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Thursday, April 16, 2020

#ATBR2020 Review: Pretty Things by Janelle Brown @janelleb @randomhouse @jessmapreviews

Pretty Things 
by Janelle Brown

Huge thank you to Random House for these free books in exchange for our honest reviews.


Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: April 21, 2020
Hardcover
496 Pages
Standalone
Genre: Thriller

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’s, Vanessa’s, 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.

My Review:


My second book by Brown and she has solidified her place on my autobuy list. Told in alternating POVs of Nina and Vanessa - we have two girls living in two completely separate worlds and yet are brought together for various reasons throughout their lives. No matter what you *think* you know, there's always more to the story.  What do you do when new information sprouts up - it's all depends on perspective.... doesn't it?


Oh the duplicity, the lies, the backstabbing... THE FUN OF THIS READ.  The author does a fantastic job of showing the privledged to the drifter, the truths to the lies, the yin to the yang and really has us second guessing just whose side we're supposed to be on.  Be careful what you put on social media - people could be tracking your every move.  And also be careful, lurkers, what you see isn't always what you'll get.  


Because of the dual POVs, sometimes we get the same scenes twice - which can seem a little bit repetitive... HOWEVER, it does give us the full 360 on Nina and Vanessa - each of whom surprised me in the best ways.  Get your hands on this book.  Grab some popcorn and settle in for the ride.


★★★★

Jessica's Review:


If you're looking for a book that you can just get lost in, then I highly recommend picking up Janelle Brown's PRETTY THINGS. This was a book that I was able to start and fly through. If it wasn't for work getting in the way, then I definitely could have finished it a sitting or two. This has all of the elements I needed - a quick pace, some backstabbing, unreliable narrators, two different POV's, and the added element of social media. 

I know that there have been more thrillers lately that involve social media, but I feel like it's such a great addition to the genre. There are so many different ways that you can incorporate it, and it always has the same caution - be careful what you put online because it can never be taken back. Vanessa and Nina are such different characters and I love how the author showcases this. We get the dual perspectives from the two women and we get to see the scenes play out twice - once from each POV. I can see how this could be really repetitive for some readers, but I think the way the author unfolded it was perfect. Who are you going to believe? 

I really enjoyed the writing and how different Nina and Vanessa were. Two different worlds and very different lifestyles - that of a con-artist and that of a social media influencer. How are they connected and how do their paths cross? Janelle Brown created two very distinct and unique voices for these narrators and I can't wait to see what she comes out with next. 

4 stars

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