Summary (from the publisher):
When Enchanted Jones wakes with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night, no one—the police and Korey’s fans included—has more questions than she does. All she really knows is that this isn’t how things are supposed to be. Korey was Enchanted’s ticket to stardom.
Before there was a dead body, Enchanted was an aspiring singer, struggling with her tight knit family’s recent move to the suburbs while trying to find her place as the lone Black girl in high school. But then legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots her at an audition. And suddenly her dream of being a professional singer takes flight.
Enchanted is dazzled by Korey’s luxurious life but soon her dream turns into a nightmare. Behind Korey’s charm and star power hides a dark side, one that wants to control her every move, with rage and consequences. Except now he’s dead and the police are at the door. Who killed Korey Fields? All signs point to Enchanted.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Tiffany D. Jackson’s Grown is a stand-out young adult must-read for 2020. The book follows seventeen year old Enchanted Jones, who dreams of becoming a singer. When she meets a legendary R&B artist, Korey, at an audition, Korey takes Enchanted under his wings. Soon though, Enchanted’s biggest dream of working with an artist like Korey turns into her biggest nightmare. Grown is filled with heavy content – sexual assault, rape, abuse, drug use all included – but it was such an addicting and important read.
Grown was very easy for me to fly through because I needed to know what happened next and quickly fell into Tiffany D. Jackson’s storytelling. I started Grown on a Sunday night and had it finished by the following Monday morning. However, the book is filled with very heavy content. Korey is 28 years old while Enchanted is only 17, which makes their relationship illegal and very complicated. Korey also abuses Enchanted. Her fear was very difficult to read. It was super uncomfortable to read the story at times, but I totally understand the author’s purpose and honestly, the fact that we as readers are likely supposed to feel uncomfortable by Korey’s actions. While Tiffany D. Jackson states in her author’s note that while her book is inspired by a case, it is not about R. Kelley. It was extremely frustrating, but unfortunately realistic to read that no one believed Enchanted’s side of the story. It was also so, so frustrating to understand how many people knew about how Korey treated Enchanted and other women.
The book alternates between Enchanted’s present, when she wakes discovering blood all over the pace in Korey’s apartment, and the events leading up to this moment. I really liked this storytelling and the different formats Tiffany D. Jackson uses, from police reports to interviews with detectives to even group text messages between Enchanted’s peers. I thought Tiffany D. Jackson balanced Enchanted’s past with the on-going ‘murder mystery’ well – it didn’t necessarily really feel like a thriller to me, but at the same time, it makes the reader rethink everyone’s role in the book. Grown delves much into how Enchanted’s peers, her family, and society view her as she grows closer with Korey and starts making headlines, leading to more and more scrutiny. The novel also provides much discussion on how Enchanted is viewed very differently and often feels more pressured because she is young Black woman.
Overall, I really enjoyed Grown because it shed light on so many relevant issues and conversations. This is such an important book for readers all of backgrounds to read and will help readers think deeply about many of the current conversations surrounding race and sexual assault victims. I look forward to diving into the rest of Tiffany D. Jackson’s books – I think I’m going to read Allegedly next!
Grown comes out on September 15, 2020.
This review is based on an advance reader’s edition provided by the publisher. By no means did receiving this review copy affect my thoughts & opinions.
Is Grown on your TBR? Have you read any books by Tiffany D. Jackson? Share in the comments!