Thursday, March 29, 2012

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



Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 336
Released: 2012
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4/5



Synopsis:

Big, the grandmother and matriarch of the family, honestly believes that something bad is about to happen. Every 15 years, something shocks the family; Big got pregnant with Liza when she was 15 years old, Liza had Mosey when she was 15 years old, and Liza suffered a massive strong when she was 30 years old. Mosey has just turned 15, and everyone wonders if she will make the same mistakes. Mosey is on her toes, praying she makes the right choices. It would be too much to break her grandmother’s heart. When Big announces that she will install an outside pool to help with Liza’s recovery, Mosey is adamant that the willow tree not be cut down. That willow tree is Liza’s favorite tree, and Mosey knows that Liza would not agree to cut it down. Big will do anything to help Liza, and she decides the tree has to go. The day the tree is cut down turns the Solcumbs women’s lives upside down; a small silver box is found and inside the box are the bones of a tiny baby, wrapped in a blanket.



Review:

This was my first experience with Joshilyn Jackson, and it was a great experiences. The tone of the book was very conversational, and real. Jackson depicts her characters as strong, independent women who despite their hardships want the best for each other. Although, much of the story is dealing with struggles and secrets, Jackson manages to lighten the book with laugh-out-loud scenes.

I loved the characters of this novel. Mosey is fifteen, as long as she can remember her mother and grandmother have warned her about teenage pregnancy. Despite the fact that she is not sexually active, she hides pregnancy tests to ease her mind. Dealing with her mother’s stroke has not been easy on Mosey, Liza was always the life of the party and now she can barely speak. Liza may have made some big mistakes in her past, but her love for Mosey and Big shines through. Big was my favorite, she was strong, and the root of her family. At fifteen, she raised Liza the best she could, always putting her first.

A Grown-up Kind of Pretty spans three generations, and has a little something for everyone. Three very detailed and multi-layered characters make it very easy for readers to connect with someone. I’m one of those readers who really need to connect with the characters, if I don’t like the characters I have a hard time enjoying this novel. Usually, when I read a story told in different perspectives, I tend to enjoy one more than the other. In this case, I enjoyed all three. The story is absorbing, relatable, and captivating. I recommend this one, and I’d love to explore some of her other novels.

17 comments:

  1. I haven't read this Jackson book but I've read a couple of others. Based on what I know of her writing alone, I would probably pick up this book. I'm glad that you enjoyed it!!!

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  2. I think I would enjoy this one and I like the cover- great review!

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  3. I loved this book and think it's Jackson's best. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it!

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  4. I really need to read this one! I'm hearing such great things. And I have to really like the characters too, so I'm thinking I'll enjoy this.

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  5. O I loved this one (still working on my review). SO glad you dug it.

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  6. I'm looking forward to reading (or listening) to this. I've read a couple of her other novels - she's a wonderful writer.

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  7. I love Jackson, although I have not yet gotten to this one. She is really a special writer, though!

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  8. I just finished this one a few weeks ago, and loved it so much! I would have to say that if you are interested in audios at all, that you need to listen to her others as well. They are all narrated by the author, and are just wonderful. She has a captivating voice. This was a wonderful review, by the way!

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  9. I'm right there with you Jennifer, the characters always make or break a novel for me. If I don't feel like I can connect with them on any level, I have trouble getting into the story. Glad all three perspectives worked for you!

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  10. I have never read anything of Jackson's but I see her around the blogosphere a lot. Sounds like this would be a great one to start with!

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  11. I kind of like those generational stories and the description of this one is mysterious and different. I love mysterious and different! I'm beyond intrigued about this silver box with baby bones and how this tale plays out. Awesome review.

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  12. I think I love Mosey already (and not just because she's fifteen like me)! <3 Characters are my biggest make it or break it factors for a book too -- if I don't like the MC, then I probably wouldn't enjoy the story as much, even if the book was incredible! That's why I'm really glad that this was one of those cases where the characters helped the books cause instead of destroyed it! :)

    Awesome review, Mrs. Q!

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  13. I liked these characters so much that I want to know how they are doing! ;o) Hope you get a chance to read more of Joshilyns' books, they are great!

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  14. I have had my eye on this. I love books that cover multi-generation. Thanks for the great review.
    - FABR Steph

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  15. I saw this book recently, and just from the cover wanted to read it. Although hearing more about it makes me want to read it even more.

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  16. I have a couple of Jackson's books but haven't read them yet. I definitely want to read this one as well!

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