Allegedly

Allegedly

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 yea...

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Title:Allegedly
Author:Tiffany D. Jackson
Rating:
ISBN:0062422642
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:387 pages

Allegedly Reviews

  • Allison
    Jun 27, 2016

    This book just blew my mind and heart to smithereens. This is such a powerful book on every single level and the author doesn't shy away from the dark realities of the justice system and mental health care. ALLEGEDLY holds its own with every adult thriller and like any thriller worth its salt makes you re-think the narrative you think you know every few chapters. Jackson's writing and Mary's voice are remarkable and pulled me to pieces.

    And then THAT ENDING. This is going to make a wonderful dis

    This book just blew my mind and heart to smithereens. This is such a powerful book on every single level and the author doesn't shy away from the dark realities of the justice system and mental health care. ALLEGEDLY holds its own with every adult thriller and like any thriller worth its salt makes you re-think the narrative you think you know every few chapters. Jackson's writing and Mary's voice are remarkable and pulled me to pieces.

    And then THAT ENDING. This is going to make a wonderful discussion book. I'm still unpacking my feelings. Holy cow.

    Is this seriously a debut????

  • Sarah
    Oct 15, 2016

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

    This was a YA contemporary story, about a teenage girl who allegedly killed a baby.

    I felt quite sorry for Mary in this book, being locked up for years when you did nothing wrong would be awful, and the way the other girls in the home treated her was pretty bad.

    The storyline in this was about Mary discovering she was pregnant by her boyfriend Ted, and realising that because of her

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

    This was a YA contemporary story, about a teenage girl who allegedly killed a baby.

    I felt quite sorry for Mary in this book, being locked up for years when you did nothing wrong would be awful, and the way the other girls in the home treated her was pretty bad.

    The storyline in this was about Mary discovering she was pregnant by her boyfriend Ted, and realising that because of her history she wouldn’t be allowed to keep the baby. We had Mary trying to hire a lawyer to protest her innocence and considering running away with Ted to save her baby from being adopted. This was an enjoyable story, although the number of double negatives really irritated me – “I don’t say nothing.”, “I don’t have to do nothing.”, “Nobody asked her to save nobody.”

    The ending to this left us with a massive twist, and I kind-of wanted to know what would happen next.

    7 out of 10

  • Emily May
    Jan 14, 2017

    is

    . Sometimes the best kind of books are those that make me sad, afraid and just FURIOUS for the characters - and this was one of those books. If you want to be angry, then put this on your reading list.

    In fact, it was a solid five-star read up until the very last chapter. The ending took a turn that I thought weakened the story; throwing i

    is

    . Sometimes the best kind of books are those that make me sad, afraid and just FURIOUS for the characters - and this was one of those books. If you want to be angry, then put this on your reading list.

    In fact, it was a solid five-star read up until the very last chapter. The ending took a turn that I thought weakened the story; throwing in a last minute "oh my god!" for the sake of thrills, but losing some of the powerful messages that had been built throughout. That being said, I would still recommend this to anyone with a strong stomach and a liking for thought-provoking reads that shine a light on some of the darker aspects of the world we live in.

    Mary B. Addison is a black teenager who allegedly killed a three-month-old baby when she, herself, was nine. The white baby girl, Alyssa, was left in the care of Mary and her mentally ill mother, but when her parents returned later that evening, Alyssa was heavily-bruised and no longer breathing. Fast forward to the present and Mary has just been transferred from "baby jail" to a group home.

    It is told in a very straightforward style without feeling emotionally manipulative, complete with urban slang/AAVE. For me, this kind of narration is all the more powerful for its simplicity - the only authors who can pull a strong emotional reaction out of me are the ones who don't seem like they're trying to.

    Mary is an extremely complex and sympathetic human being, bullied by the other girls she lives with and the women who work at her group home. She longs to take the SAT and go to college, but doing so requires a lot of complicated hoop-jumping, and those in charge of her well-being constantly discourage her by pointing out how colleges and employees will not want a murderer.

