Allegedly was one dark and twisted book that was a total page turner for me. It made me go from hating the narrator, to loving her, to not having any idea how I felt. It’s probably one of the darkest books that I’ve read in ages, and that’s saying something.
Allegedly tells the story of Mary B. Addison, who is currently in a group home because she allegedly killed a baby when she was nine years old. She’s been to “baby jail” already, and now she is biding her time until she turns eighteen, which is just two years away. But the question is, did she do it? Did she actually kill an innocent baby? Or is there more to the story that hasn’t been told?
“Guess birthdays don’t mean nothing in a group home. I mean, it kind of makes sense. Hard to celebrate the day you were born when everybody seems to wish you were never born at all. Especially after you come into this world and fuck it all up.”
Wile Mary is serving her time, trying to stay alive in a group home full of girls who make her life hell, she is also working on planning for her future. What will life hold for her once she gets out of the group home? Will she ever be able to go to college, or is that a dream she will never get to achieve? What lies in store for her and her boyfriend, whom she works with at the nursing home?
When she discovers that she’s pregnant, she isn’t sure what’s going to happen. Will she keep the baby or be forced to give it away? After all, she did allegedly kill a baby, so she isn’t sure how things are going to play out for her. Struggling to keep her relationship with Ted, the eighteen year old she works with at the nursing home, a secret, Mary has other things on her plate now – she’s pregnant, stuck in a group home where she fears for her life, and has no idea what her future holds for her. She wants to go to college and make a life for herself, as well as fight for her right to keep her baby. But with the conviction of manslaughter on her shoulders, and only her and mother to know what really happened that night, how will it play out for Mary?
Mary is a completely unreliable narrator who weaves you in and out of a story that is full of more twists and turns than I thought possible. I loved not knowing how to react to Mary – she was unpredictable and made the story such a great one to get lost in.
The relationship she had with Ted in the novel seemed very realistic. I wanted the best for the both of them, but at the same time I found myself wondering if they were ever going to get that happy ending.
“I kept thinking, is this what boys do, make you feel naked with all your clothes on? And the way he smiled at me, like he was honestly happy to see me, reminded me of a time when someone wanted me. I would have given anything to have that again.”
The relationships in Allegedly are all so complex, making them so much deeper than your typical YA relationships. Mary is forced to deal with the shortcomings of everyone she trusted, like a problem that she faces with Ted, and the realization that all she wanted was to feel loved. The relationship she had with her mother was painful to read about, as well, and while her mother came to the group home to visit her, you can tell that the only reason she was there was for appearances.
While her and Ted’s realtionship was kind of sweet at times, I honestly hated his character, especially after it is revealed what he was in a group home for. What he did was absolutely horrible.
But the thing that makes this book such a psychological roller coaster is that for years, Mary sat back and took the blame for killing a baby. But now, years later, she decides that she wants to open the case back up again. She comes forth with new information that she claims to remember, even though it seems sketchy. There is just so much in this book that will throw you for a loop, and I mean that in a good way. It kept me guessing and I loved every minute of it.
The only thing I wasn’t particularly keen on was the ending. I kind of felt like the ending of the book was a bit thrown together just for shocks, and I guess I wish there would have been an ending that made the story even stronger.
Allegedly is a really heartbreaking and painful book to read, and if you do pick it up (which I highly recommend you do), you’re going to be in for a ride from the very first page until the last.