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Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
October 8, 2020
I fell in love with this cover the way you fall down a very steep set of stairs when you miss a step: instantly and without a chance of resistance

My first Tiffany Jackson book won't be my last. As a matter of fact, Allegedly has been on my radar for years and now I'm even more determined to read it. Grown was brutal thriller, a battle cry, a sucker punch on rape culture.

I finished this book in half a day. I flew through the pages in a single sitting. It helped that the chapters are short, the pace quick, the story enthralling and horrifying at once. It's about a Black girl from a poor family who loves to sing. When a famous rapper discovers her at a talent show he takes her under his wing and promises her love and fame. Sounds like a dream, but it's a nightmare. Enchanted is 17, Korey 28. As his influence on her grows, she loses control over her future, her body and her mind.

The book starts with a body and a lot of blood. Korey is dead, which turns out to be a relief, because the more we read, the happier we are to know that this will all end eventually. To begin with, Korey flirts with her, sends her inappropriate messages, is affectionate and caring. We're supposed to like him, because he's talented and cute but proves to be so vulnerable. But the age gap remains, and if you didn't have a problem with it to begin with, you will soon realise that the power imbalance in this relationship does tremendous harm to the main character - and many other girls in real life that are in similar situations. Korey kidnaps Enchanted, takes her phone, cuts her off from her friends and parents, forces her into clothes and roles she feels uncomfortable in, drugs her, gaslights her, physically and sexually abuses her. All of these things are painful but some even impossible to read. What makes this story even more brutal is that this is by no means a made-up situation. It is a reality that many girls and women but also men, trans, nonbinary and queer people experience. (In each over these case, however, the power dynamic is an entirely different one.) This loosely draws on the case of R. Kelly and his predatory, pedophile behaviour. It is important to mention that we're talking about children here. This book particularly talks about the abuse that some of the most vulnerable people in our society experience: Black and poor teenage girls. That is a blatant abuse of power, but it's not the act of a single person. We're talking a group, an industry, a society that turns a blind eye to violence. It's a structural issue, and that makes it even more lethal.

This is why I'm thankful that books like Grown exist, that they are accessible to young (and old) minds. They give you the tools to recognise and fight injustice. They give you the words to name and fight inequality.

It's an inherently feminist book, one that shows the intersections of identities and how they all influence the privileges we have (or don't have) and how society treats us accordingly.

The only criticism I have is that the book is so fast-paced that the structure of the plot almost crumbles. The closer we get to the ending, the more the story dissolves into fractures, and we often only see the most important scenes; finer details are lost in the cracks. I'm also not entirely sure what I think about those last two pages...

I say, read this book, but only read it if you feel safe and stable. It's very hard to stomach and could easily trigger readers.

Find more of my books on Instagram
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,302 reviews43.9k followers
May 15, 2022
Okay. I need a drink. Something strong. I feel the rocks sit on my chest. I’m pissed. I’m sad. I’m heartbroken. What an intense, gripping, soul shaking, thought provoking, depressing but also outstandingly realistic, harsh, honest story I’ve just finished.

The novel has a shocking opening: A young girl, Enchanted Jones wakes up in a room with painful headache. Her vision is still blurry. Where is she? Oh no, what the hell are those red pools cover the floor? Beet juice. Who does pour beet juice on the floors? Wait a minute! This is not beet juice. THIS IS BLOOD! This place covers in blood pools. This is not her house. This place belongs to Korey! OMG! He’s lying a few feet away covered in beet juice. No... not beet juice... He’s not moving! He’s not breathing! Somebody is knocking on the door and screaming: “ Police! Open the door!”

WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING? What happened in this place? Why can’t she remember?

Do you want to know how the story goes on? Okay, let me introduce you the characters at first:

Enchanted Jones just wants to sign. She wanted to chase her dreams to become a singer. She was only 17 but she knows she is shining like a star when she is on the stage, pouring out her feelings to the old songs she listened with her grandmother. Then a miracle happens which completely rocks her world: she’s discovered by famous, charming R&B singer Korey Fields when she attends to a signing competition.

Korey sees her potential and wants to help her career by giving her free singing lessons. Then another miraculous thing happens: he offers her to join his world tour and record agreement.

Enchanted feels like she’s in a dream and she doesn’t want to wake up even though her parents are so cautious about their daughter’s intimate relationship with Korey who is 28, showing some possessive attitudes around their daughter and Enchanted’s best friend Gabby thinks she is ruining her life.

But Enchanted already fell so hard. She wants to sing. She wants to feel beautiful. She needs approval and support of Korey who already became the center of her world.

And then she wakes up. She realizes she’s not living in a fairytale, her life turned into a never ending nightmare. Her knight in shining armor turns into obsessed, abusive, manipulative bastard who holds her captive in his house, playing to her insecurities, telling lies about her loved ones. Mentally and physically abused Enchanted needs to find a way to get out.

