Jackson, Tiffany. Grown. (2020). Kathern Tegen Books.
Summary: Everyone is a dreamer at some point in life. Sixteen-year-old Enchanted Jones wants nothing more than to become a singer. She finally gets an opportunity after she convinces her mother to take a detour which is supposed to be a swim meet. Instead, she is headed to an audition that might be her grand opportunity to showcase her vocal skills. It is her turn next when she takes the stage and is noticed by the one and only R&B phenomenon Korey Fields. Not only is he present, but instinctively notices Enchanted. She is mesmerized by his greeting. He also includes her parents by gracing them with celebrity introductions and later on monetary gifts. In a flash, Enchanted is receiving text messages from Korey informing her of ways to improve her singing but has an uncannily way of doing it. He woos her into a dysfunctional web which is sticky and reveals who he truly is with fate lurking nearby. Will Enchanted make good choices? How will she make a comeback? Can she trust the people around her? Is she truly grown?
Strengths: Enchanted experiences several typical teen issues throughout the story. She has healthy relationships with her family and friends that mimic the lives of so many. Prior, to her encounter with Korey, she is a happy teen trying to find her way.
Weaknesses: The family dynamics are a little complex. It is hard to follow how supportive the grandmother was in a healthy aspect during Enchanted’s teen years. She reflects on her as a memory at length throughout the story. However, some of her appearances are questionable.
Thoughts: This story is a clear depiction of power and control. It includes the elements of sexual abuse which often leads to trafficking. The content is heavy but realistic. It places emphasis on how prevalent this issue is in communities everywhere. The book also gives insight on how parenting is challenging. It shows moments of vulnerability when split decisions are made that have an adverse impact.