Tiffany D. Jackson is an auto-read author for me. She puts out a new book, I will read it. She has proven again and again she’s the queen of plot twists and I was excited to read her for horror novel – and autumn seemed like the perfect time to give this a try.
Title: White Smoke
Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Marigold and her family move from California to a town in the midwest, very different from what they’re used to. The town they move into looks completely run down except for the house they’re given for free – Marigold’s mom is a writer and they were given the house so she could create more work.
Mari’s family consists of her mom, younger brother Sammy, her step-dad Alec and younger step-sister Piper. There is tension between the family members – one of the reasons they left California was for a clean start, since Marigold overdosed on drugs. Her family are worried she will relapse, even in a new town.
The setting is desolate and ready for things to go bump in the night. The house they are given has some rules – like you cannot go into the basement. That’s never a good sign. Mari starts to smell and hear things and she seems to be the only one. Nobody (except Sammy) believes her, thinking she must be high or on something again, like she used to be.
She tries her best to fit in, but finds herself making friends with a girl who smells of weed – weed is the only “drug” Mari will let herself near now, just to calm her nerves. Her argument is how it is legal in some states – but not where they live, unfortunately. It is an interesting debate about marijuana in this book and if someone should go to prison for years for smoking or possessing it.
Still, Mari sees shadows and hears things in their newly renovated house and when her friend Yusuf tells her the town rumor is that their house is haunted, Mari needs to find out the truth.
Unforunately, this story just missed the mark for me. It wasn’t really scary, to me this was just…weird. I never felt scared and I’m used to Tiffany’s books having some sort of huge mind blowing plot twist. This still has a plot twist, but its very predictable in my opinion.
I really wanted to love this one but its just ok to me. There was also a lot of questions left unresolved the end of this – nothing major, but I have a LOT of questions about side characters/plot points and nothing gets answered.
I still plan to read Tiffany’s next book as I enjoy her writing – her horror novel just wasn’t it for me.
I thought the audiobook was well done, it was fun to listen to this at night (especially since its getting dark earlier in autumn!) and gave an extra spooky element to this. If you skip the audio though, I don’t think its a big deal and you aren’t missing much.
I’m rounding up to 3 stars on Goodreads – I seem to be in the minority with this one, and I’ve love all of Tiffany’s previous books but this one missed the mark for me. I think I went into expecting too much, expecting such a great plot twist and this one was predictable to me. Still a fun spooky read for October (or any month!) and I’d still recommend this one if you’re interested!