Pretty Things by Janelle Brown

Posted April 23, 2022 by Debbie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Pretty Things


Janelle Brown

3.5 Stars


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.


“On social media it’s all or nothing: lavish praise or appalled outrage; sycophants or trolls. Caption-and-comment culture in all its brevity leaves out the middle ground, where most of life is found.”


~ My Thoughts ~


It was the mention of influencer that had me buying the book. I will admit, this story was not what I expected. I’ll also admit that I thought it was a really good story.

This is the story of two con women, one con man and one guy who lost it all, including his mind and one social media influencer.

Filled with twists and turns, I found it impossible to figure out the tangled web of lies and deceit.

The momentum gains pace with each page turn. The characters are well rounded and perfectly structured. The family dynamics are well written and realistic.

I really enjoyed how the book was formatted allowing each character a chance to speak, making you feel like you were gaining knowledge. The fact is the author was playing you, holding you in the palm of her hand like putty, manipulating your thought process.
Pretty Things is an enjoyable, fast paced story of life, family, the impact of social media and the realization that everything you see and believe in isn’t always real or truthful.

Thank goodness for eye catching covers and a blurb that caught my attention. I can now add Janelle Brown to my list of want to read authors.

“I don’t really do social media. When you’re documenting everything you do, you stop living life for yourself and start living it as a performance for others. You’re never in the actual moment, just the response to the moment.”


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 at their hearts; while my first two books were more satirical domestic dramas, my latest three are literary suspense. I’m also very much a California writer, and my books are set across the state.

2 responses to “Pretty Things by Janelle Brown

  1. I saw this in the used book store today and thought about picking it up because of the cover. Great review I may have to circle back.

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