The Weight of Blood – Tiffany D. Jackson | ARC Review

Title: The Weight of Blood
: Tiffany D. Jackson
Genre: YA, Mystery/Thriller/Horror
: September 6th, 2022 (Katherine Tegen Books)

Synopsis: 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.

Thank you to the publisher, HCC Frenzy and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Maddy Washington has always been bullied at her high school in a small Georgia town. But when a sudden rainstorm reveals her to be biracial – something she has been forced to hide by her white father – things go completely downhill. After a video of Maddy being bullied is leaked and goes viral, exposing the racist roots of the school and town, the student leaders devise a plan to change their image by hosting the school’s very first integrated prom. Kenny, the school’s star quarterback, is convinced by his popular girlfriend to ask Maddy to prom and Maddy is hopeful that things might still turn around for her. Some of the students aren’t done with her yet though and they plot a cruel prank for prom night. But Maddy has one more secret she is still hiding that will make prom a bloody night none of them will ever forget.

When I first came across this title a couple of months ago, I nearly skipped it as I do with most horror novels, but then I noticed who the author was and took a second look. I enjoyed White Smoke last year and it was such an interesting read that I knew I had to give this book a try, especially as the premise made me so curious. I keep saying I won’t pick up horror themed novels, but I might have to make an exception for this author’s books, because they’re fast becoming books I can’t resist picking up. I’ve never read Stephen King’s Carrie, but I do have a general idea of the story, and this book is a pretty close retelling of it, albeit with a more modern setting, bringing in the themes of bullying and racism.

I liked the way it was narrated, switching between present day, a crime podcast called ‘Maddy Did It’, and past, in 2014 Springfield as the events occur told from multiple POVs. The buildup throughout the story was seriously epic. We know from the synopsis that something major happens at prom, and the author has done such an amazing job at building the tension and setting the scene, showing the days leading up to prom from different perspectives, and it really kept me at the edge of my seat.

The major critique I have for this book is that there really should have been content warnings right at the beginning for bullying, racism and abuse, and to an extent for the graphic violence and death, though the latter two are more expected in this genre. This book is targeted at a YA audience, but it managed to shock me as an adult reader and several scenes were actually very disturbing. It would have been good to have some advance warning and know what to expect even if they weren’t directly triggering for me.

Overall, The Weight of Blood was an interesting read – certainly an atmospheric one, and that shocking conclusion does not disappoint! As for the ending, I rather liked the way things were left. It wasn’t all wrapped up neatly and there were a good many questions left unanswered, but it was realistic and I appreciated that a lot. This is definitely one book to add to your TBRs this Halloween! Highly recommended!

The Weight of Blood releases on September 6th, 2022.

Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
All quotes in this review were taken from an advance reader’s edition and may differ from the final version of the book.


10 thoughts on “The Weight of Blood – Tiffany D. Jackson | ARC Review

  1. Kira September 18, 2022 / 2:33 am

    I’ve just finished White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson and loved it! I can’t wait to start this one

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fadima Mooneira September 18, 2022 / 8:41 am

    This is not my kinda genre. But it does sounds like an interesting read from your review. And the cover looks stunning too. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bournemouthgirl September 18, 2022 / 11:45 am

    I haven’t heard of this book before. It isn’t usually what I read. But you have written a very detailed and honest review. Thank you for sharing.


    Liked by 1 person

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