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!!