Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty; Joshilyn Jackson



Author:  Joshilyn Jackson 
Publication Year: 2012 
Publisher: Hachette Audio Books 
Edition: audiobook / ARC
Reader: (author) - excellent job 
Source: Library 
Date Completed: July/2012
Rating: 5/5
Recommend: yes

By looking at the cover of this novel and the title for that matter, a reader not familiar with Joshilyn Jackson's previous novels might imagine that this book is a light, fluff-filled southern tale --- but that reader would be wrong. 

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, is a story about three generations of southern women, but there is a mystery element that is introduced early on --- a box containing tiny bones and a small dress is unearthed by a contractor hired to remove an old willow tree.  Immediately, I was drawn in and was listening almost non-stop; it's that addictive.

The women in this novel are 45 year-old Ginny (aka...Big) Slocumb, her 30 year-old daughter Liza and 15-year old Mosey, daughter of Liza.  The women believe they have been cursed because ever 15 years, something seems to happen to one of them, and now Mosey is 15.

When Big was 15, she was raped by her date, impregnated and later gave birth to Liza who she raised on her own.  Daughter Liza was a wild-child --her interests were men and drugs.  She too, became pregnant at age 15.  Now Mosey, 15 (that unlucky number again), so Big makes sure she is sent to private school, hoping to avoid having something similar happen to her.

Not wanting to spoil the story for any potential readers, I'll just say read this one, I doubt you will be disappointed.  The writing is terrific, the characters are ones you will care about, and if your are like me, you'll appreciate the humor infused at times as well.  The family dynamics and mystery element added to whole audio book experience.  Normally, I tend to avoid audio books read by the author, but Ms. Jackson is the exception -- she is fabulous -- pitch perfect.

Read this One!

34 comments:

  1. As a big fan of Joshilyn Jackson and Southern Fiction, I've had this one on my TBR list but it has gotten pushed down the list somehow. You've now reminded me that I need to read this book NOW! I'm glad you enjoyed the audio. I may listen to it as well. Great review!

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  2. I have read...and loved...several of her books but not this one yet. I must!

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  3. I just bought it the other day, Diane (the audio). So glad you loved it! I've enjoyed the two JJ novels I've read so far.

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  4. I loved this book too - I need to experience one of Jackson's books on audio.

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  5. I have always dismissed Jackson as fluffy or women's fiction, but yours is the second glowing review I've read who mention how wrong that is. I got this one from the library and am really looking forward to it now!

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  6. This was one of the best books I listened to this year, and I agree that Jackson has a certain narrative style that really works for this book. I can't wait to listen to more of her work, and I have a few waiting for me. Great review today! I am so glad that you loved this one!!

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  7. With your review and others, I'm convinced to try this book.

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  8. I must read this at some point. I do love the Southern feel to Joshilyn Jackson books.

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  9. That is exactly what I think when I look at this cover. That is why Jill at Fizzy Thought gave me her copy. To prove me wrong! Haven't started it yet but I plan to go in with an open mind.

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  10. I read and enjoyed Joshilyn Jackson's The Girl Who Stopped Swimming...so this one is on my list. Thanks for moving it up on the TBR with your great review!

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  11. I just bought this from audible... can't wait to listen!!

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  12. It sounds like it would be horrific with the rape and the trend of the generations getting pregnant at 15, but then I've heard so many good things about this book that I know better than to make that assumption. I haven't read any of her books yet. It is good to know that they have depth.

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  13. I love her books! And she totally has depth! :--)

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  14. You're right that the cover makes it look like a light read. You made it sound intriguing though. I'll put in on my list, once I finish all these French books.

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  15. I'd love to read--or listen to--this one. Fabulous review, Diane! I'm glad you enjoyed this book so much.

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  16. Great review. Sounds like one I'd like.

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  17. This is going to be one of my August audio book listen!!

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  18. I agree, just read this one!

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  19. I read one of Jackson's books last summer was liked it but didn't love it. But this one does sound great so I'm going to have to give her another shot!

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  20. Thank you so much for leaving words of comfort for me on the passing of my beloved cat, Alex. Marc and I are heartbroken. We know we did the right thing, and every day we realize how much Alex was “preparing us” during the last few weeks, but it doesn’t make it any easier. We can’t stop the tears…. But having wonderful friends, like you, and the support of the CB is making it better….

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  21. i love the endorsement you have on this book! i haven't read anything by jackson before, but i do have one of her books sitting on my shelf and i'm excited to read it now.

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  22. Holy cow! Now I don't know what to do...read it or listen to it??? I have the book on my iPad, but I also have 2 credits to burn at audible.com....decisions, decisions!!!

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    1. Listen to it! Always listen if Joshilyn Jackson is narrating. :)

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  23. You're right. I loved the cover instantly, but totally mis-judged the style of book. Your description sounds even better! Definitely going on my list. Thanks for the review.

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  24. You just can't go wrong with Joshilyn Jackson on audio!

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  25. I have been debating whether to read this book for some time. I agree, the title made me think it was more of a light-hearted read.
    PS Audible has it for $5.95 right now (might need to be a platinum member though)

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  26. I've only read a couple of her books and loved them. This one will take a priority. Glad you recommend it so highly, Diane.

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  27. I like how her books are dark and deal with some pretty serious stuff, but they're also laugh out loud funny.

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  28. I read it and loved it. I have now put her on my must read list. Next book is Irving's In One Person. Favorite this summer The Night Circus!!!! Enjoying summer of grandchildren visits and beach days on Lake Superior. I hope you are enjoying your new grandbaby!

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  29. It's been recommended to me and I definitely want to read this one. I'm thinking of getting the audio, it sounds like a great story and the excerpt I listened too was great, too! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

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  30. I adored this one when I read it as well. I'm a huge fan of this author..have you read Gods in Alabama by her? It's my favorite but this was a close 2nd :)

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  31. I really need to read her books. Everyone seems to love her so much.

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  32. Love JJ and somehow managed to miss this one! Thanks for the good words....I'm off to find it.

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  33. Great review. You've convinced me to read this one!

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