Review: White Smoke by Tiffany D Jackson

Title: White Smoke
Author: Tiffany D Jackson
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Release Date: September 14th, 2021
Page Length: 384
Genre: Horror | Thriller
Age Range: Young Adult
Rep: Black (OwnVoices), anxiety, delusional parasitosis, lesbian side character
Rating: 5⭐

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Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


Content Warning (above horror related): anaphylactic shock, anxiety, child death (off page/descirbed), delusional parasitosis (bedbugs), divorce, drugs addiction, needles (EpiPen), sleep paralysis

Thanks to Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve loved Grown by Tiffany D Jackson and this one continues the 5 star trend. From the moment I started the book I was hooked. I feel in love with Mari (Marigold) almost instantly, despite her flaws and her abrasiveness at the beginning. Jackson did a great job at slowly unveiling Mari, Cedarville, and the towns people. We learn a little bit every time – never getting a full info dump – making us wanting to stay despite the overall feeling of unease/ creepiness. Jackson’s ability to make the reader squirm right along side the characters is brilliant! I felt every chill, feeling of unease, and unseeing eyes staring at me right along with Mari. There were times where I wanted to put the book down because of the overall unseeing feeling I was getting; but of course couldn’t put it down – another binge worthy book by Jackson. The twists and turns of this book had me reeling and guessing. My jaw dropped at that final reveal. The only negative thought throughout the entire book (really not thought of until writing this review) was that you may need to suspend your disbelief – but really who came here for logic?

This was an amazing haunted house story that I can see myself reading again to see what I missed the first time around – see if Jackson left any hints of the twist that I missed. I will say, this isn’t for the faint of heart – I think trigger/content warnings in this case may help a lot of those with anxiety to determine if this is one they’d be willing to read. I absolutely loved it with the overall feeling of uneasiness and it was even better reading at night!

Check out these diverse reviewer’s thoughts too: Tani Reads, What Ambria Reads (Spoiler Review), iamcaseyrkelley, and Cocoa with Books.

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