4 starred reviews!
Orange Is the New Black meets Walter Dean Myer’s Monster in this gritty, twisty, and haunting debut by Tiffany D. Jackson about a girl convicted of murder seeking the truth while surviving life in a group home.
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 churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it?
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’s fate now lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But does anyone know the real Mary?
Mary Addison, a black 15-year-old from Brooklyn, has been locked up in "baby jail" for six years, after allegedly killing a three-month-old white child. Now living in a group home, Mary is bright, quiet, and well behaved, which makes her the target of the more aggressive girls in the home. Her one escape is volunteering at a nursing home and having secret assignations with Ted, a fellow volunteer also living in a group home. When Mary becomes pregnant and faces losing custody of the baby, she comes forward with a startling confession: she didn't kill Alyssa. Threaded with media accounts of Alyssa's killing and police interviews with the nine-year-old Mary, Jackson's debut is reminiscent of the popular true crime podcasts Serial and Criminal: the characters are complex, the situation unsettling, and the line between right and wrong hopelessly blurred. It's also intensely relevant, addressing race, age, and mental illness within the criminal justice system. Well conceived and executed, this is an absorbing and exceptional first novel. Ages 14 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Jackson is a masterful storyteller and well adept at creating engaging, complex characters. This tale is full of twists and turns, but not the tired twists so prevalent in "psychological thrillers" these days. This is more of a character-driven mystery that will keep you guessing until the end, all while tackling hard, but necessary topics, like the juvenile justice system, abuse, and mental illness. Tiffany D. Jackson has written a truly unique novel that I personally found to be a breathe of fresh air, and I will absolutely continue to read anything she writes!
I simply couldn’t stop reading the book that’s all im going to say
A slow-build read
This book was not what I was expecting, and, I suppose, that's neither a good nor a bad thing in this case.
I very much enjoyed being able to witness all--or should I say, SOME--of Mary's deepest and darkest secrets. It made things interesting in a slow-build read.
I knew the big secret right away, and maybe that was done on purpose because the author only chose to reveal it in the last few pages.
But I still was waiting for a big climax, for something to happen to make me cover my hand with my closed fist and got "ohhhhh, shhhhhhh*****!" It'd didn't come.
For me, the ending wasn't an ending at all.
All in all, though, a good story. I liked the various, contrasting personalities of all the other girls in the group home. The author killed it on that.
Patiently awaiting her next release in May 2018!