    She is stuck; unable to change her life, better herself, or make any of her own decisions. If I wasn't already pissed, I would have been the minute she becomes pregnant and the adults decide that her baby will be adopted. As someone who is an advocate for reproductive rights/choices AND a new mother, I was enraged. It also prompted me to do some further reading about the babies of pregnant prisoners being taken away and the high depression rates of those women - it is truly so heartbreaking and scary.

    Mary suddenly finds new reason to fight for her freedom when they threaten to take her baby away. But it's a complicated battle and it seems like the whole world is against her. She is torn between her natural desire to protect her sick mother, and her need to tell the truth. She hits roadblock after infuriating roadblock in her quest for justice.

    Though I desperately wanted many things to turn out different, I also felt that Jackson made it very easy to understand Mary's reactions and decisions, for the most part. She also highlights

    - something so rare in YA, where people tend to celebrate the inclusion of the lone non-white character - and it is extremely moving.

    Seventeen out of eighteen chapters were utterly fantastic. I just can't help feeling let down by that ending.

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  • Laura
    Jan 01, 2017

    Beyond compelling. Well-crafted. Simply unputdownable. I could not stop reading until I found out the truth. It’s shocking that this is only the author’s debut!

    Mary B. Addison allegedly killed a baby at nine years old. Mary’s mother was babysitting the three month old baby when it happened. She never said what happened, but was convicted anyway and has rarely spoken since. Did Mary do what everyone says she did?

    Beyond compelling. Well-crafted. Simply unputdownable. I could not stop reading until I found out the truth. It’s shocking that this is only the author’s debut!

    Mary B. Addison allegedly killed a baby at nine years old. Mary’s mother was babysitting the three month old baby when it happened. She never said what happened, but was convicted anyway and has rarely spoken since. Did Mary do what everyone says she did?

    She was in “baby jail” for six years until the state decided she wasn’t a threat and could be put in a group home where she has been for three months when our story starts. It’s awful, which is a nice way of putting it. The girls are horrible and are all there for serious crimes themselves, only they hate Mary from the beginning like most everyone she comes into contact with. Because she is a baby killer after all.

    Eventually Mary finds out she is pregnant with another nursing home volunteer’s baby. This changes things when she comes under the realization that nobody in their right mind is going to let her keep her baby when she is in the system especially with the crime she committed. So for the first time Mary is going to fight to clear her name. What really happened to baby Alyssa?

    The story is interwoven with fragments and excerpts from books, newspaper articles, depositions, police interview transcripts, magazine articles, and several other different kinds of reports. This helped to break up the story slowly revealing the details of Mary’s crime through the eyes of those involved in the case (whether police, witnesses, or even the media reporting on it). Other than these excerpts/fragments, the entire story is told from Mary’s perspective. I enjoyed her voice. She is complex and one hell of a narrator.

    This book had a way of tugging at your heartstrings while also immersing you into this dark world. It was truly the perfect blend of contemporary realistic fiction and mystery/thriller. I could not get enough! I enjoyed how the criminal justice system and state foster care system played such a huge part in the story. It is a harsh reality and was depicted in a way that shows just how much research went into writing this novel. It’s phenomenal.

    It’s brilliant how the author displayed the effects of sensationalization done in the media. And there’s the look at mental health and life in a group home. Not to mention the real star of the story which ended up being the increasingly convoluted relationship Mary has with her mother.

    There are so many elements of

    that I could rave about. That ending! The fact that it was based on the actual 2012 case in Maine where a ten year old girl was charged with manslaughter of a three month old baby while her mother was supposed to be babysitting. Diversity!! It’s dark and filled with the most compelling writing I’ve read in a while. The main point here is that you should definitely read this book. It will 100% keep you guessing leaving you on the edge of your seat. I can’t wait to see what Jackson comes out with next.

  • Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
    Jan 28, 2017

    From the moment I read the first page, I knew I was going to fly through it. The writing is just so easy to read you just fall into the story so quickly. You'll be surprised at how the twists and turns come. You're not even looking for it, and bam there's one or two. I'm still reeling from the story, it's one that will be on your mind for a while. I also understood a bit about group homes and the teens that get stuck there with no place to go. It broke my heart reading about it.

    is one

    From the moment I read the first page, I knew I was going to fly through it. The writing is just so easy to read you just fall into the story so quickly. You'll be surprised at how the twists and turns come. You're not even looking for it, and bam there's one or two. I'm still reeling from the story, it's one that will be on your mind for a while. I also understood a bit about group homes and the teens that get stuck there with no place to go. It broke my heart reading about it.

    is one roller coaster ride of a book, and I know that people will fly through it, just like I did. There are also so many wonderful quotes that I had to pull. The characters, the story, the ending, was all pretty much in sync and I empathized whole heartedly with the characters. The only thing that I had a problem was the articles in between the chapters. I had trouble keeping them separate and remembering it all. It broke my attention from the overall pacing of the book.

    I really love Tiffany D. Jackson's writing and can't wait to read more from her.

    will have you reeling from its twisty-turny plot and leave you gasping at that ending. A must-read for any contemporary thriller fan!

    RATING 4/5

    QUOTES

    That's how she ended up in here; in love, doing stupid things for stupid boys.

    His rough hands caress my face, eyes soft and searching. He always looks at me like that, like I'm the most amazing thing he's ever seen.

    Yuh scared of people knowing, yuh scared of change? Good. Change is scary. Get used to it. But nothing comes from nothing.

    What does it mean when you love and hate someone at the same time?

    It means they family.

    Our eyes meet, both knowing it ain't that simple to give up on people you love that don't love you the same.

    You can't blame my age for your lies.

    Someone told me when you go to college, your life gets better. And you can escape what you were before and find who you're supposed to be.

  • Cait (Paper Fury)
    Feb 10, 2017

    Which equals marvellousness, obviously, and unfortunately it makes it impossible to review. I recommend going into it blind!! I do!! All you need to know is that it that YOU NEVER HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION and also YOU WILL CRY. Because this book is insufferably painful and unfair. The amount of heinous abuse Mary goes through absolutely smashed me in the guts. Everything was

    . And if a teeny tiny microscopically good thing happened to Mary, I j

    Which equals marvellousness, obviously, and unfortunately it makes it impossible to review. I recommend going into it blind!! I do!! All you need to know is that it that YOU NEVER HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION and also YOU WILL CRY. Because this book is insufferably painful and unfair. The amount of heinous abuse Mary goes through absolutely smashed me in the guts. Everything was

    . And if a teeny tiny microscopically good thing happened to Mary, I just braced for the pain that would be coming afterward because this book has two moods: unfair and also unfair.

    Poor Mary. POOR MARY.

    It's slow, though, I will admit that. It too me 3 days to read this and I generally read a book this length in 1 day. And it felt awfully slow in the middle?? But at the same time

    . Sometimes I skim books?? BUT I DID NOT WANT TO EVER SKIM.

    And by "leap off the page" I mean the writing does that just so it can stab you in the heart a few times.

    Mary is horribly abused throughout the whole book. By her mother, by the justice system, by girls in her group home. She's sexually and physically abused as a child. Everyone HATES HER for a crime she says she didn't commit.

    and when she got pregnant and just wanted to keep her baby (nicknamed "Bean" ajfdsakflda) but yet she was 100% sure to lose him to the adoption system because she was jailed for killing an infant??? LIKE I JUST WAS SO FREAKED OUT THE WHOLE TIME. Life is unfair. This book is unfair. Don't come in here expecting there to be sneaky rainbows. There are no sneaky rainbows. ugh my face is leaking.

    It's part murder mystery, part contemporary. It deals with the brutality of racism and life as a black teenager convicted for murder and how warped the justice system can be. It talks about psychological, physical and sexual abuse and how that shapes a person. It talks about judging and hypocrisy and cruelty of people's assumptions. The writing and storytelling is AMAZING (seriously watch out for this author in the future as well omg) and I WAS TOTALLY SUCKED IN AND FEEL LIKE MY MIND WAS PUNCHED AT THE ENDING.

