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Pětačtyřicetiletá Ginny je přesvědčená, že je její rodina každých patnáct let stižena kletbou. Ona sama v patnácti otěhotněla a porodila dceru Lizu, jež ve svých patnácti udělala totéž. Teď uplynulo dalších patnáct let a obě svobodné matky, Ginny i Liza, s hrůzou čekají, kdy dospívající Mosey zopakuje stejný scénář. Tentokrát však kletba na rodinu dopadá nečekaným způsobem… Mrazivý román o matkách, které byly samy ještě dětmi, když rodily, dívčích přátelstvích, dávno ztracených i znovu nalezených láskách, zradě, zneužití a zklamání, nenávisti a žárlivosti. A především o rodině a pevných poutech, která vytváří.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published October 5, 2010

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About the author

Joshilyn Jackson

25 books6,221 followers
Jackson's latest, WITH MY LITTLE EYE pubs April 25, 2023. Pre-order now!

New York Times and USA today bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is the author of WITH MY LITTLE EYE and nine other books, including NEVER HAVE I EVER, MOTHER MAY I, and THE ALMOST SISTERS. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages, won SIBA’s novel of the year, three times been a #1 Book Sense Pick, been the Target Book Club Pick, a Barnes and Noble Pick of the Month, and the Sunday Times Thriller fo the Month. A former actor, Jackson reads the audio versions of her novels; her work in this field has been nominated for the Audie Award, was selected by AudioFile Magazine for their best of the year list, and garnered two Listen Up Awards from Publisher’s Weekly.

She lives in Decatur, Georgia with her family.

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5 stars
5,489 (27%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,425 reviews
Profile Image for Debby.
931 reviews17 followers
February 6, 2012
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 45, her daughter Liza is 30 and Liza's daughter is 15. Every 15 years, Big believes that God sends her a "trial" of unbelievable proportions and, right on schedule, the proverbial crap is about to hit the fan. There's a very engaging mystery to be solved involving Liza suffering a stroke, a Weeping Willow tree being cut down and a box unearthed from the tree roots. When opened, the box contains the bones of a baby, a blanket, a dress and a baby toy. All of these items Big immediately recognizes. But, the question to be answered is who is the baby, b/c Liza's daughter is very much alive, and how did it come to be buried in Big's backyard? The story is all this and so much more!!

I listened to A Grown Up Kind of Pretty on CD. I highly recommend listening to all of Joshilyn Jackson's books on CD (and in the order written of course), as Jackson narrates each of them. Listening to her narrate her own work is to truly experience her phenomenal gift of storytelling. Listening to her read A Grown Up Kind of Pretty (or any of her books for tht matter) is as satisfying as savoring every morsel of a triple chocolate brownie. I am NOT exaggerating! You enjoy every single bite of it, you're a bit sad when it's done and you know you'll have to wait a while to enjoy another one b/c you don't get one of those rich goodies every day!

Profile Image for Britany.
966 reviews418 followers
May 25, 2019
I am really enjoying Jackson's novels. She is a delight to listen to on audio as she narrates her own books. What a treat indeed!

This novel finds a family of three women and three generations (in order)- Ginny, Liza, and Mosey. Every 15 years, the Slocumbs experience something life changing-- so far, it's been unexpected pregnancies. The chapters are told from each perspective of the main characters. It all started when the matriarch, Big wants to take down the willow tree to put in a pool for her daughter Liza. Something is discovered under that tree and it changes everything. We start to unravel the mysteries surrounding this discovery and it was a delight.

I couldn't wait to find out how this would end, and while a tiny bit predictable, the journey to get there was not. So many interesting plot points- I especially liked the saving of "Bogo" and love exploring the tropes of life in the rural south. I just cannot get enough of Jackson's books. NEXT!
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,444 reviews7,538 followers
March 6, 2023
I’m fairly certain A Grown Up Kind of Pretty ended up on my TBR after an Instagram “drive-by” of sorts where I noticed someone I follow loved it and then I thought to myself “hey, Joshilyn Jackson – I’ve liked her stuff before” so I requested it from the library and then kept it (unread, natch) for so long it became overdue and I wasn’t allowed to renew it anymore. Yesterday it was 70 degrees and beautiful outside, I had the house to myself and once I had quite literally mopped myself out the door and onto the deck I figured I’d give it a shot, knowing if it wasn’t for me I would have to return it today and remind myself I’m a reading failure.

