By this point I think I’ve made it clear that Tiffany D. Jackson is one of my favorite authors and I will honestly read anything she writes. Grown, an absolutely heartbreaking book, was no different and I’m so glad I finally read it this month.
Please be sure to read the trigger warnings for this book found here before reading this review because I will be mentioning some of that content.
Keep reading for all my thoughts and a full review!
Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
Publisher / Published: September 15th 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Trigger Warnings: You can find here
Korey Fields is dead.
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.
This book was…a lot – but not in a bad way. It was a lot in a shocking, eye-opening, heartbreaking sort of way.
Enchanted, who is 17, comes from a loving but poor family in New York. More than anything else, she loves to sing, so when an opportunity comes up for Enchanted to sing at a music competition, she of course takes it. At that same competition is Korey Fields, a 28 year old world-famous rapper. He is quickly enthralled by Enchanted’s voice and decides to take her under his wing, so to speak.
Korey promises Enchanted fame, money, and love. Despite the hesitancy from her parents and best friend, she decides to sign some contracts and go with Korey so he can help her record music and sign her with a label. Enchanted, being a young girl, is so in love with the idea of Korey and everything he promises. However, as she will eventually realize, this new world is not what it seems. And maybe Korey isn’t who she thought he was either.
“None of this is your fault. Not one drop of it. No child should ever take the blame for another man’s actions.”Tiffany D. Jackson, Grown
As the reader, it is so easy to notice all the red flags and gross behavior that Korey displays throughout his relationship with Enchanted. However, I think the author did a really good job of showing us the mind of Enchanted through all of this and how in situations like this the only person to blame is the abuser and groomer. Enchanted and her family were absolutely the victims, but a lot of characters throughout this book kind of blamed them for whatever reason. This is something we see obviously a lot in real life, where victims are either not believed, or their trauma is downplayed, or they are asked questions like “well why didn’t you leave the relationship first?” which is just a few of the things Enchanted faced throughout the course of this book.
Like many other of her books, Jackson drew from real life events (like R. Kelley) to inspire aspects of this story. While reading this I had to keep reminding myself that this isn’t ‘just a book’ this is the reality of what so many teenage girls actually do experience and their stories are important and deserve to be told and deserve to be heard and deserve to be believed. Grown also discusses the treatment of black women coming forward with sexual abuse allegations and how they are less likely to be believed. Jackson did a really good job of writing Enchanted’s story and capturing all the aggressions she faces, not only from Korey, but from the people around her.
Jackson handled this sensitive topic with a lot of care and wrote in a way that readers will really be able to connect with Enchanted. If you’re able to, I would recommend reading this book.
Aaaand that’s it for today’s post! I really am so glad I read Grown and hope this review was helpful if you were considering to give it a read 😊💖
Have you read Grown? Is it on your TBR?