Wednesday, February 01, 2017

A Book With the Potential to Completely Fuck You Over: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

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A Book With the Potential to Completely Fuck You Over: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Allegedly
Tiffany D. Jackson
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, YA
Publication date: Jan 24th, 2017
by Katherine Tegen Books

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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.
-A copy was provided by Katherine Tegen Books for review-

Holy shit. THIS BOOK GUYS. Allegedly was one of my most anticipated books, but my co-worker who read it before I had a lot of FEELS (not good or bad, just FEELS), so I was a little nervous when I dove in. I had no idea the book would grip me and NOT LET ME GO. I read the 373 page book in a little over 2.5 hours. I GOBBLED IT, all while growing more and more anxious as I could feel something B.I.G. coming.

This book treads all the fine lines ever. There is no easy black and white in this book and it goes to lengths to make sure YOU KNOW THAT TOO. Justice, family, life cannot be put into little boxes and Jackson really explores what is right and wrong in this book. Is justice so easily served? Why is it that we as a society are always trying to figure out the one truth, are always trying to figure out the right and wrong while never focusing on the gray regions. What makes someone innocent? Who do we believe? Whose narrative is actually worth believing?

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly.

And yet we the readers have to really figure out the puzzle that is Mary B. Addison. I learned and unlearned a lot as I was reading a book and it was quite the emotional journey.

Allegedly is a confusing book because we only see things through Mary who we don’t even know we can for sure trust. Mary, who has experienced the world in ways none of us probably have and would have had to toughen up even if she wasn’t already tough.

Through bits and pieces, through flashbacks and testimonies, we learn more and more about what the real Mary might be like, the one that lies beneath the one she presents as. Mary is a complex, almost four dimensional character, and pops out through the pages. She forces you to pay attention to her and Jackson does an amazing job in crafting her character.

I do have two major criticisms of the novel though. My first being that I wish the secondary characters were better. I wish they weren’t as two dimensional. I wish they had more depth to them so I could see the contrasts between Mary and them. That isn’t to say Allegedly doesn’t have some great secondary characters but I wish there was more depth to the other girls in the group home. I wish we got to see more of Mary’s interactions with them (whether they were good or bad.) I just wanted to see MORE.

My other criticism is things I WILL NOT TALK ABOUT because spoilers but hopefully, other people might not be as frustrated as I was. I do want to be vague for a second and see that I can see what the author was trying to do with that one thing but I feel like it could have been executed in a way that would have allowed her to still do that thing but also wouldn’t have felt so rushed.

There is such wonderful tension throughout this book though and it really speaks to Jackson’s talent. I was on the edge the entire time I was reading the book, waiting to see how it would played out.

So would I recommend the book? I’ll say the same thing I said to a friend who asked. If you enjoy books that fuck with your brain, this is it. If you like complex books that push you to think deeper about the values you hold, about whats right and wrong, this is it. So basically, read the flippin book and then HMU because I still have a lot of feels that I NEED TO TALK ABOUT.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Intro to The Infinite Variants of YA + List of Diverse Fic Books that Came Out in Jan 2017

Intro to The Infinite Variants of YA + List of Diverse Fic Books that Came Out in Jan 2017

Posted by on 01/30/2017 • 5 Comments

These past couple of months have been stressful and heartbreaking. My friend Nick (Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist) have been working on a project for a while as a way of combatting the awfulness of the world through books. I know it won’t make a major difference but what we want to do through this project is boost diverse books and diverse voices. We want to promote not just upcoming diverse books, but also backlist diverse books (because they shouldn’t be forgotten about once they are out.) Our goal is that over the course of the year, we get you guys excited about the many diverse books coming out, the ones that are already out and help support the wonderful authors writing these books. We plan on spotlighting diverse authors once a…

Fresh Batch (January 29th – February 4th)

Fresh Batch (January 29th – February 4th)

Posted by on 01/28/2017 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

By Your Side Kasie West Publication date: January 31st 2017by Harper Teen

Goodreads Purchase

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between…

A Well Written, Character Driven Novel: Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine

A Well Written, Character Driven Novel: Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine

Posted by on 01/27/2017 • 3 Comments

Fire Color One is usually not the kind of novel I would find myself enjoying but I was thoroughly swept away by it. I love character development but I don’t really tend to enjoy books that are solely character driven. Fire Color One is primarily character driven. There is definitely a plot but it revolves around character revelations. Not around actual happenings. Yet it somehow managed to sweep me away till I had somehow run out of pages to read (*shakes fist at book for not being longer*)

This is a novel about grief, about relationships and a little bit about some revenge (and I am totes petty so I am all about the revenge life.) I think part of the magic of this book comes from how well the relationships…

5 Books + Documentaries ‘About’ Climate Change

5 Books + Documentaries ‘About’ Climate Change

Posted by on 01/26/2017 • 4 Comments

BOOKS TO READ 1. The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd

I read this series back when I was a little bb8 but it was SO good and interesting. It imagines a futuristic (or maybe not so futuristic) world where carbon needs to be rationed because of the extreme effects of climate change. Written in a diary format and has a diverse cast (if I remember correctly.)

2. Firestorm by David Klass

Another futuristic world where a chosen one has to travel through time to save the world from the dire consequences of climate change. I read it ages ago but remember devouring this trilogy and loving it.

3. Not A Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Set in a world where water is incredibly limited. The MCs family fights…

7 Bookish Stores to Spend All Your Money At

7 Bookish Stores to Spend All Your Money At

Posted by on 01/24/2017 • 4 Comments

*This bookish list was sponsored by Uber Prints*

A major part of being a bookworm is owning a LOT of bookish merchandise. Be it candles, book markers, prints and all that jazz. This list will feature some of my fav places to window shop, shop and drool at goodies over. List is in NO PARTICULAR ORDER.

1. Frostbeard Candles

At this point, Frostbeard is probably the ultimate place to buy candles from and has been around since before I was born (JK), but I thought I’d feature it anyway BECAUSE THEIR CANDLES make my heart beat faster.

2. Novelly Yours Candles

Brittany, the shop owner, is also a book blogger which means she knows exactly what it is that we want book nerds want. Her candles…

Fresh Batch (January 22nd – 28th)

Fresh Batch (January 22nd – 28th)

Posted by on 01/21/2017 • 3 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

After the Fall Kate Hart Publication date: January 24th 2017by Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Goodreads Purchase

A YA debut about a teen girl who wrestles with rumors, reputation, and her relationships with two brothers.

Seventeen-year-old Raychel is sleeping with two boys: her overachieving best friend Matt…and his slacker brother, Andrew. Raychel sneaks into Matt’s bed after nightmares, but nothing ever happens. He doesn’t even seem to realize she’s a girl, except when he decides she needs rescuing. But Raychel doesn’t want to be his girl anyway. She just needs his support as she deals with the classmate who assaulted her, the constant threat…

Blog Tour: The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli

Blog Tour: The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli

Posted by on 01/19/2017 • 5 Comments

The Warden’s Daughter is honestly unlike anything I’ve ever read by Jerry Spinelli. When I was in middle school, Stargirl was one of the most important books in my life so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from a historical middle grade novel written by Spinelli. There is still very much the ‘old Spinelli’ in this book but I can definitely see that he has grown and developed as a writer since I last had the joy of reading a book by him.

The Warden’s Daughter is a heartfelt story of loss and just the general need to find one’s place within the world. Cammie has always felt a little incomplete because she never had a mother growing up. She has made it her summer goal to claim a mother…