    Wow, dude, wow.

  • Deanna
    Feb 11, 2017

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    Oh my...

    ALL THE STARS!!

    This is a dark, emotional, twisted, and powerful novel that blew my mind.

    Mary B. Addison killed a baby when she was just nine years old...

    Three month old Alyssa Richardson was taken care of by Mary's mother, Dawn Marie Cooper. Mary would often be present in the Richardson household while her mother was working. She grew very attached to both Alyssa and Mrs. Richardson.

    Six years later, Mary. B

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    Oh my...

    ALL THE STARS!!

    This is a dark, emotional, twisted, and powerful novel that blew my mind.

    Mary B. Addison killed a baby when she was just nine years old...

    Three month old Alyssa Richardson was taken care of by Mary's mother, Dawn Marie Cooper. Mary would often be present in the Richardson household while her mother was working. She grew very attached to both Alyssa and Mrs. Richardson.

    Six years later, Mary. B Addison is now fifteen years old. She is anxiously awaiting a visit from the most conniving woman in the world....

    Her mother.

    Every other Sunday, her mother comes to visit her at the group home where Mary now lives. She arrives at 2:35, right after church. Hair, make-up, and clothing all perfect. Always putting on a show, even if no one is watching.

    Many people think she's a wonderful mother who deserves an award for visiting Mary.

    Her Momma doesn't ask how she's doing. She talks about Church and Mr. Worthington, Mary's new stepfather. Talks about all the good food she eats and trips she's taken. But never does she bring anything for Mary or ask if there's anything she needs. And her visits are never EVER longer than fifteen minutes.

    Mary says she can name several people who wish she was never born. There's even books written about what happened....The Devil Inside: The Mary B. Addison Story and What Happened to Alyssa?

    Throughout her trial she never spoke a word. When she was sentenced she never spoke. However, things are different now. Now Mary has a very important reason to speak up.

    But after all of this time can she? Will people believe her? Should they believe her?

    What really happened to baby Alyssa?

    I flew through this book. Honestly I could have read this book in one sitting if time had allowed. I was so engrossed in the story and Mary's past and present. The story is told from Mary's point of view. It flows well and is easy to follow. We see how the case played out in the media. There are news articles, book excerpts, court transcripts, depositions, and interviews interspersed throughout the book. All of this added to the story.

    Mary is an awesome and complex character. I think that all of the characters came across as realistic. Damaged and flawed but still real. The author writes about relationships in a way that is authentic and compelling. It was fascinating reading the dynamic relationships between characters, especially between mother and daughter.

    I think that this is a fantastic novel. Very well written. It's hard to believe that it's the author's debut novel. Powerful, heart-breaking, suspenseful, and gripping. Any way you cut it, in my opinion it's an amazing read.

    I am really looking forward to reading more from Tiffany D. Jackson.

    Thank you, Katherine Tegen Books for providing an advanced copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

  • Joce (squibblesreads)
    Feb 15, 2017

    4.5 stars.

    This book kicks so much ass. It was a difficult read in that it made me uncomfortable, but as someone who has never been involved with the legal system as an alleged perpetrator, and as an Asian-American, I have not had the experiences that the protagonist had, and this was a necessary and welcome discomfort for me. From its "unreliable" first-person narration, to its commentary on the treatment of African-American young girls in the book's group home and legal system, to the discussio

    4.5 stars.

    This book kicks so much ass. It was a difficult read in that it made me uncomfortable, but as someone who has never been involved with the legal system as an alleged perpetrator, and as an Asian-American, I have not had the experiences that the protagonist had, and this was a necessary and welcome discomfort for me. From its "unreliable" first-person narration, to its commentary on the treatment of African-American young girls in the book's group home and legal system, to the discussion around nature versus nurture in young children who are convicted of crimes, this will be for sure a book that I will re-read

    .

    I go into more detail about my specific thoughts in

  • Irena
    Feb 25, 2017

    Actual rating: 4,5

    Only few books can shake me. Allegedly is one of them.

