Wow, that a fun retelling of “Carrie” by Tiffany D. Jackson. She did her own spin on it, and incorporated many different elements that make it more updated. I have to say though, I wish that Jackson had followed along with how King chose to end Carrie. The ending on this one didn’t really work for me and it was honestly not realistic. It took me out of the story a bit.
“The Weight of Blood” follows a podcast that decides to take on the case of Madison (Maddy) Washington. The podcast hosts go into whether Maddy was responsible for the deaths of the teens and some adults in a small town in Georgia in 2013/2014. One of the hosts believes that Maddy was telekinetic, but the other one talks more about the harm that the school and her fellow classmates did to Maddy after the reveal of the fact that she is biracial comes out. This novels follows the same format that King’s Carrie novel does. We follow in the “past/present” with some of the characters, we have the podcast hosts transcripts, and other offerings by people who survived the horrific Prom Night event.
I thought the initial part of the book with how Maddy gets revealed as biracial as a bit cartoonish. I don’t know how other Black readers felt. But reading about Maddy and her father’s fear of the rain had me going are you serious? I have gotten my hair wet, it doesn’t just turn into an afro. And I say this as someone who grew up with their mother hot combing their hair until I turned 16. But after we get past that, the book settled into a nice rhythm for me. I also thought that Jackson did a better job than King did with Jackson’s take on Sue Snell (Wendy) and Tommy (Kenny). Jackson does a great job of developing everyone enough that you actually feel physical pain when the body counts start to rise. You want everyone to make it out. She also does a nice job of talking through colorism without you wanting to yell at anyone which is a feat in of itself.
The writing was good, I thought it was great to turn the character of Carrie’s mom into Maddy’s dad. There was a lot there I wanted to explore more of, but we don’t get a chance.
I thought the flow of the book worked very well.
The setting of Springville High and the segregation still happening at the time of the book felt realistic and just sad. I thought Jackson did a great job with how Kenny and his sister felt and how different their experiences were due to colorism.
The ending as I said above, didn’t quite work for me. It just read as unfinished. I wish it had followed King’s model a bit more there.