So what happened to Trey? Who killed him? But most importantly what will happen to Enchanted?

It’s twisty, smart, shocking, stimulating, breathtaking and one of the best powerful YA books I’ve read this year earned my five blazing stars.

Ending shakes you to the core as well. I think for days I’ll keep think about this book and get more pissed about those manipulative a.holes out there to ruin the underage girls’ innocence and naivety.

Tiffany D. Jackson did an incredible job by giving the voice to those young girls who are afraid of talking about traumatic experiences they’ve been enduring, keeping quiet, bowing their heads as silent screams raise up from their throats!

Profile Image for daph pink ♡ .
947 reviews2,707 followers
October 30, 2021
Miss Tiffany Jackson do you hear my angry sobs? Yes I am fucking disappointed and I have complete right to be because my most anticipated "Y/A MYSTERY THRILLER " proved out to be an absolute unoriginal , naive and boring read.

Yess , so since the announcement of this book and the cover reveal I was so excited for this because I loved her Mondays not coming and I was waiting for it so eagerly because my arc request was cancelled too so you can see my anticipation was on seventh sky !

Yeah so moving on , why I didn't liked it that much ?

Genre / Plot / story line

This premise, while not as fresh as the one Monday’s Not Coming had, seemed like it had potential. But the author didn't know what she wanted this book to be about? Was it a mystery thriller? Was it a contemporary fiction ? Was it based on true events ? Idk , it was all over the places for me. The book’s blurb and the way its first chapter began made me think the thriller aspect might get more page space than it did. I think the book had too much to lift—the abuse storyline, the murder storyline, and the social commentary. These aspects weren’t well-balanced. There probably wasn’t enough room to do all of that justice.


Enchanted’s portrayal is a bit uneven. We’re told that she’s mature for her age but her naïve, trusting personality gives a different impression. There’s a sweetness to Enchanted and I had sympathy for her and her situation. There was a point where her naivete and trust became hard to buy into.Korey is a disturbing, creepy villain, as he should be. The novel does a great job of showing how child rapists operate.


The book’s central POV is Enchanted’s first person narration. The reader can see she is confused and is being conned long before she does. Besides her POV sections, we also get sections of police interview transcripts and minutes from the meetings of Enchanted’s Will and Willow chapter. The latter hit on issues like the way people don’t pay attention when bad things befall Black girls and the way girls aren’t believed. While laudable, these comments feel shoehorned. I would have liked to see these themes developed more.The book moves back and forth in time. In the last third or so things start to feel messy and confusing, like the author doesn’t have control of the narrative.

Unnecessary twists and turns

There’s a letter to the reader as the front of the book that explains that Grown is #ownvoices in more than one way. The author is not only Black, like Enchanted, but like Enchanted, she was also sexually abused by while she was in her teens. The letter also states speaks about the abuse of power inherent in child rape and the way girls are disbelieved and faulted for grown men’s crimes. This is an important message and the author brings authenticity to this story. But she should stop putting unnecessary physiological twists in her story especially in the end, I mean I still couldn't get my mind around whole Gab thing and Enchanted is perfectly sane, no, wait, she’s experiencing delusions, wait, no, she’s sane, no, wait she’s delusional. The book flip-flopped on this point too much.


Well this book didn't turned out to that good but that cover is absolutely beautiful and nothing can change that fact plus it's also imp from story POV as Chanty never wanted to wear that wig and the cover showed her true self !

TW:- Rape, sexual assault , mental illness , abusive relationship, poverty , racist comments

Overall I think the story had potential but the author wasn't the right choice to tell this story
Profile Image for Joel Rochester.
61 reviews17.8k followers
March 8, 2021
t/w: mentions of sexual abuse, rape, assault, child abuse, kidnapping, and addiction to opioids.

we read this as part of the february pick for the late night book club over on my channel!

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson demonstrates the dangers of grooming, abuse, and manipulation whilst also showcasing the culture of victim-blaming and the realities that face young Black women. Enchanted's story was a tough one to read, but one that I resonated with at points, particularly with the manipulation that she had suffered. We read as her hopes and dreams were twisted by a man in power, in order to take advantage of her and then manipulate her to staying with him. As discussed during the book club, this book truly shows the dangers of victim-blaming, and how we need to do better in order to believe these victims and their stories. As a young Black woman, Enchanted is at the bottom of the list of those who would believe in her, showing that we also need to do better towards young Black women most of all.

The subject area this book deals with is a tough one, but one that I am glad has been written for a young adult audience as it is something that affects them. It isn't something we should hide from them as they should learn and be prepared for the red flags that are present within a manipulative relationship. Whilst I did appreciate this story and the message it was conveying, I did find the ending to be quite rushed in how it tried to wrap up everything the story had to tell. But overall, this story is such an important one and I'm glad we had such a fulfilling discussion about it in our live show last night!

Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.4k followers
August 26, 2020
This was hard to get through at times because of the subject matter, but wow was it worth the listen. It is inspired by the allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct against R Kelly, and it deals very, very heavily with grooming, sexual assault, and emotional manipulation. If you're at all sensitive to those things, I would recommend treading with caution as it explores those topics very deeply on page and doesn't really pull any punches as it does so. However, I think that if you can handle the subject matter, this book is a must read. I listened to it via audiobook and I LOVED the narrator's portrayal of Enchanted and I thought it was extremely well done. Overall- this book was just incredible and I highly, highly recommend.

TW: grooming, emotional manipulation, pedophilia, sexual assault, rape, child abuse, kidnapping, addiction, revenge porn, suicidal ideation
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,295 reviews27.9k followers
March 26, 2022
So powerful. So moving. I think this is a really important story about things that happen in real life - men in the music industry taking advantage of young girls. This happens everywhere all the time, in every industry, and it’s tragic and it’s heartbreaking and I appreciate this author for writing such a beautiful story and bringing these issues to light.
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,480 reviews79k followers
August 31, 2020
"In my past life, I was a mermaid. I lived deep in the ocean, swimming free, eating crustaceans, and singing five-octave ballads. My notes caused ripples in the sea-whales, turtles, and seahorses alike gathered for my daily concerts. But on land, I struggle to breathe. Humans don't understand my pescatarian diet, and singing is a concept, not an aspiration."

This book. Please be prepared, this one features heavy content that might be triggering for some folks who have experienced abusive relationships, but knowing this story is loosely based on the R. Kelly scandal, I was prepared for such. Tiffany D. Jackson weaves an intricate portrayal into the past and present life of Enchanted, or Chanty Jones, a seventeen year old girl who has been forced to grow up more quickly than most, while taking care of her siblings, participating on the swim team, and then auditioning in the music industry. Once she meets Korey Fields, an anxious feeling settled in my gut, and I knew from then on we would experience deep insight into the horrific world of grooming, sexual abuse, and the mystery of whether or not Enchanted killed Korey. This is most certainly mature YA fiction, but if you can handle the graphic nature of the content included, I highly recommend this tale, as it is important, timely, and necessary.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
Profile Image for Talkincloud.
170 reviews3,355 followers
September 14, 2022
Podbijam. Ta książka to mój trigger, ale wow! Było warto.

I’m crushed.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,404 reviews11.7k followers
September 20, 2020
I liked a big portion of this novel, but ultimately the author here bit off more than she could and needed to chew.

The inspiration for Grown is R. Kelly's case. This story is told from the perspective of Enchanted, a 17-year old aspiring singer. I think Jackson does a pretty good job answering questions R. Kelly's victims get asked a lot - Why did you hook up with a grown ass man? How did your family allow you, a teen girl, to live with him? Why did you stay when he started abusing you? Why didn't you ask for help? Why couldn't your parents reach you? Why didn't you say anything during the police welfare checks? Are you just making this all up to get money? etc. etc.

The picture Jackson paints isn't pretty, but not nearly as horrendous as portrayed on "Surviving R. Kelly," so from the get-go this is a hard narrative to pull off within the confines of YA. But then the author puts Enchanted's story inside a murder mystery, tries to address mental health issues and social justice issues, and those additional layers just aren't developed enough. Every story arc outside of Enchanted's felt half-baked and thinly sketched out. If I were the book's editor, I would advise to just cut that all out. I would also recommend Jackson to stop putting a psychological twist at the end of her stories. It's the second such twist in her novels that I feel is just one too many and diminishes her work.

Sad this is not better.
Profile Image for Jananie (thisstoryaintover).
290 reviews13.8k followers
August 2, 2020
HOLY. this book was intense and so very needed. both a mystery-thriller page-turner but also a very contemporary story of one young girl's loss of innocence as she is preyed upon by someone with power and fame—this book hit hard notes and is definitely unforgettable. Tiffany D. Jackson is quickly becoming a favourite author and I can't wait to go back and read more of her backlist.
Profile Image for Sofia.
231 reviews6,957 followers
August 27, 2021
I LOVE this book. Grown is devastating. It's chilling how Enchanted's story played out, how she was groomed by an adult man when she was a minor and how easily it was covered up. Fans will excuse anything their idol does. Definitely a dark read, but well worth it.

Review to come...
Profile Image for Mira☁️.
50 reviews173 followers
May 27, 2021
“I'm so sorry, Daddy.
None of this is your fault. Not one drop of it. No child should ever take the blame for a man's actions.”

