Thursday 15 September 2022

Book Review: The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson

The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson book cover

AD* | 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.

The Weight of Blood is a Young Adult horror novel that certainly packs a punch!

The book tells the story of Maddy Washington. She's a biracial teenager in small-town America, forced by her overbearing father to keep her head down and pretend she's white. The golden rules in the Washington household? Keep your head down, stay out of trouble, and avoid the rain at all costs. 

When a surprise rainstorm reveals Maddy's secret, it isn't long before she becomes even more of a target for bullies. But with so much changing all around her, it isn't long before a well-intentioned plan for an integrated prom begins to lift the lid on changes happening to Maddy herself. When everything comes to a head on prom night, the town of Springville will be changed forever.

Race and equality are key themes in this book, yet the torment Maddy faces because of her hair is just another part of daily life for so many teens who are bullied for the colour of their skin. Honestly, it's crazy to think that some schools in the US are still reluctant to hold events like integrated proms in this day and age.

The book is told partly through flashbacks of the events leading up to prom and the night itself, and also partly through the means of a documentary years after that fateful night. This is interesting not only for its originality but also because it means many events are partly revealed through the documentary before they are explained in the flashbacks. It's pulled off very well and is certainly a memorable style of storytelling.

The Weight of Blood is an excellently written, highly engrossing read which I thoroughly recommend.

Rating: 4 stars

The Weight of Blood is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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