Title: The Weight of Blood
Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Contemporary
Publisher: HCC Frenzy
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Author Tiffany D. Jackson ramps up the horror and tackles America’s history and legacy of racism in this YA novel following a biracial teenager as her Georgia high school hosts its first integrated prom.
When Springville residents—at least the ones still alive—are questioned about what happened on prom night, they all have the same explanation… Maddy did it.
An outcast at her small-town Georgia high school, Madison Washington has always been a teasing target for bullies. And she’s dealt with it because she has more pressing problems to manage. Until the morning a surprise rainstorm reveals her most closely kept secret: Maddy is biracial. She has been passing for white her entire life at the behest of her fanatical white father, Thomas Washington.
After a viral bullying video pulls back the curtain on Springville High’s racist roots, student leaders come up with a plan to change their image: host the school’s first integrated prom as a show of unity. The popular white class president convinces her Black superstar quarterback boyfriend to ask Maddy to be his date, leaving Maddy wondering if it’s possible to have a normal life.
But some of her classmates aren’t done with her just yet. And what they don’t know is that Maddy still has another secret… one that will cost them all their lives.
Maddie Washington has always been teased by her classmates for being different. She’s quiet, keeps to herself, and has wears old-fashioned clothes. When she’s caught in the rain one day during gym class one day, they learn her biggest secret: she’s biracial. Her classmates bully her even more, making fun of her hair by throwing pencils at her. Some students put out viral videos, which show how deep the racial roots are in this small town. Wendy, the popular white cheer captain, decides to make a change so her racist friends don’t look so bad to the rest of the world. She organizes the town’s first interracial prom, and she asks her popular Black boyfriend to ask Maddie to the dance so that she fits in. However, Maddie has one more secret that will destroy the town.
The Weight of Blood is a retelling of Stephen King’s Carrie. That’s my favourite King novel so I was so excited to read this one. There were some Stephen King Easter eggs throughout the story. The ending of this book wasn’t exactly the same as Carrie, so I was surprised at the twists.
The racism in this story was disturbing. Maddie’s white father tried to make her appear white and kept her away from the Black community. Maddie’s classmates said and did horrible things to her, including dressing in blackface. They even had segregated proms. I find it shocking and disturbing that this kind of thing can happen today. Hopefully, books like this one will promote change in the future.
The Weight of Blood is a fantastic retelling of Carrie with an important message.
Thank you HCC Frenzy for giving me a copy of this book!
What to read next:
White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson
Carrie by Stephen King
Have you read The Weight of Blood? What did you think of it?