Book Review: White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

Posted September 18, 2021 by Richetta in #ownvoices, Arc Review, Book Reviews, Young Adult / 0 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Book Review: White Smoke by Tiffany D. JacksonWhite Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson
Published by HarperCollins on September 14, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Horror, Young Adult Fiction / Thrillers & Suspense / General
Pages: 384
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop
Also by this author: Santa in the City, The Weight of Blood

So you like to read horror books, you say? But are you prepared to be shook by the queen of plot twists? We shall see. Since I want to avoid spoilers, I decided to take a different approach to my review of White Smoke by TIffany D. Jackson. So, check out my five pieces of advice on reading the new thriller White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson. Do this and you will be prepared for the awesome scary, horror-filled experience that is White Smoke.

5 Pieces of Advice for Reading White Smoke

1. Are You Afraid of the Dark? Keep Your Night Light ON

This book is spooky, Twilight Zone, what-was-that-noise scary. I last two nights of reading before I declared that to be a done deal and that I would find time to read before the sun set in order to finish the book.

2. Shaking Up My Reading Schedule

The only reason I took as long as I did to read this book is because I had to switch up my reading schedule. The plot was written so well that I decided it was too intense for me to read at night. I mean all the spooky scary things happen to Mari at night. I was like, you chick I have to catch you in the daylight before I start thinking something is about to grab my ankle or something while I’m lying in bed reading about you. No ma’am I am too old and at risk of having a scary book heart attack. Check out my previous post, Friday Night Highlights: White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson Has Me Shook, on some of my experience while reading.

3. Buddy Read Recommended

You will need the support! I didn’t have anyone to read it with so when I saw a few fellow reviewers tweeting about it I joined in the conversation. I felt so much better because I thought I was the only one taking a long time to read it because I just couldn’t bring myself to read it at night anymore. Don’t have a buddy to read it with? You are more than welcome to come back here to the comments section to engage. Or you can find me on Twitter @BooksCocoa or Instagram @CocoaWithBooks to discuss.

4. The Queen of Twists

I walked into this book afraid of Ms. Jackson’s penchant for twists. I have not read her other books yet, but I have definitely heard of her reputation for making readers throw books at the wall. So I don’t know why I decided to start my reading of her work with an actual scary story, but here I am. And yes, I am currently a bona fide scaredy cat.

5. Be Prepared to Be Shooketh

Even though I was scared, I got so into the story that whenever I got shook by something I was like, Whew! What in the world?! (nervous laughter, looks around.) I got into the story of Mari and her plight with bed bugs, moving to a new town and dealing with a blended family with a super creepy step sister. Every turn had me hooked.

Scaredy Cats and Thriller-Lovers Will Both Love This Book

Now that you have some advice to help you out, you should know that this BOOK WAS GOOOOOOOODDDDD!!!!!! If you like scary spooky stuff you will love it. If you are a scaredy cat, you will still love it. A lot of my anxiety came from knowing that the author was going to lay down a twist that was going to catch me off guard. But it was worth it. I have another grey hair, but it was worth it I tell you.

Bonus Hint: I knew there was some Twilight Zone vibes going on with the people who lived in Cedarville! I was listening to the Ms. Jackson speak about her book the other day and she mentioned that she got some inspiration from “The Monsters Due on Maple Street: Season 1, Episode 22 of The Twilight Zone, Written by Rod Sterling.

To Recap:

  1. Keep Your Night Light On
  2. If you are a nighttime reader, consider switching to the daytime.
  3. Get a buddy to read with you if you can, you will need the support.
  4. Mentally prepare yourself with the knowledge that Ms. Jackson is the queen of twists and there is nothing you can do to prepare yourself except buckle your seatbelt.
  5. Embrace the shooketh feeling, it’s all part of the fun.


I came for… Tiffany D. Jackson’s reputation for immersing you in a story and then wacking you upside the head with something unexpected, but in a way that you are mad but still appreciate the journey. Which is exactly what I got.

I stayed for…. the thrilling suspense of trying to find out what was after Mari. Also, if she was going to get caught growing that Mary Jane.

Hot Cocoa Moments: This is a hard one because I don’t want to spoil. But I will stick with the reference to being reintroduced to the song “Hay” by Crucial Conflict!

Would I Read it Again: Yes. I’m still scared, but I’d read it again to see if I could pick up on the clues the second time.

Educator Recommendations:  Listen, if you want to teach the art of suspense and mystery, then use this novel as a mentor text. The kids will love it, they will talk about it and most importantly, they will re-read it for details their classmates caught but they might have missed. This is chef’s kiss for plot twists. If you have been teaching Poe who buries people’s hearts under floorboards and bodies in walls, then you can read about a haunted house on Maple Street.

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