06 April 2012

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty

Book indifference is so much easier than book love. Book love is hard. Hard because honestly sometimes you can't find the words to convey how much you love a book. The words for how it held you spellbound and made you hold your breath, laugh, ache, cry, and cheer just refuse to come to you. How when it all ended you sincerely missed the book. How you wish you could call those characters up in real life and go over for dinner. You're left with an ache in your fingers to go online and tell all your readers but then you marvel at how inadequate your words seem to feel. That, and then some, is how I feel about A Grown Up Kind of Pretty.

Joshilyn Jackson has officially made a fan out of me. This glorious multigenerational story about teen pregnancy, redemption, and motherhood (with a good dose of mystery) truly blew me away. 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, they 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.

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty was written and read by Joshilyn Jackson and consists of 10 discs (12 hours 25 minutes). Joshilyn Jackson does a marvelous job as Big, Mosey, and Liza. She tweaked her voice slightly for fifteen-year-old Mosey and it was perfect and felt unauthentic and natural. Her southern accent is easy to listen to and gives the characters part of their charm. I appreciated that every chapter begins with the name of the character so you know which POV (point of view) is next. I cannot wait to try another of her audiobooks.

70 comments :

  1. I have never once listened to an audio book! I kind of feel like I'm missing out because it would be fun to hear the different character voices and intonations, but I read so much faster than I could listen and I think I lack the patience to tackle an audio book. Still, this sounds like it was a fabulous story, thanks for the review Juju!

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    1. Totally understandable :)

      For me, as I venture into more and more audios, I'm starting to recognize which stories do really well narrated. This is definitely one of them. But I totally feel ya on time.

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  2. I'm definitely going to have to check this book out, it sounds great. And if she's an author you'd love to meet, well, I most definitely have to add her to my to-read list. ;)

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    1. Awww thanks Jenn! I'm honored. :)

      I would love to have some sweet tea with JJ.

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  3. I read this in print and thought it was Jackson's best ever! Her accent was spot on because that's the way she talks in real life!

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    1. Best ever? Wow. That is awesome. I hope I don't end up measuring her other ones against this one.

      I listened to the video of how she naturally talks and I think she played it up more for the characters. But yes definitely, her accent is naturally fabulous. :)

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  4. Wow, this book sounds amazing Juju! I love how your enthusiasm for it really comes through. Thanks for linking to the audio sample as well, that's so helpful. :) Have a great bunny weekend, lovely!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Thank you :)
      I hope your bunny weekend was hoptastic.
      LOL forgive me! I couldn't help myself. ;)

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  5. I just started listening to this one and am really enjoying it. I first listened to Jackson narrate Backseat Saints and thought she did an excellent job on that one. Since bermudaonion says its her best ever, it sounds like I'm in for a real treat. Not all authors are capable of narration, but Jackson does a great job. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed this audio.

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    1. Yay! I need to check that one out.

      I've heard not all authors are capable of narration but so far the ones I've encountered, I've really enjoyed.

      Is it bad if I'm curious as to which author/narrators you've tried and not loved?

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  6. Wow. What a wonderful review! Thanks, Juju!

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  7. Not my genre but I want to read this book now :)

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  8. Wow, that's quite a review, Juju. I may have to get myself a copy. :)

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  9. This sounds like something I could get into. I love how passionate you are about the book juju. I need to give auidobooks a try :)

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  10. This sounds good! I need to give audiobooks a try too. I like that the author read her own novel.

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    1. I think you would really like audios Julie.
      Given your love for film, something tells me you would appreciate a good narrator. :)

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  11. What a nice review. I've not heard of this book, but it sounds really good. Your review hit on all the necessary points. I'm also happy you are finding audiobooks work for you. I think it may be the only way you get some reading in with the little baby demanding all your attention.

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    1. You know it! *high five* I thank God for audiobooks! :)

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  12. I'm a big fan of JJ but was on the fence whether to read or listen. I think you've convinced me to use a credit at audible.

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    1. Yayyyy! So you audio too? :) Yayyyy for audiobook girls!

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  13. Hmmm... other than its cute cover art, I am not thinking this sounds like my sort of novel. =D

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  14. I've heard so much about this author that I am hoping to get to one of her books this year!

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    1. Yay! I look forward to you picking and reviewing one :)

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  15. Love your review! This sounds like a wonderful story. I will have to look it up.

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  16. I just finished this one the other day! I read the print version but I definitely want to listen to one of her audio books one day!

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  17. i''ve read one of hers and rerally liked it. this one sounds intense!

