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Rainbow Rowell
Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World
Christina Lauren, Lev Grossman, Tiffany Reisz, Rachel Caine, Jen Zern, Heidi Tandy, Rukmini Pande, Samira Nadkarni, Wendy C. Fries, Jolie Fontenot, Randi Flanagan, Tish Beaty, Cyndy Aleo, V. Arrow, Brad Bell, Andrew Shaffer, Darren Wershler, Anne Jamison, Jules Wilkinson, R
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty - Joshilyn Jackson I haven’t actually read a Joshilyn Jackson novel since her first, gods in Alabama (pre-blog), but I have a couple of them hanging around in TBR Purgatory. However, I recently decided to skip over them in favor of reading her latest, A Grown-up Kind of Pretty, in audiobook, as narrated by Jackson herself.

Jackson is a perfect reader for her own work. Her fiction's Southern voice is unmistakable, and her southern-accented speaking voice reinforces that. She tells the Slocumb women's story in three voices--first-person narration alternating between grandmother Ginny and teenage Mosey, with occasional flashback chapters from daughter Liza's distanced, brain-damaged perspective--and succeeds in giving each a distinctive sound, defining them perhaps more effectively than the writing alone might.

I thought the character I'd relate to most in this novel would be Ginny--we're in the same age range and both entered motherhood when we were a bit too young for it, although Ginny's story of early parenthood is a lot more reminiscent of Lorelai Gilmore's--but frankly, there were times she irritated me. I really enoyed her granddaughter Mosey, though, a convincing and endearing teenager. But all that said, the plot of A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty hooked me more than the characters. Long-buried secrets seem to be a staple in Jackson's fiction, and she's come up with some good ones here, with twists that I wasn't able to anticipate. While I felt that the story eventually took a few turns into cliché-Southern-melodrama territory, for the most part I enjoyed the ride--which seems an appropriate thing to say about a book I "read" on my daily commute.