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Grown
Book
2020
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Reviews

Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Enchanted wants to sing more than anything else in the world, but it's hard to make her dreams a reality when she's the oldest of five and helping her parents to take care of the kids. So when an opportunity to work, record, and have a romance with the legendary and kind Korey Fields pops up, of course she wants to take it. Touring with Korey would not only boost her career; financially, it could be life-changing for her family. That is, if things were actually what they seemed. After spiraling into a toxic cycle of abuse and narrowly escaping the wrath of her abuser, Enchanted is left to pick up the pieces of her life—including charges for the murder of Korey Fields. This title is gripping in both its content and format, as Jackson moves back and forth through time, using the fractured time line alongside related text threads and social media conversations to stir up questions surrounding what happened to Enchanted and who murdered Korey Fields. Jackson addresses the story's discussion of sexual abuse, rape, assault, kidnapping, and addiction to opioids in a content warning, and ultimately sheds light and perspective on men's abusive behaviors and the power that excuses them through the lens of the abused—in this case, an underaged Black girl.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Jackson's writing some of the best thrillers for teens these days. Expect a long hold list for her latest. Grades 8-11. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Jackson (Let Me Hear a Rhyme) preaches the word of young women eager to be grown before their time in this story of talent, ambition beyond opportunity, forbidden attraction, and the deadly consequences thereof. Seventeen-year-old Enchanted Jones is a responsible big sister, gifted swimmer, and dedicated student who dreams of a singing career. When she auditions for a national singing competition—"BET's version of American Idol"—she catches the eye of notorious singer Korey Fields, a handsome, worldly-seeming 28-year-old whose attention flatters her. Their relationship begins in secret, under the guise of voice lessons, but soon draws her into a dangerous situation, far from home with no one to rely on. Jackson outdoes herself depicting Enchanted's gradual entrenchment into Korey's influence and the insidiousness of his abusive behavior as it transforms Enchanted from a studious, reliable oldest daughter to the distant, isolated image of his desire. Expertly juxtaposing the glamour of Enchanted's potential fame against the harshness of her private moments with Korey, Jackson builds the story gradually and painfully to an astonishing, chilling climax. Ages 13–up. Agent: Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary. (Sept.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—Seventeen-year-old Enchanted Jones occupies many roles. She's the responsible older sister who helps out her overworked parents, but she's still the little girl who loves Disney movies. She's quiet and uncertain, but longs to step into the spotlight—and at an open call for aspiring singers, she gets her chance when pop star Korey Fields convinces her parents to let her tour with him. Enchanted becomes the victim of the manipulative Korey, who keeps her a prisoner and preys on her sexually. When Korey winds up dead, Enchanted becomes a prime suspect. While Jackson keeps readers in her thrall as she weaves back and forth in time, some of her plot twists feel implausible. Still, her arresting use of figurative language evokes an authentic portrait of a vulnerable teenager torn between infatuation and terror, convinced that there's no way out. Borrowing heavily from the case of singer R. Kelly, who has long faced accusations of rape and abuse, Jackson urges readers to question why our culture is so quick to excuse powerful men and so eager to depict Black women and girls as complicit in their own abuse. VERDICT A thought-provoking, immersive thriller that will spark discussion.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Annotations

An instant New York Times bestseller! &;Grown exposes the underbelly of a tough conversation, providing a searing examination of misogynoir, rape culture, and the vulnerability of young black girls. Groundbreaking, heart-wrenching, and essential reading for all in the #MeToo era.&; &;Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles 

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.

&;Never have I read a story that so flawlessly hits the highest high and lowest low notes of Black girlhood in pursuit of the American Dream.&; &;Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Jackpot

- (HARPERCOLL)

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