Friday, February 17, 2012

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty ~ Joshilyn Jackson (eARC) review

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty
Grand Central Publishing
January 25, 2012
336 pages
add to Goodreads/buy on Amazon/or Book Depository


A Grown Up Kind of Pretty was not quite as outrageous as the other two Joshilyn Jackson books (Between, Georgia and Gods in Alabama) that I've read, but it certainly wasn't about your quiet unassuming, average everyday folk, either.

Mosey Slocumb is fifteen, an age that would be hard enough on its own without the whole town watching you, just waiting for you to get pregnant. After all, it's what the Slocumb girls do when they're fifteen, they have babies. Mosey's mama did, Liza did and her mama, Big, did, too.

With Liza recovering from the stroke she suffered several months ago and Mosey still flat as a board and not interested i boys, there's really no worry of her getting pregnant but soon that's just about the last thing on their minds . . .

A tiny grave is unearthed when a tree is taken being taken out in their backyard. Finding out just how it got there - especially with Liza unable to talk to them about her more than checkered past - will push all three past where they thought they could go.


Mosey, Liza and Big (her name is Ginny but Mosey calls her big - and Liza did when she could speak so she's refereed to as Big in the chapter titles and most of the book) are certainly not a conventional family but they are a strong one. Big, especially, has gone through a lot in her, really, rather short life. We learn of the hardships she had after having a baby at fifteen and then later on when Liza was older and now after Liza had her stroke, but she does an excellent job keeping the three of them together. She is the one working, hard as she can, to keep them all together and safe after the grave is found in the backyard and stirs up all kinds of potential trouble for them.

I loved that chapters were told from each of their points of view so we got to see a bits of their past as well as how each of them viewed the current goings on. Not having it be told by one, first person narrator also allows the reader to see things about each character that they would not have allowed the other characters to bear witness to and third person would not have worked as well with Liza being one of the main characters - or working the memories, past events in.

The multiples first person narration was a great way to tell A Grown Up Kind of Pretty.

The ending was fantastic in terms of the familial relationships and each characters story getting wrapped up. We got to see how they each grew and  developed because of the different things that happened and how their relationships with each other were different. I was a little disappointed about how the legal part of things wrapped up, though.  I was curious for the whole book how that was going to go - and at the end kept wondering how it was going to conclude with such a little bit left - and I'm not sure it really did get resolved.

Part of it obviously did and the characters seemed happy with it and maybe I'm wrong but it just seemed like legally there would have been more required. (Maybe not, though.)

This book was just about as great as Joshilyn Jackson's first two!


Rating: 8/10



Thanks to GrandCentral and NetGalley for my egalley of this title


Other books you might like: Fancy White Trash by Marjetta Geerling and Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson

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