This month’s FYA Book Club selection is Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson. Check out the discussion questions below! (Slight spoilers ahead.)

P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!

Content Warning

This book depicts an emotionally and physically abusive relationship with brief scenes of rape. 

Icebreaker

Soon after Enchanted meets Korey, they’re chatting about books and Enchanted brings up Twilight. She tells him, “It’s like… she lets this super-old creepy vampire come stalking into her life. Purposely puts herself in danger, risks her life for a guy who should know better and leave her alone.” Then, weeks later, she thinks: “I should be happy. Korey is like Edward from Twilight, doting over Bella with his overprotectiveness.”

So, let’s get real. What’s your take on Edward?

Questions

1. As a reader, were you able to understand why Enchanted fell for and then stuck with Korey? If so, how do you think Tiffany D. Jackson accomplished that?

2. With Grown, Jackson offers a powerful, nuanced portrait of a victim of sexual assault and domestic violence. Did Enchanted’s perspective affect your own?

3. In her author’s note, Jackson makes it clear that Korey is inspired by R. Kelly (who is currently on trial), and some (if not all) of Korey’s worst actions are lifted directly from the experiences of Kelly’s accusers. Were you aware of the allegations against Kelly? Did Grown change your opinion of him at all?

4. Even though Gab and Jay started dating when she was 14 and he was 17, people started calling Jay a “cradle robber” and “pedophile” once he turned 18. What did you think about this as a foil for Enchanted and Korey’s relationship? 

5. There’s a segment in the book featuring different takes from social media on Korey’s abuse of women, including opinions ranging from “he had a rough childhood” to “if these girls were white, Korey would be cremated and thrown in the sewer.” How did Jackson utilize this spectrum of voices to comment on the state of our culture with regards to women and, specifically, Black women?

6. Was there ever a moment when you thought Enchanted had actually killed Korey? 

7. What did you think about Jessica and the role she played? 

8. How did you feel about the twist of Gab “missing” because of her shortened name?

9. Did you guess who actually murdered Korey? What did you think of the mystery aspect of the book?

Sarah splits her time between Dallas and Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.