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Pretty Little World

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  922 ratings  ·  125 reviews
On a cozy street in Philadelphia, three neighboring families have become the best of friends. They can’t imagine life without one another—until one family outgrows their tiny row house. In a bid to stay together, a crazy idea is born: What if they tear down the walls between their homes and live together under one roof? And so an experiment begins.

Celia and Mark now have t
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 17th 2017 by Lake Union Publishing
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Nicole You're not missing a chapter - that's how the story ends! I'm usually not a fan of an ending so up in the air, but here, I enjoyed it.
So to answer yo…more
You're not missing a chapter - that's how the story ends! I'm usually not a fan of an ending so up in the air, but here, I enjoyed it.
So to answer your question, whatever you want to happen in the end, can happen. (less)
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Average rating 3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  922 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Three families enjoy living next to one another in row houses. They each have young children and and often chip in to help each other out. One family announces that they are in need of more space and that they are going to put their house on the market. The two other families are heartbroken. One of the women comes up with an idea to knock the walls down between the houses. This will provide everyone with more space and help with logistic issues as it relates to their children.

At first, the fami
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All of my reviews can be found on

The idea of a communal family intrigued me right away, maybe because it’s so far out of my own comfort zone and something I would NEVER consider in a million years. Six friends and neighbors decide to go ahead and take a chance after one family wants to move in order to have more space. This was such a compulsive read for me, I was surprised by how quickly I was wrapped up in their lives.

There are seven different points of view here, I know t
Jan 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, adult-fiction
3.5 stars.
Pretty Little World by Elizabeth LeBan and Melissa DePino is about three families who live side by side in narrow houses with a basement and a few stories to them. It all begins when a burst water pipe causes a crisis and a gap between two of the houses, and the plan is born. Knock down the walls of the main street floor and turn it into communal living, with each family having their own floors above separate. And quickly and with no hiccups it is done.

The couples were interesting, alt
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've written this review for Really Into This

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I was Really Into This book. I love a good slumber party & I’ve often thought how awesome it would be if I had my favorite people with me all the time. Like, if I could get my best friends to live next door to me, that would be EVERYTHING.

Well, that’s exactly what three families do in this book. They live in row
Jan 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really struggled with this one... if I could describe this book with one word it would be: Bland
This was an interesting concept for a story. Kind of a modern day commune type situation. Three couples who are best friends decide to share their living spaces by tearing down the walls that separate their connected homes. Yep, they are going to take care of each others kids, share the cooking, and... other things.
My problem with the book was (in my opinion) it lacked good character development and
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'd maybe give this more of a 2.5 because it did keep my interest enough to finish it. I haven't checked the reviews, and I may be in the minority, but WTF what up with this book? I found the characters to be terrible, self-involved people and I didn't care about them even when I should have. Some of what happened seemed to be thrown in simply as a plot device but really was unnecessary, and the ending was awful.

I've heard some people wonder/hope if the ending is setting things up for a sequel.
Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
This book had the great quality of making me supremely uncomfortable. I know that sounds really weird but I love books that kind of push the way I think, what is right and wrong and who I relate to. Pretty Little World definitely did this as we watch three sets of couples who choose to all live together in a sort of commune. After being best friends living next door to each other and helping out with the kids and having dinners together, Stephanie, the sort of hippie, proposes this idea
Cassandra (Thebookishcrypt)
*ARC provided by Little Bird publicity in exchange for an honest review*
This was my first read by these two authors and I was definitely intrigued ever since I first read the synopsis. This book is about 3 different families that live in houses that are side-by-side who decide to literally tear down the walls keeping them apart. As soon as I read the synopsis, I was expecting a lot of drama and my expectations were met for the most part. The characters gave me a bad feeling in my stomach right o
Mar 11, 2017 marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I almost made it halfway into this book. I really thought it was going to be a fun read about friends discovering its one thing to live next to each other and something entirely different when they live in the same house. I guess for the most part that's what I got. I really wasn't prepared though to read about a bunch of sexually frustrated freaks. let's just say stuff was starting to get weird....

interesting book, at least the first half, but don't read if you don't want to read about people
Camille Pagán
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do good fences really make good neighbors? That’s the question at the heart of LeBan and Depino's intriguing debut. Brimming with astute observations and chock full of surprises until the very last page, Pretty Little World offers a fresh, unexpected look at friendship and marriage. I love novels that make me think long and hard about my own life, and this book did that and much more. ...more
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On a cozy street in Philadelphia, three neighboring families have become the best of friends. They can’t imagine life without one another—until one family outgrows their tiny row house. In a bid to stay together, a crazy idea is born: What if they tear down the walls between their homes and live together under one roof? And so an experiment begins.

My thoughts: What started as a broken pipe that caused flooding through the homes of the three couples had turned into something more.

Mark, the buildi
Terri Bond
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a concept. i really enjoyed this book full of rich characters
Carol Boyer
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me of the things folks say about, "you never know what goes on behind closed doors" as a perfect example of this thought. Pretty Little World turns the lives upside down of 3 couples who are best friends when they knock down the inside walls of the row house they live in to form one big family life together. Cecilia and Mark wanted more room with their 3 kids and decide they have to move when Hope and Leo and Stephanie and Mark present their idea of living like a commune but v ...more
Charlotte Lynn
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Living in a commune style with my neighbors is nothing I would ever want to do but for these three families it seemed to make sense. Yet after taking the walls down each family found their own issues. These problems could have been there before they took the walls down but were brought to light after. With each problem the support from the other families was wonderful. There was never a doubt that they would support each other, pick each other up, and help each other in any way possible.