I’m happy to report that did not happen and instead I read this puppy cover-to-cover while soaking up some Vitamin D. I’m also happy to say at this point I would not hesitate to recommend this author to anyone who follows me and is interested in books about family with just a titch of mystery thrown in to the mix to keep things interesting.

The story here is about three generations of Slocumb women. “Big” (and can I just say shame on the blurb for referring to this character as “Jenny” rather than her actual name “Ginny”), her daughter Liza (“Little”) and granddaughter Mosey are all simply trying to hold it together after Liza has a debilitating stroke at only 30 years old. That’s how things go for the Slocumbs, though. Every 15 years like clockwork some misfortune befalls the family. Generally it’s in the form of an unplanned pregnancy, but both Big and Little have been doing their best to terrify Mosey about all things that may come along with inviting a penis into her life. But when Liza’s beloved willow tree is uprooted in order to install a pool that will hopefully aid in the physical therapy required to get kick her rehabilitation into high gear, a tiny unmarked grave is revealed making both Big and Mosey question everything about what they thought they knew about their family. And Little’s inability to explain things certainly isn’t helping.

Like I said, I read this sucker from start to finish and only stopped for refills of sweet tea (duh) and to use the potty. I fell in love with each of these women and was bummed when my time with them ended. I’m giving it every Star because I wouldn’t change a dingly dang thing about this story and I’m so happy this author has a backlist for me to fall back on whenever I need a guaranteed winner.
Profile Image for BookLover.
385 reviews80 followers
December 15, 2016
This was a fantastic story! Told from the points of view of a grandmother, mother and daughter, I was drawn into their story from the first paragraph. Each point of view had a very distinct voice and each of their stories, leading up to the conclusion, was very engaging.

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty centers around a BIG secret. Mixed in with the mystery is the touching relationship between three generations of women. I loved it!! It had the perfect blend of the past mingled in with the current story-line.

Great read!!!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
461 reviews
March 28, 2012
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, especially Ginny and Mosey, who might be two the funniest Southern females ever conceived.

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Maureen.
174 reviews95 followers
March 14, 2019
I read this book a couple years ago, but forgot to mention it here on GR. It was a great story! Wonderful characters, and it kept my attention all the way through.
I've since read some of her later books and found them lacking, in my opinion. This one I really enjoyed.
Profile Image for Lisa.
1,465 reviews563 followers
September 3, 2022
[3+] This novel has the kind of strong, likable female characters that I've come to expect from Jackson. Mystery, family secrets and friendship rolled into an enjoyable, uplifting read. (Good thing I already was familiar with Jackson because I dislike the silly title and cover.)
May 2, 2012
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 types. The main focus seems to be that it is perfectly all right to engage in sexual activities as long as a pregnancy doesn't occur. That the type of people she is focusing on exist in every area of the country is not thought of. The problems faced in the book are faced by many, but the church is not silent or unforgiving. The wealthy are not participating in everything the poor do, except the wealthy don't have to suffer the consequences. There are no good rich people. The male hero is strictly cardboard fantasy of the author. Real men, especially a godly man, would NOT conduct himself in the manner shown. (Yes, I did read the book because the book club had selected it for this month's reading and discussion.)
Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,492 reviews9 followers
December 15, 2016
I'm sort of torn on how to review this. I liked two of the three Slocumb women and the teenage friends in current day, but wasn't enamored of a few of the plot twists and events from the past. I found it a bit shocking in parts, but not the good kind of shock. The portrayals of Big and Mosey and a couple laugh out loud moments saved it for me in the end.
803 reviews142 followers
July 8, 2012
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, the title) but picked it up again because of its (admittedly inflated) GR rating - it is essentially this: three generations of southern women; the grandma had her baby at fifteen, then her daughter went and done that too, and now the grandchild is turning fifteen and - saints alive! I do declare - she just might end up doin the same thang.
Ok, so this is already annoying. 15 is this special number, apparently, and NO ONE has learned how to avoid this?? I imagine all you southerners out there really don't appreciate these stereotypes. But let's move past that - the book takes an interesting turn when a baby's bones are dug up, and it turns out that the grandchild is not who she thinks she is.
Cue Face on the Milk Carton meets Are You My Mother. The writing in this work was pretty decent, and even though it had classic chick lit split narrative, I largely felt the voices were individual and interesting, the characters flawed bu8t not overly so. But the plot was really, really thin. There were a lot of ridiculous twists and over the top characters, and though of course you forgive a chick lit book a lot in these areas, I guess the writing was good enough to therefore leave me disappointed.
At the end of the day, there is a time and place for 3 star books, and my weekend in the country was exactly that. When you know going in that that's all this will be, it's easy to appreciate what it is and not just harp on what it isn't.
Profile Image for Noeleen.
188 reviews134 followers
January 18, 2013
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 of three generations of women , Jenny or ‘Big’ as she is fondly known, Jenny’s daughter Liza, who at 30, is recovering from a stroke and Liza’s fifteen year old daughter Mosey, Jenny’s grand daughter. A small grave is discovered in their back garden and so the mystery begins.

