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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.6 out of 5
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  • Raw, Real, Important

    First of all, I would like to open with a content warning for this title. Grown opens on a murder scene and features violence, child grooming, various forms of abuse including sexual assault and long term gaslighting, and frequently addresses casual racism. Although this is written for a young/new adult audience featuring a high school senior, it may not be suitable for all YA audiences. As indicated by the author in the afterward, Grown is a work of fiction inspired by the real-world R Kelly case and drawing partially from her own personal experience as a BIPOC who dated an older man in her teens. As such, although this is once again a work of fiction, it feels very much like the novelization of a real victim's experience. Enchanted Jones is the eldest child of a middle-class black family who are trying their best to claw their way to a more prosperous life, and Chanty is expected to go to college and work toward a real, stable career. Chanty doesn't want that. All she wants in the whole world is to sing. When she tricks her mother into taking her to a TV music show audition under the guise of an away meet for her high school swim team she meets her idol, 28-year-old music star Korey Fields. When she gets the opportunity to tour with him with the promise that someday Korey will help launch her solo career, Chanty's life as she knows it ends forever. This book is so raw and real. As someone who lives with PTSD from similar traumas, everything about how Chanty copes and develops throughout this book rings absolutely true to me. The conflict she feels between being afraid of Korey at his worst but loving him at his best and feeling like she's wrong for not just loving him all the time is exactly what victims of grooming and gaslighting feel. It feels wrong to say I enjoyed this book because the subject matter is horrifying, but it is so well written that I could not put it down. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who is interested in this sort of story and prepared for the graphic content. Chanty, Korey, and the events of this book may not be real, but this echos the real story of countless people all over the world, and most of them are never heard or vindicated. I listened to the audiobook recording, so I would also like to comment on the narration. The narrator's voice is easy to listen to and perfect for this performance. I was never bored, nor was I ever confused about who was speaking. I listened at 1.5x playback speed (my usual for audiobooks) and do feel like I could have comfortably listened both faster or slower, so this should suit all types of audiobook listeners. Story: 5 stars Performance: 5 stars Overall 5 stars This book is an important work, and it is timeless. Again, I recommend this to everyone who is prepared for the graphic nature of the content.

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    4 person found this review helpful

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    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Powerful

    Tiffany Jackson’s hardest hitting novel yet! This is a page turner that will make you want to lock up your daughters to keep them away from predators. And it’s an awful reminder of the abhorrent unfairness of the justice system that puts victims on trial, especially black women.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Important, Compelling YA Mystery

    Grown Author: Tiffany D. Jackson Genre: YA Mystery Pages: 380 Description: Enchanted is an aspiring singer who tries out for a BET singing competition. While she is there, she meets superstar singer, Korey Fields takes an interest in her. She ends up going on tour with him and we see their relationship unfold to a disastrous end (which is where the book starts). What I liked: 🎤 The story was compelling and this was quite a page-turning. While this book tackles some heavy topics, it is geared at a YA audience so none of the scenes are graphic or overly described. 🎤 The author handles the aftermath so realistically. It shows how the system is quite broken for situations like this and does not sugar coat it at all. 🎤 I read the audiobook and the narrator was fantastic. She had a youngish voice that sounded like it could be Enchanted telling her own story. 🎤Enchanted is very well-developed as a character. You feel the butterflies in the beginning and then slowly watch the relationship unfold. Her family and friend, Gabby are also well-developed characters. I would highly recommend this book. There is a mystery that unfolds but it is also a story of manipulation, intimate partner violence, and survival. This is an important book. Believe victims.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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