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Two wildly different women--one a grifter, the other an heiress--are brought together by the scam of a lifetime in a page-turner from the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear. Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside Two wildly different women--one a grifter, the other an heiress--are brought together by the scam of a lifetime in a page-turner from the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear. Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, even if it means running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet. Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer--traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family's sprawling mountain estate, Stonehaven: A mansion of dark secrets not just from Vanessa's past, but from that of a lost and troubled girl named Nina. Nina, Vanessa, and Lachlan's paths collide here, on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge. This dazzling, twisty, mesmerizing novel showcases acclaimed author Janelle Brown at her best, as two brilliant, damaged women try to survive the greatest game of deceit and destruction they will ever play.


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Two wildly different women--one a grifter, the other an heiress--are brought together by the scam of a lifetime in a page-turner from the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear. Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside Two wildly different women--one a grifter, the other an heiress--are brought together by the scam of a lifetime in a page-turner from the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear. Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, even if it means running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet. Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer--traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family's sprawling mountain estate, Stonehaven: A mansion of dark secrets not just from Vanessa's past, but from that of a lost and troubled girl named Nina. Nina, Vanessa, and Lachlan's paths collide here, on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge. This dazzling, twisty, mesmerizing novel showcases acclaimed author Janelle Brown at her best, as two brilliant, damaged women try to survive the greatest game of deceit and destruction they will ever play.

30 review for Pretty Things

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Good news! Nicole Kidman sets to star and produce this book’s adaptation into streaming Amazon series! Another conning story with full of secret and lies, delicious twists and shocking revelations! Okay! Count me in and reserve my place for this crazy, heart throbbing ride! This is my kind of enjoyable, dark, smart thriller! We have a drifter, Nina Ross, having a chance for con of her lifetime, avenging the Liebling family who treated her mean and unfair and told her she would never be good enoug Good news! Nicole Kidman sets to star and produce this book’s adaptation into streaming Amazon series! Another conning story with full of secret and lies, delicious twists and shocking revelations! Okay! Count me in and reserve my place for this crazy, heart throbbing ride! This is my kind of enjoyable, dark, smart thriller! We have a drifter, Nina Ross, having a chance for con of her lifetime, avenging the Liebling family who treated her mean and unfair and told her she would never be good enough for their precious son in the past. Not only for revenge, but also affording her mother’s big C treatment bills, she needs money and her target is family’s shiny social media star Vanessa. We have an Instagram Influencer with admirers, followers swimming around her but she still surprisingly suffers from loneliness and abandonment. She needs real friends. Could it be her con woman also her friend? And don’t forget, we have Irish boyfriend a.k.a partners in crime of Nina, named Lachlan. Can Nina truly trust him for helping her to stick to the plan? Wait for it… He can surprise you! Let the games begin. But be prepared to be fooled and be careful because somebody can pull the rug from under your feet. This book is layered with some many turnarounds and twists. Sometimes you think who is the real con man? The drifters we know or the victim? Sometimes the hunter can turn into a prey and prey can take his place. I mostly engaged with the subjective perceptions and multiple narration parts. The same event was told by Nina and Vanessa from different angles so your mind spins after reading them and it was sometimes really hard to decide who was telling the truth. But when I came to the last quarter maybe because of moving back and forth too many times to catch the back stories, the pacing got a little slower and I didn’t get the surprising, mouth widening, stunning ending. It was a little forced, haphazard. It was not unsatisfying but it was okay not good. So after reading so long and connected with those characters even they have too much flaws, irritating attributes, suffering from their past failures, I was expecting something smarter, moving and shaking me to the core. I still loved the writing style, the way of smart, sarcastic, moving story-telling, partly empathized with the characters. Overall: it can be five stared book but the last parts broke my enthusiasm and I gave 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. Not the best book choice for me but it still pretty good reading and I wanted to read more works of the author. Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group to share this fast pacing page turner with me in exchange my honest review. blog instagram facebook twitter