Enchanted Jones is struggling to fit into her new subburn high school as one of its few black students. She dreams of becoming an aspiring singer. Everything changes when she meets the renowned R&B singer Korey Fields and, he is 28 years old and Enchanted is only 17, He takes an interest in helping Enchanted achieve her dreams. Enchanted sees this opportunity as a chance to help her family financially. We are immediately placed into mystery from chapter one, in which Enchanted wakes up at the murder scene of the famous singer Korey fields with no memory of the past night's events and Enchanted became the main suspect in his murder.

Absolutely amazing, gut wrenching, and terrifying at the same time. This book was so heavy and emotional, I think I will remember this story for a long time. The story is hard to put down, This book is so important and so heartbreaking. I feel like it could just be a really big warning to so many young girls about things like this, It has a strong message about how it's not the victims fault It's the older person they knew better. A heavy hitter, so sad but so important. Tiffany D. Jackson is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine, and I'm excited to read more of her books.

Trigger Warnings: sexual assault, drugs, mental illness, pedophilia, emotional abuse, physical assault.
Profile Image for Althea ☾.
625 reviews2,013 followers
October 28, 2021
This is labeled as a mystery-thriller and rightfully so, the atmosphere was intense and fast-paced the whole way through. I think you should be in the right headspace when you start reading this because watching the manipulation unfold just elicited so many emotions for me. I couldn’t put it down even though it just kept getting more intense.

I didn't like with some things about the ending and the plot twist TDJ chose... and that's the main reason didn't give it a full perfect rating.

— overall thoughts: 4.5 —
content warnings//
representation: Black Main Characters, Black Side Characters, Latinx Side Character

The story begins at the climax of the plot when Enchanted wakes up to find Korey Fields dead and she has no recollection of what happened. From there the narration goes to what happened before the incident and as well as shows the aftermath of trauma after you go through said traumatic events with the main character. The way Tiffany D. Jackson decided to end the plotline was, I think, the best decision that could have been possible and I still didn’t see it coming. I do think that it could have been built up more that it was.

As a musician, it was so interesting to me that the author chose to portray racism and prejudices in the music industry specifically. It added a layer of relatability for me, especially at the moments when her PTSD manifested while performing. I don’t wish to glorify or romanticize that in any way but since Enchanted is a singer and part fo the trauma was a result of that, it makes sense.

My favorite aspect about this whole thing was probably the fact that Korey is actually humanized and not cast as a straight up bad guy while still making it very clear that what he did was manipulative and wrong. He felt like a real person with real feelings, real stories to tell. As the book said, it explores the complicated feelings of loving your torturer.

I loved that the teenage dialogues didn’t make me cringe, they felt realistic and genuine. I found it easy to relate to Enchanted as a character. The writing style made everything feel so tangible. I was so intrigued the whole time from her being a swimmer, to a singer, and the murdering mystery part too. I don’t know why it took me so long to pick up a Tiffany D. Jackson book but I’m glad this was the first, I get the hype now.

There was such a well established family foundation that I didn’t expect to actually be invested in Enchanted’s family as much as just herself. Usually, I find that even though a book has strong family dynamics, they are never seem to be as deeply entertained to the main character’s development. The author went that extra mile to showcase that and it just goes to show how no one is ever exempt from trauma/manipulation, even those from two parent households. That was a detail I highly appreciated since even in real life, we tend to look at the background of the victim before actually starting to accuse the person who committed the crime.

The father-daughter content was very intense for me to read as I am so close to my own dad and the emotions hit me on another level but was still, I think, handled beautifully.

Furthermore, it reflected the complicated feelings of not just Enchanted as a victim but her parents as well (with the self blame that parents have being a catalyst for the trauma that was caused). There was one part that sounded like it glorified her trauma when she they said she sang so well in the middle of a panic attack but I think that was done more so to reflect the personality of the people around her.

The book even discusses (this all sounds like a lot but it was placed so well into the story) how even those who were abused by Korey in the past didn’t believe Enchanted not killing him even. The story actively tries to show how sometimes abuse is normalized which will always be triggering and intense to read for a lot of people. Again, this is a challenging read but Tiffany D. Jackson managed it well.

Please read the author’s note at the end because I feel like it wraps up the themes of the story in the best way.

aside from being so important, I find that this was an incredibly written story that handled such sensitive topics well while exploring so many different views on manipulation, grooming, victim blaming, ++ ↢

“I mean, we’re all scared of drowning, everybody trying to keep afloat. You just have to keep swimming. Like in Finding Nemo.”
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
2,076 reviews5,041 followers
May 19, 2020
Update! Check out my full review:

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. All thoughts and ideas are my own.

