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A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  13,350 ratings  ·  1,868 reviews
A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her strok ...more
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published January 25th 2012 by Grand Central Publishing (first published October 5th 2010)
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2012: What the Over 35s Have Read So Far
92nd out of 3,392 books — 791 voters
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Best Southern Literature
159th out of 844 books — 2,105 voters

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Community Reviews

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If you've never read a book by Joshilyn Jackson (Gods in Alabama; Between, Gerogia; The Girl Who Stopped Swimming; or Backseat Saints) you are missing out on a most phenomenal experience!

Jackson's newest book, A Grown Up Kind of Pretty, was everything that I like in Jackson's books; being swept up into the story and the characters and enjoying every minute of it! I couldn't put this book down.

The characters are definitely outside the bos: The Alabama matriarch of this family is "Big". Big is 4
I am a huge fan of Joshilyn Jackson's novels, and I think A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty might be her best yet. Ginny, Liza and Mosey Slocumb are instantly lovable characters and their shared story is at turns pee-your-pants hilarious and heartbreaking. The plot has more twists and turns than a storyline from Days of Our Lives (which Jackson references a lot in this book--I love that!)--and she keeps the pacing fast but not breakneck. Jackson gives her characters such honest, self-aware voices, espec ...more
A book like this, in former days, was considered a trashy romance. It is on book club lists because Jackson is of the up and coming generation of writers, which only proves to me how far our values have sunk. There was a great deal of profanity and crudeness of language with an overwhelming emphasis on sex. It was highly anti-Christian. The author claims she is from the South, but it didn't stick. It seems her agenda is to portray Southerns in an unreal light; i.e., Dukes of Hazard and Hew Haw t ...more
Thank God for 3 star books. I really mean that. Though I feel bad for the writers of books that are fairly well written but will sadly never make it because they just fall short in their chick lit premises, I am very grateful for the book that I can read on a raft and not have to concentrate too hard but care enough to keep reading.
This book's premise is 30 percent intrigue and 70 percent dumb - in fact it is why I put this book back on the library shelf last time (along with the cover and, ok,
extraordinary ordinary whimsy
I was held captive by the mystery that begins with the bones found in a yard, amazed by the slow unraveling of Liza's twisted history, and transfixed by what Big (Ginny) is willing to do for her child. These flawed, brave, spunky characters tackle real issues and ultimately, when the truth is revealed, realize just how much they need and love each other. I may be nothing like these ladies, but they really moved me and I want to be just like fierce mama Big.
I listened to the audio version of A Grown-Up Kind Of Pretty. Audible books and I are not buxom buddies and probably never will be. The narrator has to be exceptional for me to enjoy this format. The author, Joshilyn Jackson did a superb job and did not disappoint in narrating this book. It's great when you get the author narrating their own book as it really came through how much Joshilyn Jackson loved these characters she created.

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, set in Mississippi, tells the story
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

3.5 out of 5

I've read two other novels by this author, long before I started blogging, and I was less than impressed by what she had to offer in Between, Georgia and Gods in Alabama . Both of these Southern-set novels were just sort of...there. I didn't love them, didn't hate them; I didn't have enough emotion invested to feel either way. Nothing called to me from their pages; the characters weren't favorites or interesting; they simply did what
I wish I'd never given five stars before, because rarely has a book deserved them in the way this book does. Jackson is a master of words and of storytelling. I was 100% invested in this story from the very first page, and I read more slowly than usual because I really didn't want to say goodbye to Big, Mosey, or anyone else in this book. Hell, I even loved a Duckins. I had my heart broken by some of the beautiful sentences in this book. And better than that, this book was wholly unpredictable. ...more
Liza understands it, but she understands it outside, looking in. Love has never been her currency, while Big and Mosey, both of them, are soaked in it.

This is what I love about Goodreads - a while ago one of my GR friends recommended that I read this book based on my likes, and she was spot on. I gobbled up this story in less than a day. I loved all three the main characters, but Liza especially. I kept wondering why someone would be so self-destructive - the author writes this so well, she real
Book Concierge
Audiobook performed by the author.

Excerpt from the book jacket: When a long-hidden grave is unearthed in the backyard, headstrong young Mosey Slocumb is determined to investigate. What she learns could cost her family everything… Every fifteen years, trouble comes after the three Slocumb women: a child on the cusp of womanhood searching for her true family; a woman whose fight to protect her daughter will toss her headlong into a second chance at first love; and a lost soul rediscovering
I really enjoy southern fiction and was looking forward to A Grown-up kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson.

