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Pretty Things

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  20,516 ratings  ·  2,494 reviews
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
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ebook, 496 pages
Published April 21st 2020 by Random House
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Janelle Author here. The below person is messing with you. There is no graphic sex in this book, though there are romantic relationships.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,516 ratings  ·  2,494 reviews


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Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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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
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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
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Elyse  Walters
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
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Debra
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
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Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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
...more
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
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Brandice
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Pretty Things a grifter sets into action her biggest scam yet, against an heiress turned social media influencer with ties to her past.

”This is what the internet has given my generation: the ability to play God.”

At 28, Nina Ross’s life hasn’t turned out how she imagined and she faces mounting pressure resulting from debt and treatment for her mother’s illness. Following the death of her father, Vanessa Leibling retreats to Stonehaven, her family’s Lake Tahoe estate, where she will take some
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Tammy
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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Norma
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
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Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ 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
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JEN A
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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...
Bridgett
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 ...more
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
...more
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
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Faith
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
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Diana
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
"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.
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Jennifer Robinson
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book was a surprise hit for me. I picked it up thinking it was one thing, then started it and thought, oh, this isn't what I was prepared for and had to adjust, but within pages was quickly absorbed to the end in this well written character driven book.

Nina and Lachlan are high level scammers, stealing from the rich and famous with their slick cons. Their new mark is the heiress of a rich family from Nina's past. Vanessa, the heiress, is an Instagram influencer who, after moving to her fami
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Jamie Rosenblit
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
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
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Rachel
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 ...more
Frank Phillips
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars, rounding down. A stellar, riveting suspense about a con artist and her victim...or is it really? Who is actually the victim in this story? I kept going back and forth on this, siding with one protagonist for a chapter, only to change my mind the next chapter, and when i finally made up my mind, it was blown - go figure!
I purchased this book shortly after publication day, but quickly realized it was quite a chunker of a book, at over 470 pages long, so embarrassingly it sat on my book
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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
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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
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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
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Liana Grace
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was all sorts of fun to read! It had all the twists and turns I look for in my thrillers and I loved it. A lot of people will be turned off by its length (500 pages) but this simply allows for some great character development and suspense. It will certainly have you pay less attention to influencers on Instagram - or maybe not? A compulsive, cleverly written read.
Denise
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fiendishly clever book of double-crossing and revenge!

After my initial perusal of reviews of Pretty Things, I think I was expecting a raging thriller filled with crazy twists and turns, and while there are some twists, it was definitely not exactly what I was anticipating, as the book is a slow-burn, thick with shifty grifters (which, by the way, before reading this book, I had no idea what a grifter was!) and Instagram Influencers, neither of which generally make for a super compelling
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Elle
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
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,
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1,182 followers
Welcome to my home on Goodreads.

A little about me: I'm the author of the novels PRETTY THINGS, WATCH ME DISAPPEAR, ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING, THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE. My books have been New York Times bestsellers and published in a dozen countries around the world. My books tend to be page-turners with dysfunctional family relationships at their hearts; while my first two books were more sat
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  Kellye Garrett's first novel, Hollywood Homicide, was released in August 2017 and won the Agatha, Anthony, Lefty, and Independent Publisher...
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“Nothing is ever as pure as it seems at first glance; there is always something more complicated to be found when you peel back the unmarred surface of pretty things.” 5 likes
“Social media feeds the narcissistic monster that lives within us all, I would think to myself. It feeds it and grows it until the beast takes over and you are left outside the frame, just looking at images of this creature, like everyone else in your feed, wondering what it is that you birthed and why it's living the life you wish you had.” 5 likes
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