Reviews

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

*Spoiler free*

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.

Yeah, I guess I was seriously serious about wanting to read absolutely everything that Jackson has written. I was ready after Allegedly, and I was even more ready after Monday’s Not Coming. I went in knowing very little about this book other than it has gotten very high praise and it was about a dead singer and the accused girl. I also knew it was probably going to destroy me and I couldn’t wait to read it. Trigger warnings: mentions of sexual abuse, rape, assault, child abuse, kidnapping, and addiction to opioids

Wow.

With every single one of her books that I read, I fall deeper in love with Jackson’s storyteller and her ability to completely destroy me.

You know when you see the cover, and it just kind of takes your breath away with it’s beauty? That’s exactly how I felt while reading it. It was so stark, and so bright, but so haunting and chilling at the same time.

I think one of my favorite things is how this book is set up. It flip flops from the then and the now. It’s stated right at the beginning of the synopsis that Korey Fields is dead. The now consists of very short snippets, short flashes between the horror of the then. It’s like a brief flash of light. There’s something on the other side. But, oh no, it’s just as horrifying as what’s happening or what’s going to happen, or what has already happened. Really, this book was expertly set up, allowing for maximum emotional impact.

I also want to gush about Jackson’s writing for a minute, because she can seriously write. Somehow, she’s able to craft this horrifying story using the most lush and flowy writing. She makes it easy to fly through a book that is hard to read, because her writing feels safe.

A lot of the time, I don’t love thrillers because I can’t connect with the characters or I feel like the characters are pushed to the side in favor of the plot or the chills. But, in these books, I fall in love with the characters, while having my jaw drop at plot devices at the same time. I loved Enchanted. I know that’s such a small statement, but I love Enchanted. I don’t want to muddy that statement with unnecessary words, so I’m going to leave it at I love Enchanted.

There were also a lot of really, really awesome side characters! Gabi, Shea, the Littles, Enchanted’s parents. They all cared so much. It made me fall in love with them, but it also made the book so much more gut-wrenching to read. The cared so much, but everything still happened.

Allegedly and Monday’s Not Coming relied on a certain plot twist to drive their point home. This book recognizes that and uses it to its advantage. I am veering very, very close to spoiler territory here, but I feel like it’s worth mentioning. Because it feels deliberate, and I can’t help smiling about it, because it’s so dang smart.

Is it appropriate to end a review with just saying “wow” over and over again? Because that’s how that book made me feel. Like just a whole string of wows. This book is intense, and it goes until the very last page, and it’s dark, and chilling, and horrifying, and it does all those things so amazingly.

You can add Grown on Goodreads and order a copy of your own!

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