Title: White Smoke
Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Thriller, Contemporary
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: September 14, 2021
The Haunting of Hill House meets Get Out in this chilling YA psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story from New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson!
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.
Seventeen-year-old Marigold and her family move from their home in California to a Midwestern small town where her mom has accepted a job that includes a free house. The rest of the houses on the street are abandoned, and the neighbours in the area are suspicious of everything. As soon as they arrive, things start going wrong in the house. Doors open on their own, lights turn off, shadows appear in hallways and items disappear. Mari’s ten-year-old stepsister starts talking to an imaginary friend in the house, who wants Mari to leave. As the incidents in the house increase and become more dangerous, Mari has to do whatever it takes to save her family.
This story had some heavy subjects that I wasn’t expecting. I didn’t think there would be as many realistic elements as there were. Some of these serious subjects were drug addiction, overdose, and a severe allergic reaction. Though this was a spooky horror, there were a lot of realistic implications to the story.
I really enjoyed this story. I liked that the ending made sense and was logical. The only thing that I would have liked to see was justice at the end. There were many layers of destruction happening in the community, and I would have loved to see the events after the story finished where they got what they deserved.
White Smoke is a thrilling horror story!
What to read next:
The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Horrid by Katrina Leno
Have you read White Smoke? What did you think of it?