Struggling with book burnout? Finding yourself in a slump? I have found a cure. Allegedly, by Tiffany D. Jackson, is the answer. I have not read a book like this one in a LONGGGG time. I sat down to read a chapter and found myself completely consumed. I finished it in a single afternoon and then frantically began texting my friends to persuade them to READ THIS BOOK.
Set eight years after her alleged crime, Mary is just as confused and hopeless as she struggles to find her place in a group home for other “troubled” girls. After allegedly killing an infant at 8 years old, Mary’s life seems to be laid out for her. With not many options and her privacy sensationalized by the media, Mary is just trying to survive. Until she finds out she is pregnant. Surviving is no longer the priority. Proving what really happened is. And, after all, Mary never did say what really happened…
I think what pulled me in immediately was the narrative style of the novel. The novel is told through the eyes of Mary as she struggles to survive and cope with past trauma. There are also little bits and pieces that are excerpts that are psych reports from Mary’s case, police reports and interviews and novels published about Mary’s life. The narrative style is so well crafted; Jackson creates a narrator who completely multifaceted; she is both naive, and wise beyond her ears, kind and vicious, fearless and frightened. As I was reading I continued to go back and forth, trying to decide if I could trust their character, or if I needed to be wary of her. I was totally on her side as I read, but then would read one of those little excerpts and wonder if I should trust her. I will not give away the ending of the story, but, I will say that by the end of the novel, I was left completely satisfied. With this level of characterization and storytelling, I was shocked to find out this novel was the author’s debut!!
Now, I will be the first to say that I struggle with Young Adult fiction, and this novel is published by a YA publisher. However, this didn’t feel young AT ALL. While the main character is sixteen, I never felt like I was reading something too young for me. I’m not sure if it was the level of characterization or the content, but I was glued to the pages.
I highly, highly recommend; 5 star read.
BRB running to buy everything by Tiffany D. Jackson.
Trigger warning: there is some content related to trauma (sexual and physical abuse).