Ohhh my goodness. Okay so let me first start by saying that there are a lot of TW in this book including rape, abuse (physical, mental, and emotional), child endangerment, drug use, sexual assault, mental health, discussion of suicide. If you're not aware, which I feel like most people are, Grown is a lose narrative of the stories and allegations that have surrounded R. Kelly. As discussed in the documentary, R. Kelly stands accused of sexual misconduct, physical, mental, and emotional abuse of minors. While I thought that this book was simply going to follow the insight of what would have been a similar situation, it went A LOT further.

This wasn't easy to read. Some aspects of it were triggering. I read about things that I've been through myself. But what really hit home was the discussion of the treatment of black women. Black women are less likely to be believed when they come forward about allegations of misconduct towards them. People are more likely to make excuses for the accused party than to stand with the victim. During the height of the R. Kelly allegations, I remember going on social media and seeing black women and men degrade the women coming forward because "they asked for it" or "look how they dressed" or "why didn't they just leave." No victim should ever be blamed for anything that happens to them; yet, here we are constantly victim blaming the young black women who have been hurt at the hands of other individuals. Jackson captures this perfectly!

This book is definitely more than just a re-imagining of R. Kelly's story, it's a glimpse into the world of being a black woman and the mistreatment that black women face when they try to come forward about how they've been hurt. I honestly can't capture how I feel with just these few words, but I will be doing a full video review of this book. It definitely will stand as one of my favorite books of 2020 and I'll be buying a finished copy when it comes out.
Profile Image for Julie .
4,076 reviews59k followers
November 30, 2020
Grown by Tiffany G. Jackson is a 2020 Katherine Tegen Books publication.

Uncomfortable- Chilling- Important-

I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this book, for several reasons. One, this book is marketed as YA- and as I’ve stated previously, I struggle with this category- again, for several reasons.

Two, I learned while researching the book that it was inspired by the R. Kelly allegations, indicating the book might be disturbing and upsetting-

And three, I’ve already read one book this year with a similar theme, and that book was so dark I decided I never wanted to delve that deeply into his subject matter again- at least not anytime soon.

Yet, every time I turned around this book was in my face with pre-release excitement- in emails, on book club sites, and in ads. Finally, before I could talk myself out of it, I decided to give it a chance.

The story is centered around seventeen- year old Enchanted, a talented girl who sees a chance to showcase her musical abilities. When she catches the attention of superstar Korey Fields, he becomes very proactive, taking her under his wing, promising to shape her musical career. The catch? Korey Fields is controlling, manipulative, and a serial pedophile.

As the story opens, Korey Fields has died in a violent way, and our sweet, but impressionable, Enchanted is alone in the apartment with him. From that point, the story moves back in time, chronicling the events that led up to Korey’s death.

Enchanted narrates the story, explaining how she fell into the clutches of a clever, dangerous sexual predator. As the story progresses the tension mounts, as any adult reader will see exactly where all this is headed, but the question remains- Did Enchanted kill Korey?

This story is a dark, alarming, warning shot that both parents and older teens might benefit from reading. Although the novel parrots the headline grabbing case of R. Kelly, there are universally common signs Korey Fields employed to draw Enchanted into his web.

Sadly, teens need to be made aware of these signs, taught that anyone who attempts to isolate them, is emotionally or physically abusive, or makes them feel uncomfortable in any way does not have their best interest at heart and is dangerous. This book demonstrates this through the eyes of a teenage girl, which is quite effective. Enchanted matures and acquires mental toughness, recognizing her responsibilities, and gathers the courage to tell her story.

It takes a little time for the story to gain momentum, but once the trap is set the suspense is laden with dread, building to a chilling crescendo, leaving the reader stunned and rattled.

This is a thought- provoking novel- again, not the type of story I would want to read too often, but because of the way it is written,
I think this would be an excellent tool to prompt important discussion between teens and adults.

4 stars

*Note- it should go without saying that this book is one long trigger warning. Proceed with caution.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,738 reviews5,277 followers
June 27, 2022
“No child should ever take the blame for a man's actions.”

This is one of the best YA contemporary books I've ever read in my life and I'm not sure how I could possibly do it justice with a review. Grown was my introduction to Tiffany D. Jackson's books, and I'm legitimately a little bit sad that it took me this long to pick up something by her, because I adored everything about it: the writing, the characters, the plot, the commentary, all of it. The dialogue flowed so smoothly, the characters felt real, and the entire storyline mirrored reality in a painfully accurate manner.

I suddenly miss the smells and tight quarters of my house. Burning sage, roasting rosemary, and Daddy’s aftershave. I even miss sharing a room with Shea. But I can’t go back home.

