learns that the danger isn’t limited to Maple Street. Cedarville has its secrets, too. And secrets always find their way through the cracks.

My Review:

I have such a soft spot for YA horror. As the second book I've read by this author (first being Allegedly which I also would highly recommend), I have already catapulted her into a favorite author spot. 

I couldn't figure out what this book reminded me of and then I realized that it delves into the same theme that Alyssa Cole's 'When No One is Watching' does: gentrification of a neighborhood/community and y'all, that truly is some scary shit and is so unfair in how it happens and really pisses me off. The horror part of WHITE SMOKE isn't necessarily from the shadows that follow you or the creaks and noises in the night.  The way things go missing. The fact that your new little sister has a new "friend" she blames everything on. Or even how Buddy (the dog) starts acting strangely.  The horror is in how unfairly the rich, White people are slowly killing a community that they can then renovate and make money from.  The horror is in planting drugs on people and sending them unfairly to jail.  The horror is in how Maribel needs to stop being treated as an addict and get some proper help for her severe anxiety and paranoia of bed bugs.

My heart went out to Maribel... and Sammy... and Buddy... and even little Piper.  Blending a family and moving to a brand new place where you know no one and having to start over... especially at their ages.  And Jackson does a great job in showing the dynamics that occur within.  I enjoyed seeing Maribel and Yusef's friendship blossom.  I loved the banter between Maribel and Sammy.  I hated Alec- ha.  And I certainly wasn't expecting that ending! 

There's a lot to unpack in this book.  I low key hope Jackson is writing another book so we know where this family goes from here because I felt like I got lit on fire and left to burn. 🤣.  It's always a good thing if a reader wants more though, am I right?

But also dammit... I live in NYC and the threat of bed bugs is real and now I'm going to be eyeing every single little thing and hoping like hell I'm just finding coffee grounds. UFFFFFFF

"Change is good. Change is necessary. Change is needed."


No comments

Leave a Comment