Sunday, October 4, 2020

YA Review: Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

Title: Grown

AuthorTiffany D. Jackson

Year Published: 2020

Category: YA fiction
Pages: 320 (including notes and index)
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map)USA (NY, GA)

FTC Disclosure: I paid for this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Award-winning author Tiffany D. Jackson delivers another riveting, ripped-from-the-headlines mystery that exposes horrific secrets hiding behind the limelight and embraces the power of a young woman’s voice.

When legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots Enchanted Jones at an audition, her dreams of being a famous singer take flight. Until Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night. Who killed Korey Fields?

Before there was a dead body, Enchanted’s dreams had turned into a nightmare. Because behind Korey’s charm and star power was a controlling dark side. Now he’s dead, the police are at the door, and all signs point to Enchanted.
 
Review: Can we talk about that cover? It think it is stunning. And Tiffany D. Jackson has done it again with an outstanding YA book that is timely and powerful. I loved the other book of her's that I read, Monday's Not Coming and this one is just as good.

Enchanted can sing and wants to be a star, which is what allows her to be pulled into Korey Fields' world so easily. Jackson shows how powerful men (and women, but mostly men) get what they want, how the people around them support them by aiding and then looking away. And when a young girl (Enchanted is 17 years old) or her parents raise alarm bells? The police treat the victim as if she is at fault. And if the victim is a black woman? It's even worse.

This book has characters that the reader can empathize with, hate, be afraid of, and want to save. The story starts with blood on Enchanted's hands and body in the "now," but mostly shows us how she got there. The courting, the promises, and the slow release of abuse are all so effectively written that I stayed up well past my bedtime to finish this book last night.

The author's note at the end gives resources for those in abusive relationships and discusses why she felt the need to write this novel. I love that, more than once, she says, "this is not about R. Kelly." But the note ending with a link to the website muterkelly.org makes the author's feelings crystal clear.

This book is about power. The power to control, the power of money and fame, and the power that powerful men have and how it is wielded over young women. It's important, well written, and I urge you to read it. 

Challenges for which this counts: 
 

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