Told alternately from the perspective of the three main female characters, this book is well written and highlights the importance of family bonds and the search for identity. All three characters are strong females in their individual and different ways, and it was the characters that were my favourite aspect of the book. ‘Big�� was a great strong lead character, the head of the family, down to earth, caring and lovable but certainly no push-over. However, fifteen year old Mosey was my favourite. Mosey and her friends Roger and Patty really made this book for me. They provided many laugh out loud moments in their conversations with one another. I loved the banter between them and most especially the texts between Mosey and Roger. The references to Duck Town and the characters living there also made me laugh a lot. I felt like I was smack bang in the middle of an episode of The Jerry Springer Show at times.

On the down side, I felt that the story and plot were weak. The action plodded along nicely but at no great pace, had no major punch, no key twists and turns. I was waiting for the big ‘wow’ moment but it just never arrived. Overall, I did enjoy this book for what it is...if you are looking for an easy, light, fun, humorous, heart-warming read, this is ideal.
Profile Image for Dem.
1,186 reviews1,097 followers
August 15, 2012
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 loved the characters and enjoyed the voices of the three Slocumb women in this novel.

While I enjoyed the read the story did not emotionally draw me in and is not really a book that had a big impact on me but it is a nice summer read.
Profile Image for extraordinary ordinary whimsy.
126 reviews126 followers
October 3, 2014
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.
Profile Image for Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews).
1,695 reviews875 followers
March 6, 2012
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 they had to for the story - I felt no connection to the plots, the settings, the people. Happily for me, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty diverges from the path set down by its predecessors. The unfolding stories and pasts of these three similar but disparate women (Mosey, Liza, Ginny) is engaging from early on and the mystery at the heart of Mosey's life is both compelling and immensely readable.

Ginny is 45 and the matriarch of her tight-knit, all-female family, and in her short-ish years has experienced a cyclical pattern for three periods of extreme difficulties: her 15th year, her 30th and 45th. Jackson paints Ginny as a strong, Southern woman, one who can readily buy that she and her family are cursed by the number 15, but one that steadfastly hates religion, mostly Baptists. She's just "Big" to both of her girls, and has a big personality to match her sobriquet. Ginny is a complex character: I'd say she's even more dimensional than her wild-child daughter Liza, and reading about this determined Grandma reminded me a bit of my own hard-as-nails grandma. Ginny feels real, as do most of the characters herein, and is humanly flawed. But it is her unceasing sense of humor that keeps her narrative from veering into too pessimistic of territory or from sounding downtrodden ("I'll go straight under any number of ladders if you put the right kind of pie on the other side..." p. 8 ARC) despite the biblical amounts of crap that continually fall her way during A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. While the three rotating POVs of the Slocumb women worked to illuminate each woman separately and uniquely, Ginny's POV was resoundingly my favorite to read for the entire duration of the book.