I am not
Susan James
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This delightfully different kind of novel is hard to categorize. The story is told from the seven points of view of the main characters. And once you get used to the POV changing between paragraphs, it works.
I fell in love with Celia and Mark, Hope and Leo, Chris and Stephanie, and the odd-woman-out, Nikki. The three couples are creating a new modern family by taking down the walls between their row houses in Philadelphia. The upstairs of their homes remain private. The downstairs becomes one l
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book--great for the beach or a book club. I love the ending, and I think at the end there are some nice, perhaps philosophical, conclusions (thinking of Stephanie and Leo). It was a wonderful imagining about what we gain--and what we give up--to live communally.
Pretty Little World follows three neighboring families as they combine their separate homes into one large, commune-like living space. With this change comes the identity crises and affairs that you might expect, but also a great sense of community and support among the different family members. While I enjoyed the premise of the book, I wish the book focused a bit more on the repercussions of their decision rather than the problems occurring in marriages that probably would have occurred anyway ...more
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three families that all live on this quaint little street called Emerson, are the best of friends. When one family needs just a little more help, they all decide to tear down the walls that connect their homes and open up the main levels into a commune of sorts. I thought that this was a very interesting concept/idea, but it fell a little flat. There were plot holes, it was slow, I didn't connected with the characters HOWEVER the depiction of marriage and the drama was fantastic!

Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was so stupid but I couldn't quit reading it. ...more
Vickie Paye
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book kept me intrigued as I kept thinking how true to real life these characters could actually be...the saying "no one knows what goes on behind closed doors" is so right on in this story that I couldn't put it down! Obviously, there are characters I liked better than others.....Stephanie's husband Chris was the guy I liked most and Celia's husband Mark is the kinda guy I'd like to put on that circus wheel where they throw knives at you and see what happens. Hope's husband Leo is a great f ...more
Erin Law
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book right after reading another book by one of the authors, Elizabeth LaBan, because I got addicted to her writing and her stories. Something about her writing style sucks me right in. So far, the characters tend to be white, upper class Philadelphia residents whom I have very little in common with. Yet, I still somehow find her characters to be relatable & sympathetic for the most part, nevertheless. With a few notable exceptions, that is. There was a husband in each story I've read ...more
Sarah Frobisher
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rt-reviews
Pretty Little World is an intriguing novel about the walls individuals put up around themselves when the physical walls come down. LeBan and DePino are able to navigate through the lives of three families on Emerson Street in an engaging way, allowing readers to relate to each person at different times throughout the novel. These writers are not afraid to hit on hard topics, yet do so in a way that is not overbearing or judgmental. Overall an interesting story that takes readers along a journey ...more
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: via-publisher
I thought the idea within this book was interesting. After a disastrous water leak ruins the walls between two row houses, a group of neighbors (who are also close friends) decide to tear down the first floor walls between their homes and live together. They shared responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning and child-rearing. This was not as if they were simply roommates. It was as if they were a giant family.

Throughout the book I desperately wanted to reach inside the pages and strangle the cha
Nov 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tried really hard to enjoy this book... If it hadn't been for a bookclub, I probably would have DNF'd it a few chapters in, but I made it about 70% through and just had to quit. The characters never felt like real people. It seemed like the authors picked every emotional issue/mid-life crisis that upper middle class white people go through and through them all in. All three families had children, but they were never really portrayed as individuals, just showing up when it would serve the plot. ...more
Rachel Brand
I often find that the hardest reviews to write are the ones where I didn’t love or hate the book, but fall somewhere in between, in the awkward “It was okay” territory. It’s not so much that I was disappointed—I haven’t read many books that explore the aspect of communal living, so it’s not like I had much to compare Pretty Little World to—it just didn’t exactly enthral me. It was definitely an easy read, and I sped through it in a couple of days, but it just didn’t have that special something t ...more
Elaina Michelle
Left Me Hanging

This book has great potential and I wanted to love it. The idea of a modern day commune is very interesting. However, I felt like the characters were underdeveloped. And the ending was completely baffling.
It took a while for the story to get to the main plot and once it did I had a hard time keeping up with who was married to who and what was going on with each couple. The climax and resolution weren’t great either. They find out what Mark did and it’s bad and then it’s ok but
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Three young couples with kids living in adjoining Center-City Philly rowhomes decided to knock down the walls separating their first floors and open up their homes -- and lives -- to each other.
Three marriages will never be the same.
You can tell from the cover image that this isn't going to end well.
I picked this up from the library's browsing shelf because it's set in Philadelphia and I enjoy reading books with a local setting.
The reader is supposed to feel sorry for these characters, I think,
Claudine Johnson Eaddy
Good premise but...

I had read and enjoy the Restaurant Critics Wife, so I was really excited to read about the rest of the families on this little street. Unfortunately, though the premise was good and really interesting as how it could work, it was a hard read, and I often found myself trying to remember who was married to who. When it started to make sense, and I was able to keep up with the couples, it took a weird turn, and then just ended. It didn't come full circle, left too many holes, an
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This novel is about three families who are close friends and also neighbors living in adjoining row houses in Philadelphia, who decide to knock down the walls in between the first floors of their homes and have a communal living space. Each of them have their own issues and of course living together solves certain problems while creating others. An interesting and different idea, but kind of eh in the execution for me - there were too many characters, they were all kind of annoying and not fully ...more
Katie Minion
I kept reading because I wanted to see what would happen to the characters, but the writing wasn't my favorite. There was an omniscient narrator, which always bugs me (we shouldn't know what Mark is thinking in the same scene that we know what Hope is thinking!). Another thing I didn't like was that all the characters were introduced at the same time, which made it difficult to differentiate between them. They all blended together for a while.
I also just didn't really feel for the characters. SE
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