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  18. I actually don't listen to audiobooks but since its read and written by the author, I guess she would know exactly how the characters should sound.

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    1. Yes exactly. Some folks don't like audiobooks narrated by the author but so far each one I've tried (example: Coraline & The Christmas Secret) have been superb.

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  19. I love the way you write Juju. That first paragraph sums up how I feel about a very select few collection of books. It is hard to write about the ones that we especially love because it's so hard to do them justice and convey exactly what was so great about them. You have thoroughly made me want to read this book, I can't wait!

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

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    1. Yes exactly! And thank you! :) I'm so glad I inspired you.

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  20. I keep hearing about this one! Obviously, I need to read it. *adds it to my ever-growing list of awesome*

    :0)

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  21. I love Joshilyn Jackson's books. I've read a couple of reviews of this book and all of them are fabulous and raving about how wonderful this one is....I simply must get this one. And how I can relate to loving a book so much that it's so hard to put into words how amazing a book is ~ that's how 11/22/63 was for me. Thanks for sharing such a glowing review!

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    1. You've totally got me considering 11/22/63. The whole mysterious time traveling thing is calling to me.

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  22. wow--good recommendation, I love books that make you feel that way.

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  23. ps--tell me what you did at your bookshelf for baby shower. I want to give one for my daughter-in-law.

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  24. This is one I've been meaning to read for quite some time, and I've heard that the audio is an excellent choice. Your review seals the deal, thanks!!

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    1. Yes! I highly recommend the audio. And if you're anything like me you will like it so much that you'll look for reasons to get some time alone in the car with the audio. :)

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  25. After your review I went straight to my online library and reserved it. I'm glad that you enjoyed it and I love it when a book makes me feel that way. I'm also glad that I'll have a chance to listen too.

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  26. So glad you enjoyed this! Sounds like such a great story and I had been wondering about it! Thanks for your well wishes! I really appreciate them.

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    1. Of course darling. I was worried about you. I do hope you're as fit as a fiddle now :)

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  27. JJ is one of my favorite authors...;) I listened to Backseat Saints and she did an amazing job reading the story. Ive been debating what to use my next credit on.....I think it will have to be this one.

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  28. I don't think I'd heard of this book before, but now I'm really dying to get my hands on it. And honestly, if not for your review, I might not have considered it something I'd like. But yes, it sounds fabulous, especially when you compare it to books you love so much it's hard to put into words how they make you feel!

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    1. Why thank you! I'm honored. It's definitely a great way to listen on audio too :)

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  29. Juju you hit the nail on the head with your opener there. I applaud you 100%...and agree. Now as for this one, I've wanted to check it out ever since I caught site of the cover and from the sound of it, that's not the only thing of merit here. Thanks for the FAB review....happy reading!

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  30. Wow. This sounds incredible! I've seen this book everywhere, but haven't had a chance to read it yet. Your review makes me think I'm really missing out though. Maybe I'll pick it up on audible next time I get a credit, it sounds perfect! Fab review!

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    1. O I hope you do. I think you will definitely dig it. :)

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  31. Thank you for the awesome review! Do you think it would be okay for my book club? If not, I might just have to pick this one up on my own. Sounds wonderful,
    ~Liz

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    1. I think it would be awesome for a book club! :)

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  32. I really enjoyed your review. I read this one after seeing Bermudaonion post about it as well. This was my first Joshilyn Jackson book.

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    1. Another fav vote! Nice! :)

      Which others have you read?

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  33. love the cover of this one. always catches my eye.

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    1. Me too! Makes me rethink the roll of fruit in photography. ;)

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  34. i heard jackson is an excellent author, but i haven't read any of her books before. i'm glad to see that you enjoyed this one so much! it'll make me look forward to reading her books.

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  35. mmm, sounds like a good one. adding it to my hearing list ;-D

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  36. Well, I"m on an audio roll so I may give her a shot!

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    1. Yay! I think you're going to dig it. It's a great story and I know you like a good bit of mystery too ;)

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  37. Great review! I agree that it is so much harder to explain your love for a book, without just gushing mindlessly about it. I just don't have the patience for audiobooks but I think I will read this one. Thanks, Juju! How is baby Whimsy?

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  38. I love stories that are multigenerational. I'll certainly try to put my hands on a paper version of the book!

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  39. Well! You've made this novel sound so good I've added it to my to-read list. I'm not an audio-listener, but I'll definitely pick up the paper copy.

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    1. Thank you! It's fabulous! You won't be sorry. :)

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  40. This book sounds amazing. Another one added to my ever-growing tbr list :)

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