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Sunday, March 21, 2021

Review: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

by Tiffany D. Jackson

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publish Date: January 24, 2017
400 Pages
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery

Orange Is the New Black meets Walter Dean Myer’s Monster in this gritty, twisty, and haunting debut by Tiffany D. Jackson about a girl convicted of murder seeking the truth while surviving life in a group home.

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: a white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it?

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary’s fate now lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But does anyone know the real Mary?

My Review:

Based on the opening, I had a feeling where this book was probably going to go but I held on so tightly hoping for that NOT to be the case!  Y'all know I have a love for nature vs. nurture and here we get a home full of young girls who have committed some kind of crime.... which leads to some bullying type hierarchy within the group.  And then there's Mary.  Let's talk about Mary.

I have to start out by saying how ridiculously happy I was that Mary had adopted a fly and named the fly Herbert.  If y'all have been following me during this pandemic, you'll know that I adopted a pet fly and named it Freddie. 🤣 I'm tickled.  But this just gives a glimpse into Mary's personality.  As someone who tried to fly under the radar and would barely speak, if at all, she tried to bide her time... but still also strived to be someone better.  This rings even more true after she finds out that she's pregnant.  You are rooting for Mary the entire way.  Get that SAT! Read all the books! Expand your vocabulary. 👏👏👏

Throughout her journey, Jackson highlights how terrible the system is.  The women taking care of these girls are abusive.  The girls in the house are mean and abrasive.  The people who are supposed to come in and check on them never show up and the girls don't even know any better.  Mary's own mother is now well off but still only manages to come in twice a month for an hour to see her.. and this is still better than what the other girls receive from their families.  

The cover of this book make you think this is going to be horror... and it is in the horrific acts that happen within the pages.  The subtle but echoining pain through these complex characters where doing what's right becomes blurred in the actions they have to make to get there.  And is especially relevant on mental illness abuse within the system.  I did enjoy the different formats as we tranverse back into the trial and past interviews.  And while I appreciate the delicateness in how we get to the conclusion, I wanted just a *teeny* bit more teeth.  I have a couple other books by this author that I now cannot wait to jump into.


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