My love for Joshilyn Jackson’s books was not instantaeous. I would hear how good they were, pick them up, page through them (because I still love a print book, yes I do) and put them down again. I had a hard time “getting” her books. The characters had strange names and talked funny. I am a southerner, to be sure, but I tend to shy away from deep southern accents. Suburban North Carolina and small town Alabama are two entirely different things. To be honest, I just thought that Joshilyn had something going on that was entirely apart from my literary tastes. And no matter how many rave reviews I heard or read, that wasn’t going to change.
My friend (and She Reads blog network member) Sandy Nawrot explained that the best way to grasp the greatness that is Joshilyn Jackson is to experience her books on audio. Because she reads them herself you get the full extent of what she was going for in her writing– pronunciation of those crazy names, inflections of those funny accents. You literally and figuratively hear her voice. So I decided to give the audio version of one of her books a try. I had a car trip coming up and my library had one on the shelf. I snatched it up and hoped for the best.
And the best is what I found. The best voice. The best characters. The best humor. The best weaving together of events and emotion, secrets and drama. One book and I was hooked. Since then I’ve worked my way through all of Joshilyn Jackson’s books, declaring each one of them “my favorite.” My friend Sandy was right, listening to her changed my opinion of her books and ushered me into what I’ve privately dubbed as my “year of JJ.” (Last year, incidentally, was my “year of Sarah Addison Allen.”) Of course very few writers actually read their books on audio but in this case it only magnifies the story. I highly recommend reading Joshilyn Jackson. And if reading doesn’t work out, then give her a try on audio. Either way don’t miss her.
We’re giving you an opportunity to experience her latest book on audio. Leave a comment on this post to win a copy of A Grown-Up Kind Of Pretty.
About Ariel Lawhon
Ariel Lawhon is the co-founder of She Reads, novelist, blogger, storyteller, and life-long reader. She lives in Texas with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.