NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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.
An ID Book Club Selection • “Pretty Things is awesome. Simple as that. I loved every page. Janelle Brown is your new must-read author.”—Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author of Run Away
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If you’re looking to escape into a twisty and extremely satisfying psychological thriller, look no further: The latest novel from New York Times best-selling author Janelle Brown is all that and more. When reluctant con artist Nina Ross hears about a job targeting her childhood nemesis, she’s all in—until she realizes her frenemy’s story is far more complicated than she ever imagined. Brown’s slippery cast of characters deliver endless intrigue, and her settings—from a glam New York gala to the pristine shores of Lake Tahoe—add an extra layer of depth and sparkle. Pretty Things is a pitch-perfect combination of biting social commentary and escapist fun.
In this mixed heist tale, Brown (Watch Me Disappear) pits two con artists against a socialite, but a shared history makes their job messier than usual. Nina and her boyfriend Lachlan prey on Los Angeles's young, careless, and wealthy, taking largely unmissed goods from their homes that can be resold for small fortunes. When Nina's mom learns that her cancer has returned and the police turn up investigating Nina and Lachlan's crime spree, the couple decide to leave town and take a swing at an instant payday the $1 million Nina knows is in a safe in the Lake Tahoe mansion of her ex-boyfriend, Benny, which is currently occupied by his Instagram-influencer sister, Vanessa. But their efforts to scam Vanessa turn up more surprises than they expected, and Nina's attempts to hide her identity blow up. Despite a catchy opening, the stakes fade and the narrative flags during Nina and Lachlan's overlong ruse, and long flashbacks and shifts in perspective drag out what quickly becomes a predictable storyline. There's promise here, but many readers will find their interest waning.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fast paced read! Page turner!
Honestly this book was so face passed and I couldn’t put it down. It makes you think about how the world like is today. I recommend it to all my friends and can’t wait for the show to come out!
This is a unique thriller & had me hooked. Highly recommend!
Full of suspense and tragedy, mesmerizing
This is a book filled with suspense. And tragedy. There are not many characters, but they are so well developed, with such deep stories. They have all experienced heartbreak and loss of hope, life hasn’t turned out like they hoped it would. Missed chances? Fate? Something they did? Their interactions are fascinating as they weave in and out and cross over and back. Everyone is connected to something that connects to another one of them. But you can’t figure it all out, you are surprised over and over again. On the surface Pretty Things seems to be about a grifter and a shallow rich girl, and a big scheme. But it’s so much more. I guess it’s true that no one is all good or all bad, you can’t make a snap judgement or take everyone at face value.
Nina grew up with a single mom, who was a grifter and the picture of the helpless woman. She always told Nina she could do and be more, that she had a FUTURE. And Nina believed it. Until she didn’t. She worked hard but still that future seemed elusive, and then her mom got sick and she had to earn money for treatment using the only role model she had – a grifter.
Vanessa is the rich, spoiled heiress who grew up in the very, very, very dysfunctional family. Who never felt like she was enough, did enough, was noticed enough, especially after her mother committed suicide.
Everyone is flawed but everyone (well, almost everyone) also has redeeming qualities. They want love or security or fortune – or just to be seen. Actions from the past changed the future, and some actions taking place now are going to set things in motion that can’t be undone. It’s an unsettling book, but mesmerizing. Leaving you unsure, flipping back and forth as to who you should hope wins, who you feel the most sorry for, who is sincere and who is lying and pretending to be someone they are not.
Pretty Things is extraordinary, touching, thought-provoking and a very enjoyable read. I received an advance copy from publisher Random House. All opinions are my own. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it without hesitation.