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I watch, I wait. And then, when the opportunity arises, I take. The intriguing premise, along with the attention-grabbing opening penned by Janelle Brown, conned me into thinking this book was something it’s clearly not. Her words engaging enough to string me along for the arduous trek laid out across 496(!) pages. The occasional hint lending itself to a satisfying payoff to come. As if. Brown and her publisher managed to pull off a much more successful con-job with the marketing of this novel th I watch, I wait. And then, when the opportunity arises, I take. The intriguing premise, along with the attention-grabbing opening penned by Janelle Brown, conned me into thinking this book was something it’s clearly not. Her words engaging enough to string me along for the arduous trek laid out across 496(!) pages. The occasional hint lending itself to a satisfying payoff to come. As if. Brown and her publisher managed to pull off a much more successful con-job with the marketing of this novel than Nina’s pitiful heist touted in the synopsis. Readers meet Nina all glammed up and mid-scam. At one time, she had dreams of being more than a grifter like her mother. Those optimist notions long gone, and with no other way to pay the bills, Nina dons her mom's title: thief. Nina and her casual boyfriend, Lachlan, survive by stealing antiques and other valuables from unsuspecting Instagram flaunters. Until the day a dreaded knock on her door drives them out of L.A. for the foreseeable future. From this point, the setting, feel, and entire trajectory of the novel shifts. And not for the better. With one final scam in mind, Nina returns to Lake Tahoe and the dreary Stonehaven mansion after twelve long years away. The grand plan is to rent the antique-riddled guest cottage on the Stonehaven property. All in the hopes they can gain access to the main house and the safe hidden somewhere within the expansive floor plan. Lachlan (now Michael) plays the part of a writer looking to pen his next masterpiece, while Nina (now Ashley) puts her yoga skills and need for zen on display. And this is where Vanessa comes in. Vapid, Instagram influencer, Vanessa makes the return to her wealthy family’s Lake Tahoe mansion after an awakening of sorts. Following the death of her father and the rescinding of her fiancé’s proposal, Vanessa ghosts her dwindling followers for a time, in search of a life with more meaning. Or so she says. Desperate for attention and love, Vanessa finds herself enchanted with her guests, Michael and Ashley. No doubt, one more than the other. Little does she know, Ashley was once her troubled younger brother’s girlfriend, Nina. There are some poignant moments of clarity where the author’s writing shines, but for the most part, the happenings here are not enough to overcome the wordy and overly detailed delivery. The majority of the novel is bogged down by internal monologues, repetition courtesy of the dual perspectives, and incessant descriptions of Stonehaven. Which quickly veers into boring territory. Out of sheer curiosity, I took it upon myself to check, and Stonehaven is mentioned 179 times throughout the book. Overkill, in any situation, I’d say. Regardless of what the synopsis alludes to, at its core, this book is a slow-burning character study. Not the fast-paced thrill ride that Nina’s first few chapters promise. Purely a nod to Brown’s cleverly worded passages throughout this lackluster novel, I’m considering checking out some of her earlier work. A concession not typically made for experiences I rate this low. *Thank you to Random House for providing early access in exchange for my honest thoughts.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    3.5 stars "New money, suit and tie I can read you like a magazine Ain't it funny? Rumors fly And I know you heard about me So hey, let's be friends I'm dyin' to see how this one ends Grab your passport and my hand I can make the bad guys good for a weekend"-Taylor Swift Nina and her boyfriend Lachlan are grifters, Vanessa is an heiress and their worlds collide in Lake Tahoe. Nina grew up moving constantly as her Mother followed Marks and did whatever she could to support them. Nina tried to have a 9 to 5 3.5 stars "New money, suit and tie I can read you like a magazine Ain't it funny? Rumors fly And I know you heard about me So hey, let's be friends I'm dyin' to see how this one ends Grab your passport and my hand I can make the bad guys good for a weekend"-Taylor Swift Nina and her boyfriend Lachlan are grifters, Vanessa is an heiress and their worlds collide in Lake Tahoe. Nina grew up moving constantly as her Mother followed Marks and did whatever she could to support them. Nina tried to have a 9 to 5 job using her Liberal Arts degree but when her Mother's mounting medical bills begin to pile up, Nina teamed up with Lachlan, an acquaintance of her Mother’s, for a few cons before deciding con a mark in Lake Tahoe that they both believe will provide a HUGE payoff. Vanessa is an heiress who is also an Instagram Influencer. She travels the globe, wears pretty clothes and has a glamorous life that is posted for the world to see and comment on. "...there are only so many hours in the day that one can read before one starts to feel like one's mind is literally melting inside one's skull" I'm going to have to disagree with the above quote and add that maybe if the characters in this book spent more time, say reading, then they would not be dealing with the stuff they are dealing with....but I digress... The first half of this book was a slow burn for me. Lately I have been reading books that don't really grab me until the 50% mark which is exactly what this book did. Slow burn then *BAM* things began to get interesting - very interesting. There are a nice amount of twists and turns thrown in at the end. This is a long book and I might have enjoyed it more had it been a little quicker to grab me and not quite so long. But overall, I found this to be an enjoyable ride as the Con and the Mark both prove to be worthy adversaries. Slow burn which turned the tables fast, became quite intriguing and had me turning those pages lightening fast at the end to see how this book would wrap up! I received a copy of this book from Random House Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. *Traveling Sisters Group read

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Putnam

    DNF. The opening character has great depth. The conflict is firmly set in the first forty pages. There is backstory done in flashback that stops the forward motion of the story, but the author motivates it so well I wanted to find out what happened and didn’t mind the detour (in this first section). Then about page two hundred the author dumped me out of the story. Probably sooner but I held on hoping it would get better. I loved the opening point of view character and the set up to the story--so DNF. The opening character has great depth. The conflict is firmly set in the first forty pages. There is backstory done in flashback that stops the forward motion of the story, but the author motivates it so well I wanted to find out what happened and didn’t mind the detour (in this first section). Then about page two hundred the author dumped me out of the story. Probably sooner but I held on hoping it would get better. I loved the opening point of view character and the set up to the story--so well done. There is a shift to a second point of view character whom I could not stand. She is narcissistic, and self-serving and always looking down her nose at everyone. This section is also backstory that is told instead of shown, it completely stopped the forward motion of the story. And if you can excise a section of the book and the story can still stand on its own then that section shouldn’t be in the book. This is a little more critical review than I normally write but I had such high hopes for this story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill

    3.5 stars round up to 4 This cover is gorgeous!! I must admit that is what initially drew me to this book. This book started out really strong the first couple of chapters. I defiantly was drawn right in as Nina seemed to be a hardcore player in this game she was playing- stealing from the wealthy. Then we seem to hit a speed bump and stay in low gear until about the 65% point in the book. I actually considered setting this book aside right before it picked up. Then we flew into high gear again a 3.5 stars round up to 4 This cover is gorgeous!! I must admit that is what initially drew me to this book. This book started out really strong the first couple of chapters. I defiantly was drawn right in as Nina seemed to be a hardcore player in this game she was playing- stealing from the wealthy. Then we seem to hit a speed bump and stay in low gear until about the 65% point in the book. I actually considered setting this book aside right before it picked up. Then we flew into high gear again and I was thinking well this is what I wanted from page one! A great deal of the book is spent highly developing the two main characters- Nina and Vanessa. Vanessa is a wealthy, Instagram "it" girl who is famous for ...well nothing...you know the type. Then we have Nina...Nina is a con artist. She learned from the best...dear old mom. When her mom no longer can hustle people due to her cancer diagnosis, Nina steps in. Like mother, like daughter right? We get a full look at Nina's background and we see that if Nina had not made one little mistake, her life might have turned out quite differently...or would it? That is the million dollar question. What we do know is that after 12 years, Nina wants to settle the score. This book was just a tad too long and too slow of a burn for me. However I did enjoy it, I was just glad that it picked up speed towards the ending. There were several twists towards the end- some I saw coming and some I did not. Overall I enjoyed this book but it didn't have me floored or speechless at the end. I think someone that doesn't read as many thrillers as I do may rate this quite a bit higher. I was just looking for a bit more action. Thank you so much to Random House for this ARC.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook... narrated by Julia Whelan, Lauren Fortgang, and Hillary Huber I ended up LOVING IT!!!!! I know there are low review; the biggest beef of being too long!! I didn’t mind!! I enjoyed many/most of the ‘life descriptions’..... It turned into a perfect meditative walking companion & pool soaking intrigue book-buddy!!! Nina Ross, didn’t always want to be a con artist. She learned her thievery skills - through osmosis and mostly from observing her mother, Lily; a con artist entrepreneur. I LIKE Audiobook... narrated by Julia Whelan, Lauren Fortgang, and Hillary Huber I ended up LOVING IT!!!!! I know there are low review; the biggest beef of being too long!! I didn’t mind!! I enjoyed many/most of the ‘life descriptions’..... It turned into a perfect meditative walking companion & pool soaking intrigue book-buddy!!! Nina Ross, didn’t always want to be a con artist. She learned her thievery skills - through osmosis and mostly from observing her mother, Lily; a con artist entrepreneur. I LIKED THIS CRIMINAL... I loved her back story - her character development and interactions with others. I can’t wait to see who plays her character when this book comes to screen! Nina never wanted to be a ‘grifter’ or social media ‘follower’, but life threw her a curveball- ( her mother’s cancer returned and the medical bills were astronomical) .... ....so Nina forms an alliance with Lachlan (a slimy, shallow, & pathetic Irish immigrant), to pull off one last big job to outwit heiress Vanessa Liebling. But before she does — she has rendezvous connection with BENNY.... (another character favorite).... but it ends BAD... Benny’s dad called Nina - a nobody....disposable nobody! The slime ball daddy kicked Nina out of Benny’s bed - pulled her out by the arm - naked- and says ...”get out and never return”! I didn’t think Nina was a nobody .... but..., I did wonder if things would change when I got to the end .... This book was just enough thriller…without being ‘thriller-driven’....instead... I was organically curious without having my attention on the ending too much. I enjoyed the entire process of unfolding. And.... I enjoyed the ending!!! ( shhhhh).... we cant spill the beans, now can we?/!😊 Vanessa Liebling, was the heir to Stonehaven —(an old, creepy, large mansion in Lake Tahoe). Vanessa was a college dropout, but a popular social media internet influencer. She was a complex interesting unlikable character... but *interesting*! She herself felt hollow and shallow inside... but her PRETTY THINGS - and SOCIAL MEDIA facade worked well for her. She got to fool herself... and liked fooling herself. From being a rich daddy’s girl... with lots of pretty clothes, stilettos, and accessories—-she faces the loss of her father, a broken relationship, and financial capital losses around the same time. This makes her more interesting.... and I give her a little bonus point: although she was self-centered and snobby she sincerely loved her younger brother Benny! ....Paths are crossed — between Nina and Vanessa. ....Background stories give us a greater understanding from the different worlds they grew up in. .... my favorite backstory was between Nina and her first boyfriend name Benny: Vanessa‘s sister. The connections are complex entanglements. ....I also enjoyed the relationship between Nina and her mother, Lily. Their love was solid-regardless of their crimes and dysfunction. Another book that screams to be seen on screen— and its coming!!! Nicole Kidman will be producing. ....Social media, partners-in-crime, greed, family, legacy, backstabbing, lies, deceitfulness, unreliable flawed characters, a creepy old mansion/ Stonehaven in Lake Tahoe, Pacific Heights in San Francisco, antiques, twists—and surprises..... make up this psychological suspenseful, character driven, atmospheric dramatic thriller-light novel! Great walking audiobook- companion..... ...scheming-entertaining! Should make for a great Netflix series. I liked it!!! I really really liked it!!!! Loved it as an Audiobook!!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    Janelle Brown joined us for a spoiler-free Q & A in our Behind the Pages Goodreads group and shared some insight to her writing process and the characters in this story. You can find the thread here https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... Nina is working her most dangerous scam here and Vanessa, an heiress, is her mark. They are two very different women who have something in common and things are not so pretty here for them. They are not very likable at all, but each had an interesting back stor Janelle Brown joined us for a spoiler-free Q & A in our Behind the Pages Goodreads group and shared some insight to her writing process and the characters in this story. You can find the thread here https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... Nina is working her most dangerous scam here and Vanessa, an heiress, is her mark. They are two very different women who have something in common and things are not so pretty here for them. They are not very likable at all, but each had an interesting back story to them, that had me feeling a bit of sympathy for them both. The pace was slow for me in parts and then fast in other parts. At times some parts of the story felt like those packing peanuts that are used for filler and surround that anticipated package you are waiting for. You have to weed through some filler to get to the good stuff and that weighted down the story for me. I think that is where Norma and I went in different directions with not sure what was a clue or important to the story or not, or maybe were red herrings to throw us off. The thing I loved about the story the most was Vanessa's connection to her brother Benny, and I would have liked him to have filled up some of that filler space instead of what felt like packing peanuts to me. There are some surprising twists here, some interesting ones and some that I figured out along the way. Overall I was entertained by them all, and in the end, it's all about the good stuff, and I like the way the story wrapped up, and it all worked for me. I received a copy from the publisher on NetGalley.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    I rarely award commercial fiction with five stars. This is a notable exception. Pretty clothes, shoes, jewelry, hair, make-up, and glamourous photo shoot locations epitomize the life of a young heiress. But, living your life online is not very pretty particularly when you need to be validated by virtual strangers. The vapid superficiality of being an internet influencer becomes apparent after a broken engagement which sends the heiress scuttling back to her family’s antique-stuffed Lake Tahoe pi I rarely award commercial fiction with five stars. This is a notable exception. Pretty clothes, shoes, jewelry, hair, make-up, and glamourous photo shoot locations epitomize the life of a young heiress. But, living your life online is not very pretty particularly when you need to be validated by virtual strangers. The vapid superficiality of being an internet influencer becomes apparent after a broken engagement which sends the heiress scuttling back to her family’s antique-stuffed Lake Tahoe pile. Enter another young woman (and her sketchy boyfriend) whose life hasn’t panned out as she had hoped and the scene is set for a con job promising a big payout. This is a thriller containing commentary about social media, mental illness, and the disparity between the haves and the have-nots. Unexpected and unexpectedly believable.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Norma

