This is my third time writing up this review because the first two just didn’t sit well with me. My words did feel adequate enough to convey how much I enjoy this book and how much I need folks out there to read Allegedly with an open mind and heart. Author Tiffany D. Jackson stunning debut is an intense, dark and gritty read. Told through the eyes of Mary B. Addison an alleged baby killer we the readers get immersed in this thrilling and shocking page turner. It’s one of those books that you can’t put down until the very end. I highly recommend this read.
For a debut author, Tiffany D. Jackson does a phenomenal job and hits all the right point. Not only is Allegedly, honest, raw and ultra-realistic with showing how the juvenile justice system is broken and often times fail the children that are send there but Mary the protagonist is one of the most complex and layered characters that I’ve read to date. Maybe because I find it refreshing to see someone that I can related to and understand. Not the whole alleged baby killing thing but the mannerisms and language. To the non-poc you get a glimpse or small part of black culture. The way we communicate with one another and navigate in a white world. With that being said this is why I ask you to read this book with an open heart and mind.
Without going into this topic too much, there’s been some debate about how the teenagers within Allegedly, aren’t how teenagers act and speak. Many of you might not know AAVE and that’s okay but I would hope you as a reviewer or reader wouldn’t downgrade a book because you couldn’t understand the “language”. If you can speak Klingon and Elvish I’m should AAVE can come to you naturally as well.
Anyways, if you’re looking for a powerful, gut-wrenching and heartbreaking read, Allegedly is the book for you. Prepare yourself to get knockdown and knockout over and over again as Tiffany D. Jackson hits you with the heavy topics. From Domestic Violence to Mental Illness to Pregnancy to Murder. By the end it will feel like you just finished a boxing round with Mike Tyson. Allegedly, is a powerhouse debut that is bold, uncompromising and at times hard to swallow as it reads like a true crime novel. With so many twist and turns this book will have you asking if Mary did it.
Beyond that, Allegedly is an important read. A book that will be a great discussion starter on how to better these systems that are supposed to protect children instead of leaving them to fend for themselves. It maybe fiction but I’m sure this book will hit close to home to many.
P.S. I know this review might not be the best but it’s damn hard to convey and send out the right tone on why this book is important and why you loved it so much. All I ask is that you the readers out there don’t let this one slip under the radar. It’s a damn good book.