Cover Image: Grown

Grown

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Member Reviews

Whew. Tiffany Jackson knows how to impact my emotions and get me at my core. Her last book I read made me sob. This one was hard to read at times, because of how real it felt. Because of how easily I could see girls getting trapped in a relationship with a Korey. That’s terrifying. I can’t think of many characters if any I’ve detested more than him. But I had to finish. I had to let Enchanted finish her story. We have to listen to and believe the painful stories women come forward with. And that’s why even though they bring me pain, I’ll keep reading Jackson’s books. She shines a light on injustices and truths in regards to race, gender, and criminal justice/systems.
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ARC provided by publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books via NetGalley.

Holy moly.  This book left me thinking about it for days.  

Tiffany D. Jackson does it again. She leaves you thinking, wondering, questioning until the very last page.

This story follows Enchanted, a 17 year old aspiring singer who meets her celebrity crush. From the moment they meet, the reader can feel the energy between the two. 

This book was very tough to read, seeing how the celebrity singer groomed Enchanted and the conditions in which he put her through.  

One thing I enjoyed about the book is truly hearing Enchanted inner monologue and seeing her fight between her head and her heart. I also loved the moments of “then” and “now”.
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This book was so good! At times, it was hard to read. At times, I had to step away because I was shouting at the main character. There are definite trigger warnings and adult content. (Sexual assault, human trafficking, drug abuse, pedophilia, etc) 

Enchanted is a 17 year old girl who dreams of becoming a star. She’s a typical teen who is on the swim team at her high school, in an African American club in her community and someone her family adores. She has a best friend, Gab, who pushes her to pursue her singing career when her parents are only pushing college. Enchanted doesn’t want to go to college, she wants to be famous. 

Enchanted (Chanty) auditions for a talent show and meets Korey Fields, a famous and powerful 28 year old man. Of course she is drawn to him— who wouldn’t be?! He’s attractive and tells her she’s an amazing singer and is going places. 

Korey offers to mentor her and help her become famous— but there’s a huge problem. He’s 28! She’s 17. Even though her parents aren’t 100% on board, he convinces them to be able to take her on tour with him and a lot occurs. (Enter the trigger warnings)

This is a story of a man in power who takes advantage of a child. 

But this is also a story of a powerful young woman who overcomes a lot of brutality.

I believe this is an important story for our youth. It shows how easy it can be to become victim to pedophiles and how blinding toxic love can be. It is a must read!

Thank you, Netgalley for the advanced reader copy.
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The story of 17 year old Enchanted is going to sound familiar.  Enchanted Jones has dreams of being a professional singer.  At a contest, reminiscent of an American Idol tryout, Enchanted catches the eye of the famous Korey Fields.  Promising her the world, Enchanted is swept away into Korey’s world; isolated from family and friends.  The author notes this story is not based on R. Kelley,  but you will definitely see many connections.  Controlled, scared, and stuck Enchanted doesn’t know how to escape.  But there is one morning where Enchanted wakes with blood on her hands and a dead Korey Field’s.  Who has killed him?  Enchanted insists she didn’t kill Korey.  Victims of Korey’s are now coming forward shedding light on how one gets caught up in these inappropriate and abusive relationships.

Ultimately, this book is all over the place; is it a psychological thriller, a mental health tale, a murder mystery, and/or a social commentary?  It touches upon several different areas, which may be too much for some readers when determining the overall message.
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It's difficult to watch Enchanted go through what she does, but Jackson makes her story so compelling it's hard to put down. And regardless of your comfort level with this book, it's an incredibly important read. Plus, that cover. Dang. Kudos to Rachelle Baker, the designer.
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Tiffany Jackson has done it again, with a powerful story that blends mystery with a coming of age story that seems ripped from the headlines. 