    Stunning cover, twisty, and clever! The cover of PRETTY THINGS by JANELLE BROWN is initially what attracted me to read this book, isn’t it pretty? JANELLE BROWN delivers a slow-burning, character-driven, compelling, and well-written read here that really intrigued, engaged, and entertained me. It was a little bit slow going at times but the author’s fabulous writing definitely captured my attention and drew me right in keeping me fully absorbed in this deceitful and cunning tale. Plus there were Stunning cover, twisty, and clever! The cover of PRETTY THINGS by JANELLE BROWN is initially what attracted me to read this book, isn’t it pretty? JANELLE BROWN delivers a slow-burning, character-driven, compelling, and well-written read here that really intrigued, engaged, and entertained me. It was a little bit slow going at times but the author’s fabulous writing definitely captured my attention and drew me right in keeping me fully absorbed in this deceitful and cunning tale. Plus there were some pretty surprising and thrilling reveals that definitely got my adrenaline pumping moving this story forward for me. The story is told in alternating perspectives between our two main sinister characters here, Nina our con artist and Vanessa an Instagram influencer. The connections and dynamics between these two women really surprised, intrigued & captivated me. I never really knew who to trust or believe. Each of these women brought their own unique and distinct voice to the narrative which I was equally invested in. I was really surprised with the direction this book took and had me questioning multiple plot points in the end. I’m not sure if my perception of what was going on in the end with a certain character was all wrong or if my deliberations were correct. I can hardly believe that I am saying this because I am not a deep reader at all, I’m more surface but this one totally had me digging deep and discussing it in our Traveling Sisters group. Brenda thinks I was overthinking things! I’d love to have a conversation with the author! Update: So I had a conversation with the author and while she said that I made an interesting case I was overthinking things a little bit. LOL Expected Publication Date: April 21/20 This was a Traveling Sister read. Thank you so much to NetGalley, Random House, and Janelle Brown for an electronic ARC.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest You all know that I don't give books five star ratings unless I really, really loved it. PRETTY THINGS wrested all five of those stars from my miserly fingers, kicking and screaming like a woman in a bar fight telling you to "lay off her man." The title is really clever because while one of the heroines (there are two) makes it her business to steal pretty things, both of them are "pretty things": young woman who, in their own way, have Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest You all know that I don't give books five star ratings unless I really, really loved it. PRETTY THINGS wrested all five of those stars from my miserly fingers, kicking and screaming like a woman in a bar fight telling you to "lay off her man." The title is really clever because while one of the heroines (there are two) makes it her business to steal pretty things, both of them are "pretty things": young woman who, in their own way, have been done dirty by society and are trying to find their way back. Our first heroine is Nina, the daughter of a con-artist and a bit of a con herself. With the help of a much older boyfriend, she runs her own version of THE BLING RING: she uses Instagram to see which local minor celebrities are flashing cash, and then she worms her way into their lives and robs them. Her latest target is a woman named Vanessa who comes from old money, but acts like your typical nouveau riche influencer jet-setter, vapid, and shallow, and utterly materialistic. Which is annoying, of course, but Nina's interest is much more-- shall we say-- personal. Vanessa, as I said before, comes from money, but more money means more problems. Vanessa has a lot of problems. Messed-up family, all kinds of personal issues, and an almost pathological desire to be adored. She's tried to fill that void with all sorts of things and the young married couple who comes to rent her summer cabin-- artsy and bohemian in a sanitized, clean way that is very much non-threatening to her aristobrat aesthetic-- seems like it might be just the thing. But it's not. And just when you start to think you have everything figured out, Janelle Brown throws curveball after curveball in your direction until you can't help but wonder: who's conning who? So obviously I loved this book. Any book that reminds me of Gillian Flynn is a clear win, and Janelle Brown's morally gray protagonists are some of the clearest parallels I've encountered in a while. They were both doing very bad things, but you could totally understand where they were coming from and why they were doing the things they were doing, even if you didn't agree. The writing is absolutely gorgeous and I felt like each woman stood out as a separate entity, whereas far too often in multi-POV stories, they end up sounding like facsimiles of the same individual (i.e. the author). You know it's going to be an intense story from the very beginning-- it literally opens up with a body in the lake-- but honestly, despite having read hundreds of mysteries in my thirty-so years of being, I didn't know what was going to happen in the book until the very end. And that was a delight. I love being surprised. I love it even more if it doesn't feel like a cheap "out" to make me feel surprised. Anyone who likes morally gray protagonists or Gillian Flynn is going to love this book. I would definitely read more from this author in a heartbeat, especially if she writes more "poor little rich girl" stories about elite drama and dirty family secrets. Please, and thank you. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 5 stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    JEN A

    I received an advance copy of this book from net galley and the publisher in return for an honest review. Release date for this book was 21 Apr 20 This book is definitely a thriller based in our current social media era. The two main heroines, if you want to call them that, come from vastly different worlds and social economic statuses. The author does a wonderful job of showing us the point of you of each character and how you really can’t understand another person’s journey unless you’ve been o I received an advance copy of this book from net galley and the publisher in return for an honest review. Release date for this book was 21 Apr 20 This book is definitely a thriller based in our current social media era. The two main heroines, if you want to call them that, come from vastly different worlds and social economic statuses. The author does a wonderful job of showing us the point of you of each character and how you really can’t understand another person’s journey unless you’ve been on that journey with them. The book was pretty fast paced but took time to lay the groundwork for the thrilling finale. The author really showed us an insight into what social media can do for and often times against a person.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bridgett

    Nothing is ever as pure as it seems at first glance; there is always something more complicated to be found if you peel back the unmarred surface of pretty things. After reading such mixed reviews from my fellow reviewers, I honestly wasn't sure what to think prior to diving into Pretty Things. Some of my friends loved it, others weren't fans. To begin with, I wasn't a fan either. This book was a slow-burner and it took me awhile to warm up to everything--the characters, the plot, the setting Nothing is ever as pure as it seems at first glance; there is always something more complicated to be found if you peel back the unmarred surface of pretty things. After reading such mixed reviews from my fellow reviewers, I honestly wasn't sure what to think prior to diving into Pretty Things. Some of my friends loved it, others weren't fans. To begin with, I wasn't a fan either. This book was a slow-burner and it took me awhile to warm up to everything--the characters, the plot, the setting...so much so, I seriously thought about temporarily shelving it and starting another novel. ...but then the magic started... The writing was beautiful, and I quite loved how the book was blocked into multiple-chapter sections of Nina's narratives, followed by those of Vanessa. I relished the way the story slowly unfolded, but from two very different perspectives. While, at times, the chapters seemed a bit repetitive and the long-winded flashback sequences were often too much, I was, nevertheless, hooked. This was my first Janelle Brown novel, and I was impressed by her tightly woven and well-placed themes--poverty, privilege, and mental illness. They seamlessly tied everything together and upped the amperage on the mystery at the heart of the story. The conclusion, while fairly predictable, was immensely satisfying. Overall, a fiendishly clever novel. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Brown's work.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill

