Pretty Things: A Novel (Hardcover)

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May 2020 Indie Next List


“Nina Ross is a grifter, just like her mom. She didn’t have a lot growing up, and they were always on the move. Vanessa, heiress of a family fortune, is a famous Instagram influencer. Everyone loves her, but her smile hides a past filled with tragedy. Nina and Vanessa’s lives become intertwined as part of a long con. Pretty Things is excellently written, with an intricate plot full of twists. I loved absolutely everything about this book. I highly recommend it.”
— Rebecca Minnock, Murder By the Book, Houston, TX

Description


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Who’s really following you on social media? The scam of a lifetime brings together two wildly different women in this page-turning thriller about greed, legacy, and betrayal from the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear.

An ID Book Club Selection • “It’s Dynasty meets Patricia Highsmith.”—The Washington Post
 
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.

About the Author


Janelle Brown is the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, and This Is Where We Live. An essayist and journalist, she has written for Vogue, The New York Times, Elle, Wired, Self, the Los Angeles Times, Salon, and numerous other publications. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two children.

Praise For…


“A page-turner.”—Real Simple

“Impossible to put down, Pretty Things is smart, seductive, and utterly captivating.”—PopSugar

“Full of tantalizing twists and shocking deceptions, this is an intelligent social commentary that is also deliciously fun to read.”—The Week

“It’s Dynasty meets Patricia Highsmith. . . . Duplicity abounds when two messed-up clans collide, and Brown’s final multiple twists are doozies.”The Washington Post

“Fiendishly clever.”Kirkus Reviews

“A can’t-look-away story of and for our generation, Pretty Things combines a spellbinding setting with dark, slippery secrets to expose what we’ve always known—or maybe just hoped—to be true about the gilded lives presented in our social media feeds. Janelle Brown is a literary powerhouse.”—Chandler Baker, New York Times bestselling author of Whisper Network
 
“I devoured this book—an incredible read.”—Jessica Knoll, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive and The Favorite Sister
 
“I love a good con story—especially when I can’t tell who’s the actual mark and who’s the real con artist. In Janelle Brown’s compulsively readable Pretty Things, the good girls and the bad girls keep switching places in a story that will keep you turning pages till the end. Even more richly told than Watch Me Disappear, Brown’s latest novel has the same sharp observations that are her trademark—about shifting identities and the secrets we all keep.”—Attica Locke, author of Heaven, My Home
 
“Hungry, sexy, and packed with twists, this latest novel from Janelle Brown exposes what’s hidden behind the stone walls of the elite’s mansions and the slick facades of con artists’ scams. Money, family, and Instagram collide to make a book you won’t be able to put down.”—Julia Phillips, author of Disappearing Earth
 
“Part psychological thriller and part morality tale, Janelle Brown’s Pretty Things is literary suspense at its best. Gorgeous prose, complex characters inhabiting the fascinating worlds of elite Instagram influencers and high-stakes scam artists, a thought-provoking dual narrative, a twisty plot with a shocking, never-saw-that-coming ending—this brilliant novel has it all! I read it in one day in one sitting, mesmerized, and I loved every moment.”—Angie Kim, bestselling author of Miracle Creek

“I drank down Janelle Brown’s Pretty Things in one greedy gulp, speeding through the pages even as the sharp, insightful writing made me feel compassion for each narrator. . . . Mesmerizing, provocative, surprising and thoughtful—a must-read.”—Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author of Searching for Sylvie Lee
Product Details
ISBN: 9780525479123
ISBN-10: 0525479120
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: April 21st, 2020
Pages: 496
Language: English

How to read more

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( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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