Enchanted Jones is a 17-year old who dreams of becoming a singer, and when R&B artist, Korey Fields, takes notice of her and promises to help her reach her dreams, she thinks she's got it made. With the support of her parents, Enchanted set out to make her mark, but in doing so she's quickly exposed to the horrific secrets that hide behind the scenes and threaten to destroy her life and the lives of other young women like her who will do almost anything to achieve their dreams.
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Social Justice Topics:
▪️#metoo Movement
▪️Sexual Assault
▪️Mental Health

Grade Level: 9 and up

Wow...I knew Tiffany D. Jackson was a great writer, but this book still Blew. My. Mind. READ THIS BOOK if you crave books based on real criminal cases, Black Lives Matter, and the #metoo movement. Without a doubt, you will go through your day thinking about this book...that is, if you can put it down. 

This book comes out September 15th, and I cannot wait to add it to my classroom library! However, due to the content, it will be in the ‘parent permission slip’ section of my 7th grade classroom.
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Tiffany D. Jackson does it yet again. I rarely read unreliable narrators, particularly high stakes, convoluted plots until all is revealed (or at least some). But I stumbled on "Allegedly" and couldn't put it down and now I devour everything Jackson publishes. This was by far my favorite of her work so far because it was so frighteningly realistic. I completely understood our protagonist's journey being pulled into the clutches of a serial abuser. I was conflicted and uncomfortable as I confronted my own internalized judgments towards survivors. And that cover! It is a striking work of art that perfectly captures the energy and pressure of this novel. Her thrilling realistic fiction will do me in and I keep coming back for more. 

*I received an eARC copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to  Katherine Tegen Books for the opportunity to read and review in advance of publication.
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This book is incredibly important and also difficult to read at times. TWs for child trafficking, sexual assault, child predators, drug use.

Enchanted dreams of being a singer, but there’s no way her parents will ever let her. Not as a career, at least. It’s too risky and only a tiny fraction of a percent make a living out of it. But when she meets Korey Fields - mega-popular r&b artist - even her mom has a hard time saying no to the free singing lessons he’s offering. 

Uh, red flag #1. 

Did I mention Enchanted is 17, and Korey is 28?

What follows is some serious manipulation and creepiness that gave me all the heebeegeebees - as it should. 

This is Jackson’s take on the R. Kelly story, the story of a man in power who lures teenage girls into an abusive, manipulative relationship with promises of a music career. But it’s also about all the men who silence women, about how black women in particular are ignored and silenced. 

We must do better. We must listen to the women who are brave enough to speak their truths, especially when they unearth dirty truths about our favorite celebrities. 

Fame, money, talent - these things don’t make a person immune to being a good person.

This book is fast-paced; I read it in a little over a day (despite having to put it down for a phone break every so often because I couldn’t take the gross factor of it all), and the ending is an absolute question-everything page turner.

Overall, I gave it a 4/5 because at times I thought it rushed things a bit too much, but I think it’s a very important book and will be adding it to my classroom library.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of this book.
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This was a really interesting novel. I enjoyed the narrative structure and it also shed a lot of light on how the media treats cases like this.
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Through NetGalley I was able to secure an advanced copy of Grown! WOW! This is now my favorite book from Tiffany Jackson! It covered so many current topics: abuse, the constant disproving of girls, friendship, family, acceptance, shame talking about hard situations and reaching for your dreams! The friendship between Enchanted and Gabby was relatable. They each had their own goals and knew what they were good at. There also came a point when Enchanted thought maybe she was losing it and felt a little crazy. This is something I think most can relate to especially when experiencing difficult situations. 

What do you do when you’ve gone too far down a dark road and can’t turn back?
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Tiffany D. Jackson has been on my radar for years, but I've never read her books. Her stories sounded interesting to me, but not enough to pick one up. However, when the book announcement of GROWN and its subject matter was brought to my attention, it struck a deep nerve within me. I'm a Black child sexual abuse survivor. Child sexual abuse is brushed off in the Black community and reframed to point the blame at young girls who are labeled as acting too GROWN or too FAST. Not the predatory GROWN MEN who prey on these girls. Some even have a reputation within our families that is passed off as a joke or tiptoed around because "blood is blood." 

In the Black community, we've always known about R. Kelly and other celebrity child predators, but its common practice to blame the child and the parents, but not the actual predator. Jackson weaves a difficult subject into a captivating heartbreaking tale that can be consumed by teenagers and appreciated by adults. It has the capacity and power to stir conversations and break down barriers much like The Hate U Give did with police brutality. 

