A ripped-from-the-headlines story. *Triggering Content

Summary:

Enchanted Jones, a 17-year-old with dreams to be a famous singer, skips her swim meet to go to an audition. There, she is spotted by legendary artist Korey Fields. When he promises her an album and record deal, she finally feels like her dream may be coming true. He also promises her family money, finally allowing them to get on their feet. 

When Korey (28) shows his interest in Enchanted, beyond her voice, not only with her voice, and Enchanted falls in love with him, too. Enchanted could see stars - was she getting a happy ending, like in all of the Disney movies? Korey’s charm and followers had a stronghold over her, but Korey has a dark side to him. Many other younger singers had reported being abused when working with Korey. He could never, ever hurt Enchanted. She is not like the others... unless. Reality crashes down when Enchanted wakes up to a bloody mess and zero memory of the night before. Korey was killed, but by whom?

NOTE: There are scenes of assault and abuse. Be aware if these are triggering for you.


BTSYA / Teen Reader (14):
Grown is very fast-paced, with a lot of action. Every page is uncomfortable and unnerving, giving you just a glimpse of what real abuse and rape are like. Rape culture is very apparent throughout the book. Enchanted’s situation was made even more conflicted because Korey's fame left her as an outsider, with the media, Korey's fans, and even her classmates and their parents disliking her and not believing her. 

Enchanted's story gives readers a magnificent perspective from an abused and groomed adolescent. It leaves you sadly wishing you could take away the pain and hurt from victims. The book, loosely based on R. Kelly and his pedophilic behavior, portrays the struggle of the poor black women, one of the most oppressed minorities in the United States. What was evident to me is that our society, especially the music industry, works against African-American women. It is wonderful that this book can shed some light can be shed on rape culture, the oppression of black women, and the inequality of the world.

The plot elements with Enchanted's friend Gabriella are a bit blurry and confusing. Grown may be unsuitable for some readers. 

 


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Teens interested in ripped-from-the-headlines stories or have their own dreams of fame will find this compelling and eye-opening. It is gritty, real, and for mature readers only.

Content Awareness Factors:

Sex and sexual abuse, including rape and pedophilia are integral to the story. There is profanity, gender bias, and negative stereotyping, and characters use profanity.


Type of Book:
This is a fictional story about how a young girl was groomed and abused by a famous music artist in her pursuit of fame.
Educational Themes:

Given the subject matter and the seriousness of the themes, teens and adults should discuss, not just read, this book. The negative stereotyping and what is/isn't "consent" top the list of topics.

Reading Level:
3.9
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
15 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age: 14
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is a powerful story that is worth the read. It is not one you would come back to.

Title Grown
Author Tiffany D. Jackson
Publisher Katherine Tegen Books, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2020
ISBN 9780062840356
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Music, Mystery
be the star you are Cybils
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