A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty
I never would have known about the other Mosey Slocumb if Tyler Baines hadn’t brought his mullet head and a chain saw over to murder my mom’s willow tree. I wouldn’t have bet someone else’s dollar that Tyler Baines, of all people, would be the one to discover her. Tyler Baines was not the discovery type. He was more the patchy-chin-pubes, tats, dirty-white-truck type. He was totally hooked on Red Man, too, so he spewed brown juice like a cricket everyplace he went. Last year my mom nicknamed him the Mighty Un–Butt Crack, because she said he was a single flash of ass plumage away from being the walking definition of redneck.
“It’s like he wears mom jeans,” she’d said, and I’d reached for a pencil. I’d been supposed to write down three examples of irony for freshman English, and Liza was barefoot in low-rise thrift-store Calvins that showed her silver belly ring, talking about Tyler Baines’s mom jeans while he mowed our lawn. But I’d given it up before I dug out paper; I’d been exiled to Baptist school for more than half a year by then, long enough to know that Mrs. Rickett wouldn’t like any irony example that involved thong underpants.
Last week I was home sick most of the week, so I got to spend some quality time with my books (also with my pillow, which cut back on the reading time…but I still managed to read more last week than I have in an awfully long time). In between naps, I raced through Girlchild, Wild, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, and finished The Stand.
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty was hands down my favorite. In fact, it’s my favorite of Joshilyn Jackson’s books, and I’ve read them all (at least I think I’ve read them all). She has a unique writing voice (both dark and funny, and if you’ve ever heard her speak, it’s so easy to imagine her real-life voice as you read the book, which makes it even better (she also narrates the audio books…someday I need to actually listen to one of her books)).
What made this book great for me was Mosey. The story is told in alternating chapters by the voice of 45 year old Big, her 30 year old daughter Liza, and Liza’s 15 year old daughter Mosey. And while I liked all three of the characters (Liza does some very unlikeable things, but she’s got a great story to tell), for me, Mosey stole the show. Especially when she was texting her BFF Roger.
Mosey is actually a really good kid, but she can whip out the bratty teen as needed. And Jackson must have bratty teens of her own (although I’m sure they’re also delightful kids) because she just nails the teenage “OMG why can’t you just leave me alone” attitude. There’s also a hysterical scene where snoopy Mosey finds her momma’s sex toys, and is so grossed out she has to run off to the bathroom to wash her hands. That’s Mosey’s voice in the excerpt up above.
And okay, I know this is fiction and I shouldn’t nit-pick, but there was only one little thing that bugged me. Mosey’s birth certificate. Did no one stop to think hmmm, I wonder what the darn thing says?? Or even, where is it?? Because it’s gotta be around somewhere…kinda hard to not have a birth certificate in today’s world!*
*Actually, my grandma doesn’t have one, because hers was destroyed in the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927…but then Granny’s 95 years old, and doesn’t really need her birth certificate.