Not only was the writing itself incredible, but these characters... Chanty and her family tugged at my heart so hard, especially her dad in a few specific scenes. I feel like books don't depict great father/daughter relationships all that often, and there were a couple of moments with Enchanted's father that had me in tears over how much he cared and how broken-up he was by the entire situation. (It also served as a solid reminder to outsiders looking in at true crime scenarios that the parents of a teen/child victim aren't always oblivious or neglectful — sometimes, we don't get to see how hard they're fighting behind the scenes to bring their baby home.)

Trying to reclaim your life is a lot like drowning. You attempt to stay above water as waves of new information hit you sideways, carrying you further into the unknown. People throw life preservers, but the ropes can only reach so far, and once a riptide catches you by the ankle, all you can do is wonder why you ever thought you’d be OK jumping into the deep end, when you could barely manage the shallows.

And above all else, this book serves as a much-needed reminder for a lot of readers that a child should never be held accountable for an adult's actions, but too often, we do place the blame on the victims (especially when those victims are BIPOC kids/teens). There were reactions depicted to Chanty's abuse that I've absolutely witnessed people saying about victims in real life, and so many of them were hateful remarks that seem to be especially saved for BIPOC victims (especially young Black girls, who society loves to "age up" and then blame the kids for it). It's heartbreaking that this book needed to be written, but it did, and Tiffany D. Jackson did one hell of a fine job doing so.

Representation: Enchanted and most side characters are Black; Latinx side character

Content warnings for:

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Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
August 28, 2023
Enchanted Jones is a 17-year old high school student with dreams of becoming a singer. Even though Enchanted is one of five children and on her high school swim team, she often feels like an outsider, even when surrounded by people.

Enchanted and her family moved and she entered her school when she was a little older, so she doesn't have the same well-established friend group that a lot of her peers have. She does have one very close friend, Gabby.

In fact, it's Gabby who pushes Enchanted to audition for a singing competition show. Enchanted has to trick her Mom to get to the audition, but she pulls it off and gets her try-out. She can't miss this opportunity.

Unfortunately, her nerves get the best of her in the moment and she doesn't do as well as she had hoped. Even though she didn't secure a spot in the competition, she did catch the eye of a very successful R&B artist, Korey Fields.

Things move very quickly from that point for Enchanted. Korey offers her free singing lessons, she's invited to his studio and eventually to tour with him. It takes a lot to convince her parents this is a good thing for her, but after promises from the label, they agree to let her go.

Fast forward, Enchanted waking up covered in blood. Korey is dead. Enchanted has no memory of the night before. Police are knocking at the door. All signs point to Enchanted as the killer, but how could this possibly happen? What would have lead to this horrible conclusion?

This story was arranged and told so well by Jackson. You know at the very beginning the bloody scene I have described above. The rest of the book takes you back through the events leading up to Korey's death.

I definitely had an idea of the difficult content contained in this book, but I completely underestimated how powerful it would be. Every time I read a Tiffany D. Jackson book I think, this one is her best work and Grown is no exception. I freaking loved this.

Jackson has such a talent for creating well-rounded, relatable, likable characters that you would fight for. Enchanted goes through it in this book and I felt like I was there with her.

Some of the scenes depicted in this novel are very hard to read. It's emotional, horrifying and shocking to consider that these types of situations happen to young women and girls all the time. Behind closed doors, you never know what is really going on.

I enjoyed how Jackson included some mixed media of outsider's reactions to Enchanted's situation, from the very beginning, when her peers were first learning of her involvement with Korey, all the way through the exposure of the crime. Some of the ideas vented were fairly typical of what you would read online if a story like this actually broke.

It was a good reminder to check yourself before you make too many assumptions. I also feel like that added to the very real vibe of this story.

This was actually my last published Tiffany D. Jackson novel that I had left to read. I am so glad that I finally made the time for this one. I can't believe I put it off for so long.

I actually Buddy Read this with my fabulous niece, Alyssa and we had a good time discussing it. There's definitely a lot of food for thought within this story.

Jackson never holds back and this story benefited from that fact. I was moved by the Author's Note, how Jackson mentioned that when she was teen, she too dated older men. You can tell that this was a topic that she truly felt was worthy of discussion.

And it is not just the age difference, of course, or Korey's reprehensible treatment of Enchanted. It's an entire system that allows this type of thing to happen and then doubts, judges and ultimately silences young women's stories/voices.

I would definitely recommend this book. Best read with friends, as you're definitely going to want to talk about it!!

Profile Image for Bang Bang Books.
494 reviews219 followers
November 15, 2020
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As always, I hate giving such a low rating to a Black author but this book didn't know what it wanted to be.

Issues I Had With This Book:
* Is this a murder mystery, is it a thriller, is it a social commentary about abused and neglected Black girls? One could argue that it could be all those things and technically a book could do that (Sadie by Courtney Summers-sans Black girls) but it came across as if Jackson didn't know what she wanted this book to be. It was kinda all over the place for me. There are barely any books that focus on the overlooked exploited and abused Black girls and this was an opportunity but all the other things going on drew attention away from that.