Mosey is the hinge upon which this whole book turns, and surprisngly, this teenager is able to bear the pressure. While I may haaaate her name, Mosey's story is by turns funny, confusing, and emotional. While my liking for Big was immediate and I was curious about Liza from the start, Mosey was a slow-burn character for me. What really reversed my indifference was her relationship with Roger. I laughed out loud at the two of them ("he was just Roger, fixing my tit for me") when they were physcially present together: their texting drove me up a wall. Prepare oneself for 1337 speak and horribly mangled sentences when reading the interchanges between the mischievous pair. The slang felt very 'Southern' but the abbreviations and such were a bit much for me to handle.

Liza is the most unformed personality among the women, but for obvious, plot-adjacent reasons. Since Liza's situation is so different from her daughter and mother, I appreciated how distinct her "voice"/thoughts were. Though this is the second book in two weeks I've read that features a female main character with a 'brain event' ( The Vanishing Game being the other), Liza's story is riveting. Described as a "half girl, half hurricane", Liza was the crazy, uncontrolled member of this family tripod. Even diluted by her injuries, "Little's" narrative is easily identifiable as hers, and almost as much as I wanted to unravel the mystery of Mosey, Liza's story has a great, unpredicted, attention-grabbing twist of its own.

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is an easy, but very involving read. I'm not too proud to admit that several of my heartstrings were tugged very effectively, and unexpectedly often. I didn't cry, but my eyes did have tears in them at the resolution that Jackson extends to her readers. A slow beginning eases one into a story of what family really means and how the past does not have to define the future. This is not perfect, but it is very likeable and executed well. These are three very different women, all sympathetic despite any sins they have perpetrated. And for once, the rotating POV frame of storytelling worked very well - the breaks from each's story allowed for percolation of ideas/plots/assumptions. I had way more fun with this than I anticipated. My vote: give it a chance.
Profile Image for Courtney.
859 reviews99 followers
January 14, 2014
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. It had suspense, romance, family, poverty, drugs, excess, mystery, and thrills. I cried, I laughed, and I wished it wouldn't end. Best book I have read in 2014, and this one will be very hard to top.

And yes, thank you Pam! ;)
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,735 reviews14.1k followers
March 10, 2012
Another wonderful southern novel, with strong woman as central characters, and enough plot twists and turns to keep the story moving quickly. Jackson always manages to come up with such quirky, yet human characters and a plot line that has the reader quickly becoming emotionally involved in the story line.
Loved the teenagers in the story and most especially loved Big. Charming and enjoyable.
Profile Image for Book Concierge.
2,768 reviews332 followers
May 11, 2014
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 her voice.

My reaction:
Wow. I was mesmerized from beginning to end. Jackson writes the kind of Southern fiction I absolutely love – full of bigger-than-life characters facing “un-possible” plot twists, and sprinkled with colorful dialogue and idioms. She also writes strong female characters and all three Slocumb women show strength, albeit in different ways. Big, as matriarch, has the advantage of maturity and experience; she fights hard to maintain a stable family environment for her daughter and granddaughter. Liza shows the kind of strength and determination required to survive and recover from a debilitating stroke. Mosey has the strength of character that comes from knowing that she is loved and treasured. All three make their share of mistakes, but all face their future with a determination to succeed and the knowledge that they will always have each other to count on.

The chapters move back and forth between these three women and their various points of view. In this way the reader is privy to more information than any one of the women has, but that doesn’t mean I knew the solution to the mystery much sooner than the characters did. The only reason I don’t give the book five stars is that I was disappointed in how Liza and Big behaved around certain men. Liza, in particular, didn’t seem to have learned much from having had a child at age 15, except perhaps refining her ploys for not getting caught. But this was really a small part of the book.

