What a fun book and engaging book We have Nina and her boyfriend Lachlan who are grifters, Vanessa the heiress who is an Instagram influencer, and sweet Benny who is Vanessa s brother all embroiled together in this thriller I loved every minute of Pretty Things, it was an entertaining page turner with many twists and turns Even though I didn t like all the characters, they were real and interesting The descriptions of Lake Tahoe and Stonehaven were written so well, I felt like I was the one staying in that old and creepy mansion with Vanessa Thank you to Net Galley and Random House for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. 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 pile Enter another young woman and her sketchy boyfriend whose life hasn t panned out as she had hoped and the scene is set for a con job promising a big payout This is a thriller containing commentary about social media, mental illness, and the disparity between the haves and the have nots Unexpected and unexpectedly believable. 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 DisappearNina 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 LA 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 Fa Ade 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 Instagram Twitter Facebook PinterestYou 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 been done dirty by society and are trying to find their way back.Our first heroine is Nina, the daughter of a con artist and a bit of a con herself With the help of a much older boyfriend, she runs her own version of THE BLING RING she uses Instagram to see which local minor celebrities are flashing cash, and then she worms her way into their lives and robs them Her latest target is a woman named Vanessa who comes from old money, but acts like your typical nouveau riche influencer jet setter, vapid, and shallow, and utterly materialistic Which is annoying, of course, but Nina s interest is much shall we say personal.Vanessa, as I said before, comes from money, but money means problems Vanessa has a lot of problems Messed up family, all kinds of personal issues, and an almost pathological desire to be adored She s tried to fill that void with all sorts of things and the young married couple who comes to rent her summer cabin artsy and bohemian in a sanitized, clean way that is very much non threatening to her aristobrat aesthetic seems like it might be just the thing.But it s not And just when you start to think you have everything figured out, Janelle Brown throws curveball after curveball in your direction until you can t help but wonder who s conning who So obviously I loved this book Any book that reminds me of Gillian Flynn is a clear win, and Janelle Brown s morally gray protagonists are some of the clearest parallels I ve encountered in a while They were both doing very bad things, but you could totally understand where they were coming from and why they were doing the things they were doing, even if you didn t agree The writing is absolutely gorgeous and I felt like each woman stood out as a separate entity, whereas far too often in multi POV stories, they end up sounding like facsimiles of the same individual i.e the authorYou know it s going to be an intense story from the very beginning it literally opens up with a body in the lake but honestly, despite having read hundreds of mysteries in my thirty so years of being, I didn t know what was going to happen in the book until the very end And that was a delight I love being surprised I love it even if it doesn t feel like a cheap out to make me feel surprised Anyone who likes morally gray protagonists or Gillian Flynn is going to love this book I would definitely read from this author in a heartbeat, especially if she writes poor little rich girl stories about elite drama and dirty family secrets Please, and thank you Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 5 stars 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 Vanessa is a trying to be a socialite and her family money is dwindling fast soon after she inherits the family estate in Lake Tahoe Nina wants to run another high stake scheme in order to pay for her mother s expensive cancer treatments and Vanessa is now her target With the help of Lachlan, a friend of her mother, they set out on a dangerous scam together But will they succeed Or do they get the short end of the con The you read the you begin empathizing with all of them to the point that you cheer for each of them to succeed with their cons and revenge.This is not a thriller, but it does offer enough twists to keep a you interested and going to the very end At almost 500 pages, it s a long and very slow burn, but I didn t get bogged down by the length at all Readers that like Gillian Flynn and Ruth Ware will devour this book Definitely add this to your 2020 TBR list A special thanks to Janelle Brown, Random House and NetGalley for this ARC. 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 might surprise you and at a minimum, will intrigue captivate you Each woman is so finely written that they offer their own voices and becoming truly distinct individuals Upon finishing Pretty Things, I immediately ran to check out all of Brown s backlist and will be eager to see what she does next Thank you to Random House for an advanced copy All opinions are my own. 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, and all the juicy drama that follows flawed human interactions The two point of views throughout the novel are Nina and Vanessa Nina and her partner both professionally and romantically are con artists that make a fortune tricking arrogant billionaires out of their money Nina takes care of her ailing mother, but is worried that police are out to get her As her and her boyfriend Lachlan escape, they duo decides to go after someone that has wronged Nina back when she was a teenager Vanessa Lieblings Vanessa is an Instagram influencer and heiress to the financial company The Lieblings Group her father is very successful and Vanessa has lived the life of privilege and opportunity Nina is ready to take advantage of this opportunity and make her pay for everything What did Vanessa do to Nina and will Nina succeed or has the Lieblings family been waiting for her all this time This book was great and I really enjoyed the art of conning that Nina and Lachlan provided in Pretty Things It was so entertaining and made me want to read about characters who do these horrendous things to innocent ish people You may notice that I didn t give it 5 stars and that is solely because the book is almost 500 pages and maybe 150 175 pages too long The book goes into full detail of items that could ve been completed on one point of view and we didn t need a rehash by both of them The pacing is the legitimate only reason why I didn t give this book a perfect score That being said, Pretty Things is definitely a contender for one of the strongest releases in 2020 So I think we can say that I am very happy about picking up this novel I hope you enjoy it as much as I did Now, should I pick up Watch Me Disappear 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 reading however, it was one of those books that I when I read the last page, I felt a sense of sadness that I was saying good bye to this group of sorry misfits The story mainly focuses on two women Nina and Vanessa both of which are running their own scams Nina, an antiques buyer and seller, who has turned to running cons in order to pay for her mother s cancer treatment and Vanessa, who, although her family money is dwindling, she is still trying to keep up appearances as a glamorous Instagram Influencer Their lives are connected in ways that neither one thinks the other one will remember, and they both blame the other for their messed up lives, and in turn, they go after one another with determined, calculating precision I thought Brown did a superb job of entwining both storylines and characters At first pass, both women seem beyond shallow, but the the plot builds, the you begin empathizing with them both, to the point that I found myself rooting for each of them to succeed with their revenge plots.The ending, although somewhat predictable, still satisfied me in so many ways I did think the storyline was a bit drawn out, but it was so well written that I can forgive the length I also really enjoyed the subtle nuances correlating unhappiness and and an obsession with social media Overall, such a riveting, brilliant read 4 grifter happy stars for me A grifter and an heiress brought together by the scam of a lifetime is the kind of premise I didn t know was missing in my life until I read it CAN T WAIT 3.5 stars round up to 4This 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 this is what I wanted from page one A great deal of the book is spent highly developing the two main characters Nina and Vanessa Vanessa is a wealthy, Instagram it girl who is famous for well nothingyou know the type.Then we have NinaNina is a con artist She learned from the bestdear old mom When her mom no longer can hustle people due to her cancer diagnosis, Nina steps in Like mother, like daughter right We get a full look at Nina s background and we see that if Nina had not made one little mistake, her life might have turned out quite differentlyor would it That is the million dollar question What we do know is that after 12 years, Nina wants to settle the score This book was just a tad too long and too slow of a burn for me However I did enjoy it, I was just glad that it picked up speed towards the ending There were several twists towards the end some I saw coming and some I did not Overall I enjoyed this book but it didn t have me floored or speechless at the end I think someone that doesn t read as many thrillers as I do may rate this quite a bit higher I was just looking for a bit action.Thank you so much to Random House for this ARC.