Hey y’all! Let me start off by saying that I had an idea on reading suspense books this month. One of the teachers I follow on Instagram even has a hashtag, #creepinitreal, and lots of people share the scary books they read for October, however, I had no such plans. I’m not one who gravitates towards the horror genre. I mean I’ll watch a scary movie but, reading a scary book? No M’am. I’m not entirely sure why…well no I do have an idea why. First of all, watching a scary movie is one thing. Reading it is another. That’s time really invested in horror. I don’t know. The thought of reading horror is eerie to me and it scares me more.
But I digress. I wanted to read thrillers this month but for one of the book clubs that I’m in chose to read a Horror/Thriller book and I was like, there’s no better time to get over my angst. So the majority of the club chose to read the book White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson. This was her first venture into YA Horror and have gotten a rave review from R.L. Stine, like thee R.L. Stine! Want to know what I thought of it? Keep reading to find out.
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.
Let me start off by way by that this book was not a bad book. If was well written and it def made me wonder wtf many times. Now with that said, I was mad most of the book. I was annoyed with Mari’s obsession with weed (I know the reason why was found out later in the book BUT still). I would’ve like a trigger warning for this book but since there wasn’t one, I’d say be aware of the subject of overdose and drug addiction.
I love how they kind of addressed the issue of gentrification, which if you don’t know what it is, it’s basically when white businesses drive out predominately black and brown business and homeowners/renters and put in white (mainly) businesses and revamp the area. No regard is shown for the folks who actually love there. While yes I get wanting to better a community but, should we do it by driving out those who already live there? In the book, it was referred to To The Future Campaign. Where they wanted to bring the city of “Centerville back to its former glory with a brand-new look” *insert eye roll here*.
Anyway, the book touched on that and people (mainly people of color) being imprisoned (at Big Ville as they call it) for drug use. They were thrown in there for even having weed on them. It blows my mind how so many people are in prison for drug use instead of being sent to rehab. Marijuana is the same drug that now free (in some places) to use recreationally or can be used by those with a medical card while there are thousands of people incarcerated for smoking it. Black people are 3 times likely to be arrested for marijuana than their white counterparts (ACLU).
I was mad that with all that stuff happening in her house she chose would be alone in there like nooo if scary stuff is happening around me and stuff keeps breaking and moving or whatever I’m staying by myself. If I’m by myself I will call a friend to stay on the phone with me til it’s safe like no! I will say, I’ve been in an actual haunted house before. It was from my cousins who rented it and the previous tennant raped and killed kids or just raped them. Pretty much, some awful things happened in that house and I won’t say it was full of ghosts, it had some demons in there. The door would randomly close, “nobody” knocked on the door, hell, the cross that they had posted up “somehow” fell off the wall. I used to be terrified in that house BUT I wasn’t by myself ever in there just in case. So her choosing to be alone in those circumstances was a HELL F**K NO in my book, I don’t care how much my family is getting on my nerves.
And Piper, I don’t care but I hate that little girl. It was still her fault I don’t care what was going on with her. Wrong is wrong. I don’t know like it’s always in scary movies the kids who the ghost or spirits befriend and who usually cause chaos to the family. Like okay I get she was having a real rough time herself but she shouldn’t do things to the detriment of other people, especially family!
4/5 stars! I recommend this
What Thriller/Suspense/Horror book are you reading? Also, if you want to post your books on instagram, use the hashtag #creepinitreal and post any of the following books: A “who dun it”, YA Mystery, A spooky book only at night, a book set in a creepy house, a spooky adaptation and then watch it, or a spooky book with a badass female lead. Don’t forget to tag @lizlikes_books (she’s the one planning this whole thing) on Instagram!!