Having read and loved Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe I am always scouting for a southern read to draw me in just like that book did.

The plot for A grown up kind of pretty really gets you thinking.

"When a long hidden grave is unearthed in the backyard of the Slocumb home, headstrong Mosey Slocumb is determined to investigate. What she learns could cost her family everything"

I l
One of the fun things about going to a book festival, like we have in Tucson, is getting a sense of the real personalities of the authors. Often they seem to “go with” the kind of books they write, sort of like dog owners picking out dogs that match them. Joshilyn Jackson is so bubbly and electric that if you put her inside a power grid, you could light up a whole city for months.

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is about three remarkable women: Big (Ginny Slocumb, age 45), her daughter Liza (“Little”),
Jen McConnel
The Slocumb women don't have skeletons in the closet: they keep them buried in the back yard.

Told from three POVs, this is the story of Big, Liza, and Mosey. Big (who's name is Ginny, but to her family, she's always been Big) is in her third "trouble year": every fifteen years, without fail, God throws her a curve ball and tries to bring her down. When she was 15, she got pregnant. When she was 30, her daughter, Liza, got pregnant and took off with the baby. And now, at 45, her world is crumblin
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
This review first appeared on my blog:

The novel starts out with Big (Virginia), 45 years old and her fears that something bad is going to happen. After all, something bad seems to happen every 15 years. She had her daughter Liza when she was 15 years old. In turn, Liza had her own daughter Mosey when SHE was 15. Liza had a massive stroke at Mosey's school dance when she was 30, and she is still recovering, unable to communicate and struggling to remember
This book will capture you. You will find yourself thinking about the characters during the day and rushing home in order to get your nose back in the pages and find out what happens next. Yup, it is really that juicy. Having read many of Joshilyn Jackson's works, my favorite had been Gods in Alabama; but I think A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty just won that prize. The main characters Big, Liza, and Mosey are so real and emotional and hearfelt that it is impossible not to get caught up in their lives. ...more
I personally will never understand why some authors feel it necessary to have their characters use foul language in order for us to better "understand" the character's personality. Completely and totally NOT necessary to build a character! In fact, it can become so grating and annoying that it has the opposite effect - a distaste for a book that could have otherwise been a good story. Although the language in this novel wasn't prevalant, it was enough to make me wince whenever I read it. In fact ...more
Shellys♥ Journal
Three women. Grandmother. Mother. Daughter. A mysterious baby buried in the back yard - and the mystery of who this baby is consumes these women. As they search for the answer, other mysteries unfold themselves from the web of the past.

I loved this book!!!! It was a story of truth and identity. The characters and connections were captivating. I also like how the three main characters told the story. Each chapter not only had "real time" details, but allowed whatever character was in queue to rel
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is another fabulous book by Joshilyn Jackson. The story is a superb mystery pieced together through the viewpoints of the three major characters: Mosey, Liza, and Big. Laced with unexpected flashes of humor, this novel is compelling and thought-provoking.

I have one more of Joshilyn Jackson's books to read, and I sincerely hope she will continue to write (hurry, please), as she has become one of my favorite authors of all time.

I don't like to provide story line specifics
JJ (Joshilyn Jackson) has never failed to bring a bold southern gritty twang into my monotonous world. This is my third JJ novel and I wasn't disappointed. It's a courageous story about mothers and daughters and the love that binds them. Three strong brazen voices unearth the mystery of the bones under the willow tree. Even though this isn't a traditional mother daughter story this is a modern layered story that makes me continue to believe roots grow where you water love and tend to them.
Heidi Rothert
More adult material than expected. Too much bad language in my opinion. Good story line. Kept me interested enough to not stop reading it and skip the not so great stuff as best I could. Disappointing.
This is my first book by Joshilyn Jackson and I will be remedying that ASAP. This was such a great book I listened to it on audio and sat in my car in the parking lot for an extra 20 minutes just to get to the end of a chapter. What great characters I loved them all! This book is about family and what it means to be family. The 3 generations of women in this book will make you smile, cry and cheer.