Jackson read the audio version of the book herself. She is a talented voice-over artist and was easily able to give each woman enough individuality that I had no trouble telling them apart. She has good pacing and a style of reading that is just perfect for her novels.
Profile Image for Tania.
1,200 reviews269 followers
December 28, 2014
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 really made me understand that maybe it's not something Liza chooses, it just who she is. I can't wait to read more by this author. If you enjoy reading Jodi Picoult and Heather Gudenkauf then you should definitely add this to your list.

The Story: The Slocumb women suffer from an unfortunate curse: every 15 years something bad happens. Ginny gave birth to Liza when she was 15. And Liza had Mosey when she was 15. Now it’s Mosey who’s 15, and she’s nervous. But the curse strikes in a different form, bringing a stroke to Liza that renders her mute and crippled. Wanting to put a pool in the yard for Liza’s water therapy, Ginny has a willow uprooted, unearthing the bones of a baby. This macabre discovery sends Mosey, Ginny, and Liza in search of answers about the baby and Mosey’s identity.
Profile Image for Heidi Rothert.
379 reviews2 followers
November 5, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Andrea.
711 reviews106 followers
March 30, 2018
3.5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The audio version of this novel was full of fun! Great voices, interesting plot, and eccentric characters to keep me company as I shuffled around my family from school to sports to theater.....
Profile Image for Amy.
935 reviews232 followers
January 2, 2019
Have you ever read a beautiful book in just one day? My first book of 2019, traveling from Colorado to Boston, had picked up from the "owned" pile, Joshilyn Jackson's A Grown Up Kind of Pretty. I just loved it! I was drawn in instantly. Three (family) women, each 15 years apart, Ginny/Big - 45, Liza (Little), 30, and Mosey (15), as each struggles to figure out who Mosey really is and what happened. And of course, at the center of it is love and loyalty, and a search for identity and second chances. These characters are compelling and you love each and everyone of them. You gasp, you cheer, you cry, and you cannot put it down.

Now I won't give any spoilers of any kind, I never do. I often don't even go as far as I did here with any kind of plot. But I do have a piece to add that I found so incredibly compelling. And here, i add only what's on the back cover, and my reaction to it. The 30 year old Liza is recovering from an unusual and unexpected stroke, that keeps language and movement at bay. I must admit, that I wasn't initially drawn to her storyline, although it made for a good vehicle, that the mystery had to unfold without her telling us directly what had transpired over the years. Naturally, Liza herself, her past and her present becomes part of what helps the story one forward. I admit - the idea of a vibrant 30 year old woman with a 15 year old daughter having such a life altering stroke - not my cup of tea. But here what really got me by the throat far more than I had expected. Liza, vibrant Liza, who was still in there somewhere - whose mischievous personality and incredible resilience and deep love shone through - she was incredible! And when she took steps, or first began to utter words as she recovered, I literally gasped with the beauty of the simple words, of the steps, of the way she expressed herself. How unexpected that her story line moved me to the extent that it did, and that it was a storyline of hope, and dignity, of family loyalty, and love. A perfect book to start the new year.
Profile Image for Jen McConnel.
Author 23 books275 followers
August 26, 2012
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 crumbling. Liza eventually came back with the baby, Mosey, but when the willow tree in the back yard gives up its secrets, Big and Mosey must struggle to make since of the truth. Liza tries to help, but she's just had a terrible stroke, so she relies on slow puzzles to make her point. This amazing novel explores Jackson's common themes of motherhood and what it takes to make a family.

I can't wait to read more from this stunning author. I described her style to my husband as "sweet southern crack": I just can't get enough of her voice and her emotional tales!
Profile Image for Tamra.
639 reviews
April 1, 2012
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, I only kept reading hoping it would improve and wish now that I would have stopped halfway through because it never did.