* Chanty was under developed-At one point, Chanty says that her mother tells her she's mature for her age but I BEG to differ. From the very beginning, she acted like she was 15 and not 17 going on 18. She constantly squealed about Korey and talked about Disney movies. She should have been more mature considering she was the oldest of five with working parents but she wasn't written that way. I'm a teen librarian in a low-income working class community and many of my teens have to babysit their younger siblings and have jobs to help pay the bills. These teens talk about issues in their community; the inequality of school; gender and sexuality issues; not Disney. I'm not saying that Disney is immature as a lot of adults love Disney but if you are trying to convince me that she's mature enough for her parents to allow her to go by herself with a grown ass man,

-This book hinges on her maturity; it's called Grown. There were many occasions where I was asking why she was so naive. Did she seriously not realize what Crieghton was doing? Why did she think she could just finish her album and then leave? Rico from Jackpot was a better written Black girl with similar circumstances.

* I hate to say it but I don't think Jackson was the best author to tell this story.
- Jackson is trying to make the reader believe that Chanty was driven to Korey because her home life was not ideal but her home life wasn't bad. Okay, she went to a predominately White school. Okay, she had to take care of her siblings all the time. Okay, her parents we struggling with their money. Okay, her parents weren't supportive enough of her singing but the camel that broke the back was when they wouldn't get her a car?! Because Jackson was purposely using her home life to set her up as a girl that would think a 27 year old man would be seriously interested in a 17 year old high school student, I'm gonna focus on that. Often times young girls look for older men because they can provide something a teen boy can't-security; attention; money but Chanty got all of this at home. I could see her going with Korey because she was receiving no support from her family but that wasn't the case. WHY WOULD THIS GIRL THINK A 27 YEAR OLD MAN WOULD FALL IN LOVE WITH A 17 YEAR OLD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT? WHAT IS GOING ON IN HER LIFE TO MAKE HER BELIVE HIM? Idk, because Jackson didn't write that girl. I can't get past that. This girl wouldn't have taken that path but I have read plenty of other girls in YA who would have.
- There are many books about girls who are sexually abused and assaulted but Jackson is not adding anything new to this issue. All of the justification by Chanty and victim blaming by other characters have all been said to death. Because this is about a Black girl, it automatically adds something new to this topic but Jackson does nothing with it. Black girls and women disappear all the time but law enforcement and the press do not care to take the time to talk about it. If you are White reading this review, ask yourself how many young Black girls do you know of that received nationwide coverage of their disappearance? But I bet you know Natalee Halloway and Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart. It's a real problem in the Black community but Jackson barely does anything with it. The whole issue with R. Kelly was also a missed opportunity because Kelly has been accused of rape of teen girls for YEARS and the Black community continued to listen to his music for YEARS-THAT IS NOT OKAY! Once again, missed opportunity. Jackson mentions it briefly but not enough. If you are going to write a book like this, you have to stand out; you have to say something different and give readers a new perspective; give readers a new voice; allow readers to learn about something different about a different race/culture. Don't regurgitate.
-If you are going to write a book about sexual assault and exploitation of teen girls, go for it. I felt like Jackson wasn't brave enough to write this book. Black Girl Unlimited went for it.

* I didn't like the pacing.
* Parents were underdeveloped
* The whole Gab thing was out of left field
* Chanty's whole justification thing for why she stayed-UGH! Once again, she wasn't set up well enough for me to believe that she would stay.

What I Liked:
* It started off well. I liked that Chanty wasn't Black enough for school and not bougie Black enough for the WW crew. I thought that was different and interesting.
* I liked the sister; I wish she was in it more

I was looking forward to this because I love the cover and the idea but I was so disappointed.

If you would like to see an interesting documentary about ignored Black women, check out the show, Unseen, on Amazon.
Profile Image for Peyton Reads.
178 reviews1,779 followers
November 27, 2021
Absolutely amazing, gut wrenching, and terrifying at the same time. Major trigger warnings for sexual abuse/assault, rape, and manipulation. This book is so important and I genuinely believe it will help so many young girls. And hopefully it can help other people open their eyes to how people won’t just listen to women! Especially Black women.
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
827 reviews4,704 followers
November 15, 2020
5 heart wrenching stars for this tough read about grooming, assault, abuse and how women are treated when they come forward with allegations. Grown is a heart wrenching but important read and unfortunately extremely relevant. 💔⁣⁣
This book was emotionally charged and left me feeling spent when I turned the last page. The journey 17 year old Enchanted takes in this book is harrowing. The things she endures are unspeakable, worse because we know others have lived through the same and worse. My heart broke as I read this book. I was upset, sad and disgusted. How can victims be treated in such a way that they are essentially vilified and victimized again for coming forward? I just don’t understand. ⁣⁣
Tiffany D. Jackson is a phenomenal writer. She takes on heavy topics and demands we pay attention. I partially listened to the audiobook which was excellent. Highly recommend this suspenseful murder mystery focusing on important issues that demand our attention! ⁣⁣
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,129 reviews13.8k followers
November 14, 2020
Trigger warnings for rape, grooming, abuse, drug use, and discussion of suicide.