    This cover is gorgeous!! I must admit that is what initially drew me to this book. This book started out really strong the first couple of chapters. I defiantly was drawn right in as Nina seemed to be a hardcore player in this game she was playing- stealing from the wealthy. Then we seem to hit a speed bump and stay in low gear until about the 65% point in the book. I actually considered setting this book aside right before it picked up. Then we flew into high gear again and I was thinking well This cover is gorgeous!! I must admit that is what initially drew me to this book. This book started out really strong the first couple of chapters. I defiantly was drawn right in as Nina seemed to be a hardcore player in this game she was playing- stealing from the wealthy. Then we seem to hit a speed bump and stay in low gear until about the 65% point in the book. I actually considered setting this book aside right before it picked up. Then we flew into high gear again and I was thinking well this is what I wanted from page one! A great deal of the book is spent highly developing the two main characters- Nina and Vanessa. Vanessa is a wealthy, Instagram "it" girl who is famous for ...well nothing...you know the type. Then we have Nina...Nina is a con artist. She learned from the best...dear old mom. When her mom no longer can hustle people due to her cancer diagnosis, Nina steps in. Like mother, like daughter right? We get a full look at Nina's background and we see that if Nina had not made one little mistake, her life might have turned out quite differently...or would it? That is the million dollar question. What we do know is that after 12 years, Nina wants to settle the score. This book was just a tad too long and too slow of a burn for me. However I did enjoy it, I was just glad that it picked up speed towards the ending. There were several twists towards the end- some I saw coming and some I did not. Overall I enjoyed this book but it didn't have me floored or speechless at the end. I think someone that doesn't read as many thrillers as I do may rate this quite a bit higher. I was just looking for a bit more action. Thank you so much to Random House for this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    What do you get when you combine a grifter, an heiress, A con job, and revenge? You get an entertaining fast-paced story with well drawn characters and a gripping storyline. This is a 496 page book, 16 hours on audio, and it flew by! I was completely invested with these characters and their shenanigans. Nina knows the con, she was taught by the best, her mother. Nina has tried to avoid the life, but now that her mother’s cancer has reemerged it is time for one last BIG con. Vanessa appears to ha What do you get when you combine a grifter, an heiress, A con job, and revenge? You get an entertaining fast-paced story with well drawn characters and a gripping storyline. This is a 496 page book, 16 hours on audio, and it flew by! I was completely invested with these characters and their shenanigans. Nina knows the con, she was taught by the best, her mother. Nina has tried to avoid the life, but now that her mother’s cancer has reemerged it is time for one last BIG con. Vanessa appears to have it all, but things aren’t always as they seem. She has live a glamorous life filled with money and glitz. Now a popular Instagram influencer Vanessa travels around in gorgeous clothes with the beautiful people. But behind all this is a lot of grief and after her engagement is called off things really start to fall apart. The two women’s lives collide on the shores of Lake Tahoe and what follows is a captivating and compelling tale. Janellel Brown has crafted a unique and refreshing story of misdirection, betrayal, revenge, blackmail, and contempt. Julia Walen and Lauren Fortgang did a wonderful job with the audiobook narration bringing the perfect voices to these characters. I loved how this story unfolded. So many WTF moments and a perfect ending. This is the perfect poolside escapist read. This book in emojis 🏔 🎨 🤳🏼 🗝 💅🏻 *** Big thank you to Random House for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

  15. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    The story is told from the points of view of Nina Ross, who followed in her mother Lily’s footsteps as a con artist after discovering that being an art history major didn’t lead to a lucrative career, and Vanessa Liebling, an heiress who dropped out of college and makes her own money as an influencer who frolics for the camera while wearing expensive stuff. Nina robs rich people in partnership with the handsome Irish immigrant Lachlan and they zero in on Nina. This book is full of long cons, sec The story is told from the points of view of Nina Ross, who followed in her mother Lily’s footsteps as a con artist after discovering that being an art history major didn’t lead to a lucrative career, and Vanessa Liebling, an heiress who dropped out of college and makes her own money as an influencer who frolics for the camera while wearing expensive stuff. Nina robs rich people in partnership with the handsome Irish immigrant Lachlan and they zero in on Nina. This book is full of long cons, secret relationships and valuable objects. While I enjoyed the twisty nature of this book, I thought it took too long to get to the con. The first 40% or so of the book was comprised of Nina and Vanessa telling their life stories and rehashing their grievances. The book could easily have lost 75 pages. The two women were the blandest in the group of four. Lily and Lachlan were much more intriguing and I’m sorry that their points of view were not included. Nevertheless, I liked the plot and would be willing to read more by this author. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    Just under 25% in and this isn't grabbing me at all. I might have stuck it out with a shorter book, but at almost 500 pages, I have so many other things I could be using that time for...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    “Pretty Things” by Janelle Brown is a great suspenseful read to take your mind off the Covid 19 virus. It’s such a fabulous story, that Nicole Kidman is producing and starring in an Amazon production of the novel. I cannot wait to see it. Stories involving grifters are delightful to read because as a reader, you try to be alert to all the cons. Grifting keeps the reader alert and involved. In this story, Nina begins by explaining that she is an Instagram follower and identifies obscenely rich peo “Pretty Things” by Janelle Brown is a great suspenseful read to take your mind off the Covid 19 virus. It’s such a fabulous story, that Nicole Kidman is producing and starring in an Amazon production of the novel. I cannot wait to see it. Stories involving grifters are delightful to read because as a reader, you try to be alert to all the cons. Grifting keeps the reader alert and involved. In this story, Nina begins by explaining that she is an Instagram follower and identifies obscenely rich people and takes note of their Instagram accounts. She studies her “mark” and plans in detail what she intends to rob and how to do it. She’s slick as an expert pickpocket. It’s interesting, and author Brown makes the “marks” seem despicable enough that the reader isn’t bothered by the robbery. Nina provides her backstory. She didn’t start like this. She went to University but came home after her con/grifter mother contracted cancer. After living with a gifted con artist, Nina has learned worthy skills. Her mother worked many cons with a man named Lachlan. He and Nina devise a con involving a wealthy family at Lake Tahoe with whom Nina has a tortured past. Vanessa is the “mark” who was cruel to Nina when in high school. Nina has a grudge. Vanessa is a vacuous instagrammer, and the perfect victim. Vanessa is our other narrator, and she provides the reader with a great education on what it means to be an Instagram influencer. Brown acknowledged that she studied the art of the con, and she used that information to write a fantastically clever read. There are cons, double-crosses, and very bad behavior. I highly recommend it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    "Wealth is a Band-Aid, not an inoculation; and if the disease runs deep enough, it will cure nothing at all." Two very different women ... one is a con artist and the other an heiress and Instagram Influencer. Both women are on a course of destruction and soon to collide when they meet. The story alternates back and forth between Nina and Vanessa. The characters are flawed but believable and keeps you engaged. Nina is always looking for the next big con by tricking billionaires out of their money. "Wealth is a Band-Aid, not an inoculation; and if the disease runs deep enough, it will cure nothing at all." Two very different women ... one is a con artist and the other an heiress and Instagram Influencer. Both women are on a course of destruction and soon to collide when they meet. The story alternates back and forth between Nina and Vanessa. The characters are flawed but believable and keeps you engaged. Nina is always looking for the next big con by tricking billionaires out of their money. Vanessa is a trying to be a socialite and her family money is dwindling fast soon after she inherits the family estate in Lake Tahoe. Nina wants to run another high-stake scheme in order to pay for her mother's expensive cancer treatments and Vanessa is now her target. With the help of Lachlan, a friend of her mother, they set out on a dangerous scam together. But will they succeed? Or do they get the short end of the con? The more you read the more you begin empathizing with all of them to the point that you cheer for each of them to succeed with their cons and revenge. This is not a thriller, but it does offer enough twists to keep a you interested and going to the very end. At almost 500 pages, it's a long and very slow burn, but I didn't get bogged down by the length at all. Readers that like Gillian Flynn and Ruth Ware will devour this book. Definitely add this to your 2020 TBR list! A special thanks to Janelle Brown, Random House and NetGalley for this ARC.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jamie beauty_andthebook_

