Thursday, March 29, 2012
Review: A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Personal Copy
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.
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.