The characters in this book are well-written (despite the language) and fleshed out and a lot of Joshilyn Jackson's description are fresh and surprising. However, this was not the page turner I was expecting and I couldn't help being disappointed at the end.
Profile Image for Trudy Nye.
827 reviews8 followers
February 1, 2012
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 in my reviews...just my impressions...because I think you should read this book (and any you can find by Joshilyn Jackson) for yourself!
Profile Image for Karla.
279 reviews98 followers
January 22, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
Author 19 books8,534 followers
October 6, 2011
I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this! Joshilyn Jackson is a master storyteller! I was hooked immediately and kept turning pages, desperate to know the story of the bones beneath the willow tree. It was laugh-out-loud funny in places, and other parts had me in tears. If you're a fan of Joshilyn Jackson's writing, this book will not disappoint! If you're not a fan, pick up A Grown up Kind of Pretty, and you soon will be...
355 reviews10 followers
January 15, 2012
This review first appeared on my blog: http://www.knittingandsundries.com/20...

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 the tiniest things. With Mosey now getting ready to turn 15, Big worries that Mosey will repeat both her own and Liza's behavior, and end up pregnant at 15 as well.

Mosey, however, is determined that SHE will NOT follow in those footsteps. Despite being a virgin, she has a supply of pregnancy tests that she uses "just to be sure".

When a silver box with infant bones is found on Big's property as the willow tree is being removed to put a pool in for Liza's therapy, the mystery of where the bones came from and whose bones they are pulls at Big and the reader as Mosey and her friends work to figure it out as well.

Told in the alternating POV's of all three sassy women (Liza in third person, Big and Mosey in 1st), this tale of three women from "the wrong side of the tracks" is authentic and heartwarming, full of wit as well as sadness. You will cheer them on, and, applaud Big's strength as she faces the person who could tear her Mosey away from her.

I LOVED all of them. Closing the pages on this one was difficult, as I'd instantly become immersed in their story. I cheered Liza in her small steps to recover from her stroke and laughed at the way she "played" her mom sometimes. Big has a huge heart full of love and protectiveness for her family (a lioness, that woman!). Mosey is an awesome teen, and her quirky friendships made me smile. I got angry at those that took advantage of and hurt these women and got away with it, and hoped against hope for a comeuppance.

I have an audio of "Backseat Saints" by Ms. Jackson that I haven't yet listened to. Let me tell you, based on THIS book, I will be picking up as much of Ms. Jackson's work as I can. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if a book makes you "feel" the emotions of the characters and, in this case, makes you want to jump into its pages to slap someone :), it is a worthy read.

Pick this one up if you like strong women, a mystery, sass, and wit. Wonderful work.

QUOTES (from an ARC; may be different in final copy):

Big: I could have put an ad up on the Craiglist and tried to get one of my own: "Desperately seeking lawyer. Must like long walks on the beach, not getting paid, and losing." I hear there's a whole mess of lawyers just like that; they keep an office between Mermaid Cove and the Unicorn Forest.

Mosey: Before my mom had her brain event, I never even saw him have a conversation with her face. He talked lower, like he thought her boobs had microphones in them and if he aimed right he could order up a chili-dog combo.

Big: Next thing I knew, me and Lance Weston were slipping off together. I was pretty sure we were falling in love, and he was pretty sure that freshman girls with that much zombie punch in 'em put out. Only one of us was right.

Liza: Melissa owns brothers, three of them, and a bitch of a mother who is at least the right age and the right kind of adult stylish. Not like Big, who wears the same brand of jeans Liza wears and who will take Liza in her arms and then put her head on Liza's shoulder and cry and cry when Liza tells her she is pregnant.

Big: Because Liza was fourteen when she fetched up pregnant, and she'd told me the daddy was some kid she met at the carny. I tried to break out of his arms again, because I had to go find myself a gun and shoot a man.

Writing: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Plot: 5 out of 5 stars
Characters: 5 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion: 5 out 5 stars

BOOK RATING: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Sensitive reader: Some saucy language and sexual references (see quotes above for examples)
Profile Image for Lydia Laceby.
Author 1 book62 followers
July 17, 2012
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 alternating viewpoints of three main characters, each of which delivers a sucker punch to the heart, Big, Liza and Mosey reveal that not all families are perfect and immerse us into their lives full of secrets that all three generations of Slocumb women are desperate to keep from each other and the outside world. Although not able to directly relate to their circumstances, life in the South, or the strife they have suffered through, I could sympathize and somehow relate and really, really liked each character even though I didn’t always agree with their choices. They were all deliciously flawed, utterly likeable and will remain with me long after I finished the last sentence.

