Review: The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson

Posted September 29, 2022 by Angie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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Review: The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. JacksonThe Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on September 6, 2022
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult Fiction
Format: eBook (411 pages)
Source: Library
Purchase: AmazonIndieBound
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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.

four-stars

Proceed With Caution:

This book contains racism, the N-word, bullying, child abuse, blood, gore, death, dismemberment, religious fanaticism, and psychological abuse.

The Basics:

The Weight of Blood alternates between a show transcript called “Maddy Did It,” excerpts from written accounts, and third person perspectives of several of high school seniors. The main character being Maddy Washington, a girl who everyone mostly ignores until a random rain shower reverts her hair to its natural state. Revealing that she’s not some mousy white girl in this tiny town in Georgia, but a Black girl who’s been hiding for years. This triggers a series of events that just keeps getting worse and worse and worse. Until Bloody Prom Night.

My Thoughts:

Even though I’ve never read or seen Carrie, but I am familiar with the basic concept, I was super excited to see what Tiffany D Jackson would do with this story. The Weight of Blood did not disappoint! I did not want to put this book down, staying up way too late to finish it. I had to know how Maddy’s story would end and what really happened at the Prom. I can’t comment on how it compares to the source material, but it was open enough to fill your head with possibilities, but still closed enough that you had a pretty good idea where everyone wound up. Except for one character…

The Weight of Blood hooked me from the beginning. Obviously, I knew enough to know what was going to happen in general, but the author uses this story in a way to tackle some serious issues regarding race and identity. Maddy has been raised to hide her Blackness at all costs by her father. Living in a town where the high school still holds segregated Proms may gave you a hint as to why he felt that was necessary. Meanwhile, the popular students claim to not be racist because they hang out with Kenny, their star quarterback who is Black. And they bullied Maddy when they thought she was white, so why does it matter if they keep it going now that they know the truth?

Except that their “pranks” on Maddy get exponentially worse once they find out her true identity. But these kids are just awful and don’t get it or don’t want to get it and it all escalates sooo quickly. No one here even had a chance. Because while they’re planning their first integrated Prom to show that they’re not racist, Maddy is learning to hone her newfound telekinetic abilities, which have proved useful in keeping her safe from danger thus far. At least until something so heinous happens to her that she just snaps…

Anyone familiar with Carrie will know how The Weight of Blood goes down. But that should not stop you from read it! This book was great! Yeah, it was disturbing, distressing, and gruesome. But it pulls on very real events that sadly still go on to this day. Sure, it has a supernatural twist, but I think people do need to face the consequences of their actions. Is all of this destruction Maddy’s fault for “overreacting”? Or is it the vile students fault for treating her so poorly? Maybe it’s her father’s fault for keeping her hidden away and ashamed? Or maybe it all goes much deeper than that.

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