    Mark my words - Pretty Things will be a hugely popular book in 2020 - it has all the trappings of a buzz book right now - social media influencers & backstabbing relationships - BUT, the key factor here is the writing. Janelle Brown has crafted a story that will hook readers from page one and entertain and engage them through the absolute final page. Told in alternating perspectives and timelines, we meet Nina and Vanessa - a con artist and a rich influencer. But the connections these two have m Mark my words - Pretty Things will be a hugely popular book in 2020 - it has all the trappings of a buzz book right now - social media influencers & backstabbing relationships - BUT, the key factor here is the writing. Janelle Brown has crafted a story that will hook readers from page one and entertain and engage them through the absolute final page. Told in alternating perspectives and timelines, we meet Nina and Vanessa - a con artist and a rich influencer. But the connections these two have might surprise you and at a minimum, will intrigue & captivate you. Each woman is so finely written that they offer their own voices and becoming truly distinct individuals. Upon finishing Pretty Things, I immediately ran to check out all of Brown's backlist and will be eager to see what she does next! Thank you to Random House for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tinichix (nicole)

    It was good! I was instantly engaged in the storyline. The synopsis tells us “Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line It was good! I was instantly engaged in the storyline. The synopsis tells us “Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, even if it means running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet.” I especially enjoyed how this book has you wanting to almost root for the criminal/villain. There are a few main characters and the book focuses on points of view from two females, Nina and Vanessa. There is adequate backstory and explanation of family dynamics that I enjoyed equally for both characters and it seamlessly goes from one characters point of view to the next. The backstory is equally as interesting as the primary storyline in this book. You have insight into what makes them tick and why they are as they are in present day. I enjoyed how Nina finds comfort in the profession she ran from her whole young adult life that her mom held and then ended up running right back into it. I liked how the two different points of view were seeing entirely different things out of the same situation, it was done very well and was very convincing. In the second half Vanessa’s naivety is a little less believable but tolerable. It was very interesting from a social media standpoint and the study of all the information provided in just simple posts that we don’t do intentionally or realize we are even doing. I did this book on audio and there were two different female narrators for each main character. I didn’t love the narrator for Vanessa, I don’t know exactly why but it wasn’t quite as convincing or authentic feeling as the one for Nina, I thought hers was great. This was a very solid 4 star book for me. I enjoyed it and I looked forward to it. I have not read anything else by this author but I will be on the lookout for the next release after this one.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Corina

    How to start? First, I love how well the author researched the area the novel is set in. Lake Tahoe is the one lake I’ve been to the most over the years, it’s actually THE lake everyone spends time at in the Bay Area and I’m a bit bias about it – lol. So, Second, the book was LONG!!! 496 pages or 16 hours in my case. The book can be split into two parts. The first half establishes the backgrounds of each of the women. In the second half the plot goes into the nitty and gritty of the story. The ov How to start? First, I love how well the author researched the area the novel is set in. Lake Tahoe is the one lake I’ve been to the most over the years, it’s actually THE lake everyone spends time at in the Bay Area and I’m a bit bias about it – lol. So, Second, the book was LONG!!! 496 pages or 16 hours in my case. The book can be split into two parts. The first half establishes the backgrounds of each of the women. In the second half the plot goes into the nitty and gritty of the story. The overall build up is slow, hence the 496 pages. Third, Pretty Things is a story focused on character development. It has a slower pace, with lots of backstory, some overlapping chapters, as well as twists and turns which kept me guessing. I rarely knew who told the truth, until each character spilled the beans. Fourth, I enjoyed the second half of the book, when all the pieces came together, way more. It was more engaging, since the background was taken care of, and the real story could finally develop. Overall, the story was well done. Well written, with a couple of sub-plots, and some rally nice twists and turns. ABOUT THE AUDIOBOOK: I wouldn’t have known, if I hadn’t read on Goodreads that there were actual two female narrators narrating this audiobook, one was a favorite of mine, Julia Whelan. The voices were just too similar for me. But the quality and the overall narration was fantastic, nuances were on point and it was easy to listen to. ___________________________________ I received a copy of this book from publishers for free, in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author. Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blog. Find me on Bookstagram.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)

