God, this was such a dark and intense book.
Author: Tiffany Jackson
Publication Date: January 24th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary
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 church-going 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?
In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.
Okay I’ll make this quick because I can’t spoil you guys because one small spoiler can lead to another and it might ruin your reading experience. This book, like one specific book I read that-I-must-not-name-to-avoid-spoiling-how-the-story-will-go, is better read with a blind eye.
I liked everything EXCEPT the ending.
I loved the complexity of the characters and how each of them got to shine for a little bit in the book, even though it was under bad circumstances for others.
I also loved its intensity.
With its setting, I knew there would be a lot of trouble brewing in every corner. And it made the book much more interesting to read, although the fights at the group home were both entertaining & painful to read at the same time.
Now, onto the not-so-good parts…
THAT WAS IT?
I would have given it 5 stars if I didn’t feel stressed and somehow cheated with the ending.
Now wait, don’t get me wrong, I really liked this book. But the ending? Not so much. I love how twisted it was, but a bit messy and rushed.
There were a lot of questions unanswered.
“Yuh know, when people rush tings they make more mistakes, see? Haste makes waste!”
There were stories inside this story that were not given the proper ending, whereas they were tackled quite a lot of times in the book. I would gladly point them out if it weren’t for me spoiling it for you guys. I don’t know if it was supposed to give us readers a sort of “cliffhanger” feeling, but it just felt rushed to me.
It was a really dark and captivating novel, but the rushed ending lessened the impact it was supposed to leave behind. But I would gladly read more of Tiffany Jackson’s works in the future.
“Aye! What you doing?”
Damn, I really hope Tara isn’t talking to me. But the room is mad tense and quiet, so I know something is up. I keep my back to them, bed sheet like my own personal tent, and continue flipping pages. Maybe if I just ignore her, she’ll go away.
“Aye. Psycho! I said, what you doing?”
She yanks the sheet and the book falls off my bunk, slapping the wooden floor. I can’t untangle myself fast enough to jump down and grab it before she does.
The whole room is staring at us but I can’t focus on anything else besides the book Ted gave me in her fat, greasy hands. It’s like she’s touching him, my Ted. Just the thought of that makes me itch from toes to fingertips. My tongue detaches itself from the roof of my mouth and pushes out some words.
“Give it back,” I mumble.
The whole room freezes and Tara’s mouth drops. They’ve never heard my voice before. Someone in the background whispers an “Oh shit,” and Tara grins.
RIPPPP! She tears the cover.
“Give it back,” I say, wishing I could talk louder or at least sound dangerous.
Laughing, she rips the first pages, crumbling them into balls on the floor. I grab for the book and she holds it over her head, knocking me right on my ass. RIPPP! Another page. That itch in my toes sends a shock through my whole body and I launch at her feet. She topples over slow, like a black domino, screaming. The house shakes when she lands.
“Fight! Fight! Fight!” the girls scream, giggling.
But this is a David and Goliath type of battle I have no chance of winning. So I jump up with the book and run out of the room toward the stairs, Tara clambering to pull herself up and chase after me.
“Fucking bitch! I’m gonna kill you!”
I tuck the book under my arm and race down the stairs. Tara comes thundering down the hall after me, each step like an earthquake. I can’t stop fast enough before slamming into the front door. Locked. It’s after nine; the door is bolted shut for the night. Tara trips down the stairs with a scream. I buckle back, jumping over her, and race to the back of the house. With all this noise, where is Ms. Reba? Tara is at my heels. I duck into the kitchen, throwing a chair in her way. She falls again. Shit. She’s really mad now and I’m trapped. I claw at the window but the lock won’t budge. Where the hell is Ms. Reba?