    Reading this, you probably think I’m exaggerating.

    If I was you, I’d probably think the same.

    But I am telling the truth.

    Going into this story, I kn

    Actual rating: 4,5

    Only few books can shake me. Allegedly is one of them.

    Reading this, you probably think I’m exaggerating.

    If I was you, I’d probably think the same.

    But I am telling the truth.

    Going into this story, I knew it would be difficult for me. I was even aware how disturbing it was.

    You probably hear about Allegedly, as one of novels written in own voices, one that was praised in “reading diversity” movement (if that’s a movement, I’m not 100% sure), the book that is important to read.

    First of all, I agree with the statement how

    Honestly, I am afraid how I’m going to sound when I say this, but I will say it anyway: this novel reminded me how happy my life is. When I reflect and compare it to lives like ones I read about in this novel, to

    , I understand how privileged I actually am.

    And once again, I used the word I am really not a fan of, but there is no other word to say it better.

    Beside Mary’s narration (and I have to state that

    I had a pleasure to read about), there are bunch of newspaper articles, police interviews, excerpts from doctor’s papers and other similar stuff.

    It definitely wasn’t easy.

    Some scenes were

    , some were harder to understand, some were extremely sad, but what hit me the most was how everyone underestimated Mary all the time.

    I rooted for her, even though she never stated if she did it, if she killed the baby. She said she did, allegedly.

    But yet, you as a reader don’t believe she would do such a thing. She does not seem like that kind of person.

    One more thing I’d like to emphasize is the role of the State (here I mean criminal justice system and state foster care).

    Mary’s (and other girls’) destiny depended so much on those two, that

    There is one more thing we need to discuss:

    I tried and tried to decide whether I like how this story ended.

    At fist I was shocked, but resolved that I liked it.

    Now, after some thinking,

    Why?

  • Aj the Ravenous Reader
    Mar 09, 2017

    Even though I could say

    is an intensely gripping read, I honestly could not read more than three to four chapters a day. It was a tough, really exhausting read. Normally, I could finish a book in two days, one if it’s an easy read but I had to stop reading

    every after a few chapters and read something light and fun because the plot of this story is like a hard punch in the gut. It’s blatant, it’s violent, it’s nasty, it’s gritty, it’s painful and you just have to have enough

    Even though I could say

    is an intensely gripping read, I honestly could not read more than three to four chapters a day. It was a tough, really exhausting read. Normally, I could finish a book in two days, one if it’s an easy read but I had to stop reading

    every after a few chapters and read something light and fun because the plot of this story is like a hard punch in the gut. It’s blatant, it’s violent, it’s nasty, it’s gritty, it’s painful and you just have to have enough guts to be able to go through the story. I could not remember the last time I felt so stressed out by a novel but I think that suggests a good thing because it only means that the story and the characters got through me.

    What drew me to this novel is basically the premise. Teenage girls who committed serious crimes but are not old enough to go to prison stay together at a group home. Go figure the outcome. The group home is basically like the

    exclusively for girls but this one’s worse because they’re not mandated to kill each other. They simply just want to. I swear I could hear my heart beat against my chest every time I picked the book up worrying about what horrors await this time. That’s what Mary (who at nine years old was allegedly convicted of murdering a baby) had to face every day.

    That’s only the background picture though because the bigger picture is this- Mary who is now 16 is going to have a baby. How effin' ironic is that?!

    The characters felt real and the entire thing was very genuine because of the straight to the point writing using the voice of Mary, as she narrates the story. The book is emotionally a challenging read but I admire the author for boldly addressing social issues like racism (as Mary is a black girl who is convicted of killing a white baby), abuse, parental neglect and so many other bigger social issues that are often taken for granted.

    The only thing that didn’t work well for me is the ending because as much as I enjoy surprises and plot twists, I honestly don’t think it worked this time for this novel. For me, it didn’t sit well with the preceding events of the story or perhaps, it was a bit forced. But still, this is a pretty strong debut novel and if you’re up for a challenge and want to go out of your comfort zone, this is highly recommended.