ARC Book Review: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
ashley | I knew going into Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson that it was going to be a hard book to read, but I thought that difficulty would be more because of the awful thing Mary did, not because of the awful way Mary was treated. But that’s what was overpowering about this book and Jackson does an incredible job of pulling on your heart strings and building empathy where initially there was none.
There’s a nice mix of Girl, Interrupted and Orange is the New Black here, though Allegedly stands well apart from both of these works. There’s a mix of eccentric characters, all with their own anger and issues and secrets, expressing themselves openly and violently towards Mary. While they aren’t great people, I like a mixed cast like this, it creates so many different layers even when these characters’ backstories aren’t entirely explored. And I liked Mary. I wanted to know her, I wanted to protect her, she was quite standoffish, but she really charmed me.
I don’t know how accurate it is, but I thought this book did a great job of portraying the journey through juvenile detention, jail, group homes and parole. It seemed pretty believable, the way Mary was treated, how she wasn’t helped to thrive, how she was devoid of certain rights by the hands of the authorities, not necessarily the law. It created an uphill, heartbreaking story, but also a sense of hope as you witness Mary’s determination and the drive of a mother trying to protect her baby.
I was really moved by this. But it was definitely one of those books that could go either way – a happy ending or a terrible turn of events. I really didn’t know what to expect, I really didn’t know what I wanted to happen or what I believed, and I certainly wasn’t anticipating what we got. It definitely took me by surprise, in a great way.
This didn’t feel like a debut novel. It was very smartly written, dark and light at the same time, and created a whole mix of emotions. Everything you would ever want from a book. Allegedly.
today! january 24, 2017