A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that in Grown, by Tiffany D. Jackson (Monday’s Not Coming, Let Me Hear a Rhyme), 17-year-old Enchanted Jones accepts an offer from pop star Korey Fields to join his crew as a recording and touring artist. Korey promises to make her a star, but he isolates her from her family, holds her against her will, takes control of her art, hits her, and forces her into sex and drinking. When Korey ends up murdered, the amnesiac Enchanted is the prime suspect. The opening scene happens in the aftermath of a murder, with graphic description of blood all around the room, and a dead body. An adult man grooms a teen girl and kidnaps her. He pressures her into oral sex and intercourse. He punches and slaps her in the face, belittles and insults her, and psychologically manipulates her. An adult man pressures an 18-year-old young woman into drinking champagne. Stong language includes "s--t," "f--k," and "damn."
What's the story?
When GROWN begins, Enchanted Jones is in a blood-splattered hotel room with the corpse of her boyfriend, a famous pop star. The next scene flashes back to her simple life just a few months earlier: She enjoys high school in upscale Westchester County, New York, swimming, participating in a social club for the children of upwardly mobile Black families, and helping care for her younger siblings. But her passion and her dream is singing. When she goes to a local audition for a music show contest on a major television network, she meets a big star, Korey Fields. They exchange numbers, and he invites her and her parents to his next show, with VIP treatment. He butters up her mom and dad by introducing them to one of their own favorite artists from the previous generation. Korey tells Enchanted that she has promise and invites her to join his recording sessions and tour. The parents are uncomfortable with it, but they can't stop her -- she's 18, so she's grown. Gradually, Korey isolates Enchanted from her family and friends, hits her, pressures her into sex, forces her to drink, and even dominates her choices about her artistic brand. When Korey turns up dead, Enchanted is a suspect.
Is it any good?
This is a cautionary tale for mature readers, with not much in the way of a positive vision or message. Grown is a thinly vieled ripped-from-the-headlines story about a male pop star who preys on young women and minor girls who want to get into the music business. It's part mystery, part psychological thriller, part loss-of-innocence story. Readers will keep turning the pages; the escalating violence is suspenseful. Some of the descriptions of abusive behavior are especially disturbing because they are unusual, memorable, and captured in sharp, original detail. This is a well-written but bleak book that depicts a social problem without giving any advice or answers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Enchanted matures in Grown. What does it mean to be a "grown" adult?
What kinds of behaviors lead you to trust someone? What are some red flags that lead you to distrust someone?
How does celebrity culture in Grown influence the characters to do or agree to things when they otherwise might not?
- Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Arts and Dance
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
- Publication date: October 16, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 16 - 18
- Number of pages: 371
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: October 21, 2020
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