    Nina’s mom has been hustling her whole life to make ends meet. It seems inevitable that Nina will follow in her mother’s footsteps and when her mother’s cancer comes back and treatment costs are expected at over $500k, Nina knows she needs to up her game. Several years earlier, she and Lachlan connected and started working scams together. When Lachlan suggests getting out of town and hitting a rich family in Tahoe, Nina knows the perfect target. One of her many hometowns in high school included Nina’s mom has been hustling her whole life to make ends meet. It seems inevitable that Nina will follow in her mother’s footsteps and when her mother’s cancer comes back and treatment costs are expected at over $500k, Nina knows she needs to up her game. Several years earlier, she and Lachlan connected and started working scams together. When Lachlan suggests getting out of town and hitting a rich family in Tahoe, Nina knows the perfect target. One of her many hometowns in high school included Tahoe and there, she developed an unlikely friendship with Benny. Benny is a Liebling - an incredibly wealthy family and essentially an American aristocracy. Nina has held animosity against the Lieblings since they humiliated her and ran her and her mother out of town over a decade ago. Taking on new names and personas, Lachlan and Nina go to Tahoe and rent a cottage on the Lieblings property. Vanessa, Benny’s older sister, now runs the manor as both her parents are deceased. Coming off a breakup and desperate for validation, Nina and Lachlan see an easy target. Full of surprises, unexpected twists and backstabbing, this novel was unputdownable. Told from the perspectives of both Nina and Vanessa, it was hard to know who was the villain and who was the victim. The writing was excellent and it was easy to get lost in the pages. Absolutely pick this one up!!! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    I'm hearing amazing things about Janelle Brown's upcoming novel, Pretty Things , so of course I had to bump it up on my TBR. I'm so glad that I did because it was awesome! Pretty Things is my first venture into the world of Janelle Brown's writing, but now I think I may have to read her previous works. I've heard Watch Me Disappear was fabulous—consider me intrigued! Pretty Things has all the makings of a great psychological thriller—unreliable narrators, deception and con-artistry, a I'm hearing amazing things about Janelle Brown's upcoming novel, Pretty Things , so of course I had to bump it up on my TBR. I'm so glad that I did because it was awesome! Pretty Things is my first venture into the world of Janelle Brown's writing, but now I think I may have to read her previous works. I've heard Watch Me Disappear was fabulous—consider me intrigued! Pretty Things has all the makings of a great psychological thriller—unreliable narrators, deception and con-artistry, and all the juicy drama that follows flawed human interactions. The two point-of-views throughout the novel are Nina and Vanessa. Nina and her partner (both professionally and romantically) are con artists that make a fortune tricking arrogant billionaires out of their money. Nina takes care of her ailing mother, but is worried that police are out to get her. As her and her boyfriend Lachlan escape, they duo decides to go after someone that has wronged Nina back when she was a teenager—Vanessa Lieblings. Vanessa is an Instagram influencer and heiress to the financial company The Lieblings Group—her father is very successful and Vanessa has lived the life of privilege and opportunity. Nina is ready to take advantage of this opportunity and make her pay for everything. What did Vanessa do to Nina and will Nina succeed or has the Lieblings family been waiting for her all this time? This book was great and I really enjoyed the art of conning that Nina and Lachlan provided in Pretty Things . It was so entertaining and made me want to read more about characters who do these horrendous things to innocent(ish) people. You may notice that I didn't give it 5-stars and that is solely because the book is almost 500 pages and maybe 150-175 pages too long. The book goes into full detail of items that could've been completed on one point-of-view and we didn't need a rehash by both of them. The pacing is the legitimate only reason why I didn't give this book a perfect score. That being said, Pretty Things is definitely a contender for one of the strongest releases in 2020. So I think we can say that I am very happy about picking up this novel. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Now, should I pick up Watch Me Disappear?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    This is probably the first book I decided to read solely because of the Bookstagram hype. Some of the biggest accounts were singing its praises, and well, I’m very susceptible to contagious enthusiasm. Even after reading the description and tons of reviews, though, this book was still not at all what I expected. For one, I (probably wrongly) assumed that to be a thriller someone has to be murdered or missing or be pursued in some manner. Pretty Things more than likely falls in the suspense genre, This is probably the first book I decided to read solely because of the Bookstagram hype. Some of the biggest accounts were singing its praises, and well, I’m very susceptible to contagious enthusiasm. Even after reading the description and tons of reviews, though, this book was still not at all what I expected. For one, I (probably wrongly) assumed that to be a thriller someone has to be murdered or missing or be pursued in some manner. Pretty Things more than likely falls in the suspense genre, which the author has agreed with in some of the interviews I’ve read and watched. There’s surprises and a lot of intrigue, enough to where Nicole Kidman’s production company has optioned the novel for an adaptation. Still, for every unexpected twist, there’s another one you can see coming a mile away. It also does feel a little bloated, mostly in the first half. It’s a lot of backstory where not much happens and I felt like I was trudging through it. The two narrators, Nina and Vanessa, provide dueling perspectives on the same interactions, and I definitely skimmed over a number of those parts. Some of it felt like a rehash and enough about each character probably could have been inferred without all the narration. Additionally, the plot didn’t end up being as nefarious as I thought it would be, but maybe that says more about me than about Pretty Things. That said, I’m very excited for the adaptation. Janelle Brown is a really great writer and I’m hopeful this will have some Big Little Lies vibes on the screen. I can already see the empty spaces in this book being filled with all the tension I was missing while reading.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jordy’s Book Club

    A great female 2-hander that feels like GRIFTERS meets INGRID GOES WEST. It’s wicked and sharp in a way that reminded me of Riley Sager's THE LAST TIME I LIED with two flawed complex female characters one-upping each other with deceit. I though it was sharp and complicated and deliciously fun. A great story of family and inheritance.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Selena

