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Pretty Things

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

The characters, setting and story are delightfully woven to form a compelling and entertaining thriller.



Nina watches and waits. She studies social media to find what people have and where they have it. When the time is right, she and her boyfriend, Lachlan take what they want. Nina learned grifting from the best. Her mother was a con artist, hustling where she could to give her daughter a decent childhood. But now her mother is has cancer, and Nina is running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet to pay for her medical care.

Vanessa is a an Instagram influencer with half a million followers. She is traveling the world, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But in real life Vanessa is struggling. Her life has been marked by tragedy. After the death of her father and a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family’s sprawling mountain estate,

Stonehaven. It’s a mansion on a Lake Tahoe full of dark family secrets. It is here that Nina, Vanessa, and Lachlan’s paths collide and nothing goes as planned.


PRETTY THINGS is a clever and compelling novel. The writing is fast paced and the story keeps your head in the book. It’s interestingly structured alternating between Nina and Vanessa’s viewpoints. It also ricochets between Los Angeles and Lake Tahoe.

My favorite part were the innumerable twists, and the various side stories, like Vanessa’s brother and Nina’s mother, and the impact they had on the story. I really liked the development and uniqueness of all the characters, they really brought the story to life. I also appreciated the setting in Lake Tahoe and learning more about the lake. It’s a place I have never been, but would love to visit one day. The characters, setting and story blended well to form a satisfying and entertaining book.

Author JANELLE BROWN is the author of Watch Me Disappear, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything and This is Where We Live. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher Random House

Published April 21, 2020

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