Book Review: A Grown Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

June 25, 2012 audio, book review 1

A Grown-up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

Narration  by: Joshilyn Jackson

Published by: Hachette Audio 2012/print published by Gran Central Publishing,   a division of Hachette Book Group 2012

Length: 12 hours and 25 minutes

Source: Purchased

The Slocomb women have bad luck about every 15 years, or perhaps it’s just been when each of the elder two reached the age of 15.  Both Jenny, more fondly known as  Big, and Liza got pregnant at 15, and Big has declared she will do everything in her power to assure that Mosey will not become pregnant.  She has preached and kept a close eye on Mosey and warned her so much that poor Mosey has no intention of having sex with anyone, but she still keeps a stash of home pregnancy tests at home…just in case.  Liza is Mosye’s mother, and has suffered an awful stroke, and now that she is home, Big is doing her best to provide the best opportunity for Liza’s physical therapy.  She’s planning to dig up the back yard and put in a pool.  When a local handyman is hired to take out the large willow tree in the backyard a devastating surprise is found.  Inside a tiny silver footlocker are the bones of an infant…and Liza’s behavior upon this discovery is extreme. 

The story of these three women is told in each of their voices, and the most beautiful is at times the inner voice of Liza, who cannot speak due to her stroke.  Liza holds deep dark secrets, a holdover from her troubled youth.  Her inner voice takes the reader back to how she became the woman she is today.  It is from her secrets that we learn much of what led Liza to the drugs and depression of her youth. 

Jenny, or Big is the glue that holds these women together.  She is both the voice of reason and the calm within a storm.  Her life has not been what she had expected, but she’s always found a way to make the best of things.  She has both her daughter and granddaughter’s best interest at the heart of everything she does.  I loved Jenny, at just 45 she is wise beyond those years….and I dream of being that kind of intuitive person. 

Mosey is spunky, and such a spitfire!!  One of my favorite phrase of hers is “hells no”!!  What a great statement!  Her best friend and partner in crime is Roger a boy who feeds her sense of adventure and helps her to find out much about herself.

I started this book in print, lucky enough to grab an advanced reader’s copy at work, but after meeting Joshilyn Jackson at the UCF book festival, and hearing her talk….I just had to get the audio and listen to her tell the story.  She tells the story with the rhythm and tone that it was intended to be heard.  I love a southern story, but a told in a southern accent by the amazingly brilliant author is just too good!!  I must now admit this was my first book by Jackson, and yet not my last!!  I’ve made it my new mission to listen to all her books.  A review of her first book will be posted later this week. 

I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars, both the story and the audio kept me wanting more!!  You will not be disappointed if you read or listen to this book.  Highly recommended. 

This is Audiobook Week, sponsored by Jen, Devourer of Books.  Please drop by her blog for more great audio book reviews and more!

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