Cover Image: Grown

Grown

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Member Reviews

Do not pick this up if you have any tasks to accomplish other than reading. I found myself sneaking seconds of reading time at all of the taboo times: stopping at traffic lights, taking bathroom breaks (don’t judge), and cooking dinner. 

The book took a story we’re all familiar with (hopefully only tangentially), and sliced it open to reveal the seediest of underbellies. It’s shocking, horrifying, and altogether too realistic. Girls don’t choose to date evil men because they’re flawed. Evil people (men or women) do evil things. 

This book helped me to consider the importance of perspective, of listening—especially to victims, and of the power of promised fame. Although not based on the real stories of R. Kelly’s victims, this captivating novel helps the reader to understand how the many, many girls were trapped in his web. 

There are many trigger warnings in this book. It’s definitely one that I would encourage students to discuss with parents prior to reading.
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Yet another 5/5 star book from Tiffany D. Jackson. If you're familiar with her work you know she will take you on a wild rollercoaster of a read. With every twist and turn the story just gets better and better. Jackson's look into a topic we hear about often in the current times is unique. 

Enchanted has a family that loves her but she wants to be a star, maybe a little too much. When Kory begins taking advantage of her she doesn't realize until it's too late. Then she's trapped.  Enchanted has to be careful with how she gets out of her situation, for the wrong way could end someone's life. Jackson masterfully provides characters who will inspire you and make your skin crawl. But the light she sheds on current issues is too great to ignore. Everyone should be reading this book come September.
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Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

PHEW. Let me preface this by saying that the content of this book is tough, and it may not be the right book for everyone. It deals with rape, abuse, drugs, child endangerment, and assault. But like her other books Monday's Not Coming and Allegedly, Jackson writes about these issues in a masterful way. This book is written at a breakneck pace, and I didn't come up for air until I finished it after midnight. There are twists, mind games, and moments where you will gasp out loud. I thought it was excellent and will recommend it to everyone I know.

Review posted on Goodreads and Instagram (@bookiebffs) on July 11, 2020.
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Enchanted has a family that loves her, is a talented swimmer, and mostly wants to become a singer. She has the skills- all her friends say so. When she manages to trick her mom into taking her to a talent call, she is disappointed with the feedback the judges give her, but backstage she meets Korey, a twenty someone heartthrob that’s  big in the music scene. When Korey shows interest in supporting her music career, her parents refuse, but Korey wins them over with contracts and show of responsible adults that will surround Enchanted. Korey is such a star and so attentive to seventeen year old Enchanted that she starts falling in love with him, and he becomes controlling, domineering, and takes over her world. This is a fast moving story of a young girl, ready for love, but finding in the arms of a predator. A tale of warnings and good for teens to read. As an adult the first half of the story felt obvious, as Korey talks inappropriately with Enchanted, early in their meeting. Still a necessary piece of writing for young people to read.
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GROWN is another stunning book by the masterful Tiffany D. Jackson. It is heartbreaking and heart-pounding. GROWN is an unforgettable call to believe Black women, to protect young people, and to tear down the systems that enable violence and oppression.
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This book drew me in from the start and didn't let go until I was completely finished. The author's note specifically stated it was not about R. Kelly but the similarities were very clear for anyone who has followed his court cases. That isn't a bad thing, and the changes (especially in the ending) are enough to make it it's own distinct story. Overall I really enjoyed this book and found the critique of how our society is so quick to disparage, distrust, and ignore the stories of Black girls and women very powerful. This is definitely not a young adult novel - and not one I would put in my middle school classroom, but a great read for adults.
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I have mixed feelings about this one. While I loved the concept, there were moments when the characters fell a little flat. It reminded me a lot of Panic by Sharon Draper. A young girl gets swept up in the idea of fame. My problem is that Chant is 17/18 in the book, but she acts more like a 13/14, which is interesting considering her sister is 14 and reacts to the situation more maturely than Chant. No, that doesn't mean I think he was justified in his actions because of her age, but the red flags she had went away after the first few conversations with him. That, and she never acted on the red flags until it was too late. Maybe that's the point though. I would've liked to have known more about her dad, grandmother, and Gab. Those characters felt forced.
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This book is absolutely phenomenal. Like Jackson's other novels, it uses a mystery/thriller format to offer critical commentary on social issues that teens need to understand. Watching Korey groom Chanty was disturbing, but readers can clearly see how the system failed Chanty and where her delusions of love came from. 5/5⭐ easy.
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Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson is a powerful novel. The dark narrative follows 17-year old singer, Enchanted Jones, after she meets legendary music artist, Korey Fields, at a talent audition. The story begins boldly with Korey’s blood on her hands, but will she prove herself innocent before it’s too late?

