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Pretty Things

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  66,479 ratings  ·  5,537 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
...more
ebook, 496 pages
Published April 21st 2020 by Random House
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Popular Answered Questions
Janelle Author here. The below person is messing with you. There is no graphic sex in this book, though there are romantic relationships.
Janelle Hi! Sorry for the late answer, I just saw this. And yes, the Ehrman mansion was an inspiration! A jumping off point, really - if you have been there, …moreHi! Sorry for the late answer, I just saw this. And yes, the Ehrman mansion was an inspiration! A jumping off point, really - if you have been there, you'll know that Stonehaven as I've imagined it is MUCH larger & grander than the Ehrman Mansion. But the general aesthetics of it, and the setting on the shores of Tahoe, kind of isolated from everything else... that was definitely woven an inspiration for Stonehaven! So glad you enjoyed the book.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  66,479 ratings  ·  5,537 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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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
...more
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
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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
...more
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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Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ 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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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
...more
JanB
May 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Told in alternating points of view, this is a fun tale of revenge, with the expected twists and surprises.

Two women: Nina, a con woman who learned the art at her mother’s knee, and Vanessa, an heiress and Instagram influencer with a complicated family that has seen its share of tragedy. The two women have a past but Vanessa is unaware of their shared history. This added an extra layer of fun to the story.

Nina, along with her boyfriend and fellow con man, Lachlan, plans her biggest scam yet with
...more
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
...more
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... ...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
...more
Ceecee
Mar 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5

Nina Ross is a grifter like her mother Lily before her. Her latest mark is successful Instagram influencer Vanessa Liebling with whose family Nina has history. She sets off to Lake Tahoe with her partner Lachlan, her eyes on the prize and a sweet dose of revenge. The story is told by Nina and Vanessa.

One of my favourite programmes several years ago was The Hustle which was so colourfully entertaining with multiple twists. Whilst this has some good plot turns especially later in the book it
...more
Holly  B
Review for the Audiobook:

Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Lauren Fortgang, Hillary Huber Length: 16 hrs and 6 mins Release date: 04-21-20

Clever tale with some complex flawed characters.

Although it was a bit lengthy, I never felt bored while listening. It was my go-to for running errands, a short road trip and lounging by the bay!

More character driven than just a thrill ride, with a side of revenge served cold! Expect some talented grifters, complex relationships, selfish greediness an
...more
Jen
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Berit Talks Books
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
Liz
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, library
Nina isn’t living the life she envisioned. A college degree in art history landed her with lots of student loans, but no meaningful job. So, she’s now following in her mother’s footsteps as a grifter. When she and her boyfriend are forced to leave LA quickly, they head for Lake Tahoe. Nina spent the sophomore year of high school there and has an axe to grind with one of the town’s rich families.
Meanwhile, Vanessa, the daughter of the family, is now an Instagram influencer. She’s returned to Lak
...more
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
...more
Simone James
Aug 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I soaked this book up and loved every twist and turn. Great characters, incredible setting, a plot like a Swiss watch. I loved it.
ABookwormWithWine
Updated rating 6/2/22: 4.5/5

Pretty Things was my first time reading a Janelle Brown novel, and somehow, I ended up deciding to do a reread almost 1 year to the day of when I listened to it the first time. This is a book I have never been able to stop thinking about, and the second time around I loved it even more! I love Nina as a character, and I love the fact that Julia Whelan narrates her in the audiobook even more. The prologue is read by Hillary Huber who is a new favorite of mine thanks to
...more
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.
...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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
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
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
...more
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Play Book Tag: Pretty Things by Janelle Brown; 4 stars 1 6 Aug 08, 2022 09:52PM  
Challenge Corner: Pretty Things by Janelle Brown --> Restarting February 20th, 2021 10 27 Mar 01, 2021 10:07AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Book issues 3 20 Jan 29, 2021 02:52PM  
Incorrect format 1 8 Jan 29, 2021 05:28AM  
New & Noteworthy ...: June 2020 | Pretty Things 1 3 Jan 11, 2021 12:54PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Pretty Things by Janelle Brown - June 30th 2020 28 35 Jul 09, 2020 08:22PM  
Lost Coast Ladies...: First Impressions 2 19 May 17, 2020 06:35PM  

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Welcome to my home on Goodreads.

A little about me: I'm the New York Times bestselling author of the novels PRETTY THINGS, WATCH ME DISAPPEAR, ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING, THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE and the upcoming I'LL BE YOU. 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
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Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
46 likes · 10 comments
“It's easiest to judge from distance. That's why the Internet has turned us all into armchair critics, experts at the cold dissection of gesture and syllable, sneering self-righteously from the safety of our screens. There, we can feel good about ourselves, validated that our flaws weren't as bad as theirs, unchallenged in our superiority. Moral high ground is a pleasant place to preach, even if the view turns out to be rather limited in scope.” 15 likes
“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.” 12 likes
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