    I received a free e-copy of Pretty Things by Janelle Brown from NetGalley for my honest review. This book is a story about two women, Nina and Vanessa. Nina, who was raised by a single mother. Life was never easy for them and money was always scarce. Vanessa was born into a family of old-money. Life was always an advantage for her. Their lives end up intertwined when Nina decides that Vanessa will be her next person to con. A wonderful book of mystery and intrigue!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    4.5 Stars I really loved this 4.5 Star thriller!! In the beginning I thought it would be a fun caper type of thriller, maybe along the lines of Oceans 11 or the true story of those people who hung out with the Hollywood starlets and robbed them, but as the characters were further developed, it became more than that. SUMMARY Nina and Lachlan are literally partners in crime. They have a well organized system which includes choosing a very specific mark, Nina is the bait and Lachlan picks up the inve 4.5 Stars I really loved this 4.5 Star thriller!! In the beginning I thought it would be a fun caper type of thriller, maybe along the lines of Oceans 11 or the true story of those people who hung out with the Hollywood starlets and robbed them, but as the characters were further developed, it became more than that. SUMMARY Nina and Lachlan are literally partners in crime. They have a well organized system which includes choosing a very specific mark, Nina is the bait and Lachlan picks up the inventory at a later date. Things were going along fine until the police begin poking around, forcing Nina and Lachlan to lay low. They decide to leave LA for a couple months until the police have lost interest and have moved on to the next case. When they are deciding where to lay low, Nina remembers a huge antique filled mansion on Lake Tahoe she had visited as a child. Should that be their next target? What could possibly go wrong??? I'm trying to be vague because this book is much more fun to read if you don't know a lot about the plot. Unfortunately, my vagueness is not doing the story justice but, trust me, this is a FUN book to read!!! WHAT I LOVED The twists were what made the book!!! So many times I thought I had an idea where the plot was headed and it would change. I always liked the change more than the story I was mapping out in my head. It was almost five hundred pages long but felt much shorter. I LOVED the characters!! As soon as I would think I've figured out a character, a new side to them is revealed. Literally down to the very end. Although several of the characters were professional criminals, they were still likeable. Even the characters I thought I was going to not like at all had some redeeming qualities. Toward the end, some of the characters began to evolve into better people, at least better than I thought they were going to be, and some of them turned out much worse than I imagined. I really loved the plot. It was never boring and not what I was expecting from the first chapter. There are several chapters which revisit Nina's past and explain her connection to the Tahoe mansion. Through these chapters we learn about Nina and her motivations. The story is told from two points of view, Nina and the owner of the Lake Tahoe mansion, Vanessa. It was such a great way to tell the story because their points of view were so very different. I loved hearing their takes of the same events and their opinions of each other. In addition to the plot, this book is a warning story about how impressions, even long held, firmly established impressions, of a person or situation can be wrong and harmful. It also talks about accepting blame for ones own mistakes and owning one's choices. I loved the Lake Tahoe setting. I've visited Lake Tahoe once and always thought it was one of the most beautiful places in the US. Now, I want to go back again!! WHAT I DIDN'T LOVE There wasn't a lot to not love. Although I really cannot think of any specific things I didn't like, I cannot give it my rare 5 Star rating. To be a five star for me, a book has to be very special. It must be unique, make me see some aspect of the world or myself differently, it must have no plot holes and it must stand the test of time- to be as relevant in ten years, fifty years or one hundred years as it is today. I really love this book, but in my opinion, it does not quite meet that criteria. OVERALL If you're looking for a book that will keep you entertained, make you feel like you've been on a trip to Lake Tahoe and distract you from the annoyances in your life, I highly recommend reading this book! It's way better than suspenseful thriller needs to be!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tonya

    Pretty Things by Janelle Brown is a suspense novel that gradually turned into a psychological thriller for me. I could really relate to Nina in many ways, although on the surface it is like we have nothing in common. Pretty Things is written so well that I felt like I knew Nina and Vanessa. It is a novel about trust and cons, being played and knowing exactly who the mark is. No spoilers... So we have an entitled heiress who plays at being a social media star (Vanessa) and a con artist (Nina) who i Pretty Things by Janelle Brown is a suspense novel that gradually turned into a psychological thriller for me. I could really relate to Nina in many ways, although on the surface it is like we have nothing in common. Pretty Things is written so well that I felt like I knew Nina and Vanessa. It is a novel about trust and cons, being played and knowing exactly who the mark is. No spoilers... So we have an entitled heiress who plays at being a social media star (Vanessa) and a con artist (Nina) who is desperate to raise some cash to pay for her mom's cancer treatments. Desperation drives Nina to think of how she can obtain the biggest haul in the shortest period of time so she talks her boyfriend, Lachlan into pulling off the biggest con of their lives. $1,000,000 is not small change, so Nina and Lachlan are soon renting the guest cottage from Vanessa. What I loved: Nina has ties to Lake Tahoe. Once it was a place where she was happy and free to pursue a future that released her from her mom's lifestyle.I like the contrasts between the Nina of the past and the Nina now, and how they blend and merge at different points within the novel. I like the character development in both Nina and Vanessa! The narrative alternates between Nina and Vanessa and there are times when I can't decide who I like and who I dislike! Who tells the truth and who lies? I love being surprised and at times shocked with the plot twists and that is all I am about to say, except I did not have anything figured out although there were times I was smug in thinking I did! A fun read and one I fully enjoyed! Stayed up late to finish it without a single regret!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    UPDATE: I’m not going to be picking this one back up so I’m moving it over to the abandoned books shelf. I’m struggling more and more with patience when it comes to books. I know there are stories that are worth it, even if they don’t pull me in from the start. I always fear that I’ll miss something great but after forcing myself through a few disappointments last month, I feel that I need to start trusting the instinct of “this book is not for me” early on instead of giving it too much time bef UPDATE: I’m not going to be picking this one back up so I’m moving it over to the abandoned books shelf. I’m struggling more and more with patience when it comes to books. I know there are stories that are worth it, even if they don’t pull me in from the start. I always fear that I’ll miss something great but after forcing myself through a few disappointments last month, I feel that I need to start trusting the instinct of “this book is not for me” early on instead of giving it too much time before making that DNF decision. I’m not far into this but I’ve still devoted some time to it and I don’t think I’m the right reader for it. I won’t officially put it on my DNF shelf just yet. I’ll wait a couple weeks and see if I have an desire to pick it back up. But life is short and time is precious. I want the books I read to be the right ones for me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mandy White

    Wow, do not turn your back on any of these characters... talk about be careful who you trust! This book was definitely a bookstagram made me do it and I now understand the hype. This book is seriously twisty and shocking. It is a long book and there was a small part where I wasn’t sure but it certainly picked up and from then it never let go. A con artist and an Instagram celebrity... only there is a bit more to it than that of course. From Lake Tahoe to LA, these characters are not to be trusted Wow, do not turn your back on any of these characters... talk about be careful who you trust! This book was definitely a bookstagram made me do it and I now understand the hype. This book is seriously twisty and shocking. It is a long book and there was a small part where I wasn’t sure but it certainly picked up and from then it never let go. A con artist and an Instagram celebrity... only there is a bit more to it than that of course. From Lake Tahoe to LA, these characters are not to be trusted, they are not especially likeable but that is what I loved. You need to read this!

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