Book Review: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
Published: January 24th, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Find the Author: Goodreads
I received this book for review on my blog! As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.
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? She wouldn’t say.
Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.
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 must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?
Nothing had looked more inviting to me at midnight than Allegedly on my TBR shelf and since I was so, so behind on reading and reviewing because I’ve been hectically busy (sorry, world!) I thought it would be a perfect read to get back into the reading habit. The premise of Allegedly looked edgy and mysterious.
As I began delving into Allegedly, I realised why I love reading books and started this blog in the first place. Mary is this flawed, striking character with a complicated past that begs the question of what kind of society we live in. As a child, Mary was accused and locked away for supposedly killing a baby when she was caring for it with her ill Mother. Over the years, Mary has developed a thick skin for the way her life has been unlike normal girls. She’s been kept in a sort of seclusion that she calls baby jail until she’s moved into a group home. Whenever she questions why she’s there in the first place, no one will answer her pleas. She constantly lives in the dark, waiting for someone to shed a little light on her and pull her out of the box she has been put into, because: Mary and her mother are Black, and were looking after a White baby. The media had portrayed them wrongly, and because of her hushed interview with detectives those years ago, they had filled in the missing information with what they assumed.
Now, Mary knows more than ever that she doesn’t want to live like this anymore. After meeting Ted on an assignment, she knows he’s the one that she wants, now more so that she’s expecting a baby. But when they tell Mary that her baby will be adopted and taken from her, she knows she’s got a fight on her hands if she wants to be happy and keep her child. Still, fighting their decision means facing the person she can’t stand, her Mother, and she’s going to have to delve into the past and the real her to reveal what really happened.
Allegedly is one gem of a read. It’s gritty, thought provoking and honest. It’s not shy of telling it how realistically life really is and how vicious the media can be without knowing the details. In this dark, raw read there existed Mary, this intriguing and powerful YA voice that begged to be heard. Her experience made me sad and mad, and sad again. There was more than just one twist (and one nearer the end that was totally unexpected) and the pace was steady enough to keep my attention throughout. I finished this mid-early morning, thanks to my insomnia, but that night I knew that Allegedly had just made those hours I couldn’t sleep tolerable.
Overall, Allegedly is a five star firecracker that’s the definition of real. The characters, friendships, and sheer power of the premise was mind-blowing and it’s a book to make you really think about what you just read. Truly amazing.
Everyone who enjoys YA books.
Have you read Allegedly?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments or on twitter @LittleMemoirs!