Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Pretty Things by Janelle Brown
Narrator: Julia Whelan, Lauren Fortgang, Hillary Huber
Published by Penguin Audio on April 21, 2020
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Length: 16 hours, 8 minutes
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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.
Pretty Things is a great step into a whole new world. This mystery thriller held me waiting to see what happened next. The chapters were from different main characters point of view, mostly Nina and Vanessa. Nina is the grifter and Vanessa is the heiress.
I was team Nina from the beginning. This might be because we got her perspective first, or because she was smart and hard working, and didn’t have things easy growing up. There was a great sense of suspense for me because at some point things would not go well for our characters. I wanted to protect her.
Vanessa was much less likeable. She was shallow, wanting to be the center of attention. Of course, that is partly because she has never really received much love and guidance as she was raised. But she did much less with all she had than Nina. I felt more for her brother, Benny.
We start out with heists and end up with grifting and there are some big twists along the way. I enjoyed this very much, especially with the terrific narration.
I chose this audio partly because the women narrators are three of my favorites. There were distinct differences in the character voices, and the male voices were limited with the primary characters being female, but all sounded appropriate. I enjoyed listening at my usual 1.5x speed.
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