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I recently listened to Hunger Games and 11-22-63 and loved both. However, I really needed something in the here and now - something real I could relate to. I found it in this lovely book. My family didn't see much of me this weekend because I was tucked away in the heart and soul of this book. This is my first book by Joshilyn Jackson but it won't be my last. I highly recommend this book!
21 of 21 people found this review helpful
"Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." Truvy from Steel Magnolias
Kept seeing this title scroll down the "what's trending in fiction" column with 5 stars and felt like I was missing a fun parade! I'd never read Joshilyn Jackson, (embarrassed to admit I'd never heard the name) but, I love a parade; gardening and iced tea was on the day's agenda--perfect pick.
If you are a fan of Southern women fiction (or is this a Southern comedy/drama?) this one will surely butter your biscuit. It reminded me just a little of the gals from Steel Magnolias(Truvy, M'Lynn, Ouiser [Weeza], Shelby). The characters are quirky and fun, the family bond is touching, the humor is self-deprecating fun and not belittling, and there are some catchy phrases that will keep you smiling and laughing to yourself. Not my usual type of read, but I found Grown-Up Kind of Pretty a sweet, fun, easy listen that was pure enjoyment. The overall consensus I get is that this is also a Jackson fan favorite, one of her best, so a good introduction to J. Jackson; good suggestion from fellow listeners! While not all authors should read their own work, I enjoyed Jackson's performance and thought it was a treat to have her do the narration. Great fun, appreciate the recommendation, and I enjoyed a perfect day!
44 of 46 people found this review helpful
Joshilyn Jackson obviously knows her characters really well, and I think that is why she narrates the book really well, and gives each of the characters their own distinct voice. Initially I wasn't a big fan of her voice and accent, but after listening to the book for a while, she grew on me.
The book is about three generations of Slocumb women, Ginny (Big) age 45, Liza age 30, and Mosey age 15. In the beginning of the book something happens to upset their lives forever, and the book is basically about how each of the women deals with this event.
Ginny, called Big by Liza and Mosey, is the head of their little family, and I fought with her in spirit when she is struggling to keep her girls safe. Liza suffered a stroke, but she is nonetheless a character that will intrigue you. I really like the way Joshilyn Jackson has written Liza's inner world that has been so deeply affected by the stroke. Liza is a flawed character, but that is why I adore her.
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The reason I won't give this book 5 stars is because of Mosey. They way she responds to her mother and grandmother often seem unrealistic. If I found out my mother wasn't my real mother, I wouldn't suddenly stop caring about her and my grandmother. She just becomes this ungrateful brat who runs amok. I also could not understand how she could even think Big doesn't know about her real heritage, that just seemed really stupid to me. Any logical person would realise that her smart grandmother would know the truth. The character just isn't very credible. It feels like Jackson tried to create a unique teenager, but instead Mosey comes off as a stereotypical teenage girl (incl terribly annoying frequently used phrases, and text messages, which are read out). that just seemed flat to me. I found myself being incredible annoyed by her at times, but on the whole she was just interesting enough for me to keep listening.
This was my first audible download, and it definitely didn't disappoint! I was hooked on the story by the end of the first chapter, and listened at every opportunity until the story was over. The story and the characters drew me in very quickly. I particularly enjoyed how the chapters were from a rotating point of view, with enough variation in the writing and reading style to instantly know whose point of view you were listening to. Joshlyn Jackson's performance was fantastic, really adding to my enjoyment of the book. I highly recommend this audiobook.