Carrie White is a high-school student who is an outcast. She lives with her religious fanatic of a mother and is very much alone. One day, while taking a shower in gym class, she gets her first period. Since her mother never taught her about the menstrual cycle, she thinks she is dying and starts hysterically screaming and crying. The other girls find this hilarious and start throwing pads and tampons at her, jeering to “plug it up”. Then suddenly, a lightbulb explodes. The gym teacher punishes the bullies with detentions, but the worst of the girls, Chris, refuses to participate in the detention, and she is suspended and not allowed to go to the upcoming Prom. One of the other girls, Sue, feels bad about how she treated Carrie and convinces her boyfriend, Tommy to invite Carrie to be his date to the Prom.
Meanwhile, Carrie has been discovering that she has telekinetic powers. When her mother tries to force her into her “prayer closet” to repent for becoming a woman, Carrie is able to use her powers to force her mother off of her. Carrie’s powers seem to come out when she is under emotional stress, so I sure hope nobody does anything stupid like dump a bucket of pig’s blood all over her at the prom!
Written in 1974, Carrie was Stephen King’s first published novel, and it is rightly considered a horror classic. Fun fact, when King started the manuscript, he thought it was garbage and threw it away. His wife, Tabitha, picked it up out of the trash, read it, and convinced him to continue to work on it. If not, would he have had the literary career he has had?
The Weight of Blood
Maddy Washington has lived her whole life in a small Georgia town passing as a white girl. She is half-black, a fact her white father despises. She is outed one day at school when she gets caught in a freak rain storm and her carefully straightened hair frizzes out into it’s natural state. The other kids in her class start throwing things into her hair, making it stick. She gets upset, and there is an earthquake so intense that the windows of only that classroom explode.
Surprise, this is a Carrie retelling, and Maddy has telekinetic powers as well! There are a lot of differences, however. A lot of the story is told from the perspective of after the prom through podcasts, news articles, and government hearings. I really don’t want to tell any more, because if you have read or seen the film Carrie, you should definitely read this. Tiffany D. Jackson did a fantastic job of making Maddy a sympathetic character and gave her a lot more backstory than Carrie had.
CBR 15 Bingo – Violence. Violence is inflicted on and by the main characters in both of these books.