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The Haunting of Hill House meets Get Out in this chilling YA psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story from New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson! – Good Reads
“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 neighbours 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?”
One of those spooky stories
I learned this one quickly: don’t listen to the audiobook version of White Smoke once you’ve climbed into bed and have gotten all cosy. It’s one of those spooky stories that you can’t put down/stop listening to once you’ve started. But it’s definitely not one to read before sleep! Not unless you want to dream about spooky going-ons in your own house. Which isn’t ideal when you’re sleeping next to an infant who makes spooky noises as it is.
White Smoke isn’t a story that I would usually find myself picking up. However, seeing as it was the Book Club pick for March I thought, ‘why not!’. It deals with themes that my usual books don’t deal with – namely, drug use – but this adds a layer of depth to the story that also challenged my usual gut reaction to such topics. Themes of mental health, gentrification and the supernatural are entwined effortlessly to tell the story of Mari and her family’s stay on Maple Street.
Not one to only share the positives, I did find the writing quite hard going and difficult to concentrate on at times. Because of this, a book this length that I could usually read in a few days, took most of the month and I think this impacted my enjoyment of the story. There were a few times where I wondered if it was worth persevering with the story, or putting it down.
What about you? What did YOU enjoy about White Smoke? What other books have you found hard work, but worth the read at the end? Share in the comments below!