Tag Archives: Women’s Fiction

Review: A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty
By Joshilyn Jackson
Grand Central Publishing, 9780446582360, 2012, 352pp.

The Short of It:

A thoroughly engaging story about three generations trying to live the best life they can, but battling demon after demon along the way.

The Rest of It:

Liza is a “grown-up kind of pretty” which gets her in trouble more times than her mom “Big” can count. Boys are not her issue, but men? Grown men, preferably married ones are what catch her eye. Drugs too. But when Liza becomes pregnant at the age of fourteen, Big becomes her fierce protector.

Years later, when Liza’s daughter Mosey enters her own teen years, Liza suffers a massive stroke which leaves Big as Mosey’s primary caregiver. Big’s sole purpose in life is to keep Mosey from going down the same path as Liza. But Liza has many secrets. Some of which Big is just now discovering and include something buried in the back yard.

I have to tell you. I have had this book on my shelf for a long, long time. Seven years. Possibly more.  One of the Instagram accounts I follow posted a photo of the book and since she was reading it, and I happened to have it, I joined her. So glad I did. This book has it all and it’s not full of fluff, which the cover might lead you to believe. It reminded me a lot of Steel Magnolias. You know how the women stuck together no matter what? Plus, Jackson can write her fanny off.  These characters leap off the page with all their faults but I still loved them.

If you need a quick read but one that is kind of fun but deep at the same time, go find a copy of A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty.

Source: I won this copy in a giveaway!
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Other People’s Houses

Other People's Houses

Other People’s Houses
By Abbi Waxman
Berkley Books, 9780399587924, April 3, 2018, 352pp.

The Short of It:

Grab a cold drink and clear your afternoon for this one.

The Rest of It:

I’ve been reading some pretty good books lately.

Frances Bloom is THAT mom. She’s the carpool mom and people in the neighborhood look up to her. She’s a friendly approachable type, reliable, and thoughtful but as she shuttles the neighborhood kids to and from school each day, she can’t help but see the imperfections of her own little neighborhood,

Her close, married friend is having an affair with a much younger man, affecting the neighborhood in many ways. One of the moms on the street is MIA (what’s that about?). Her cousin who happens to live just down the street from her is wanting another baby even though her partner may not want one. With all this going on around her, Frances begins to doubt her own happiness. Does she have a happy marriage? Has the thirty pounds she’s gained over the years driven a wedge between her and her husband?

This all sounds rather domestic and fluffy but I have to say that it’s pretty realistic as far as neighborhoods go. If you really pay attention while walking the dog, you see things. Reading this book is like flinging a window open and sticking your face right into your neighbor’s house.

The story is a bit scandalous and there’s some language. It feels kind of naughty and wrong. I can’t lie, I ate it up. Because along with wrong, there’s a lot that’s right. There’s a lot of honesty within these characters and truthfully, I could relate to several of these families in some way.

There are mixed reviews of this book. I’d hazard to guess that those who had trouble with it, probably couldn’t relate to any of the families in the story. But if you’ve ever done a carpool, been on the PTA with a bunch of catty wenches, lived in a tight-knit community, and had your best friend’s marriage fall apart, you’ll find plenty to relate to because there’s a little bit of everything in here and I found it to be pretty authentic in the telling.

Plus, it has  some juicy bits and at one point I was laughing out loud.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.