With themes of society’s acceptance of misogynoir and unchecked rape culture among the rich and famous, this novel digs deep into Enchanted’s psyche as she tries to balance her dreams and her innocence in the dark world of R&B music. Echoes of the #metoo movement and R.Kelly’s predatory reputation flow throughout this engrossing, fast-paced read.

Advanced readers’ copy provided by the publisher courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger warnings: rape culture, emotional and physical abuse of minors, mental health
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This book is so necessary! Hopefully it can prevent something like this for other young girls, and help anyone who has ever been a victim. Definitely a mature read (high school and up). I was a little bit confused about the plot twist with Gab, but overall really enjoyed the story.
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This book was extremely thrilling. You find out immediately that Enchanted Jones woke up in a room with Korey Fields’ dead body and after that chapter, you’re taken back to where it all began. Finding out what led Enchanted to that place was binge-able, but also awful.

Because what I didn’t realize from the synopsis is that Enchanted was 17 and Korey was 28. He groomed her, alienated and isolated her from her loved ones, manipulated her, gaslit her... it was really horrible. And she thought it was love. It was a really brutal look at how a girl can be ruined by someone she thinks she can trust. 

There’s another layer in this book specifically, because Enchanted is a Black girl. Historically ignored, disbelieved, and mistreated by a system that’s supposed to “protect” them. No, white girls aren’t always believed when they speak out against their abusers, especially when their abusers are in positions of power. But Black girls in the same situations often don’t even get their story told. And I don’t fall under this representation, but there is also focus on the Black community and how even other Black people tend to disbelieve or blame Black girl victims. The title of the book hints at this - Grown. Many people in the book chastise Enchanted behind her back for thinking she’s “grown” and running around with an adult. Very few people stop to even think the 28 year old is in the wrong for dating a 17 year old. It’s a good examination of the way that girls, Black girls especially, are led to feel shamed into silence. 

This was a tough read but it will be really helpful in showing young people how to see red flags when older people interact with them. I don’t want to say I enjoyed this but it was a fast-paced and easy read and I’ll be recommending it.
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Tiffany D Jackson has brought her flawless style, amazing twists and fascinating characters to the R Kelly/#MeToo movement in Grown, out this September wherever books are sold.

Enchanted (aka Chanty) is a middle-class Black girl growing up in Westchester. She loves to sing, but she also has to take care of her siblings, try and deal with a very white school, and try and find a future--but then, at a singing audition--she's introduced to singer and superstar Korey Fields, this world's version of an R Kelly meets Justin Bieber. Or maybe that's what R Kelly is like for some people, or was like years ago. Anyway, Enchanted quickly becomes...wait for it..enchanted by him, the promises he makes her and her career, and she and him start working on music together. But I don't need to tell you, or link the TMZ stories, for you to know this is going nowhere good.As Enchanted becomes more caught up in Korey's world she starts to see a side of him she never expected, and it becomes harder and harder for her to escape...until someone ends up dead.

This book...wow! The pacing is a bit weird, but it make sense because we have to cover a lot of ground. This kind of situation doesn't happen overnight. I've only briefly followed the R Kelly sage (and the only song I know is Remix to Ignition?) but I recognized a lot of the same threads I'd read in TMZ stories, but this book also feels unique in its own right. It's clearly got some inspiration from that, but R Kelly isn't the only predator and abuser out there, and Jackson does a great job of bringing her usual gut punches and twists in this book. You'll be on the edge of your seat to see what happens!

Also...this cover, am I right??
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