Sunday, 6 December 2020

Grown

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson (Harper Collins) RRP PB $19.99

ISBN 9780063056718

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Grown is a young adult fiction novel about Enchanted Jones, a talented seventeen-year-old girl who aspires to be a singer.

Chanty, as she is affectionately referred to, is trying to cope with life’s recent changes and feelings of isolation. Her family have recently moved from a seaside town to a suburb: she is one of only ten people of colour at her new high school and she feels she is missing out on being a ‘normal teenager’ as she spends most of her spare time looking after her four younger siblings while her parents are working.

Chanty’s life changes forever when she meets the famous R&B artist Korey Fields at a singing audition. He pays her some attention, compliments her talent and offers her tickets to his upcoming show. Chanty is smitten. Korey, eleven years her senior, soon offers to mentor her. Chanty jumps at the opportunity and believes all her dreams are coming true. “All this time, my heart has been beating, but this is the first time I’ve felt fully alive.” The platonic relationship quickly turns romantic and then turns toxic as Korey is revealed as a master manipulator. The controlling relationship goes from bad to worse to tragic.

This novel’s many mature themes include: sexual, physical and emotional abuse, grooming, rape, drug addiction and violence. Grown is a powerful story suitable for readers aged 15+ years.

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