cover image Grown


Tiffany D. Jackson. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-284035-6

Jackson (Let Me Hear a Rhyme) preaches the word of young women eager to be grown before their time in this story of talent, ambition beyond opportunity, forbidden attraction, and the deadly consequences thereof. Seventeen-year-old Enchanted Jones is a responsible big sister, gifted swimmer, and dedicated student who dreams of a singing career. When she auditions for a national singing competition—“BET’s version of American Idol”—she catches the eye of notorious singer Korey Fields, a handsome, worldly-seeming 28-year-old whose attention flatters her. Their relationship begins in secret, under the guise of voice lessons, but soon draws her into a dangerous situation, far from home with no one to rely on. Jackson outdoes herself depicting Enchanted’s gradual entrenchment into Korey’s influence and the insidiousness of his abusive behavior as it transforms Enchanted from a studious, reliable oldest daughter to the distant, isolated image of his desire. Expertly juxtaposing the glamour of Enchanted’s potential fame against the harshness of her private moments with Korey, Jackson builds the story gradually and painfully to an astonishing, chilling climax. Ages 13–up. Agent: Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary. (Sept.)