To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Gripping and full of suspense from the first page, Janelle Brown’s ‘Pretty Things’, is dark, gritty and sinister.
Written from the perspective of two central protagonists, Nina and Vanessa, in alternating sections, Brown creates believable and endearing characters. Whilst not immediately likeable, particularly Nina who you discover early in the novel is a con artist... the novel progressed I found myself developing a level of understanding and empathy for both women and their motivations, and was completely invested in their stories.
There were a lot of references to current culture, social media, trends and hashtags, which I enjoyed and made the novel more relatable for those who choose to read it now, but I’m not too sure that they will stand the test of time.
Whilst possibly best described as a thriller, the novel has other depths, with Brown introducing strong themes of loneliness, emptiness, ambition, deceit, revenge and self-worth that you find yourself reflecting on throughout the novel. With money, wealth and superficiality being a central focus of the novel, Brown causes you to question what it means to be wealthy, what lies beneath what we choose to reveal about ourselves and how we influence the perception of others. I should add trigger warnings here of both mental illness and mental abuse, which feature strongly within the novel.
Brown strikes a balance between dialogue and description, using suspense but allowing the novel to drive forward to a conclusion. My only criticism is that the plot itself was a little too predictable and I found myself guessing the twists and turns before they happened.
I’ve seen that there are plans to adapt this novel into a Netflix series, and very excited to see the result of this!!
‘Pretty Things’ is a shocking, scandalous, fast paced read with lots of twists to keep you on edge. The narrative switches back and forth between the two main female characters, Nina and Vanessa, and the tension is palpable.
The plot is well thought out and entertaining and the characters keep you hooked the whole way through. I found myself trying to guess what was going to happen the whole time and it was always surprising to see where the story ended up.
I would definitely recommend ‘Pretty Things’ if you’re looking for a good, non horror thriller. I would also recommend it if you liked ‘Fake Like Me’ by Barbara Bourland.
It started out slow but caught pace somewhere in the middle. The end was a little predictable and maybe that's why fell a little flat. The story is told from the perspective of both the protagonists and while this can be repetitive, it was actually very interesting and lent itself to help build the characters' personalities and backstories. It took me a lot longer to read this one than I'd like to admit but once I got to the middle I couldn't put it down till I was done.