"Allegedly" by Tiffany D. Jackson
Often, when I read, I see things coming a mile away. It’s not even that I’m trying to predict plot points with precision…it just happens. When I’ll hit lulls in the text, I start to think about the next big event. And, usually, I’m right (not a skill I can take to Vegas, sadly).
For some reason, when reading Allegedly, I didn’t do this.
My mind stayed squarely on the depth and sincerity with which every event, no matter how seemingly simple, was laid out.
And the quiet and calm focus was wonderful.
I was nervous when I started this book, for two reasons, really:
- The premise sounded amazing – and the better the premise sounds the more disappointing it is when the book ends up being a dud.
- My book club members – all of whom had finished this book before met – warned me that the ending was…problematic (like, throw-the-book-at-the-wall-ending-of-Mice-and-Men kind of problematic)
As I moved through the book – at breakneck pace, because I couldn’t put it down – it became clear that my first concern wasn’t going to be an issue.
The entire book was deep and meaningful and insightful and thought-provoking. This book wasn’t a bait-and-switch. The author not only delivered on her promises of sharing a compelling tale but actually doubled-down, providing chapter-after-chapter of intriguing and satisfying – albeit emotionally difficult – material.
But this didn’t assuage my fears. For, as I turned page after page, I knew I was approaching the end – which I was told was a book ruiner.
So, imagine my surprise when I found the ending to be anything but. No, the ending doesn’t tie everything up in a perfect little bow. It doesn’t assure me that the protagonist, whom I have spent 350+ pages developing an affinity for, will be okay.
But I’m glad it didn’t do these things.
What the ending did do is take an already complex and difficult plot and multiply these complexities exponentially.
This was a brave move on the part of the author.
It all comes down to this question, “Is the duty of an author to present a plot that makes the reader happy, or instead a plot that accurately encapsulates a concept?”
The answer, I think, is the latter.
While my heart may have wanted the clarity and conclusiveness of a black and white ending, my head appreciated the author’s willingness to deal in shades of gray.
As it would turn out, surprisingly, I have no doubt that I will continue to think about – and recommend – this book for years to come due, in large part, to the ending.
This is the kind of book that it feels odd...wrong even...to say you enjoyed. The gritty picture this paints of reality is alarming. And so, it's due to the clarity and accuracy of this picture, not due to enjoyment, that I give this book 5 out of 5 cocktails.
Part of the magic of a book is that it can expose you to truths you were previously blind to. What book did this for you? Tell me about it in the comments.
And I'm off to my next read. Want to see what that is? Check it out here.