This was narrated by the author and I know audiobook junkies like me cringe a little when we hear
Every 15 years bad things happen to the Slocumb women. It started when Ginny got pregnant at 15, and continued when her daughter Liza also become a mom at 15 and ran away from home. Now that Liza's daughter Mosely is 15, things are already falling apart. Liza has suffered a stroke that has left her unable to speak. Ginny watches Mosely like a hawk, watching for signs that she is about to go wild. But when Ginny hires someone to cut down the willow tree in the back yard of their small Mississippi ...more
This is my favorite novel of Joshilyn Jackson's since Gods in Alabama. She is a fantastic author who knows southern women, the strencth they have beneath their nail polish and lipstick, and the almost terrifying dedication they have to their children. Her aunts and mothers are never afraid to do what they have to to protect their children, even if it means committing felonies to do so. But ultimately, these books aren't about the drama coming from crimes and secrets, they are about the strength ...more
When you start this book you feel one way about these women, but when you get to the end you will feel differently about them. For me Liza changed the most. I didn't like her at the start, thought she was very selfish and never really left her teen years. When you get to the end, you may have those similar thoughts, but you see another side of her, one she keeps hidden and isn't really sure how to bring that one forth.

I loved Big, she did the best when she was a kid and all along. Yes, Liza went
Lydia Laceby
Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes

I LOVED this novel. I laughed. I chocked up. I grinned. I cried. I giggled. A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty has everything I love in a novel – a unpredictable plot, emotion that leaps off the pages and characters as real and believable as the person sitting next to me. An ode to the bonds of family, regardless of its makeup, and the enduring strength of women, A Grown up Kind of Pretty is a compelling page turner that will keep you up late at night.

Narrated via alte
Every 15 years, something bad happens to Ginny Slocumb. She got pregnant when she was 15 and her daughter, Liza, went and did the very same thing. Now, as her granddaughter, Mosey, approaches her 15th year, "Big" (as Mosey calls her) and Liza "Little" are determined to protect her from making their mistakes. Liza's wild personality is buried in the effects of a stroke, potentially caused by a drug habit, and Big is already overwhelmed, keeping Mosey safe and trying to reach through Liza's disabi ...more
Sara Thompson
This is the story of three generations – Big, Liza and Mosey. Big believes that every 15 years they are cursed. This started when Big became pregnant with Liza at 15 and then Liza got pregnant with Mosey 15 years later. Mosey has just turned 15 and Big is trying to be vigilant. The year starts with Liza having a stroke which leaves her broken and withdrawn. Big knows that a pool will help and has a neighbor help take down the old willow tree in her yard which starts off a chain of events that wi ...more
Jackson has done it again.

I am a long-time fan of Joshilyn Jackson, as is noted here and here. Her writing takes me away into the worlds in her book, and the characters always feel so instantly like I've known them my whole life. Would it be weird to call her books "comfortable"? Because right from the prologue of this newest novel, I knew I was going to be stuck in my chair until the end.

Wow, was the drama in this story heavy! And powerful, like a punch to the stomach, or a terrible image you a
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is the kind of novel that sweeps you into its' pages and doesn't let you go. Told from three different viewpoints, it is the story of Ginny (aka Big), Liza, and Mosey. Three generations of Slocumb women discovering each other's secrets while trying to keep the most important secret from destroying them all.

Whew! This book carried me away into the story that the author had to tell and into the lives of the Slocumb women. I was easily entranced as I began to uncover some
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty was a very touching book about three females - Ginny, her daughter, Liza, and granddaughter, Mosey. These three characters found their way quickly into my heart, and this is a story that will stay with me. The three main characters are all flawed, yet very sympathetic. I was rooting for good things for the three of them.

Ginny, "Big," knows that every fifteen years holds a trying time for her. When she was fifteen, she had a baby. When that baby daughter, Liza, was fifte
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Jackson's latest novel, THE OPPOSITE OF EVERYONE, pubs on January 26, 2016!

New York Times Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is the author of gods in Alabama, Between, Georgia, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Backseat Saints, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, and most recently, SOMEONE ELSE'S LOVE STORY. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, won SIBA’s novel of the year,
More about Joshilyn Jackson...
Gods in Alabama Between, Georgia Someone Else's Love Story Backseat Saints The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

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“I would take today's joy, and tomorrow's. I would take it with both hands, anywhere it came.” 4 likes
“It was more like when I was little and used to run everywhere for the sheer fun of fast moving.” 1 likes
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