Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson is set in New York group home and told from the point of view of Mary, a girl who has spent six years in "baby jail" and now is in the home because she was convicted of killing a baby when she herself was a young child. Was her sentence harsher because she is a black girl and the baby was white? Probably.
At the opening of the book, Mary discovers that she is pregnant by her group home boyfriend. Though she wants to keep her baby, whom she nicknames Bean, she finds herself with no voice — no autonomy. Her choices are get an abortion or let the system put the baby up for adoption.
Mary also wants to improve her situation and she sees getting perfect on the SATs as her way out. Again, though, she faces extraordinary obstacles. She has two roommates who bully her endlessly. She doesn't have a driver's license or a state issued ID. She doesn't have the money for the test or the practice materials.
And then there are the inserts about the crime, the trial, and the psychological studies done on Mary over the years. These parts of the book, and Mary's interaction with them (especially later on) remind me of When Rabbit Howls by Truddi Chase — except this one is fiction.
The writing is raw, emotional, and will leave you on edge. There are no happy endings here. No story threads tied up in neat little bows. It's messy story about a terrible situation.
Comment #1: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 12:01:43
I so want to read this book. This story sounds so heartbreaking. Glad to see you liked it. Thanks for the review :)
Comment #2: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 11:17:20
It is heartbreaking and angering and every emotion in between.