Monday, July 8, 2013

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty (4.5)

 I thought I was going to hate this book. I literally only got it from the library because it was on the Goodread's Choice list from last year. And I figured I didn't have to finish it if it was as dumb as it sounded. The title, the cover, the author's name (Joshilyn? What is this, 19 and counting?) all annoyed me. The book "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." (Goodreads book description). Kill me. Please.

But I gave it a chance out of sheer desperation. And it was Gone Girl kind of page turner, but with more likeable characters. I was hooked by page 3. Yes, 15-year-old Mosey Slocumb deserves to be slapped for her teenage use of the English language. But seeing the story from her, her mother Lisa, and grandmother Jenny's points of view was a perfect balance.

Slight spoiler alert (like chapter 3): while building a pool in the backyard they find a dead baby buried under Lisa's favorite willow tree. Here's the's Mosey. No, Mosey isn't some weird ghost we're following around for a third of the book. She's real too, but she's not Lisa's biological daughter.

definitely not 19 & counting

Lisa ran away when she was 15 and Mosey was a few weeks old. Jenny assumed that Lisa had run off with Mosey, but real-Mosey was buried in the backyard and Lisa went on a drug-addled tour of the US and came back with a new Mosey. That is what this book is about. Who is Mosey? How did real Mosey die? Can they keep this secret from the town or are Lisa and Jenny going to be prosecuted for murder?

And did I mention that Lisa had a stroke so she can't actually talk to anyone about what is going on? Her chapters are a rollercoaster through the past, revealing piece by piece what really happened while Mosey and Jenny try to figure everything out on their own.
And yes, Mosey knows she's not real-Mosey, and Jenny knows...but both are trying to hide this information from the other, which leads to...

I'm not telling you that. Go read the book.

upcoming books
I think the biggest problem with this book is that it was billed as fiction and sounded like it was going to be some sort of family bonding story, and I felt like it read more like a mystery. Perhaps if it had been billed as mystery/suspense it would have gotten more attention? 

I liked this book so much I have to restrain myself from binge-reading everything Joshilyn Jackson has ever written. Because I do that, but then I get sick of them and never want to read them again (Dan Brown, prime example. J.K. Rowling only exception). Instead I put a hold on her next book. Which is coming out in November. Which would be super pathetic but I'm actually 7th in line. Six people thought of this before me. I am a failure.

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