Tiffany D. Jackson knows how to write truly creepy books! WHITE SMOKE is about a teenager named Marigold. Her mom has accepted a job that comes with a new house they get to live in for free. If the family stays for one or two years (?) they get to keep the house. But soon after moving in, creepy things start to happen that convince Marigold the house is haunted.
Also an exploration of gentrification, and mass incarceration, this novel was truly one I did not want to read at night. I liked it well enough, but did feel it was a tad too long. I was also kind of uncomfortable with how the conversation around weed was handled. As someone that regularly uses weed to help deal with my anxiety and to help me sleep, some parts of this made me cringe. That being said I can empathize with why the choice was made and try to reserve judgment. If you’re in the mood for a haunted house story this will definitely fulfill that desire.
I want to read other Jackson novels (ALLEGEDLY & GROWN being the top two I would like to get to), having only read MONDAYS NOT COMING. MONDAYS NOT COMING is the stronger novel, in my opinion. I thought it was tighter, and Jackson did a much better job carrying the suspense throughout the whole novel. I felt WHITE SMOKE was also trying to send out too many messages at once, but MONDAYS NOT COMING felt more focused. That ending still haunts my nightmares and it still holds a place in my heart for being one of the best YA I have ever read.
[ID: WHITE SMOKE by Tiffany D. Jackson rests on purple flowers outside. It is sunny.]