Review: Grown by Tiffany D. Johnson

Posted February 15, 2021 by Angie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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Review: Grown by Tiffany D. JohnsonGrown by Tiffany D. Jackson
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on September 15, 2020
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Suspense
Format: eBook (368 pages)
Source: Library
Purchase: AmazonIndieBound
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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.

Award-winning author Tiffany D. Jackson delivers another riveting, ripped-from-the-headlines mystery that exposes horrific secrets hiding in the limelight and the power of a young woman’s voice.

four-half-stars

Proceed with Caution:

This book contains a relationship between a minor and an adult, physical abuse, emotional abuse, statutory rape, drugging, and mentions of rape.

The Basics:

Grown is narrated in first person by Enchanted Jones, a seventeen year old swimmer and aspiring singer. After an audition she meets superstar, Korey Fields, and he offers to mentor her. He takes her on tour with promises of love, singing lessons, recording an album, and funds for her family. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

My Thoughts:

Having read and loved two other books by the author, I knew I was going to enjoy Grown. And I did. It was a wild ride! Enchanted just wants to be a singer. She doesn’t want to be famous, but she wants to be known. She also wants to be loved and believes she has found that in her secret relationship with the twenty-eight-year-old Korey. Clearly this relationship is not exactly legal, but at first it seems good. The two text each other, have the same taste in music and movies, and generally enjoy each other’s company. But once Korey gets Enchanted on tour with him, the real Korey comes out.

Grown was just completely bananas. The things that Korey does to Enchanted are sickening. It’s not all bad, and it’s those moments of sweetness and softness that keep Enchanted under his spell. But he’s not being held to any of his promises and he’s always twisting things to make it look like her fault, or like she’s all he has, and he’s all she has. It’s very twisted and upsetting.

Grown also does an amazing job at discussing how Black girls and women are not believed when they come forward about abuse. The cops and the media make it sound like Enchanted got what she wanted, or she asked for it, or she knew exactly what she was doing. No! Korey knew exactly what he was doing and he knew better! Even if she did turn eighteen during their time together, he was still the adult in the situation and the one who took advantage. Why is it so difficult for people to realize that? They’d rather presume to know a young girl’s mind and twist it to fit some other narrative rather than just looking at what’s right in front of them!

I finished Grown in one sitting. I flew through it in about three hours. I was hooked! I knew there was going to be a huge plot twist coming but I couldn’t figure it out. I kept coming up with theories but they were all proven wrong. Then the final page happened. What? No?! That’s not even possible. Honestly, I was left confused, but not in an “oh crap, no way?!” kind of way. Just straight up puzzled, which is the only reason this one isn’t a five-star read. It seemed thrown in just to be a plot twist rather than actually fitting the story. Still absolutely worth the read though.

Quotes from Grown:

Hes young. But not that young. (page 27)

“Don’t want these grown men looking at what you got.” (page 40)

“Aight, your heart is nothing but a muscle. It contracts and expands, working just as hard as any other muscle. The difference is, the blood pumping through it pumps through your entire body. That blood holds memories. Things you try to forget but it won’t let you. You have to use those memories, use that blood to fuel you. But that blood can’t move through you unless you relax.” (page 88)

Only mermaids can swim in emotions this deep. (page 121)

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