Review: The Weight of Blood

Title: The Weight of Blood
Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
Release date: September 6, 2022
Age-range/genre: Young Adult / Thriller, Horror, Sci-fi
Trigger warnings: racism, child abuse, hate crimes, blood, murder
Summary: [from goodreads]

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.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Weight of Blood is a fantastic horror novel, a modern retelling of Carrie with so many twists and turns and full of great writing.


• overall thoughts •

A brief synopsis: The Weight of Blood bounces between the aftermath of Springville’s 2014 prom that had ended in bloodshed, and the events leading up to prom. It centres around Maddy, a social pariah who has been passing as White her entire life up until now. When secrets are revealed and her telekinetic powers start to develop, things begin to get very messy…

I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this novel. It’s been a while since I watched Carrie, but I remembered the overarching plot, and could not think of how a retelling could add any twists to the story to make it more enthralling. I was so wrong, because having this set in modern day and telling the story through a racial lens made it hard to read but impossible to put down.

If they treated her that way believing she was white, who knew what they’d do if they knew the truth?

• discussions of race •

Sometimes I would forget that this was a book set in modern day, until there was a mention of phones and social media etc. In a small town like Springville, it seemed that outside of technology there had not been much progress in terms of politics and how people are treated. There was still a segretation between races, and many white adults and teenagers did not see this as a problem because it’s always been this way, why does it have to change?

The book tackled different discussions about race, privilege, and performative allyship, as seen through the characters and how they were treated. Maddy had had to pretend to be White due to her father’s insistance that it was something meant to be hidden. Similarly, Kenny, the all-star footballer, would shy away from any discussions of race, wanting to just fit in with his white peers and get on with his day. In stark contrast, Kenny’s younger sister was vocal about the way Black students are treated. It altogether provided really nuanced outlooks on race and segregation.

• writing and storyline •

The writing itself was wonderful and visceral. Jackson did a fantastic job in anchoring us into a realistic story of racism in a small town, but tying in the fantastical elements of supernatural powers. I really enjoyed Maddy coming into her own and developing her powers, and seeing just how powerful she is at the end of the novel.

Non-linear storylines and mixed media novels are my soft spot, so I was so happy to see these elements in the novel. Integrated into the story are news articles following the disaster Prom incident, reporting on the tragic events that befell Springville. Along with that, we had transcripts from a true crime podcast trying to uncover what really happened that night, bringing in survivors or other guests. It added so much depth as it allowed us to see the outside perspective as well as what Maddy was really experiencing.

Seems like your whole life you’ve been doing what other people want you to do. But what do you want?

• character development •

I loved seeing Maddy open her eyes and embrace herself, and learn more about the world and herself. I do wish we had gotten more of her character development, but I understand that she had been hiding from everyone, including herself, and that she still had a long way to go by the time the novel ended.

Almost all the main characters were living lives set out for them by other people, or trying to be people they were not. Maddy hiding herself because of her father, Kenny shedding away any other aspects of his identity to focus on football, and Wendy emulating her best friend to be the picture-perfect person. While I wish there had been some more development, seeing them all take steps to embrace their true selves was rewarding too.


Overall, I thought this was a wonderfully written and riveting novel. I think it was the perfect book to read during this spooky month, because it was so atmospheric and uneasy to read. It’s strange to describe a book I found so unsettling to be fun, but I definetely did enjoy my time reading this.


Thank you for reading!
Let me know if you have any horror book recs!

Links for the Weight of Blood:
tiffany d. jackson’s website


9 thoughts on “Review: The Weight of Blood

  1. I’ve seen a few mixed reviews for this one but with each positive review I read, the more I want to pick it up immediately—even though this is also out of my comfort zone as I am a total chicken. 😂 I loved mixed media so I love to see that this has it as well. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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