- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; International ed. edition (Jan. 24 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062422642
- ISBN-13: 978-0062422644
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.2 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 544 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #147,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Allegedly Hardcover – Jan 24 2017
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★ “With remarkable skill, Jackson offers an unflinching portrayal of the raw social outcomes when youth are entrapped in a vicious cycle of nonparenting and are sent spiraling down the prison-for-profit pipeline. This dark, suspenseful exploration of justice and perception raises important questions teens will want to discuss.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
★ “Searing and true. Effectively joins Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow (2010) to become another indictment of the penal system’s decimating power beyond its bars and, more subtly and refreshingly, a pro-reproductive-justice novel.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
★ “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.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
★ “Suspenseful without being emotionally manipulative, compelling without resorting to shock value, this is a tightly spun debut that wrestles with many intense ideas and ends with a knife twist that will send readers racing back to the beginning again.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Seen through Jackson’s dark portrait of the legal system and the failures of parents and social workers, Mary’s environments are as grim as the stories that play out in them; readers fascinated by procedural dramas will be thoroughly hooked.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“I have to admit, it’s been a while since I’ve been this rattled by a story. Tiffany D. Jackson chips at the world, then cracks it, then shatters it into shards of discomfort and complexity for the reader to grapple with it. Allegedly, undoubtedly, will linger long after it’s over.” (Jason Reynolds, award-winning author of All American Boys and The Boy in the Black Suit)
“A well-executed, powerful journey into the claustrophobic life of a young girl trying to navigate what little is left after the world has judged her, and what she will do to escape it.” (Mindy McGinnis, Edgar Award-winning author of A Madness So Discreet)
“A riveting, gut-wrenching thriller and a stunning debut.” (Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper)
“Tiffany Jackson’s timely and chilling debut will haunt you for a long time. An extraordinary new voice.” (Justine Larbalestier, author of Liar and My Sister Rosa)
From the Back Cover
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? 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 does anyone know the real Mary?
In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the gray areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, acknowledging the light and darkness alive in all of us.See all Product description
From the Publisher
Meet the Author
Tiffany D. Jackson
Tiffany D. Jackson is a TV professional by day, novelist by night, awkward black girl 24/7. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Film from Howard University and her Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School University. You can visit her online at her website.
Allegedly has 4 Starred Reviews!
'Suspenseful' - School Library Journal.
'Searing and true.' - Kirkus Reviews.
'Absorbing and exceptional' - Publishers Weekly.
'Tightly spun' - Booklist.
Top customer reviews
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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.
Originally posted on citygirlscapes.com
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Mary Addison murdered a baby when she was 9 years old, allegedly. She has moved from "baby prison" (solitary confinement) to juvie to a halfway house where she is allowed to leave under supervision. Her fellow prisoners torture her regularly, from simply throwing her stuff on the floor to much worse things later in the book. Mary has been in the prison system so long, she is numb to most of it.
The worst part is everyone knows her story. Her story has been written about in a ton of books and it looks like it will be made into a movie. In a place where people assume, knowing your crime is a different story.
Mary gets visited by her mother regularly on Sunday, where her mother stays for about 15 minutes to talk about her new life. Mary also works at an elderly home, where she has met Ted, an 18 year old who has gotten 16 year old Mary pregnant. Mary has also gotten a new roommate who is working through the justice system with an independent group who helps those who have received injustice get justice. The connection to that is Mary has started to remember things about that night when she allegedly murdered a baby that don't seem to add up.
I'll begin my review portion by stating, this is not a light book to read. For those who have triggers, there is abuse, statutory rape, torturous conditions, and of course the murder of an infant which gets described in great detail several times. The funny thing is this is marketed as a book for teens. My guess is because the protagonist is a teen, but this is NOT a teen book, maybe a young adult, but definitely not for early teens.
I am also going to go a tiny bit negative. There were three things that bothered me about this book. The first was the length. At about 400 pages, it becomes a bit too long. The second was the Ted story, as it was a bit clichéd. As soon as Ted is introduced, you know he is going to get her pregnant and you know he is going to be something else (I won't spoil, but you learn pretty quickly what that something else is). Finally, the ending. I have talked to a few people online who also disliked the ending. You journey through 390 pages or so and the last few pages simply ruin the book. I am not going to spoil, but just be prepared.
Now for the positives, as there were more than negatives. Mary's story about that night unfolds wonderfully. You get glimpses here and there, but you don't get the whole story until you need to. Her relationship with her mother is well described and thought out. It would be a tense relationship between them. It is also an incredible look at the injustice found within the justice system. How can someone prove her innocence when the whole world knows her story? She was 9 when the crime happened, it is now 7 years later and she has no hope of getting justice.
Overall, I sort of enjoyed this one. It was a good story, but it is brutal in places, so how could one enjoy brutality? I gave this one 3.5 stars.
Wow. That's not what I was expecting at all. In a good way. Mary is a sixteen year old girl living in a group home. She was tried as an adult and convicted of manslaughter at just nine years old for killing a three month old baby. She served her sentence and is now in foster care until she's of age. She barely speaks and keeps her head down.
Now that Mary is older she's learning how unfair her trial was and how all the people that have been assigned to help her have failed her. She's also pregnant. The thought of having her baby taken from her has lit a fire to fight for herself. I devoured this book. I just had to know if Mary got her happy ending. I will say this, the ending will make you raise your eyebrows high. Loved it.