My only issue was Enchanted didn't act 17-18. She acted much younger than her age. Her choices were fine, but her way of thinking that led to those choices made me forget she was 17-18 on many occasions. However, that won't affect my rating. 

This is a necessary story that needs to be told and embraced. 

After reading GROWN, I'm upset I've missed out on such a talented author and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

5/5 stars
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Wow! Incredible book from an incredible author. Such a powerful story. Definitely one that stays with you long after you've finished reading it. Heart-wrenching at times. Powerful throughout. Content and format will definitely be appealing to teen readers.  Asks tough questions about power, innocence, who's worth saving, who's story becomes the dominant narrative. Will be strongly recommending to students and colleagues. (Grades 8+)
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Mature for my eighth graders, but I could envision this being gripping for older high school students! Be wary of triggers: rape, sexual assault, child abuse, kidnapping, grooming, addiction, and drug use. 

Enchanted, or "Chanty," Jones is a 17-year-old aspiring singer/songwriter (much to her parents' chagrin) who encounters 28-year-old superstar Korey Fields during an audition. Taking an interest in one another, they begin a "secret" relationship as Korey introduces a passionate Enchanted into stardom. Korey's true colors begin to show as Enchanted falls deeper and deeper, finding herself powerless in the confines of her relationship with Korey. This story flips between the past (Enchanted encountering Korey) and the present (Enchanted waking to discover Korey's body in a room of blood), gradually unraveling the truth behind Korey's dark secrets and his death.

Let me start by saying that Tiffany Jackson does not pull punches; she confronts the brokenness surrounding the perception and treatment of black women in today's world through explicit detail and plain truth. She vividly portrays what it is like to feel voiceless, to be taken advantage of (in multiple ways), to have your truths questioned, to have your story remain untold--especially at such a vulnerable age. The juxtaposition between powerful // powerlessness is striking throughout the story and tells the all-too-familiar tale of a man in power taking advantage of a young, ambitious teenager (i.e. grooming, abuse, manipulation). I will say the only reason I would deduct half a star is that at times it feels like Jackson is trying to tackle/juggle too many issues at once. However, despite this, I felt consistently emotionally invested in the story and the characters and it was not a significant obstacle to me, as she navigated everything else so smoothly. 

Finally, I want to add that the characters feel complex, multi-dimensional, and completely authentic, making moments in the story difficult to stomach because of their disturbing and harrowing nature. However, although graphic and unpleasant at times, the message at the core of this story is an important one--one that deserves to be heard. It will speak volumes to you!
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Grown opens with Enchanted waking up to find herself covered in “beet juice” and Korey Fields dead. 

Flashback: Enchanted is a 17 year old senior in a predominately white high school on the swim team with dreams of a singing career. She goes to a swimming competition, doesn’t make it, but is noticed by 28 year old superstar Korey Fields. As Korey inhales Enchanted into his life, it is easy to understand why Enchanted makes the choices she does. Unfortunately she never imagined the nightmare ahead of her. 

In an age when women are raising their voices, this is an extremely important book. It is timely and hits all the important points. This powerful book will make you weep, rage, lose sleep, and decide to fight harder for our young women, especially our Black young women. Let this be a conversation starter. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this arc in exchange for an honest review. I will definitely be buying this book for my high school library. I wish I could have it for the first days of school.
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What a tremendous read!  Thank you Tiffany D. Jackson for this timely, coming-of-age novel.  This novel gives voice to the young women looking to get their feet in the door in the entertainment industry.  The story is carefully woven to incorporate a loving Black family, the life of a teenager on the brink of adulthood, the manipulation and ego of the entertainment industry, and the stigma of mental health.  It is done so well and with much thought and care.

Enchanted Jones wants something different for her life than what her parents project for her to achieve.  Her dreams are to sing.  After catching the attention of superstar, Korey Fields, Enchanted is enchanted by Korey and swept off of her feet.  At first figuratively, and then quite literally.  Enchanted finds herself caught up in a "grown-ish" situation that she finds nearly impossible to escape.  It seems her only true way to escape Korey is through his death.  But even then, will she escape?

