There are a few books that come along in your lifetime that change you.
They are a sucker-punch, a breath-robber, a world-tilter.
"Grown" is one of those books that leaves you feeling somehow crushed and uplifted at once.
Enchanted Jones has a dream many girls her age do: She wants to be a singer. When she meets R&B legend Korey Fields, it seems that all of her dreams might become a reality. Korey is attentive, charming and in a position to give Enchanted the opportunity of a lifetime.
Does it really matter he's nearly 30 years old and Enchanted is only 17?
Enchanted is soon pulled inexorably into the dazzling life of stardom, with wealth, attention and a charismatic boyfriend at her fingertips. But soon, Korey shows another side of himself, a side filled with rage and a demand Enchanted obeys his every command.
When Enchanted wakes up one morning with blood covering her hands, shirt and the room around her, and Korey dead in his bed, the cops have questions, but so does Enchanted.
What happened that night? What happens next?
And who is to blame?
"Grown" is a long-overdue evisceration of rape culture and the way society frames and dismisses young Black girls and women. Enchanted contends with different expectations from her parents to her peers to the world at large around her, and she is left, ultimately, to fend for herself.
Author Tiffany D. Jackson has created an amazing work that holds up a mirror to the culture we not only uphold but in many ways encourage and enable. It's an amazing, heart-wrenching, necessary work from a master storyteller.
Megan Mehmert is a programming associate at the Missouri River Regional Library.