Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Inside cover blurb:

“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 who really knows the real Mary?”

-from publisher


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Mary is very easy to sympathize with- locked away for murder at only 9 years old, her mother clearly didn’t try to save her or seem to care much about her at all, staying in a group home with some pretty scary girls, terrible adults deciding her fate, and on top of it all, she gets pregnant?

And all she wants to do is take the SATs and go to college! I was rooting for her so badly.

The whole time I thought this plot was pretty straight-forward. It seemed like the author was trying really hard to cast doubt on the story of the baby’s death, but I was pretty convinced that I knew what had really happened. But!!! It turns out I was wrong and I love that! And you don’t truly find out what happened until the very end of the book. So the suspense is killing you right up until that final page!

I will say there were some slow points in the narrative that made me question the book’s length. And there are also a lot of intense situations in terms of violence, both physical and sexual. There were definitely some spots that made me uncomfortable, but I felt that it all served to strengthen the story and make you empathize with Mary.

Plus: Great main character and a fantastic story that will make you question what you really know.

Minus: Some minor slow spots, but overall, it’s awesome!

If you like this book, try:

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Monster by Walter Dean Myers- A 16 year old African American boy tells the story of his trial for murder. Like Allegedly, it’ll make you think hard about race and justice.

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