This is a YA book that is definitely only appropriate for upper high school level and I would recommend this book to ages 16 and up.  I also think that despite being a YA novel, it is most definitely a novel that adults can immerse themselves into as well.
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Tiffany D. Jackson does it again! Based on the allegations of rape and child abuse against singer R. Kelly this novel pulls no punches. I was afraid one plot point would veer off into a character "imagining" things because of the trauma she experienced, but the author stays right on track the whole time. Major social issues are addressed, such as: the exploitation of black women (both sexually and monetarily), the silencing of their voices, emotional and sexual abuse, as well as the inequities in the justice system, so all readers should be aware that there are many triggering topics.
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Grown was my first book by author Tiffany D. Jackson, and I will be reading anything else she publishes. The story centers on Enchanted Jones, a high school student who balances her dreams of becoming a singer with her duties on her swim team and helping to take care of her younger siblings. Her life is turned upside down when she meets superstar Korey Fields. 

I loved the focus story of this book, and its message that it sends to young people everywhere: your voice matters. Jackson's writing style was engaging, and her development of characters, especially Enchanted, kept me engaged throughout the entire book.
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Thoughts on Grown- Tiffany D. Jackson
We are not ready for this novel. We are not ready for Enchanted. Why? Because we, as an American society, are not ready or willing to believe women. To believe girls. To believe BLACK women and BLACK girls. However, like Elie Wiesel states, “we must bear witness,” no matter how difficult and uncomfortable. Grown is the most important book you’ll read this year, perhaps even ever. 
- Through Grown, Jackson forces the reader to stare into the abyss with Enchanted. But the thing about the abyss?? It stares back. The darkness shows you the deepest fears and insecurities and then exploits them mercilessly. 
- Korey’s manipulation tactics work because like the biologically-honed predator that he is, Korey zeroes in on his prey’s weaknesses to make the hunt as thrilling as it is successful. His celebrity, his money, his access, and his enablers prevent Enchanted and the dozens of other victims from breaking their silence and breaking their abuser’s hold on them. 
- My ability and willingness to be sucked into the “fairy tale” of it all. Poor, talented “average” girl is “rescued” from mediocrity by the rich, well connected “savior.” It’s a tale as old as time. The Prince Charming will lift his love above her station and make all her dreams come true. All she has to give up is her tail. Her voice. Her friends. Her family. Her credibility. Her sense of self. Her life. 
- Chanty is every single woman that has wilted under the oppressive weight of power and authority men effortlessly wield as a weapon. She is not alone. We are not alone. 
- The name Enchanted and all the Disney princesses referenced (Ariel, Belle, Pocahontas) is not an accident. Jackson offers stringent commentary on the manipulative media girls consume and how fairy tales, with their damsels in distress and prince charmings, lay the foundation that abusers can latch onto and build their castles of torment with walls so high...Walls meant to keep someone in, not to keep someone out.
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The first thing I loved about this book was the cover, it is absolutely gorgeous. It catches your eye with its beautiful design and colors, and after reading the book I feel like it was the perfect cover for the story that unfolded behind it. 

The characterization of Enchanted and Korey was what really brought this book to life. Seeing Enchanted long to be wanted, valued, appreciated...and subsequently seeing Korey enter into her life (avoiding detail on purpose)  led to a series of plot points that truly kept me on the edge of my seat. 

What unfolded between Enchanted and Korey was extremely real and often painful to read. From a young age women don’t recognize their self worth, will attach it to men, and ultimately fall prey to those men who claim to care for them. This book did a fantastic job of painting a real one picture of that. It also put into perspective the real struggle black women face their entire lives...how society fails them instead of lifting them up and placing value on them as human beings. 

The only downfall is that I wish there was more to the book! It felt short, and a bit rushed at the end. I had to go back and re-read to make sure I fully understood what happened. 

This book is yet another standout in a long line of Tiffany D. Jackson books! While I would put a trigger warning on it for those who have shared Enchanted’s experiences, I do believe this book should be read (and really thought about) by everyone.
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