March was a month of great reads. I spent the majority of it reading young adult novels, I tend to gravitate towards them when the sun starts to come out. There's something about sitting in the sun with an easy read, taking it all in. I managed to read 7 books, most of which were advance reading copies, so I can't wait to sell them once they are released.
I'm still trying to break out of my comfort zone when it comes to reading, so I have a list of recommendations that people at work have told me to try out. That's my goal for April at least!
The break out book for me this month was an easy one though. I flew threw Allegedly faster than any other book I've read this year and my god, it was brilliant. Allegedly is the debut novel by Tiffany D. Jackson, at the moment it's only available in hardback, but it's well worth the money.
"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?"
Set in the present day, you follow a pregnant Mary as she struggles to not only find her place in the world as a teenager, but also trying to fight for her innocence now that she's older, stronger and more determined. Mary is a complex character, one that my heart ached for as she had been dealt a hand worse than anyone, a hand that she had never asked for.
I loved how this book highlighted the struggles young women face, the prejudice someone can receive for being pregnant or having a conviction against your name. It shows that with the right support, you can achieve your goals no matter the hurdles you may face and I felt like I was cheering Mary on throughout the whole book.
There are plenty of twists and turns and I loved that the story was littered with news articles and police reports from her past, to help us fill in those missing years. I really loved how I didn't have an inkling of how it would end, that I didn't know who was on the good side and who was on the bad. That it really highlighted how corrupt some people and levels of hierarchy can be.
Allegedly was thought provoking, gripping and compelling. It definitely wasn't an easy read, but a read that kept me gripped and left me with a whirlwind of emotions after. I love books that really get me thinking at the moment, books that make me sit back and go "oh my days, we need to talk about this". Books that stir something inside me for change. Allegedly was one of those books, because allegedly you can be accused and framed for something without saying a word.