Wow, this book was so heavy and emotional and real. I read this book in two days because I couldn't put it down. Enchanted was a normal teenager who just wanted her chance to be a star and an older, famous musician took complete advantage of her and violated her in every way. My heart went out to Enchanted, her family, and her friends. I really enjoyed how we got to see how hard it was for her parents when, in many situations, people would ask how parents could possibly allow that to happen or how Enchanted would possibly stay in that situation. This was so complex and hard to read, but I was glued to every page and had to know what would happen next.
April 27, 2021

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GROWN was a book that I was immediately interested in upon hearing about it because (1) it was literally all over Instagram for a hot minute (okay, more like a hot month) and (2) that cover. I also really liked the premise. In the age of #MeToo, it feels really important to have books like this coming out that not only draw awareness to the issue of abuse but also sort of provide a sort of cathartic solace for the victims of such abuse where they have books that either make them feel seen or maybe make them realize that they're in or have been in an unhealthy relationship and that they aren't at fault for it.

Apparently, GROWN is loosely based off of R. Kelly, but it mostly seems to be about grooming behaviors and the blinding power of celebrity cult status. Enchanted is a normal high school girl with a beautiful singing voice. Her family are lower middle class and don't really have the funds to give her the launch pad she wants, so when she catches the attention of mega-star Korey Fields, she feels like she's won the lottery. Especially since he seems to know all of the words to make her feel special on a deeply personal level.

But the more time Enchanted spends with Korey, the more she begins to wonder if something isn't right. The eleven-year age gap, the purple drinks he plies her with, the way he begins to insult her as freely as he compliments her, the way he sometimes keeps her locked up in her room. Soon it starts to feel like she hasn't won the lottery at all, so much as plunged headfirst into a deep ocean without a life preserver. And it seems like her family, with their few resources, are in little to no position to help.

So I ended up not liking this as much as I wanted to. There were a couple things I thought GROWN did really well. It told the story of abuse without sensationalizing it or giving too many gory details (which is important since this is a young adult book). That said, it was still pretty horrific if you know what's really going on. I also liked that it touches upon the way that we, as a society, tend to approach victims of abuse, sometimes treating them with the suspicion that the perpetrators should be treated with. There's an assumption of falsehood in the way that some authority figures talk to people reporting crimes of abuse and this book calls that out, and it also calls out the fact that women of color can be disproportionately affected because of infrastructural inequality that ends up facilitating their abuse.

Things I didn't like were a little more integral to the writing itself. The dialogue was very wooden at times and didn't always flow in a way that felt natural. I also felt like all the characters who weren't Enchanted fell flat. Her parents and siblings, as others have pointed out, but also Korey himself. He was so oily and repulsive-- and yes, I know I'm biased since I knew exactly what he was going in and hated him for it, but he didn't really have any of the surface charm that these serial abusers tend to have that makes them so good at manipulating people. He was just skeevy. I'm not sure if that was the point or not. If it wasn't, it wasn't subtle. He might as well have worn a name tag that said, "Hi, I'm a CREEP." I also felt like the book was a bit all over the place in terms of execution, taking on too much for its page count, and ended up reading like an overly ambitious debut because of it.

So while this wasn't bad, I'm afraid it didn't quite live up to the hype, either. Still, it's worth a read.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Erin .
1,274 reviews1,197 followers
February 13, 2021
I don't know why Tiffany D Jackson keeps doing this to me.

I'm a nice person.

I buy all her books.....and yet she insists on ripping my heart out of my chest.

Shes a cruel cruel woman.

Grown is so amazing. I would say its topical but the abuse of young girls isn't new and so stories like this will always be topical.

Obviously R.Kelly inspired this book but we can't act like R.Kelly is the only man abusing young Black girls. He's just the most high profile one currently.

Most abuse survivors have a hard time getting people to believe them but for Black girls it's even worse. Black girls who are abused are called "fast" or "too grown" or they say "she knew what she was doing" or they are accused of try to "bring a Black man down". And that's just what people in our own community say. People outside the Black community just ignore it.

Grown like all of Tiffany D Jackson's novels is a hard read. You need to be in the proper headspace for it.

A loved this book.

Was it my favorite Tiffany D Jackson novel?

Allegedly or Mondays Not Coming are currently tied for #1 but you wont regret picking up Grown.

A Must Read!
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