Initially I was wary of Liza’s viewpoint with her limited speech capability and her wandering thoughts, but Jackson did a marvelous job at conveying her disability, frustration and compulsion to communicate and protect her daughter regardless of her limitations. Both Liza and Big’s love for Mosey made the hair on my arms stand up and Mosey’s confusion surrounding the secrets she uncovers and her identity made my heart ache as did Big’s rehabilitation efforts with Liza.

The prose in this novel is brilliant. I loved reading each word and was amazed at how Jackson portrayed their characters so effortlessly and impeccably through their view of the world. Big was sharp, witty and wry, full of love, tenderness, compassion and wisdom. Liza was frustrated and tortured and stuck mainly in her mind of tortured memories and failed attempts to communicate while Mosey was a typical teenager, sarcastic, sullen, frustrated and annoyed with all adults in her world yet desperate to cling to them at the same time. These characters had some of the most fantastic and amusing observations I have ever read and this was in addition to the sparkling dialogue that snaps, crackles and pops between the women. Even the minor characters are well portrayed, essential to the story and won’t be easily forgotten.

At times amusing, but mostly a compelling, gritty, and heart wrenching portrayal, A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty kept me on the edge of my seat. Every time I thought I had it figured out, Jackson threw in another twist and I downed this novel in two days.

I can’t wait to explore more from Joshilyn Jackson. Make this your next book club pick. You won’t be disappointed.
Profile Image for Jill.
2,186 reviews80 followers
July 1, 2012
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”), age 30, and Liza’s daughter Mosey (age 15), and each voice alternates in different chapters. They live in Immita, Mississippi in a small house with a big yard, where Big wants to put in a swimming pool. Liza had a stroke several months earlier, and hydrotherapy would be good for her. But in the process of getting the yard dug up, the past also gets dug up, and secrets sprout like weeds from the newly upturned soil.

Discussion: Joshilyn Jackson’s main female characters are delightful, full of spit and vinegar and impassioned love and loyalty. They are women you absolutely wish you knew; women you admire who fight for what they believe in and for whom they love. This alone makes Jackson’s books worth reading, but there is always more. She adds tension and humor, and in this book, she adds mystery. She kept me guessing the whole way.

Using three generations like she does in this book, she provides an extra kick by writing about the concerns of females at three different pivotal times in their lives. I absolutely loved the great job she did with Mosey, the teenager, and how expertly she could switch to the voice of a woman on the verge of menopause. Each one of the women has a voice that sounds so authentic, and so different from one another in some ways, but what binds them all is love. As Liza observes, Big and Mosey are "soaked" in love: "They have so much it spills out and makes more." Liza doesn't think she is like them, but fierce love drives her as well. And these women are so brave - all three of them! You could wish for worse things in life than to know and be loved by women like these.

Evaluation: Joshilyn Jackson gets better with each book she writes. I understand she does a great job on reading this too, in the audio version. Highly recommended!

Rating: 4.5/5
Profile Image for MissSusie.
1,388 reviews212 followers
April 4, 2012
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 this (unless you are Neil Gaiman) but I must say Joshilyn Jackson narrates this book like a pro and I think if you didn’t know it you wouldn’t think twice of recommending this narrator so I see that she narrates most of her book so I will continue with this author on audio!

Once the first bombshell is dropped in this book you will not be able to turn back or put this book down! Oh my, it would be so easy to give away too much in a review but I want you to know how much I loved this book! Big, Little & Mosey are all great women in their own right, I loved how each chapter was told from each woman’s perspective so you knew what each was thinking and hiding and revealing to the other and how the other reacts to it. As you may be able to tell I fell in love with this family of women and I just want to gush on and on. Maybe I better just stop here and say READ THIS BOOK!!

5 Stars
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